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2 Kings 18:1-8 – Good King Hezekiah

Summary

The editors praise good king Hezekiah for his faithful obedience.

Analysis

Hezekiah's evaluation is more positive than any other king: "there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah after him, or among those who were before him" (v. 5). Not even Josiah can compare with good king Hezekiah because of his trust in the Lord. He is commended for destroying the high places, pillars, and sacred poles of Baal worship, thus centralizing worship in Jerusalem for the first time. His destruction of the bronze serpent from the wilderness (Numbers 21:4-9), which had somehow become an inappropriate object of worship, parallels Moses' destruction of the golden calf (v. 4). He holds fast to the commandments of the Lord and enjoyed the success that the Lord's presence brings (v. 7). Militarily, he rebelled against Assyria, the dominant power of the day, and recaptured territory lost to the Philistines (v. 8).

2 Kings 18:1-8

Hezekiah’s Reign over Judah

18In the third year of King Hoshea son of Elah of Israel, Hezekiah son of King Ahaz of Judah began to reign. 2He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi daughter of Zechariah. 3He did what was right in the sight of the Lord just as his ancestor David had done. 4He removed the high places, broke down the pillars, and cut down the sacred pole.* He broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it; it was called Nehushtan. 5He trusted in the Lord the God of Israel; so that there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah after him, or among those who were before him. 6For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following him but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. 7The Lord was with him; wherever he went, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. 8He attacked the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watch-tower to fortified city.

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10 February 2011

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