ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bible: What Does 2 Kings 19-21 Teach Us About Hezekiah, Sennacherib, and Manasseh?

Updated on September 23, 2016

Hezekiah, King of Judah


2 Kings 19

Hezekiah's response resembles that of his staff, yet he also takes his concern before the LORD (v. 1).

Eager to receive some word from God, the king sends some of his servants to Isaiah who ask him to intercede for the remnant about Assyria's reproaches against Yahweh (vv. 2-5).

The prophet returns them to Hezekiah with encouraging news of Sennacherib's soon demise (vv. 6-7).

As events begin to unfold, Assyria's governor (Rabshakeh) learns that his king is fighting against Libnah (a Levitical city of Jerusalem) [v. 8].

Meanwhile, Tirhakah king of Ethiopia joins with Hezekiah to harass Sennacherib (v. 9).

In an angry letter, Sennacherib still seeks to convince Judah’s king to surrender, presenting the failures of so many other gods to resist Assyria as proof that Hezekiah's deity, Yahweh, will have no better success (vv. 10-13; cf. 18:33-35).

After reading the letter, Hezekiah spreads it out before the LORD in the temple, and prays fervently for the salvation of His people (vv. 14-19).

His petition contains much excellent theology, emphasizing Yahweh's uniqueness as the only God and as the personal, sovereign Creator of the universe (vv. 14-16).

Hezekiah realistically assesses the situation (v. 17), but also acknowledges the truth about the gods of the other nations (v. 18).

Interesting to note, too, is the king's "evangelistic'' vision: his concern that knowledge of Yahweh as the only true God become universal by means of the salvation of His people (v. 19).

Isaiah the Prophet


The Angel of the LORD


Isaiah proclaims God's revelation to Hezekiah in response to his prayer (vv. 20-34).

The LORD, first of all, declares Jerusalem's contempt of Sennacherib for his blasphemous ways (v. 21).

In essence, the daughter of Zion says, "You do not know Who you are dealing with, O king of Assyria!" (v. 22)

After quoting Sennacherib's messengers, who boast of the might of their invading army, Isaiah informs Assyria that Yahweh had purposed for him from ancient times to crush cities full of weak people (vv. 23-26).

Now, however, he has gone too far in challenging God; it is time for the LORD to teach him a lesson and treat him as he has treated his victims (vv. 27-28).

Yahweh promises Hezekiah that, through the jealousy of God for His city, Judah's remnant will escape destruction and begin to prosper again after three years (vv. 29-31).

In addition, Assyria will not enter Jerusalem, but will return to his own land (vv. 32-34).

Before he departs from Judah, Sennacherib learns an unforgettable lesson from the Angel of the LORD.

One morning the Assyrian army, one hundred eighty-five thousand strong, lay dead in their camp, victims of the Angel's mighty "sword" (vv. 35-36a).

Back in Nineveh, the defeated king himself falls to assassins' swords while worshiping his pagan deity (vv. 36b-37).

Reward for Righteousness?

view quiz statistics

2 Kings 20

Deathly ill from a malignant boil (?), Hezekiah receives a disheartening report, straight from the prophet Isaiah: "You will soon die" (v. 1).

Weeping bitterly, the king pleads that God would spare his life.

Hoping that it might win him some more time, he offers his personal righteousness as a bargaining chip (vv. 2-3).

Yahweh responds quickly to Hezekiah's prayer, sending Isaiah back to him with news of his healing: "In three days you will be well enough to go to the temple."

In addition, God grants him fifteen more years of life and a Jerusalem, safe and sound, to boot (vv. 4-6).

With a lump of figs (of all things!), Isaiah cures the king's disease (v. 7).

Strangely, Hezekiah asks God for a sign that he will truly recover (v. 8).

[Why he needed a sign, and why he thought that it was easier for God to make the shadow go down ten degrees rather than to go backward ten, are enigmatic requests (vv. 9-10).

For an omnipotent Creator, both miracles would be equally easy!]

As Isaiah cries out, the LORD still honors this request (v. 11).

Merodach-baladan, King of Babylon


Envoys from the Babylonian king Berodach-Baladan arrive in Jerusalem with get-well presents (v. 12).

An overjoyed Hezekiah, perhaps eager to show them how much the LORD had blessed Judah, foolishly shows them all his treasures (v. 13).

Isaiah investigates this matter, and then informs the king that a day will come when Babylonians will carry away into their land all his accumulated wealth and many of his sons as well (vv. 14-18).

Sadly, Hezekiah seems concerned only with his own personal peace and affluence; what will happen to his sons does not seem to faze him (v. 19).

The sacred historian then completes his account of Hezekiah's reign as he has done with the other kings (vv. 20-21).

Hezekiah's Son

view quiz statistics

2 Kings 21

Perhaps Judah's most wicked, idolatrous king (Manasseh) follows its most righteous and godly (vv. 1-2).

[Something influenced Hezekiah's son (whom, by the way, the king fathered during those fifteen extra years God gave him) to turn away from the LORD completely, but the text does not say what it was.

An interesting question: Would Hezekiah have agreed to continue living had he known that he would beget Manasseh?]

Manasseh tears down much of the good his father had accomplished, and rebuilds the religious scene according to current pagan customs, setting up altars for Baal, a wooden image for a female goddess, altars for the host of heaven [gods of the Assyrians], and a carved image for another Canaanite goddess (Asherah).

He also practices various kinds of spiritualism—all to spite the worship of Yahweh in His temple (vv. 3-9).

Manasseh's abominations (and the people's willing participation in them) reach such atrocious proportions that God sends prophets with messages of calamity and desolation for Jerusalem and Judah (vv. 10-12a).

Not only will these words cause the people's ears to tingle, but they will "turn their lives upside down."

Enemies will "take them for all they are worth" (vv. 12b-15); Manasseh especially will suffer greatly for his murderous ways (v. 16).

His reign ends with no special tribute (vv. 17-18).

Amon, Manasseh's son, is a carbon copy of his father, yet he mercifully (for Judah’s sake) lasts only two years on the throne before a conspiracy brings him down (vv. 19-23).

Executions take the conspirators' lives, and good king Josiah rules over the realm (v. 24). Amon's tale concludes, following the author's typical formula (vv. 25-26).

© 2013 glynch1


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)