Hezekiah - Successful King of Judah

Discover Why King Hezekiah Was Given a Longer Life by God

King Hezekiah
Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king of Judah. Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org

Of all the kings of Judah, Hezekiah was the most obedient to God. He found such favor in the Lord's eyes that God answered his prayer and added 15 years to his life.

Hezekiah, whose name means "God has strengthened," was 25 years old when he began his reign, which lasted from 726-697 B.C. His father, Ahaz, had been one of the worst kings in the country's history, leading the people astray with idolatry.

Hezekiah zealously began to set things right. First, he reopened the temple in Jerusalem. Then he sanctified the temple vessels that had been desecrated. He reinstated the Levitical priesthood, restored proper worship, and brought back Passover as a national holiday.

But he didn't stop there. King Hezekiah made sure idols were smashed throughout the land, along with any remains of pagan worship. Over the years, the people had been worshiping the bronze serpent Moses made in the desert. Hezekiah destroyed it.

During King Hezekiah's reign, the ruthless Assyrian empire was on the march, conquering one nation after another. Hezekiah took steps to fortify Jerusalem against siege, one of which was to build a 1,750 foot long tunnel to provide a secret water supply. Archaeologists have excavated the tunnel under the city of David.

Hezekiah made one major mistake, which is recorded in 2 Kings 20. Ambassadors came from Babylon, and Hezekiah showed them all the gold in his treasury, armaments, and the riches of Jerusalem.

Afterward, Isaiah scolded him for his pride, foretelling that everything would be taken away, including the king's descendants.

To appease the Assyrians, Hezekiah paid King Sennacherib 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold. Later, Hezekiah became seriously ill. The prophet Isaiah warned him to get his affairs in order because he was going to die.

Hezekiah reminded God of his obedience then wept bitterly. God healed him, adding 15 years to his life. 

A few years later the Assyrians came back, mocking God and threatening Jerusalem again. King Hezekiah went to the temple to pray for deliverance. The prophet Isaiah said God had heard him. That same night, the angel of the Lord killed 185,000 warriors in the Assyrian camp, so Sennacherib retreated to Nineveh and stayed there.

Even though Hezekiah pleased the Lord through his loyalty, Hezekiah's son Manasseh was a wicked man who undid most of his father's reforms, bringing back immorality and worship of pagan gods.

Accomplishments of King Hezekiah

Hezekiah stamped out idol worship and restored Yahweh to his rightful place as God of Judah. As a military leader, he fended off the superior forces of the Assyrians.

King Hezekiah's Strengths

As a man of God, Hezekiah obeyed the Lord in everything he did and listened to the counsel of Isaiah. His wisdom told him God's way was best.

King Hezekiah's Weaknesses

Hezekiah lapsed into pride in showing Judah's treasures to Babylonian envoys. By trying to impress, he gave away important state secrets.

Life Lessons

  • Hezekiah chose God's way instead of the popular immorality of his culture. God prospered him and Judah because of his obedience.
    • Genuine love for the Lord gained Hezekiah 15 more years of life when he was dying. God desires our love.
    • Pride can affect even a godly man. Hezekiah's bragging later figured into the looting of their treasury and the Babylonian captivity.
    • Although Hezekiah made sweeping reforms, he did nothing to ensure they would remain in place after his death. We guarantee our legacy only with wise planning.

    Hometown

    Jerusalem

    References to King Hezekiah in the Bible

    Hezekiah's story appears in 2 Kings 16:20-20:21; 2 Chronicles 28:27-32:33; and Isaiah 36:1-39:8. Other references include Proverbs 25:1; Isaiah 1:1; Jeremiah 15:4, 26:18-19; Hosea 1:1; and Micah 1:1.

    Occupation

    Thirteenth king of Judah.

    Family Tree

    Father: Ahaz
    Mother: Abijah
    Son: Manasseh

    Key Verses

    Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to the LORD and did not cease to follow him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses. And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook.

    (2 Kings 18:5-7, NIV)

    "Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God." (2 Kings 19:19, NIV)

    "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life." (2 Kings 20:5-6, NIV)

    (Sources: gotquestions.org; Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Trent C. Butler, general editor; International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, James Orr, general editor; New Compact Bible Dictionary, T. Alton Bryant, editor; Everyone in the Bible, William P. Barker; Life Application Bible, Tyndale House Publishers and Zondervan.) 

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    Your Citation
    Zavada, Jack. "Hezekiah - Successful King of Judah." ThoughtCo, Sep. 19, 2016, thoughtco.com/hezekiah-successful-king-of-judah-4089408. Zavada, Jack. (2016, September 19). Hezekiah - Successful King of Judah. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/hezekiah-successful-king-of-judah-4089408 Zavada, Jack. "Hezekiah - Successful King of Judah." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/hezekiah-successful-king-of-judah-4089408 (accessed January 17, 2018).