King of Judah (727–698 bce) during the time of Assyrian aggression. Samaria was taken in 722 and Hezekiah became an Assyrian vassal until 705, when the death of the Assyrian king Sargon prompted a coalition of small states to rebel. In reply, the new king, Sennacherib, captured some of the outlying cities of Judah (he claims in an inscription to have besieged forty-six), and reached Jerusalem itself but withdrew. The prophet Isaiah had predicted that the capital would be spared and this was attributed to divine intervention (2 Kgs. 19: 35).
Hezekiah was praised (2 Kgs. 18: 3–6) for his policy of closing the ‘high places’ in favour of centralized worship in the Temple.
The dates of Hezekiah's reign are disputed. Alternative to those above, they might be 715–686 bce. The references in 2 Kgs. 18: 9 and 18: 13 are mutually incompatible.
Subjects: Biblical Studies.