2 Kings 18–19: Righteous King Hezekiah

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 116–117


At the time Assyria was conquering Israel, Hezekiah became king in Judah. He was able to lead the people toward increased righteousness, perhaps because they saw what was happening to Israel and feared the threat of the Assyrians to their own nation. As often happens to those who turn from sin to righteousness, however, Hezekiah and Israel had their commitment tested. For example, when a person who hasn’t paid tithing begins paying it, there may come a month when it doesn’t look like he or she can afford to pay a full tithe. The person may have to ask, “Can I trust the Lord enough to go ahead and pay my tithing and trust that He will bless me in whatever way I need?” Read Ether 12:6. Note the way the Lord has directed us to follow in such challenging times.Hezekiah and his kingdom’s trial of faith is told about in 2 Kings 18–19. As you read, consider how you would feel if you were in Hezekiah’s situation, both during and after this trial of faith.

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Kings 18

Clave (v. 6)Stayed very close 
Return (v. 14)Turn back 
Appointed (v. 14)Taxed 
Conduit (v. 17)Small channel that carries water 
Vain words (v. 20)Words that have no value and will not come to pass 
Pledges (v. 23)Money paid for protection 
Cistern (v. 31)Place for collecting water 

2 Kings 18:26—Speak “in the Syrian Language”

The Assyrians were speaking in Hebrew outside the walls of Jerusalem so that all inside would understand their message. The Jewish men on the wall asked the Assyrians to speak in Syrian. They did not want many people to understand the frightening message of a group of very confident soldiers in what, at the time, was the most powerful army in the world.

2 Kings 19

Rent (v. 1)Tore 
Sackcloth (vv. 1–2)Dark-colored clothing made from a goat hide and worn as a cloak in times of mourning 
Rebuke (v. 3)Punishment 
Blasphemy, blasphemed (vv. 3, 22)Express great disrespect for God 
Reproach (vv. 4, 16, 22–23)Ridicule, speak disrespectfully 
Reprove (v. 4)Correct 
Remnant (vv. 4, 30–31)Part left over, the remainder 
Blast (v. 7)Thought 
Which dwellest between the cherubims (v. 15)Reference to the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies of the temple, symbolizing the place where God dwells 
Despised (v. 21)Disliked 
Laughed thee to scorn (v. 21)Mocks you 
Lodgings of his borders (v. 23)Furthest boundary 
Dismayed (v. 26)Fearful 
Confounded (v. 26)Put to shame 
Blasted (v. 26)Destroyed 
Rage (vv. 27–28)Anger 
Tumult (v. 28)Pride 
Zeal (v. 31)Strong feelings 
Bank (v. 32)Mound of dirt that allows an enemy to come over the wall 

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–C) as you study 2 Kings 18–19.

Activity A iconA Formula for Success

How does 2 Kings 18:1–8 illustrate the truth of Proverbs 3:5–6?

Activity B iconIn Your Own Words

Summarize the story found in 2 Kings 18–19 by writing in your own words:

  1. 1.

    What Rab-shakeh said to Hezekiah’s servants (see 2 Kings 18:19–35).

  2. 2.

    Hezekiah’s reaction to the Rab-shakeh’s words (see 2 Kings 19:1–5).

  3. 3.

    Isaiah’s message to Hezekiah (see 2 Kings 19:6–7).

  4. 4.

    What Isaiah said to Hezekiah in response to Hezekiah’s prayer (see 2 Kings 19:20–34).

  5. 5.

    What happened to the Assyrians (see 2 Kings 19:35–37).

Activity C iconHow Does It Happen Today?

What lesson could modern-day Israelites learn from the story in 2 Kings 18–19? As you write, consider the following questions: In what ways do you feel like you are in the position of Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem? Does it take faith to believe that some of the things the prophets tell us will actually come to pass? How does the story of Hezekiah in these two chapters relate to Ether 12:6?