Old Testament History

By Henry Preserved Smith | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
HEZEKIAH AND MANASSEH

THE fall of Samaria, however impressive as an object-lesson, made no great difference in the political condition of Judah. The house of David still possessed the throne, and even breathed more freely in that its neighbour was no longer an independent kingdom, but a province under an Assyrian governor. The revolt of 720 B.C., to which allusion has already been made, was a part of the general uneasiness in Palestine. Sargon, as we know, that year made a campaign in which Philistia was severely punished. Judah seems not to have taken part. Ahaz had, in fact, committed himself too deeply to the Assyrians to think of revolt so soon. The vassalage continued throughout his reign, and into that of his successor.

The situation was, however, a difficult one for the youthful Hezekiah, who came to the throne about this time. The tribute was oppressive; Assyria was remote; there was a party favourable to Egypt, looking for an opportunity to revolt; the ancient liberties of Judah were doubtless remembered, and made the watch- word of a party of zealots. Hezekiah, who thus inherited a situation not of his making, seems not to have been a man of steady purpose, and Isaiah's influence seems not to have been strong with him till toward the close of his life. We are not surprised that the reign was a time of disturbances and reverses. On the whole it is a credit to Hezekiah that he managed to keep his throne and to hand in on to his successor. Only a man of genius could have done more, and Hezekiah certainly was not a man of genius.

The chronology of our Hebrew sources is clearly at fault in regard to the accession of Hezekiah.1 This must have taken place

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1
His accession is dated in the third year of Hoshea ( 2 Kings, 181), and the capture of Samaria is assigned to the sixth of Hezekiah. The ordinary He- brew method of computation would make this the seventh, so that here is a discrepancy of one year Now the invasion of Sennacherib is said to have

-238-

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Old Testament History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Chapter I - The Sources 1
  • Chapter II - The Origins 11
  • Chapter III - The Patriarchs 35
  • Chapter IV - Egypt and the Desert 52
  • Chapter V - The Conquest 73
  • Chapter VI - The Heroes 87
  • Chapter VII - The Early Monarchy 106
  • Chapter VIII - David 129
  • Chapter IX - Solomon 156
  • Chapter X - From Jeroboam to Jehu 177
  • Chapter XI - The House of Jehu 198
  • Chapter XII - The Fall of Samaria 219
  • Chapter XIII - Hezekiah and Manasseh 238
  • Chapter XIV - Josiah and His Sons 260
  • Chapter XV - The Exile 301
  • Chapter XVI - The Rebuilding of the Temple 344
  • Chapter XVII - Nehemiah and After 382
  • Chapter XVIII - The Greek Period 413
  • Chapter XX - The Priest-Kings 470
  • Appendix - Chronological Table 499
  • Index of Subjects 503
  • Index of Scripture Passages 510
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