2 Kings 18:1
Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
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(1) Hezekiah.—See Note on 2Kings 16:20 and 2Chronicles 29:1. The name in this form means, “My strength is Jah” (Psalm 18:2), and its special appropriateness is exemplified by Hezekiah’s history.

2 Kings 18:1-2. In the third year of Hoshea, Hezekiah began to reign — Namely, in the third of those nine years, mentioned 2 Kings 17:1; of which see the note there, and below, 2 Kings 18:10. Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign — To this it is objected, that Ahaz his father lived only thirty-six years, and therefore, according to this account, begat Hezekiah when he was but eleven years old, which seems incredible. Various explications of this difficulty have been given; but the most probable are, either, 1st, That some error in regard to the numerals has crept into the text, and that Hezekiah was not so old when he began to reign: or, 2d, That the sixteen years which Ahaz reigned are to be computed, not from the first beginning of his reign, when he reigned with his father, (as it is probable he did,) which was at the twentieth year of his age, but from the beginning of his reigning alone, in which case Ahaz would be as many years of age more than thirty-six when he died, as he had reigned with his father, before he came into the sole possession of the kingdom.

18:1-8 Hezekiah was a true son of David. Some others did that which was right, but not like David. Let us not suppose that when times and men are bad, they must needs grow worse and worse; that does not follow: after many bad kings, God raised one up like David himself. The brazen serpent had been carefully preserved, as a memorial of God's goodness to their fathers in the wilderness; but it was idle and wicked to burn incense to it. All helps to devotion, not warranted by the word of God, interrupt the exercise of faith; they always lead to superstition and other dangerous evils. Human nature perverts every thing of this kind. True faith needs not such aids; the word of God, daily thought upon and prayed over, is all the outward help we need.In the third year - If Hoshea ascended the throne toward the close of the 12th year of Ahaz 2 Kings 17:1, and if Ahaz reigned not much more than 15 years 2 Kings 16:2, the first of Hezekiah might synchronise in part with Hoshea's third year.

Hezekiah - The name given by our translators follows the Greek form, Ἐζεκίας Ezekias, rather than the Hebrew, which is Hizkiah. Its meaning is "strength of Yahweh."


2Ki 18:1-3. Hezekiah's Good Reign.

1, 2. Hezekiah … began to reign. Twenty and five years old—According to this statement (compare 2Ki 16:2), he must have been born when his father Ahaz was no more than eleven years old. Paternity at an age so early is not unprecedented in the warm climates of the south, where the human frame is matured sooner than in our northern regions. But the case admits of solution in a different way. It was customary for the later kings of Israel to assume their son and heir into partnership in the government during their lives; and as Hezekiah began to reign in the third year of Hoshea (2Ki 18:1), and Hoshea in the twelfth year of Ahaz (2Ki 17:1), it is evident that Hezekiah began to reign in the fourteenth year of Ahaz his father, and so reigned two or three years before his father's death. So that, at the beginning of his reign in conjunction with his father, he might be only twenty-two or twenty-three, and Ahaz a few years older than the common calculation makes him. Or the case may be solved thus: As the ancient writers, in the computation of time, take notice of the year they mention, whether finished or newly begun, so Ahaz might be near twenty-one years old at the beginning of his reign, and near seventeen years older at his death; while, on the other hand, Hezekiah, when he began to reign, might be just entering into his twenty-fifth year, and so Ahaz would be near fourteen years old when his son Hezekiah was born—no uncommon age for a young man to become a father in southern latitudes [Patrick].Hezekiah king over Judah, his good reign: he is not afraid of the king of Assyria, and overcometh the Philistines, 2 Kings 18:1-8. Samaria is carried away captive by Shabnaser king of Assyria for their sins, 2 Kings 18:9-12. Sennacherib invadeth Judah; and Hezekiah payeth him tribute, 2 Kings 18:13-16. Rabshakeh sent by Sennacherib, revileth Hezekiah; blasphemeth God; and stirreth up the people to mutiny; which is told the king, 2 Kings 18:17-37.

In the third year; in the third of those nine years mentioned 2 Kings 17:1, of which see there. See 2 Kings 18:10.

Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel,.... That is, in the third year of his rebelling against the king of Assyria, when he shook off his yoke, and refused to be tributary to him any longer, see 2 Kings 17:1,

that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign; having finished the account of the kingdom of Israel, and the captivity of the people, the historian returns to the kingdom of Judah, and the things of it.

Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
Chap. 2 Kings 18:1-8. Hezekiah king of Judah. He reigns well and destroys the brasen serpent. Some of his successes in war (2 Chronicles 29:1-2)

1. in the third year of Hoshea] In 2 Kings 16:2 we are told that Ahaz reigned sixteen years: in 2 Kings 17:1 that Hoshea began to reign in the twelfth year of Ahaz, and here that Hezekiah succeeded his father Ahaz in Hoshea’s third year. We can see from this that the sixteen years of Ahaz must have been made up of fourteen complete years, and a broken year at the commencement, and another at the close of his reign. This makes Hezekiah to have been born when his father was extremely young. He ascended the throne at twenty-five. Ahaz had done so at twenty (2 Kings 16:2). Add to this a little more than fourteen years (say fifteen) for his reign. Thus his whole life must have been but thirty-five years; so that his son, according to this chronology, must have been born when Ahaz was ten years of age.

Verse 1. - Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah King of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz King of Judah began to reign. There can scarcely be any doubt of this synchronism, which is in close accordance with the dates in vers. 9,10 of this chapter, and agrees well with the Assyrian inscriptions. Hezekiah's accession may be placed almost certainly in B.C. 727. 2 Kings 18:1Length and character of Hezekiah's reign.

(Note: On comparing the account of Hezekiah's reign given in our books (2 Kings 18-20) with that in 2 Chronicles 29-32, the different plans of these two historical works are at once apparent. The prophetic author of our books first of all describes quite briefly the character of the king's reign (2 Kings 18:1-8), and then gives an elaborate description of the invasion of Judah by Sennacherib and of his attempt to get Jerusalem into his power, together with the destruction of the proud Assyrian force and Sennacherib's hasty return to Nineveh and death (2 Kings 18:13-19, 2 Kings 18:37); and finally, he also gives a circumstantial account of Hezekiah's illness and recovery, and also of the arrival of the Babylonian embassy in Jerusalem, and of Hezekiah's conduct on that occasion (2 Kings 20). The chronicler, on the other hand, has fixed his chief attention upon the religious reformation carried out by Hezekiah, and therefore first of all describes most elaborately the purification of the temple from all idolatrous abominations, the restoration of the Jehovah-cultus and the feast of passover, to which Hezekiah invited all the people, not only the subjects of his own kingdom, but the remnant of the ten tribes also (2 Chronicles 29-31); and then simply gives in 2 Kings 32 the most summary account of the attack made by Sennacherib upon Jerusalem and the destruction of his army, of the sickness and recovery of Hezekiah, and of his great riches, the Babylonian embassy being touched upon in only the most casual manner. The historical character of the elaborate accounts given in the Chronicles of Hezekiah's reform of worship and his celebration of the passover, which Thenius follows De Wette and Gramberg in throwing doubt upon, has been most successfully defended by Bertheau as well as others. - On the disputed question, in what year of Hezekiah's reign the solemn passover instituted by him fell, see the thorough discussion of it by C. P. Caspari (Beitrr. z. Einleit. in d. B. Jesaia, pp. 109ff.), and our Commentary on the Chronicles, which has yet to appear.)

2 Kings 18:1, 2 Kings 18:2. In the third year of Hoshea of Israel, Hezekiah became king over Judah, when he was twenty-five years old. According to 2 Kings 18:9, 2 Kings 18:10, the fourth and sixth years of Hezekiah corresponded to the seventh and ninth of Hoshea; consequently his first year apparently ran parallel to the fourth of Hoshea, so that Josephus (Ant. ix. 13, 1) represents him as having ascended the throne in the fourth year of Hoshea's reign. But there is no necessity for this alteration. If we assume that the commencement of his reign took place towards the close of the third year of Hoshea, the fourth and sixth years of his reign coincided for the most part with the sixth and ninth years of Hoshea's reign. The name הזקיּה or הזקיּהוּ (2 Kings 18:9, 2 Kings 18:13, etc.) is given in its complete form יהזקיּהוּ, "whom Jehovah strengthens," in 2 Chronicles 29ff. and Isaiah 1:1; and והזקיּה in Hosea 1:1 and Micah 1:1. On his age when he ascended the throne, see the Comm. on 2 Kings 16:2. The name of his mother, אבי, is a strongly contracted form of אבי (2 Chronicles 29:1).

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