2 Kings 18:1-12

Hezekiah becomes the king of Judah

1 Ahaz's son Hezekiah became the king of Judah when Elah's son Hoshea had been king of Israel for three years. 2 Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king. He ruled Judah as king in Jerusalem for 29 years. His mother's name was Abijah. She was the daughter of Zechariah. 3 Hezekiah did things that the Lord said were good, as his ancestor King David had done. 4 He removed the altars on the hills. He knocked down the stone pillars that people worshipped and he cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake that Moses had made. Until then, the Israelites had burned incense as an offering to it. It was called Nehushtan.

18:4See Numbers 21:8-9. The word ‘Nehushtan’ sounds like ‘bronze snake’ in Hebrew.

5 Hezekiah trusted the Lord, Israel's God. None of the other kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him. 6 He served the Lord faithfully. He obeyed the laws that the Lord had given to Moses. 7 The Lord was with Hezekiah so that he was successful in everything that he decided to do. He turned against the king of Assyria. He refused to serve him. 8 He won battles against the Philistines as far as Gaza. He took all their towns, large and small.

9 When Hezekiah had been king for four years, Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria, took his army to attack Samaria. That was when Hoshea had been king of Israel for seven years. The Assyrian army made their camp around the city of Samaria. 10 After three years, the Assyrian army took the city. So that happened in the sixth year that Hezekiah ruled Judah. It was the ninth year that King Hoshea ruled over Israel.

11 The king of Assyria took the Israelites as prisoners to Assyria. He caused them to live in Halah, at Gozan beside the River Habor and in the towns in Media. 12 This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God. They had not obeyed the covenant that he had made with them. They did not accept the teaching that Moses, the Lord's servant, had commanded them to obey.