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January 7th, 2012

The account in 2 Kings 19:36-37 is given within the context of the account of Assyria's invasion during the reign of Hezekiah, but there were quite a few years between the events of verses 36 and 37. In fact, if the historians' estimated dates are correct, Hezekiah wasn't even alive to see the events of verse 37 - they are considered to have taken place during the reign of Hezekiah's son Manasseh. Scripture may confirm this, but I haven't searched for it yet. (I'm making notes so I can remember to do that!)

Historians say that Manasseh co-reigned 10 years with his father Hezekiah. Scripture says that Manasseh was 12 years old when he began to reign (1 Kings 21:1). If they're correct, then Manasseh was about 7 years old when Hezekiah received the prophecy concerning his death (2 Kings 20:5-6).

I was surprised when I read in 2 Kings 20:12 that the king of Babylon sent letters and present to Hezekiah. Assyria and Babylon just don't seem like the kingdoms that would do that - especially considering that Sennacherib had just a year or two earlier invaded Judah. So, I looked up Berodach-Baladan, king of Babylon, on Wikipedia. Sure enough, he was one of the kings in Babylon who assumed rule of Babylon separate from Assyria. When I charted out timelines for this period, it seems that Assyria was the dominant power in Mesopotamia and that they either ruled directly over Babylon or else appointed vassal kings there. However, it seems that some tried to assume power as king of Babylon on their own. (I'll have to read more on this...) It wasn't for about another 80 years until Babylon arose as a power and finally conquered Assyria (with help from a few other nations). At any rate, during the time of Hezekiah's illness it seems that Berodach-Baladan had risen to be king of Babylon for a brief time. I wonder if his action was an attempt to gain support from Judah against Assyria? I don't know - I need to look more into the Assyrian/Babylonian histories and primary sources.

Since Samaria fell during the reign of Hezekiah, Manasseh would never have known a Northern Kingdom (2 Kings 18:10).

Which of these three Assyrian kings carried off Manasseh king of Judah: Sennacherib (the one who invaded Judah), Esarhaddon, Ashurbanipal (the one with the library)? I'm not sure that we know.

worship 1

My soul rejoices in God my Savior.
He is the Living God
And my Father of life.
He gives me wings to fly to the highest heaven
To sit at His feet and hear His teaching
To sit at His feet and hear His truth.
His words are pure words
Like seven-times refined silver.
His words are grace and truth.
He has visited and redeemed His people, even as He promised to Abraham
Even as He promised to Eve
And to His servant David.
His ways are everlasting
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
He is coming in the clouds
At an hour none expect.
My Lord will come
He will come to establish His reign on the earth
And the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Let the peoples praise You!
Let all the peoples praise You!
The congregation of the righteous will praise You
The congregation which lives by faith in the Son of God.
He is the Precious Stone
The King of kings and Lord of lords
God with us.

"Because He is your Lord, worship Him." -Psalm 45:11b

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