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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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XVIII.—XIX.

THE REIGN OF HEZEKIAH IN JUDAH. THE GREAT DELIVERANCE FROM SENNACHERIB.

(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."

CHAPTER 18

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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. This mixed cultus, composed of the worship of idols and the worship of Jehovah, they retained till the time when the books of the Kings were written. "Unto this day they do after the former customs." הראשׁנים המּשׁפּטים can only be the religious usages and ordinances which were introduced at the settlement of the new inhabitants, and which are described in 2 Kings 17:28-33. The prophetic historian observes still further, that "they fear not Jehovah, and do not according to their statutes and their rights, nor according to the law and commandment which the Lord had laid down for the sons of Jacob, to whom He gave the name of Israel" (see 1 Kings 18:31), i.e., according to the Mosaic law. חקּתם and משׁפּטם "their statutes and their right," stands in antithesis to והמּצוה התּורה which Jehovah gave to the children of Israel. If, then, the clause, "they do not according to their statutes and their right," is not to contain a glaring contradiction to the previous assertion, "unto this day they do after their first (former) rights," we must understand by וּמשׁפּטם חקּתם the statutes and the right of the ten tribes, i.e., the worship of Jehovah under the symbols of the calves, and must explain the inexactness of the expression "their statutes and their right" from the fact that the historian was thinking of the Israelites who had been left behind in the land, or of the remnant of the Israelitish population that had become mixed up with the heathen settlers (2 Kings 23:19-20; 2 Chronicles 34:6, 2 Chronicles 34:9, 2 Chronicles 34:33). The meaning of the verse is therefore evidently the following: The inhabitants of Samaria retain to this day the cultus composed of the worship of idols and of Jehovah under the form of an image, and do not worship Jehovah either after the manner of the ten tribes or according to the precepts of the Mosaic law. Their worship is an amalgamation of the Jehovah image-worship and of heathen idolatry (cf. 2 Kings 17:41). - To indicate the character of this worship still more clearly, and hold it up as a complete breach of the covenant and as utter apostasy from Jehovah, the historian describes still more fully, in 2 Kings 17:35-39, how earnestly and emphatically the people of Israel had been prohibited from worshipping other gods, and urged to worship Jehovah alone, who had redeemed Israel out of Egypt and exalted it into His own nation. For 2 Kings 17:35 compare Exodus 20:5; for 2 Kings 17:36, the exposition of 2 Kings 17:7, also Exodus 32:11; Exodus 6:6; Exodus 20:23; Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 5:15, etc. In 2 Kings 17:37 the committal of the thorah to writing is presupposed. For 2 Kings 17:39, see Deuteronomy 13:5; Deuteronomy 23:15, etc.
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