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2 Chronicles 29-32 | Treasures from God’s Word: week starting January 4-10

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BIBLICAL TEXTS AND REFERENCES FOR: 2 CHRONICLES 29-32


“TRUE WORSHIP REQUIRES HARD WORK”: (10 MIN.)


2Ch 29:10-17—Hezekiah restores true worship with determination


2 Chronicles 29:10-17 New World Translation

10 Now it is my heart’s desire to make a covenant with Jehovah the God of Israel,+ so that his burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, now is not the time to be negligent,* for Jehovah has chosen you to stand before him, to serve as his ministers,+ and to make his sacrifices smoke.”+
12 At that the Levites rose up: Maʹhath the son of A•maʹsai and Joel the son of Az•a•riʹah of the Koʹhath•ites;+ from the Me•rarʹites,+ Kish the son of Abʹdi and Az•a•riʹah the son of Je•halʹle•lel; from the Gerʹshon•ites,+ Joʹah the son of Zimʹmah and Eʹden the son of Joʹah; 13 from the sons of E•li•zaʹphan, Shimʹri and Je•uʹel; from the sons of Aʹsaph,+ Zech•a•riʹah and Mat•ta•niʹah; 14 from the sons of Heʹman,+ Je•hiʹel and Shimʹe•i; from the sons of Je•duʹthun,+ She•maiʹah and Uzʹzi•el. 15 Then they gathered their brothers together and sanctified themselves and came, as the king had commanded by the words of Jehovah, to cleanse the house of Jehovah.+ 16 The priests then went inside the house of Jehovah to do the cleansing and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of Jehovah and took it to the courtyard+ of the house of Jehovah. In turn the Levites took it and carried it outside to the Kidʹron Valley.+ 17 Thus they began the sanctification on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they reached the porch of Jehovah.+ They sanctified the house of Jehovah for eight days, and on the 16th day of the first month they finished.

2Ch 30:5, 6, 10-12—Hezekiah invites all righthearted ones to assemble for worship


2 Chronicles 30:5, 6 New World Translation

5 So they decided to make an announcement throughout Israel, from Beʹer-sheʹba to Dan,+ that the people should come and observe the Passover to Jehovah the God of Israel at Jerusalem, for as a group they had not observed it according to what is written.+
6 Then the couriers* went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying: “People of Israel, return to Jehovah the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that he may return to the remnant who escaped out of the hand of the kings of As•syrʹi•a.+

2 Chronicles 30:10-12 New World Translation

10 So the couriers* went from city to city throughout the land of Eʹphra•im and Ma•nasʹseh,+ even to Zebʹu•lun, but the people were making fun of them and mocking them.+ 11 However, some individuals from Ashʹer, Ma•nasʹseh, and Zebʹu•lun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.+ 12 The hand of the true God was also in Judah to unite them* to carry out what the king and the princes had commanded by the word of Jehovah.

2Ch 32:25, 26—Hezekiah corrects his haughtiness with humility (w05 10/15 25 ¶20)


2 Chronicles 32:25, 26 New World Translation

25 But Hez•e•kiʹah did not respond appreciatively to the good done to him, for his heart became haughty, bringing indignation against him and against Judah and Jerusalem. 26 However, Hez•e•kiʹah humbled himself for the haughtiness of his heart,+ he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and Jehovah’s indignation did not come upon them in the days of Hez•e•kiʹah.+

Beware of Developing a Haughty Heart

20. (a) How was King Hezekiah’s good record endangered? (b) What will be considered in the next article?
20 You can contrast that with the example of King Hezekiah. On one occasion, that king’s excellent record was in danger of being spoiled because “his heart became haughty.” Happily, “Hezekiah humbled himself for the haughtiness of his heart” and regained God’s favor. (2 Chronicles 32:25, 26) Notice that the cure for Hezekiah’s haughtiness was humility. Yes, humility is the opposite of haughtiness. Therefore, in the next article, we will consider how we can cultivate and maintain Christian humility.

DIGGING FOR SPIRITUAL GEMS: (8 MIN.)


2Ch 29:11—How did Hezekiah set a good example regarding priorities? (w13 11/15 17 ¶6-7)


2 Chronicles 29:11 New World Translation

11 My sons, now is not the time to be negligent,* for Jehovah has chosen you to stand before him, to serve as his ministers,+ and to make his sacrifices smoke.”+

Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes—What They Mean for Us Today

6. Compare the reigns of Ahaz and Hezekiah.
6 Ahaz died in 746 B.C.E., and his son Hezekiah inherited the materially impoverished and spiritually bankrupt kingdom of Judah. As the young king ascended the throne, what would his priority be? To shore up Judah’s ailing economy? No. Hezekiah was a spiritual man, a worthy shepherd of his national flock. His first act was to reestablish pure worship and to reinforce the wayward nation’s frayed relationship with Jehovah. When he understood God’s will for him, Hezekiah acted decisively. What a fine example for us!—2 Chron. 29:1-19.
7. Why was it important for the Levites to be assured of the new king’s support?
7 The Levites would play a vital role in the important task of restoring pure worship. Therefore, Hezekiah met with them to assure them of his support. Picture the faithful Levites who were present at that meeting, tears of joy streaming down their faces as they heard their king declare: “You are the ones whom Jehovah has chosen to stand before him to minister to him.” (2 Chron. 29:11) Yes, the Levites had a clear mandate to promote pure worship!

2Ch 32:7, 8—What is the most practical step we can take to prepare for future difficulties? (w13 11/15 20 ¶17)


2 Chronicles 32:7, 8 New World Translation

7 “Be courageous and strong. Do not be afraid or be terrified because of the king of As•syrʹi•a+ and all the multitude with him, for there are more with us than there are with him.+ 8 With him is an arm of flesh,* but with us is Jehovah our God to help us and to fight our battles.”+ And the people were strengthened by the words of King Hez•e•kiʹah of Judah.+

Seven Shepherds, Eight Dukes—What They Mean for Us Today

17. What four conclusions can the elders draw from the account we have considered?
17 Elders who are reading this article can draw some useful conclusions from the account we have just considered: (1) The most practical step that we can take to prepare for the coming attack of “the Assyrian” is that of strengthening our faith in God and helping our brothers to do the same. (2) When “the Assyrian” attacks, the elders must be absolutely convinced that Jehovah will deliver us. (3) At that time, the life-saving direction that we receive from Jehovah’s organization may not appear practical from a human standpoint. All of us must be ready to obey any instructions we may receive, whether these appear sound from a strategic or human standpoint or not. (4) Now is the time for any who may be putting their trust in secular education, material things, or human institutions to adjust their thinking. The elders must stand ready to help any who may now be wavering in their faith.

What does this week’s Bible reading teach me about Jehovah?



What points from this week’s Bible reading can I use in the field ministry?



BIBLE READING: 2CH 31:1-10 (4 MIN. OR LESS)


2 Chronicles 31:1-10 New World Translation

31 As soon as they had finished all of this, all the Israelites who were present went out to the cities of Judah, and they smashed the sacred pillars,+ cut down the sacred poles,*+ and tore down the high places+ and the altars+ throughout Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Eʹphra•im and Ma•nasʹseh,+ until they had destroyed them completely, after which all the Israelites returned to their cities, each one to his own possession.
2 Then Hez•e•kiʹah appointed the priests in their divisions+ and the Levites in their divisions,+ each of the priests and Levites for their service,+ for the burnt offerings and the communion sacrifices, to minister and to give thanks and praise in the gates of the courtyards* of Jehovah.+ 3 A portion of the king’s own goods was given for the burnt offerings,+ including the morning and evening offerings,+ as well as the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths,+ the new moons,+ and the festivals,+ according to what is written in the Law of Jehovah.
4 Furthermore, he commanded the people living in Jerusalem to give the portion due the priests and the Levites,+ so that they might adhere strictly* to the law of Jehovah. 5 As soon as the order was issued, the Israelites gave in great quantities the firstfruits of the grain, new wine, oil,+ and honey, and of all the produce of the field;+ they brought in abundantly the tenth of everything.+ 6 And the people of Israel and of Judah living in the cities of Judah also brought in the tenth of cattle and sheep and the tenth of the holy things+ that were sanctified to Jehovah their God. They brought it in and put it in many heaps. 7 In the third month+ they began laying their contributions in heaps; and in the seventh month+ they finished. 8 When Hez•e•kiʹah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they praised Jehovah and blessed his people Israel.
9 Hez•e•kiʹah asked the priests and the Levites about the heaps, 10 and Az•a•riʹah the chief priest of the house of Zaʹdok said to him: “From the time they started bringing the contributions into the house of Jehovah,+ the people have been eating to satisfaction and there is still an abundant surplus, for Jehovah has blessed his people, and this great plenty is left over.”+

RESEARCH TO FIND MORE TREASURES OF THE BIBLE: 2 CHRONICLES 29-32


(2 CHRONICLES 29:6)

“For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah our God. They abandoned him and turned their faces away from the tabernacle of Jehovah and turned their back on him.”

*** it-1 p. 802 Face ***
‘Turning the face away’ may display insulting indifference or contempt. (2Ch 29:6; Jer 2:27; 32:33)

(2 CHRONICLES 29:10)

“Now it is my heart’s desire to make a covenant with Jehovah the God of Israel, so that his burning anger may turn away from us.”

*** it-1 p. 1103 Hezekiah ***
Then, calling together the priests and Levites, he said to them: “It is close to my heart to conclude a covenant with Jehovah the God of Israel.” This was a covenant of faithfulness, as though the Law covenant, still in effect but neglected, was inaugurated anew in Judah. With great energy he proceeded to organize the Levites in their services, and he reestablished the arrangements for musical instruments and singing of praises. It was Nisan, the month for Passover to be celebrated, but the temple and the priests and Levites were unclean. By the 16th day of Nisan, the temple was cleansed and its utensils restored. Then a special atonement had to be made for all Israel. First, the princes brought sacrifices, sin offerings for the kingdom, the sanctuary, and the people, followed by thousands of burnt offerings by the people.—2Ch 29:1-36.

(2 CHRONICLES 29:27)

“Then Hez•e•kiʹah ordered that the burnt sacrifice be offered on the altar. When the burnt offering started, the song of Jehovah started and also the trumpets, following the direction of the instruments of King David of Israel.”

*** it-2 p. 452 Music ***
After the temple music organization was established, it is likely that the rest of the instruments joined the trumpets on these and other special occasions. This conclusion, as well as the musical procedure followed, seems to be indicated by the order of events described as taking place when sacred services were revived by King Hezekiah after he had cleansed the temple: “At the time that the burnt offering started, the song of Jehovah started and also the trumpets, even under the direction of the instruments of David the king of Israel. And all the congregation were bowing down while the song was resounding and the trumpets were blaring—all this until the burnt offering was finished.” (2Ch 29:27, 28) The trumpets’ being “under the direction of the instruments of David” seems to denote that the trumpeters played in such a manner as to complement the other instruments rather than to overshadow them. The position of the entire body of musicians was “to the east of the altar.”—2Ch 5:12.

(2 CHRONICLES 30:2)

“However, the king, his princes, and the whole congregation in Jerusalem decided to observe the Passover in the second month,”

*** si p. 83 par. 28 Bible Book Number 14—2 Chronicles ***
28 A tremendous Passover is planned, but since there is no time to prepare it in the first month, a provision of the Law is taken advantage of, and it is celebrated in the second month of the first year of Hezekiah’s reign. (2 Chron. 30:2, 3; Num. 9:10, 11)

(2 CHRONICLES 30:5)

“So they decided to make an announcement throughout Israel, from Beʹer-sheʹba to Dan, that the people should come and observe the Passover to Jehovah the God of Israel at Jerusalem, for as a group they had not observed it according to what is written.”

*** it-1 p. 277 Beer-sheba ***
Beer-sheba came to stand for the southernmost point in describing the length of the Promised Land, as expressed in the proverbial phrase “from Dan down to Beer-sheba” (Jg 20:1), or, in a converse direction, “from Beer-sheba to Dan.” (1Ch 21:2; 2Ch 30:5) After the division of the nation into two kingdoms, Beer-sheba continued to be used to indicate the southern extremity of the kingdom of Judah in the expressions “from Geba as far as Beer-sheba” (2Ki 23:8) and “from Beer-sheba to the mountainous region of Ephraim” (where the northern kingdom of Israel began). (2Ch 19:4) In postexilic times the expression was used in a yet more limited form to refer to the area occupied by the repatriated men of Judah, extending from Beer-sheba “clear to the valley of Hinnom.”—Ne 11:27, 30.
In reality, there were other towns of the Promised Land that lay to the S of Beer-sheba, even as there were Israelite towns N of Dan. However, both Dan and Beer-sheba were situated at natural frontiers of the land. In the case of Beer-sheba, its position was below the mountains of Judah on the edge of the desert. Additionally, it was one of the principal cities of Judah (along with Jerusalem and Hebron), and this was not only because it had an excellent supply of water as compared with the surrounding region, thus allowing for both farming and grazing of herds and flocks, but also because important roads converged on it from several directions. From Egypt an ancient route led up by the “Way of the Wells” through Kadesh-barnea to Beer-sheba, being joined by another road over which traveled the camel caravans from the “Spice Kingdoms” of the Arabian Peninsula, heading for Philistia or Judah. From Ezion-geber, at the head of the Gulf of ʽAqaba, another route led up through the Arabah and then turned W, climbing the Ascent of Akrabbim to Beer-sheba. At Gaza, in the Philistine Plain, a road branching from the highway led SE to Beer-sheba. And, connecting it with the rest of Judah, a road ran from Beer-sheba to the NE, climbing the plateau up into the mountains of Judah to Jerusalem and points farther N.—Ge 22:19.

(2 CHRONICLES 30:6)

“Then the couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying: “People of Israel, return to Jehovah the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that he may return to the remnant who escaped out of the hand of the kings of As•syrʹi•a.”

*** it-1 p. 516 Courier ***
COURIER
A man especially selected from the royal bodyguard to deliver royal decrees and other urgent correspondence from a king to distant areas of his realm. The speed of delivery by couriers (Heb., ra•tsimʹ; literally, runners) was of prime importance. From early times such men were referred to as “runners.” They are called this at 2 Chronicles 30:6, 10; Jeremiah 51:31.

(2 CHRONICLES 30:10)

“So the couriers went from city to city throughout the land of Eʹphra•im and Ma•nasʹseh, even to Zebʹu•lun, but the people were making fun of them and mocking them.”

*** it-1 p. 516 Courier ***
COURIER
A man especially selected from the royal bodyguard to deliver royal decrees and other urgent correspondence from a king to distant areas of his realm. The speed of delivery by couriers (Heb., ra•tsimʹ; literally, runners) was of prime importance. From early times such men were referred to as “runners.” They are called this at 2 Chronicles 30:6, 10; Jeremiah 51:31.

(2 CHRONICLES 30:11)

“However, some individuals from Ashʹer, Ma•nasʹseh, and Zebʹu•lun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.”

*** it-1 p. 1103 Hezekiah ***
Since the people’s uncleanness prevented their observance of the Passover at the regular time, Hezekiah took advantage of the law that allowed those who are unclean to celebrate the Passover one month later. He called not only Judah but also Israel by means of letters sent by runners throughout the land from Beer-sheba to Dan. The runners met with derision from many; but individuals, particularly from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun, humbled themselves to come, some from Ephraim and Issachar also attending. Besides this, many non-Israelite worshipers of Jehovah were on hand. It was likely a difficult matter for those in the northern kingdom who stood for true worship to attend. They, like the messengers, would meet opposition and ridicule, inasmuch as the ten-tribe kingdom was in a decadent state, sunk in false worship and harassed by the Assyrian menace.—2Ch 30:1-20; Nu 9:10-13.

(2 CHRONICLES 30:13)

“A multitude of people gathered together at Jerusalem to observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread in the second month; it was a very large congregation.”

*** it-1 p. 827 Festival of Unfermented Cakes ***
In the other two instances the circumstances are outstanding. One is the revival of the observance of the Festival of Unfermented Cakes, after a time of neglect. This revival was during the first year of faithful King Hezekiah’s reign. Interestingly, in this case there was not enough time to prepare for the annual festival on Nisan 15, because the work of cleaning and repairing the temple took until Nisan 16. So, advantage was taken of the Law to celebrate the festival during the second month. (2Ch 29:17; 30:13, 21, 22; Nu 9:10, 11)

(2 CHRONICLES 30:23)

“Then all the congregation decided to observe it for seven more days, so they observed it for seven more days with rejoicing.”

*** it-1 p. 827 Festival of Unfermented Cakes ***
It was such a joyous occasion and resulted in such a religious revival that the celebration of seven days proved to be just too short, and so another seven days were set aside. King Hezekiah and his princes contributed generously, giving 2,000 bulls and 17,000 sheep to supply food for the multitudes attending.—2Ch 30:23, 24.

(2 CHRONICLES 31:1)

“As soon as they had finished all of this, all the Israelites who were present went out to the cities of Judah, and they smashed the sacred pillars, cut down the sacred poles, and tore down the high places and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Eʹphra•im and Ma•nasʹseh, until they had destroyed them completely, after which all the Israelites returned to their cities, each one to his own possession.”

*** it-1 p. 1103 Hezekiah ***
That this was a real restoration and revival of true worship and not merely a transient emotional gathering is seen in what followed. Before their return home the celebrants went out and destroyed the sacred pillars, pulled down the high places and the altars, and cut down the sacred poles throughout Judah and Benjamin and even in Ephraim and Manasseh. (2Ch 31:1)

(2 CHRONICLES 31:5)

“As soon as the order was issued, the Israelites gave in great quantities the firstfruits of the grain, new wine, oil, and honey, and of all the produce of the field; they brought in abundantly the tenth of everything.”

*** it-1 p. 1135 Honey, Honeycomb ***
Since most of the honey used by the Israelites was wild honey, not a cultivated crop, the “honey” offered as firstfruits when Hezekiah motivated the people to support the priesthood was undoubtedly the juice or syrup of fruits.—2Ch 31:5.

(2 CHRONICLES 32:4)

“Many people were gathered together, and they stopped up all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land, saying: “Why should the kings of As•syrʹi•a come and find plenty of water?””

*** it-1 pp. 941-942 Gihon ***
When Assyrian attack became imminent in Hezekiah’s reign (732 B.C.E.), King Hezekiah took measures to ensure that Jerusalem’s supply of water would not fall into the hands of the enemy. (2Ch 32:2-4) However, possibly with reference to another time, the record at 2 Chronicles 32:30 shows that he shut off the flow of the Gihon through its previous channel and diverted the waters to the western side of “the City of David,” well within Jerusalem’s fortifications.

*** it-1 p. 1104 Hezekiah ***
In the face of imminent attack by greedy Sennacherib, Hezekiah displayed wisdom and military strategy. He stopped up all the springs and water sources outside the city of Jerusalem so that, in the event of a siege, the Assyrians would be short on water supplies.

*** it-2 p. 43 Jerusalem ***
Hezekiah had readied the city for a siege. He stopped up the water sources outside the city to hide them and make things difficult for the enemy, strengthened the walls, and fortified them. (2Ch 32:2-5, 27-30) It would seem that “the conduit” for bringing water into the city from the spring of Gihon was already constructed at this time, possibly being a peacetime project. (2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:30) If, as believed, it was the conduit that includes the tunnel cut through the side of the Kidron Valley with its termination at the Pool of Siloam in the Tyropoeon Valley, then it was no minor project to be completed in a few days. (See ARCHAEOLOGY [Palestine and Syria]; GIHON No. 2.)

(2 CHRONICLES 32:5)

“Furthermore, with determination he rebuilt the entire broken-down wall and raised towers on it, and outside he made another wall. He also repaired the Mound of the City of David, and he made a large number of weapons and shields.”

*** w97 6/15 p. 11 Jerusalem in Bible Times—What Does Archaeology Reveal? ***
Yes, in 1969, Professor Nahman Avigad discovered remains from this period. Excavations revealed a section of a massive wall, the first part being 130 feet [40 m] long, 23 feet [7 m] wide, and, according to estimates, 27 feet [8 m] high. The wall stood partly on bedrock and partly on recently built houses. Who built the wall and when? “Two passages in the Bible helped Avigad pinpoint the date and purpose of the wall,” an archaeological magazine reports. These passages read: “Furthermore, he took courage and built up all the broken-down wall and raised towers upon it, and on the outside another wall.” (2 Chronicles 32:5) “You will also pull down the houses to make the wall unattainable.” (Isaiah 22:10) Today visitors can see part of this so-called Broad Wall in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.

*** it-1 p. 171 Arms, Armor ***
The smaller “shield” or “buckler” (Heb., ma•ghenʹ) was customarily carried by archers and is usually associated with light weapons such as the bow. For instance, it was carried by Benjaminite bowmen of Judean King Asa’s military force. (2Ch 14:8) The smaller shield was usually round and more common than the large shield, probably being used chiefly in hand-to-hand fighting. That the Hebrew tsin•nahʹ and ma•ghenʹ differed considerably in size seems to be indicated by the gold shields Solomon made, the large shield being overlaid with four times as much gold as the smaller shield, or buckler. (1Ki 10:16, 17; 2Ch 9:15, 16) Ma•ghenʹ, like tsin•nahʹ, seems to be used as part of a formula for weapons of war.—2Ch 14:8; 17:17; 32:5.

*** it-1 p. 894 Gate, Gateway ***
Fish Gate. Hezekiah apparently built a part of the wall around the second quarter as far as the Fish Gate. (2Ch 32:5; 33:14)

(2 CHRONICLES 32:8)

“With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is Jehovah our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of King Hez•e•kiʹah of Judah.”

*** it-1 p. 168 Arm ***
The arm of flesh, representing human power, is described in the Bible as unreliable and failing the one trusting in it. Jehovah warns his people of the fallacy and disaster of trusting in the human arm. (2Ch 32:8; Jer 17:5)

(2 CHRONICLES 32:9)

“After this, while King Sen•nachʹer•ib of As•syrʹi•a was at Laʹchish with all his imperial might, he sent his servants to Jerusalem, to King Hez•e•kiʹah of Judah and to all the Ju•deʹans in Jerusalem, saying:”

*** it-1 p. 148 Archaeology ***
Nineveh, Assyria’s capital, was the site of excavations that unearthed the immense palace of Sennacherib, containing about 70 rooms, with sculptured slabs lining over 3,000 m (nearly 10,000 ft) of the walls. One depicted Judean prisoners being led into captivity following the fall of Lachish in 732 B.C.E. (2Ki 18:13-17; 2Ch 32:9; PICTURE, Vol. 1, p. 952)

(2 CHRONICLES 32:21)

“Then Jehovah sent an angel and wiped out every mighty warrior, leader, and chief in the camp of the king of As•syrʹi•a, so that he went back to his own land in disgrace. He later entered the house of his god, and there some of his own sons struck him down with the sword.”

*** w93 6/1 p. 6 A Lost Empire That Embarrassed Bible Critics ***
And why was Sennacherib unable to boast about conquering the Judean capital, Jerusalem, in the way he boasted of his conquest of the Judean fortress Lachish? Three Bible writers give the answer. One of them, an eyewitness, wrote: “The angel of Jehovah proceeded to go forth and strike down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When people rose up early in the morning, why, there all of them were dead carcasses. Hence Sennacherib the king of Assyria pulled away and went and returned and took up dwelling in Nineveh.”—Isaiah 37:36, 37; 2 Kings 19:35; 2 Chronicles 32:21.
In his book Treasures From Bible Times, Millard concludes: “There is no good reason to doubt this report . . . Understandably, Sennacherib would not record such a disaster for his successors to read, for it would discredit him.” Instead, Sennacherib tried to create the impression that his Judean invasion had been a success and that Hezekiah continued in submission, sending the tribute to Nineveh.

*** it-2 p. 895 Sennacherib ***
Sennacherib’s death is considered to have come some 20 years after his campaign against Jerusalem. This figure is dependent on Assyrian and Babylonian records, their reliability being subject to question. At any rate, it should be noted that the Bible account does not state that Sennacherib’s death occurred immediately upon his return to Nineveh. “Later on he entered the house of his god” Nisroch, and his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, “struck him down with the sword,” escaping to the land of Ararat. (2Ch 32:21; Isa 37:37, 38) An inscription of his son and successor, Esar-haddon, confirms this.—Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, by D. Luckenbill, 1927, Vol. II, pp. 200, 201; see ESAR-HADDON.

(2 CHRONICLES 32:23)

“And many brought gifts to Jehovah at Jerusalem and choice things to King Hez•e•kiʹah of Judah, and he was greatly respected by all the nations after that.”

*** ip-1 chap. 29 p. 396 A King’s Faith Is Rewarded ***
After Sennacherib’s defeat, surrounding nations brought gifts of gold, silver, and other precious things to Hezekiah. At 2 Chronicles 32:22, 23, 27, we read that “Hezekiah came to have riches and glory to a very great amount” and that “he came to be exalted in the eyes of all the nations.” These gifts may have allowed him to replenish his treasure-house, which he had emptied when paying tribute to the Assyrians.

(2 CHRONICLES 32:25)

“But Hez•e•kiʹah did not respond appreciatively to the good done to him, for his heart became haughty, bringing indignation against him and against Judah and Jerusalem.”

*** w05 10/15 p. 25 par. 20 Beware of Developing a Haughty Heart ***
20 You can contrast that with the example of King Hezekiah. On one occasion, that king’s excellent record was in danger of being spoiled because “his heart became haughty.” Happily, “Hezekiah humbled himself for the haughtiness of his heart” and regained God’s favor. (2 Chronicles 32:25, 26) Notice that the cure for Hezekiah’s haughtiness was humility. Yes, humility is the opposite of haughtiness. Therefore, in the next article, we will consider how we can cultivate and maintain Christian humility.

*** it-1 pp. 1044-1045 Haughtiness ***
At one time good King Hezekiah became, for a brief period, haughty in heart, and his haughtiness evidently infected the people he ruled. He had been exalted in rulership because of Jehovah’s blessing, but he failed to appreciate and to recognize that all credit should have gone to God. The chronicler writes of him: “But according to the benefit rendered him Hezekiah made no return, for his heart became haughty and there came to be indignation against him and against Judah and Jerusalem.” Happily, he recovered from this dangerous attitude. The account continues: “However, Hezekiah humbled himself for the haughtiness of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and Jehovah’s indignation did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.”—2Ch 32:25, 26; compare Isa 3:16-24; Eze 28:2, 5, 17.

*** it-1 p. 1105 Hezekiah ***
Hezekiah’s Mistake and Repentance. The Scripture record states that “according to the benefit rendered him Hezekiah made no return, for his heart became haughty and there came to be indignation against him and against Judah and Jerusalem.” (2Ch 32:25) The Bible does not say whether or not this haughtiness was connected with his unwise act in showing the entire treasure of his house and all his dominion to the messengers of the Babylonian king Berodach-baladan (Merodach-baladan) who were sent to Hezekiah after he recovered from his illness. Hezekiah may have displayed all this wealth to impress the king of Babylon as a possible ally against the king of Assyria. This, of course, could tend to excite the greed of the Babylonians. The prophet Isaiah was against any alliance with or dependence on God’s age-old enemy Babylon. When Isaiah heard how Hezekiah had treated the Babylonian messengers, he uttered the inspired prophecy from Jehovah that the Babylonians in time would carry away everything to Babylon, including some of Hezekiah’s descendants. Hezekiah, however, humbled himself and God kindly allowed that the calamity would not come in his days.—2Ki 20:12-19; 2Ch 32:26, 31; Isa 39:1-8.

(2 CHRONICLES 32:26)

“However, Hez•e•kiʹah humbled himself for the haughtiness of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and Jehovah’s indignation did not come upon them in the days of Hez•e•kiʹah.”

*** ip-1 chap. 29 p. 397 par. 30 A King’s Faith Is Rewarded ***
30 Apparently referring to the incident in which Hezekiah showed his treasure to the Babylonians, 2 Chronicles 32:26 states: “Hezekiah humbled himself for the haughtiness of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and Jehovah’s indignation did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.”

(2 CHRONICLES 32:27)

“And Hez•e•kiʹah came to have vast riches and glory; and he made storehouses for himself for silver, gold, precious stones, balsam oil, shields, and for all the desirable articles.”

*** ip-1 chap. 29 p. 396 A King’s Faith Is Rewarded ***
After Sennacherib’s defeat, surrounding nations brought gifts of gold, silver, and other precious things to Hezekiah. At 2 Chronicles 32:22, 23, 27, we read that “Hezekiah came to have riches and glory to a very great amount” and that “he came to be exalted in the eyes of all the nations.” These gifts may have allowed him to replenish his treasure-house, which he had emptied when paying tribute to the Assyrians.

(2 CHRONICLES 32:30)

“It was Hez•e•kiʹah who stopped up the upper source of the waters of Giʹhon and directed them straight down to the west to the City of David, and Hez•e•kiʹah was successful in every work of his.”

*** gl p. 21 Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon ***
Gihon
Later water tunnel

*** gl p. 20 Jerusalem and the Temple of Solomon ***
King Hezekiah stopped up this spring and built a tunnel to a pool on the west side.—2Ch 32:4, 30.

*** w97 6/15 pp. 9-10 Jerusalem in Bible Times—What Does Archaeology Reveal? ***
Other questions have been raised about the famous Siloam Tunnel, likely dug by King Hezekiah’s engineers in the eighth century B.C.E. and referred to at 2 Kings 20:20 and 2 Chronicles 32:30. How could the two teams of tunnelers, digging from opposite ends, manage to meet? Why did they choose a serpentine path, making the tunnel considerably longer than a straight one? How did they get enough air to breathe, especially since they would likely have used oil-burning lamps?
The magazine Biblical Archaeology Review has offered possible answers to such questions. Dan Gill, a geological consultant of the excavation, is quoted as saying: “Underlying the City of David is a well-developed natural karst system. Karst is a geological term that describes an irregular region of sinks, caverns and channels caused by groundwater as it seeps and flows through underground rock formations. . . . Our geological examination of the subterranean waterworks beneath the City of David indicates that they were fashioned essentially by skillful human enlargement of natural (karstic) dissolution channels and shafts that were integrated into functional water supply systems.”
This may help to explain how the Siloam Tunnel was excavated. It could have followed the winding course of a natural channel under the hill. Teams working from each end could have dug a provisional tunnel by altering existing caverns. Then a sloping channel was dug for the water to flow from the Gihon spring to the Pool of Siloam, which probably was located inside the city walls. This was a real engineering feat as the height difference between the two ends is only 12.5 inches [32 cm], despite its length of 1,749 feet [533 m].

*** w96 8/15 pp. 5-6 Practical Lessons From the Promised Land ***
Jerusalem drew a supply of water from the Pool of Siloam. However, during the eighth century B.C.E., in anticipation of a siege by the Assyrians, King Hezekiah built an outer wall to protect the Pool of Siloam, enclosing it within the city. He also stopped up the springs outside the city, so that the besieging Assyrians would be hard-pressed to find water for themselves. (2 Chronicles 32:2-5; Isaiah 22:11) That is not all. Hezekiah found a way to divert an extra supply of water right into Jerusalem!
In what has been called one of the great engineering feats of antiquity, Hezekiah dug a tunnel from the spring of Gihon all the way to the Pool of Siloam. Averaging 6 feet [1.8 m] in height, this tunnel was 1,749 feet [533 m] long. Just imagine it—a tunnel almost a third of a mile [half a kilometer] long, cut through rock! Today, some 2,700 years later, visitors to Jerusalem can wade through this masterpiece of engineering, commonly known as Hezekiah’s tunnel.—2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 32:30.
Hezekiah’s efforts to protect and increase Jerusalem’s water supply can teach us a practical lesson. Jehovah is “the source of living water.” (Jeremiah 2:13) His thoughts, contained in the Bible, are life-sustaining. That is why personal Bible study is essential. But opportunity for study, and the resulting knowledge, will not simply flow to you. You may have to ‘dig tunnels,’ such as through your hard-packed daily routine, to make room for it. (Proverbs 2:1-5; Ephesians 5:15, 16) Once you have begun, stick to your schedule, giving high priority to your personal study. Be careful not to let anyone or anything rob you of this precious water supply.—Philippians 1:9, 10.

*** g96 6/8 p. 29 Watching the World ***
Tunnel Mystery Hypothesis
Archaeologists have long wondered why Hezekiah’s tunnel, excavated during the eighth century B.C.E. to assure water for Jerusalem when besieged by the Assyrian army, followed such a haphazard, meandering course. A straight, more efficient route would have taken only 1,050 feet [320 m] of digging, instead of the 1,748 feet [533 m] the tunnel took. An inscription, written in ancient Hebrew, was found on the tunnel wall in 1880. It explained how two teams of workers started at opposite ends of the rock-hewn tunnel and met in the middle. This raised the additional question of how they managed to do so, considering the tunnel’s wandering route. Geologists now feel they have the answer. According to Dan Gill of the Geological Survey of Israel, the workers followed and widened natural channels formed by water traversing through the rock where cracks occurred under seismic stresses or where different layers met. Over time, these could become quite broad in places, which may explain why the tunnel height varies from 5.5 feet [1.7 m] to as much as 16 feet [5 m] and also how the workers, using oil lamps, could get enough air. The workers were skillful as well, for the success of the tunnel depended on having a slightly descending slope—a mere 12.5 inches [31.75 cm] over the entire course.

*** it-1 p. 151 Archaeology ***
One tunnel, known as the Siloam Tunnel, averaged 1.8 m (6 ft) in height and was cut through rock for a distance of some 533 m (1,749 ft) from Gihon to the Pool of Siloam in the Tyropoeon Valley (within the city). It thus seems to be the project of King Hezekiah described at 2 Kings 20:20 and 2 Chronicles 32:30.

*** it-1 p. 592 David, City of ***
Hezekiah also diverted the waters of the Gihon spring, bringing them over to the W side of the City of David, evidently by means of the rock-cut tunnel that has been discovered connecting that spring with the Pool of Siloam on the SW slope of the spur. (2Ch 32:30)

*** it-1 p. 942 Gihon ***
However, possibly with reference to another time, the record at 2 Chronicles 32:30 shows that he shut off the flow of the Gihon through its previous channel and diverted the waters to the western side of “the City of David,” well within Jerusalem’s fortifications. Evidence of the manner in which this was accomplished came to light in 1880 C.E. when an inscription was found carved in the wall of a water tunnel terminating in what is presently known as the Pool of Siloam on the W side of the old “City of David.” The inscription, in early Hebrew script regarded as dating from the eighth century B.C.E., described the excavation of the tunnel through solid rock by the two teams of men working toward each other from opposite ends. When the tunnel was completely cleared in 1910, it was found to measure some 533 m (1,749 ft), with an average height of 1.8 m (6 ft) and at times narrowing to a width of only 0.5 m (20 in.). It seems evident that this remarkable engineering feat is the result of Hezekiah’s measures to protect and maintain Jerusalem’s water supply originating in the Gihon.

*** it-1 p. 1104 Hezekiah ***
One of the outstanding engineering feats of ancient times was the aqueduct of Hezekiah. It ran from the well of Gihon, E of the northern part of the City of David, in a rather irregular course, extending some 533 m (1,749 ft) to the Pool of Siloam in the Tyropoeon Valley below the City of David but within a new wall added to the southern part of the city. (2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:30) An inscription in ancient Hebrew characters was found by archaeologists on the wall of the narrow tunnel, which had an average height of 1.8 m (6 ft). The inscription reads, in part: “And this was the way in which it was cut through:—While [. . . ] (were) still [. . . ] axe(s), each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through, [there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellow, for there was an overlap in the rock on the right [and on the left]. And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed (the rock), each man toward his fellow, axe against axe; and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1,200 cubits, and the height of the rock above the head(s) of the quarrymen was 100 cubits.” (Ancient Near Eastern Texts, edited by J. B. Pritchard, 1974, p. 321) So the tunnel was cut through the rock from both ends, meeting in the middle—a real engineering accomplishment.

*** it-2 p. 43 Jerusalem ***
He stopped up the water sources outside the city to hide them and make things difficult for the enemy, strengthened the walls, and fortified them. (2Ch 32:2-5, 27-30) It would seem that “the conduit” for bringing water into the city from the spring of Gihon was already constructed at this time, possibly being a peacetime project. (2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:30) If, as believed, it was the conduit that includes the tunnel cut through the side of the Kidron Valley with its termination at the Pool of Siloam in the Tyropoeon Valley, then it was no minor project to be completed in a few days. (See ARCHAEOLOGY [Palestine and Syria]; GIHON No. 2.)

*** it-2 p. 651 Pool ***
Pools of Jerusalem. The general location of the ancient Pool of Siloam (Joh 9:7) is thought to be the present Birket Silwan, just SW of the City of David. Likely this is also the approximate location of King Hezekiah’s pool adjoining the conduit that he constructed to bring the waters of the spring of Gihon into Jerusalem.—2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:30.

*** it-2 p. 944 Siloam ***
Likely this is also the approximate site of King Hezekiah’s “pool” or reservoir adjoining the conduit he constructed to carry the waters of Gihon.—2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:30.

(2 CHRONICLES 32:31)

“However, when the spokesmen of the princes of Babylon were sent to ask him about the sign that had occurred in the land, the true God left him alone to put him to the test, to get to know all that was in his heart.”

*** it-2 p. 1044 Sun ***
The miracle performed could have involved the relationship between earth and sun, and if so, it could have been similar to the miracle recorded at Joshua 10:12-14. (See POWER, POWERFUL WORKS [Sun and moon stand still].) It appears that this portent had far-reaching effects, inasmuch as 2 Chronicles 32:24, 31 shows that messengers were sent from Babylon to Jerusalem to inquire about it.

(2 CHRONICLES 32:33)

“Then Hez•e•kiʹah was laid to rest with his forefathers, and they buried him in the ascent to the burial places of the sons of David; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. And his son Ma•nasʹseh became king in his place.”

*** it-1 p. 379 Burial, Burial Places ***
The location of these royal burial places has not been determined. On the basis of the reference to “the Burial Places of David” at Nehemiah 3:16 and the mention of “the ascent to the burial places of the sons of David” at 2 Chronicles 32:33, some believe the likely location to have been on the SE hill of the city near the Kidron Valley. A number of what appear to be ancient rock-cut tombs have been found in this area, their entrances being in the form of sunken rectangular shafts. However, no positive identification can be made; any effort at identification was complicated not only by the destruction of the city in the year 70 C.E. and again in 135 C.E. but also by the use of the southern part of the city by the Romans as a stone quarry. Hence, the above-mentioned tombs are in a greatly deteriorated state.

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