Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Hezekiah in History

Many years ago, I attended a Christian high school that was run by Fundamentalists, but the school was interdenominational. Quite a change for this child who was being raised in liberal theology. Anyway, they had a daily "chapel" for the small high school. One guest pastor told us to turn to the book of Hezekiah. I started flipping through my Bible, and the girl next to me was doing nothing. For good reason.

Some people doubt the biblical account of Hezekiah his encounter with the Assyrians. There is historical and archaeological evidence supporting the narrative.
King Hezekiah crying out to God.
Image credit: Sweet Publishing via Free Bible Images (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Many of the kings of Israel and Judah were mighty wicked folks, but when it was Hezekiah's turn, his heart was right toward God. Trouble is, they had neighbors that would get the occasional notion to make war. The Assyrians attacked, and things looked bad until Hezekiah implored the Lord for help. He got it in a big way.

Bible deniers have said that archaeology has found no evidence of some things recorded in the Bible, therefore, the Bible is full of myths and legends. That's ridiculous reasoning. For one thing, it's an argument from silence. Another problem is the huge time gap between when people started searching for places to excavate and the times of the people and events. Also, many places cannot be excavated because people are living there. "Excuse me, mind if we set up an encampment and dig in your front yard for a few months?" That'll be the day!

However, nothing in archaeology has contravened a biblical narrative. In fact, there is historical and archaeological evidence supporting the existence of Hezekiah and his encounter with the Assyrians.
One of the most remarkable examples of God’s deliverance in the Bible is the encounter between Hezekiah, king of Judah, and Sennacherib, king of Assyria, at the end of the 8th century BC. A detailed account, from the Israelite perspective, can be found in 2 Kings 18–19. In recent times, this story has been made all the more fascinating since archaeologists have uncovered abundant evidence to corroborate many of the details in the biblical record. Given that the discipline of archaeology must rely upon whatever physical evidence just happened to survive the ravages of time, archaeologists are not able to confirm every historical detail in Scripture. Yet there are numerous cases in which the excavated evidence supports the Bible in spades, as it does in this instance. What follows in this three-part series of articles are many of the significant discoveries that help to confirm the Bible’s record of the confrontation between Sennacherib and Hezekiah.
These will take some time, but they are quite fascinating.

When God rescued King Hezekiah, part 1
Archaeology confirms the biblical account of Judah’s deliverance from Assyrian invaders 


When God rescued King Hezekiah, part 2
Archaeology confirms the biblical account—Hezekiah’s preparations in Jerusalem


When God rescued King Hezekiah, part 3
Archaeology confirms the biblical account—Jerusalem’s deliverance and Sennacherib’s end


Also of interest, The prophet Isaiah’s signature?

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