The Assyrian Invasion of Judah

Scripture Passage: 
2 Kings 18:1-39
Attached audio files: 

  1. 9.47 MB

INTRODUCTION: This chapter begins our study of the reign of king Hezekiah over Judah. The material available on the history of Hezekiah exceeds that of most kings after David and Solomon. Hezekiah is mentioned by name over 100 times in the Bible. His history is recorded in 2 Kings 18-20, 2 Chronicles 29-32, and Isaiah 36-39. The records in 2 Kings and Isaiah deal more with the deliverance from Assyria. The record in 2 Chronicles deals more with the spiritual revival in the early part of his reign.

Hezekiah reigned at a critical time in the history of Judah. Israel was taken into captivity during his reign. The Assyrian Empire was destroying or conquering the nations all around Judah. Ahaz, Hezekiah’s father, had already sent tribute to the king of Assyria (2 Kings 16:7-8). What was to become of Judah, the place of God’s chosen line of kings of the house of David?

  1. THE BEGINNING OF HEZEKIAH’S REIGN (2 Kings 18:1-8)
    1. The Details of His Reign (2 Kings 18:1-2)
      1. He began in the third year of Hoshea (2 Kings 18:1).
      2. He was 25 years old when he began to reign (2 Kings 18:2).
      3. He reigned 29 years in Jerusalem (2 Kings 18:2).
      4. His mother’s name was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah (2 Kings 18:2).
    2. The Character of His Reign (2 Kings 18:3)
      1. Did right in the sight of the Lord
      2. Did according to David his father
      3. Note: Hezekiah is the third of only four kings of Judah who are compared favorably with David:
        1. Asa (1 Kings 15:11)
        2. Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:3)
        3. Hezekiah
        4. Josiah (2 Kings 22:2)
    3. The Spiritual Revival Early in His Reign (2 Kings 18:4-6)
      1. His destruction of false worship (2 Kings 18:4)
        1. He removed the high places.
        2. He broke the images and cut down the groves.
        3. He broke the brasen serpent.
          1. It was a useful symbol (Numbers 21:4-9).
            1. Discouragement (Numbers 21:4)
            2. Resentment (Numbers 21:5)
            3. Judgment (Numbers 21:6)
            4. Confession (Numbers 21:7)
            5. Provision (Numbers 21:8) – the brazen serpent
            6. Salvation (Numbers 21:9) – look and live
          2. It was an important type of Christ (John 3:14-15).
            1. Both were lifted up (John 12:32).
            2. Both must be believed (see Numbers 21:8).
            3. Both gave life (Numbers 21:9; John 11:25-26).
          3. It was a worthless idol (2 Kings 18:4).
            1. A piece of brass: the meaning of Nehushtan
            2. Compare with the ark of God (1 Samuel 4:3; 1 Samuel 6:19-20).
      2. His faithfulness to the Lord (2 Kings 18:5-6)
        1. He trusted in the Lord like no other king of Judah (2 Kings 18:5).
        2. He clave to the Lord (2 Kings 18:6).
      3. Note: 2 Chronicles 29-30 describes this spiritual revival in great detail. It includes the reopening and repair of the house of the Lord, the restoration of the temple worship, and the renewal of the passover celebration.
    4. The Military Victories Early in His Reign (2 Kings 18:7-8)
      1. He rebelled against the king of Assyria (2 Kings 18:7).
      2. He smote the Philistines (2 Kings 18:8).
        1. Even unto Gaza
        2. From the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city
  2. THE CAPTIVITY OF ISRAEL (2 Kings 18:9-12)
    1. The Siege of Samaria (2 Kings 18:9-10)
      1. The beginning of the siege (2 Kings 18:9)
        1. In the fourth year of Hezekiah
        2. In the seventh year of Hoshea
      2. The orchestrator of the siege – Shalmaneser, king of Assyria (2 Kings 18:9)
      3. The place of the siege – Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 18:9)
      4. The duration of conflict – three years (2 Kings 18:10)
    2. The Captivity of the Israelites (2 Kings 18:11-12)
      1. The method of Shalmaneser (2 Kings 18:11)
        1. Israelites were carried away unto Assyria.
        2. They were spread out through various locations.
      2. The reason for the captivity (2 Kings 18:12)
        1. Israel obeyed not the voice of the Lord.
        2. They transgressed His covenant.
  3. THE TRIBUTE GIVEN TO ASSYRIA (2 Kings 18:13-16)
    1. The Attack of Sennacherib Against Judah (2 Kings 18:13)
      1. In the 14th year of Hezekiah
      2. Assyria came up against the fenced cities and took them.
    2. The Sending of Tribute to Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:14-16)
      1. Hezekiah apologized to Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:14).
      2. Sennacherib appointed Hezekiah a tribute (2 Kings 18:14).
      3. Hezekiah took from his own house and the house of the LORD in order to give unto the king of Assyria (2 Kings 18:15-16).
        1. He gave Sennacherib the silver found in the house of the LORD (2 Kings 18:15).
        2. He gave Sennacherib the treasures of the king’s house (2 Kings 18:15).
        3. He cut off the gold from the doors and pillars and gave it unto Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:16).
  4. THE THREAT OF THE ASSYRIANS (2 Kings 18:17-25)
    1. The King of Assyria Sent Representatives to Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:17-18).
      1. Sennacherib sent representatives and a host to speak with Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:17).
      2. They called for Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:18).
      3. Three men came out to speak with the representatives (2 Kings 18:18).
        1. Eliakim, which was over the house
        2. Shebna the scribe
        3. Joah the recorder
    2. The Confidence of Hezekiah Attacked (2 Kings 18:19-22)
      1. Rabshakeh questioned Hezekiah’s confidence (2 Kings 18:19-20).
      2. Rabshakeh attacked the strength of Egypt (2 Kings 18:21).
        1. Egypt was a staff of bruised reed.
        2. Leaning upon Egypt would cause great distress.
      3. Rabshakeh questioned Hezekiah’s loyalty to the Lord (2 Kings 18:22).
        1. He suggested that Hezekiah removed the altars of the Lord.
        2. Was not this the God of whom Hezekiah had offered a strict worship?
    3. The Strength of Assyria Flouted (2 Kings 18:23-25)
      1. Rabshakeh offered aid to Judah in exchange for tribute (2 Kings 18:23).
      2. Rabshakeh boasted of greater strength than Egypt (2 Kings 18:24).
      3. Rabshakeh suggested that he was sent of the Lord (2 Kings 18:25).
  5. THEIR THREAT TO THE PEOPLE (2 Kings 18:26-30)
    1. The Request to Use the Syrian Language Refused (2 Kings 18:26-27)
      1. Hezekiah’s representatives asked Rabshakeh to use the Syrian language so the common people would not understand the conversation (2 Kings 18:26).
      2. Rabshakeh declared that his message was to be received by all who would face the consequences of rebellion (2 Kings 18:27).
    2. The Threat Made Directly to the People (2 Kings 18:28-30)
      1. Rabshakeh responded to the request of the Jewish leaders by speaking directly to the common people (2 Kings 18:28).
      2. He attacked the authority and character of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:29-30).
        1. Hezekiah would try to deceive you (2 Kings 18:29).
        2. He would try to make you trust in the Lord (2 Kings 18:30).
  6. THEIR OFFER OF TERMS (2 Kings 18:31-32)
    1. Surrender and Offer a Present to Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:31).
    2. Wait to be Removed to Another Land (2 Kings 18:32).
      1. A land like your own
      2. A land of corn and wine
      3. A land of bread and vineyards
      4. A land of olive and of honey
    3. Live (2 Kings 18:32).
  7. THEIR DISMISSAL OF THE LORD (2 Kings 18:33-37)
    1. The Failure of All the Other Gods (2 Kings 18:33-34)
    2. The Expected Failure of the Lord (2 Kings 18:35)
    3. The Silence of the People (2 Kings 18:36)
    4. The Taking of the Report to Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:37)

CONCLUSION: Sennacherib used his strength to bully Judah. His ambassadors belittled the strength of Egypt and of the Lord, and promised a swift destruction should Judah choose to rebel against Assyria.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 11:17

The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.