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Hezekiah Bonus Disk
The scriptures offer multiple accounts of king Hezekiah (2 Kgs 18-21, Isa 36-39). Even with these the Chronicler offered another greatly expanded version of Hezekiah (2 Chron 29-32). This activity will reflect on the “something more” the Chronicler included in his version of king Hezekiah.
The older versions of Hezekiah’s story fit well the purpose of explaining the sinful identity of God’s people and the inevitability of judgment for rejecting God’s will. Many years later during the extended postexilic period the Chronicler retold the old story of the Hebrew kingdom in a new way to offer hope and strengthen identity and purpose of God’s people. The most significant expansions to the new version of the story, expansions of greater than a chapter in length, are several to David’s story and the expansion of Hezekiah’s story.
[A] Read Second Kings 18-21 and take notes.[1] What is the significance of “trust” in Second Kings 18-19? What do you think of Hezekiah’s request and extension in Second Kings 20? Why did Isaiah pronounce judgment on Hezekiah in Second Kings 21? What do Hezekiah’s thoughts reveal about him (see the end of Second Kings 21)? How does this latter point begin to explain the wicked character of Hezekiah’s son Manasseh in Second Kings 22?
[B] Read Second Chronicles 29. Summarize the significance of Hezekiah’s accomplishments at the beginning of his rule. Why does the Chronicler want readers to understand how Hezekiah began his rule? What are the implications for worship?
[C] Read Second Chronicles 30-31. What is the importance of Hezekiah reaching out to people who remained of the northern tribes of the former kingdom of Israel? What does this tell us about God’s will for his people? Why does the Chronicler offer such a detailed account of the Passover celebration during Hezekiah’s rule? What are the implications for worship?
[D] Read Second Chronicles 32 and compare it to Second Kings 18-21. What did the Chronicler exclude from his version? Why? What are the new details about Hezekiah which the Chronicler emphasizes? What are the Chronicler’s new interpretations of Hezekiah’s actions? Why did the Chronicler re-present Hezekiah as he did? What are the implications of the Chronicler’s version of Hezekiah?

[1] One of the standard approaches to Sennacherib’s invasion is to see three accounts presented one after the other. These are called A (2 Kgs 18:13-16 [no parallel in Isa]); B1 (2 Kgs 18:17-19:a, 36-37; Isa 36:1-37:9a, 36-38) and B2 (2 Kgs 19:9b-35; Isa 37:9b-36). See Brevard Childs, Isaiah and the Assyrian Crisis (London: SCM Press, 1967).

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