Hezekiah’s Reign

When did Hezekiah begin to reign? In 716/15 BC, as does the statement “in the fourteenth year” implies? In 726 BC, as supported by a plain counting back from the reign of Josiah to the reign of Hezekiah, Tiglath Pileser’s records, 2 Kings 17:1, and Isaiah 14:28 (which implies Ahaz died in the same year as Tiglath-Pileser III? In 729/28 BC, as supported by the synchronisms in 2 Kings 18? It certainly seems implausible to declare 716/15 BC as the beginning of his reign since the Book of Kings so firmly places the Fall of Samaria in the reign of Hezekiah. The 729 solution suffers from the fact Hezekiah is only said to have reigned 29 years, leaving a two to three year gap between him and Mannaseh. It seems that Galil’s solution, that the three-year siege of Samaria was an artificial (and absurd) construct created by the exilic redactor and forced upon the text of his sources, largely due to his confusion of Shalmaneser’s deposition of Hoshea with Sargon II’s capture of Samaria. Shalmaneser’s capture would thus occur in 723 or 722 BC, while the campaign of Sargon in the 6th year of Hezekiah would refer to Sargon’s 720 BC campaign.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

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