Judgment By Wild Beasts On People From Other Lands Resettled In Israel; King Hezekiah Of Judah; And The Assyrian Threat To Jerusalem

This article is part of a series of Bible passages, which together are mainly about how the Bible says the Jewish race developed and were given laws, how they settled in ancient Israel, and how it says God sometimes punished them for disobeying his commands, which led to them changing their ways.
This is Part 9 (of 11) in Section 8: "The Kings of Israel and Judah, and Disaster and Prosperity Brought on the Two Kingdoms According to Their Obedience or Disobedience to God".

Some parts of the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation are very unpleasant. If you become offended by anything, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.

The purpose of the Old Testament seems to have been mainly to try to scare lawless societies into behaving decently, giving up the cruel ways the Bible says they were guilty of. Hence much of the gruesomeness, which is at least in part meant to warn people committing cruel and hurtful actions to change.

In the Second Book of Kings in the Old Testament, the Bible says:

2 Kings chapter 18 (GWT)

1 King Hoshea, son of Elah, had been king in Israel for three years when King Hezekiah, son of Ahaz of Judah, began to rule as king. 2 Hezekiah was 25 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Abi, daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what the LORD considered right, as his ancestor David had done. 4 He got rid of the illegal places of worship, crushed the sacred stones, and cut down the poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah. He even crushed the bronze snake that Moses had made because up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. They called it Nehushtan.

5 Hezekiah trusted the LORD God of Israel. No king among all the kings of Judah was like Hezekiah. 6 He was loyal to the LORD and never turned away from him. He obeyed the commands that the LORD had given through Moses, 7 so the LORD was with him. He succeeded in everything he tried.

9 In Hezekiah's fourth year as king (which was the seventh year in the reign of King Hoshea, son of Elah of Israel) King Shalmaneser of Assyria attacked Samaria, blockaded it, 10 and captured it at the end of three years. Samaria was taken in Hezekiah's sixth year as king (which was Hoshea's ninth year as king of Israel).

11 The king of Assyria took the Israelites to Assyria as captives. He put them in Halah, along the Habor River in Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. 12 This happened because they refused to obey the LORD their God and disregarded the conditions of the promise he made to them. They refused to obey everything that Moses, the LORD's servant, had commanded.

In Psalm 42 in the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament, the Bible says:

Psalm 42 (TEV)

1 As a deer longs for a stream of cool water,
so I long for you, O God.
2 I thirst for you, the living God.
When can I go and worship in your presence?

3 Day and night I cry,
and tears are my only food;
all the time my enemies ask me,
"Where is your God?"

4 My heart breaks when I remember the past,
when I went with the crowds to the house of God
and led them as they walked along,
a happy crowd,
singing and shouting praise to God.

5 Why am I so sad?
Why am I so troubled?
I will put my hope in God,
and once again I will praise him,
my savior and my God.

6 Here in exile my heart is breaking,
and so I turn my thoughts to him.
He has sent waves of sorrow over my soul;
chaos roars at me like a flood,
like waterfalls thundering down to the Jordan ...

8 May the Lord show his constant love during the day,
so that I may have a song at night,
a prayer to the God of my life.

9 To God, my defender, I say,
"Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go on suffering from the cruelty of my enemies?"
10 I am crushed by their insults, as they keep on asking me,
"Where is your God?"

11 Why am I so sad?
Why am I so troubled?
I will put my hope in God,
and once again I will praise him,
my savior and my God.

In the Second Book of Kings, the Bible says:

2 Kings chapter 17 (TEV)

24 The emperor of Assyria took people from the cities of Babylon, Cuth, Ivvah, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the exiled Israelites. They took possession of these cities and lived there. 25 When they first settled there, they did not worship the Lord, and so he sent lions, which killed some of them.

26 The emperor of Assyria was told that the people he had settled in the cities of Samaria did not know the law of the god of that land, and so the god had sent lions, which were killing them. 27 So the emperor commanded: "Send back one of the priests we brought as prisoners; have him go back and live there, in order to teach the people the law of the god of that land."

28 So an Israelite priest who had been deported from Samaria went and lived in Bethel, where he taught the people how to worship the Lord.
29 But the people who settled in Samaria continued to make their own idols, and they placed them in the shrines that the Israelites had built. Each different group made idols in the cities they were living in:

32 These people also worshiped the Lord and chose from among their own number all sorts of people to serve as priests at the pagan places of worship and to offer sacrifices for them there. 33 So they worshiped the Lord, but they also worshiped their own gods according to the customs of the countries from which they had come. 34 They still carry on their old customs to this day. They do not worship the Lord nor do they obey the laws and commands which he gave to the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel.

35 The Lord had made a covenant with them and had ordered them:
"Do not worship other gods; do not bow down to them or serve them or offer sacrifices to them. 36 You shall obey me, the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt with great power and strength; you are to bow down to me and offer sacrifices to me. 37 You shall always obey the laws and commands that I wrote for you. You shall not obey other gods, 38 and you shall not forget the covenant I made with you. 39 You shall obey me, the Lord your God, and I will rescue you from your enemies."

40 But those people would not listen, and they continued to follow their old customs. 41 So those people worshiped the Lord, but they also worshiped their idols; and to this day their descendants continue to do the same.

In Psalm 12 in the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament, the Bible says:

Psalm 12 (NLT)

1 For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by an eight-stringed instrument.

Help, O LORD,
for the godly are fast disappearing!
The faithful have vanished from the earth!

2 Neighbors lie to each other,
speaking with flattering lips and insincere hearts.
3 May the LORD bring their flattery to an end
and silence their proud tongues.
4 They say, "We will lie to our hearts' content.
Our lips are our own - who can stop us?"

5 The LORD replies,
"I have seen violence done to the helpless,
and I have heard the groans of the poor.
Now I will rise up to rescue them,
as they have longed for me to do."

6 The LORD's promises are pure,
like silver refined in a furnace,
purified seven times over.

7 Therefore, LORD, we know you will protect the oppressed,
preserving them forever from this lying generation,
8 even though the wicked strut about,
and evil is praised throughout the land.

Examples of the Kinds of Problems People Living Today Need to Help Resolve or Stop Causing, in Accordance With What the Bible's Trying to Teach Here

How Some Fraudulent and Pseudo-Psychics Operate

In the books of Kings and Chronicles, the Bible says:

2 Chronicles chapter 29 (TEV)

20 King Hezekiah assembled the leading men of the city, and together they went to the Temple. 29 Then King Hezekiah and all the people knelt down and worshiped God. 30 The king and the leaders of the nation told the Levites to sing to the Lord the songs of praise that were written by David and by Asaph the prophet. So everyone sang with great joy as they knelt and worshiped God.

35 And so worship in the Temple was begun again.

2 Chronicles chapter 30 (GWT)

1 Hezekiah sent a message to all Israel and Judah and wrote letters to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. He invited them to come to the LORD's temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover of the LORD God of Israel. 2 The king, his officials, and the whole assembly in Jerusalem decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month. 3 They couldn't celebrate it at the regular time because not enough priests had performed the ceremonies to make themselves holy and the people hadn't gathered in Jerusalem. 4 The king and the whole assembly considered their plan to be the right thing to do. 5 So they decided to send an announcement throughout Israel from Beersheba to Dan. They summoned everyone to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover of the LORD God of Israel. These people had not celebrated it in large numbers as the written instructions said they should. 6 Messengers took letters from the king and his officials throughout Israel and Judah. The king's order said,

"Israelites, return to the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Then he will return to the few of you who escaped from the power of the kings of Assyria. 7 Don't be like your ancestors and your relatives who were unfaithful to the LORD God of their ancestors. He made them something that shocks people, as you have seen. 8 Don't be impossible to deal with like your ancestors. Reach out for the LORD. Come to his holy place that he made holy forever. Serve the LORD your God, and he will turn his burning anger away from you. 9 When you return to the LORD, your relatives and children will find compassion from those who captured them. They will return to this land. The LORD your God is merciful and compassionate. He will not turn his face away from you if you return to him."

10 So the messengers went from city to city in the territories of Ephraim and Manasseh, as far as Zebulun. But the people ridiculed them.

11 However, some people from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 Also, God guided the people of Judah so that they united to carry out the command which the king and the leaders gave from the LORD's word. 13 Many people gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread in the second month. They formed a large assembly.

14 Then the people got rid of the [idols'] altars in Jerusalem. They got rid of all the altars for incense by dumping them in the Kidron Valley. 15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and Levites were ashamed, so they performed the ceremonies to make themselves holy. Then they brought burnt offerings to the LORD's temple. 16 They stood in their regular places as instructed by Moses' Teachings. (Moses was a man of God.)

18 Many people from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not made themselves clean. So they ate the Passover, but not in the way the written instructions said they should. Hezekiah prayed for them:

"May the good LORD forgive 19 those who have their hearts set on dedicating their lives to serving God.
May the LORD God of their ancestors do this for those who are not clean as required for the holy place."

20 The LORD listened to Hezekiah and healed the people.

21 So the Israelites in Jerusalem celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy. Each day the Levites and priests praised the LORD in song. They played the LORD's instruments loudly. 22 Hezekiah spoke encouraging words to all the Levites who had the skills to serve the LORD. They ate the festival meals for seven days, sacrificed fellowship offerings, and confessed their sins to the LORD God of their ancestors.

23 Then the whole assembly decided to celebrate the festival for seven more days. So they joyfully celebrated for seven more days. 25 The whole assembly from Judah, the priests, the Levites, the whole assembly from Israel, the foreigners who came from Israel, and those who lived in Judah rejoiced. 26 The city of Jerusalem was filled with joy. Nothing like this had happened in Jerusalem since the days of King Solomon of Israel. 27 Then the Levitical priests blessed the people. Their voices were heard, and their prayers went to God's holy place in heaven.

In the Old Testament Book of Isaiah, the Bible says:

Isaiah chapter 36 (TEV)

1 In the fourteenth year that Hezekiah was king of Judah, Sennacherib, the emperor of Assyria, attacked the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 2 Then he ordered his chief official to go from Lachish to Jerusalem with a large military force to demand that King Hezekiah surrender.

The official occupied the road where the cloth makers work, by the ditch that brings water from the upper pool. 3 Three Judeans came out to meet him:

4 The Assyrian official told them that the emperor wanted to know what made King Hezekiah so confident. 5 He demanded, "Do you think that words can take the place of military skill and might? Who do you think will help you rebel against Assyria? 6 You are expecting Egypt to help you, but that would be like using a reed as a walking stick-it would break and would jab your hand. That is what the king of Egypt is like when anyone relies on him."

7 The Assyrian official went on, "Or will you tell me that you are relying on the Lord your God? It was the Lord's shrines and altars that Hezekiah destroyed when he told the people of Judah and Jerusalem to worship at one altar only.
8 I will make a bargain with you in the name of the emperor. I will give you two thousand horses if you can find that many riders. 9 You are no match for even the lowest ranking Assyrian official, and yet you expect the Egyptians to send you chariots and horsemen.
10 Do you think I have attacked your country and destroyed it without the Lord's help? The Lord himself told me to attack it and destroy it."

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah told the official, "Speak Aramaic to us. We understand it. Don't speak Hebrew; all the people on the wall are listening."

12 He replied, "Do you think you and the king are the only ones the emperor sent me to say all these things to? No, I am also talking to the people who are sitting on the wall, who will have to eat their excrement and drink their urine, just as you will." 13 Then the official stood up and shouted in Hebrew,

"Listen to what the emperor of Assyria is telling you. 14 He warns you not to let Hezekiah deceive you. Hezekiah can't save you. 15 And don't let him persuade you to rely on the Lord. Don't think that the Lord will save you and that he will stop our Assyrian army from capturing your city. 16 Don't listen to Hezekiah! The emperor of Assyria commands you to come out of the city and surrender. You will all be allowed to eat grapes from your own vines and figs from your own trees, and to drink water from your own wells- 17 until the emperor resettles you in a country much like your own, where there are vineyards to give wine and there is grain for making bread. 18 Don't let Hezekiah fool you into thinking that the Lord will rescue you. Did the gods of any other nations save their countries from the emperor of Assyria? 19 Where are they now, the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Did anyone save Samaria? 20 When did any of the gods of all these countries ever save their country from our emperor? Then what makes you think the Lord can save Jerusalem?"

21 The people kept quiet, just as King Hezekiah had told them to; they did not say a word.

22 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah tore their clothes in grief and went and reported to the king what the Assyrian official had said.

Isaiah chapter 37 (TEV)

1 As soon as King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes in grief, put on sackcloth, and went to the Temple of the Lord. 2 He sent Eliakim, the official in charge of the palace, Shebna, the court secretary, and the senior priests to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They also were wearing sackcloth. 3 This is the message which he told them to give to Isaiah:

"Today is a day of suffering; we are being punished and are in disgrace. We are like a woman who is ready to give birth, but is too weak to do it. 4 The Assyrian emperor has sent his chief official to insult the living God. May the Lord your God hear these insults and punish those who spoke them. So pray to God for those of our people who survive."

5 When Isaiah received King Hezekiah's message, 6 he sent back this answer:

"The Lord tells you not to let the Assyrians frighten you by their claims that he cannot save you. 7 The Lord will cause the emperor to hear a rumor that will make him go back to his own country, and the Lord will have him killed there."

In Psalm 6 in the Book of Psalms, the Bible says:

Psalm 6 (NIV)

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith . A psalm of David.

1 O LORD , do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Be merciful to me, LORD , for I am faint;
O LORD , heal me, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in anguish.
How long, O LORD , how long?

4 Turn, O LORD , and deliver me;
save me because of your unfailing love.
5 No one remembers you when he is dead.
Who praises you from the grave?

6 I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.

8 Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the LORD has heard my weeping.
9 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy;
the LORD accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed;
they will turn back in sudden disgrace.

In the Books of Kings and Chronicles and the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, the Bible says:

Isaiah chapter 37 (TEV)

8 The Assyrian official learned that the emperor had left Lachish and was fighting against the nearby city of Libnah; so he went there to consult him.

9 Word reached the Assyrians that the Egyptian army, led by King Tirhakah of Ethiopia, was coming to attack them. When the emperor heard this, he sent a letter to King Hezekiah 10 of Judah to tell him:

"The god you are trusting in has told you that you will not fall into my hands, but don't let that deceive you. 11 You have heard what an Assyrian emperor does to any country he decides to destroy. Do you think that you can escape? 12 My ancestors destroyed the cities of Gozan, Haran, and Rezeph, and killed the people of Betheden who lived in Telassar, and none of their gods could save them. 13 Where are the kings of the cities of Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?"

14 King Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went to the Temple, placed the letter there in the presence of the Lord, 15 and prayed,

16 "Almighty Lord, God of Israel, ... you alone are God, ruling all the kingdoms of the world. You created the earth and the sky.
17 Now, Lord, hear us and look at what is happening to us. Listen to all the things that Sennacherib is saying to insult you, the living God. 18 We all know, Lord, that the emperors of Assyria have destroyed many nations, made their lands desolate, 19 and burned up their gods-which were no gods at all, only images of wood and stone made by human hands.
20 Now, Lord our God, rescue us from the Assyrians, so that all the nations of the world will know that you alone are God."

21 Then Isaiah sent a message telling King Hezekiah that in answer to the king's prayer 22 the Lord had said,

"The city of Jerusalem laughs at you, Sennacherib, and makes fun of you. 23 Whom do you think you have been insulting and ridiculing? You have been disrespectful to me, the holy God of Israel.
24 You sent your servants to boast to me that with all your chariots you had conquered the highest mountains of Lebanon. You boasted that there you cut down the tallest cedars and the finest cypress trees, and that you reached the deepest parts of the forests. 25 You boasted that you dug wells and drank water in foreign lands, and that the feet of your soldiers tramped the Nile River dry.

26 "Have you never heard that I planned all this long ago? And now I have carried it out. I gave you the power to turn fortified cities into piles of rubble. 27 The people who lived there were powerless; they were frightened and stunned. They were like grass in a field or weeds growing on a roof when the hot east wind blasts them.

28 "But I know everything about you, what you do and where you go. I know how you rage against me. 29 I have received the report of that rage and that pride of yours, and now I will put a hook through your nose and a bit in your mouth and will take you back by the same road you came."

30 Then Isaiah said to King Hezekiah, "Here is a sign of what will happen. This year and next you will have only wild grain to eat, but the following year you will be able to plant grain and harvest it, and plant vines and eat grapes. 31 Those in Judah who survive will flourish like plants that send roots deep into the ground and produce fruit. 32 There will be people in Jerusalem and on Mount Zion who will survive, because the Lord Almighty is determined to make this happen.

33 "And this is what the Lord has said about the Assyrian emperor:

"He will not enter this city or shoot a single arrow against it. No soldiers with shields will come near the city, and no siege mounds will be built around it. 34 He will go back by the same road he came, without entering this city. I, the Lord, have spoken. 35 I will defend this city and protect it, for the sake of my own honor and because of the promise I made to my servant David.'"

36 An angel of the Lord went to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 soldiers. At dawn the next day there they lay, all dead!

37 Then the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib withdrew and returned to Nineveh.
38 One day when he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, two of his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with their swords and then escaped to the land of Ararat. Another of his sons, Esarhaddon, succeeded him as emperor.

Isaiah chapter 38 (TEV)

1 About this time King Hezekiah became sick and almost died. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to see him and said to him, "The Lord tells you that you are to put everything in order because you will not recover. Get ready to die."

2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed: 3 "Remember, Lord, that I have served you faithfully and loyally, and that I have always tried to do what you wanted me to." And he began to cry bitterly.

4 Then the Lord commanded Isaiah 5 to go back to Hezekiah and say to him,
"I, the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will let you live fifteen years longer. 6 I will rescue you and this city of Jerusalem from the emperor of Assyria, and I will continue to protect the city."

21 Isaiah told the king to put a paste made of figs on his boil, and he would get well.

22 Then King Hezekiah asked, "What is the sign to prove that I will be able to go to the Temple?"

7 Isaiah replied, "The Lord will give you a sign to prove that he will keep his promise. 8 On the stairway built by King Ahaz, the Lord will make the shadow go back ten steps." And the shadow moved back ten steps.

2 Chronicles CHAPTER 32 (NLT)

25 But Hezekiah did not respond appropriately to the kindness shown him, and he became proud. So the LORD's anger came against him and against Judah and Jerusalem.

26 Then Hezekiah repented of his pride, and the people of Jerusalem humbled themselves. So the LORD's anger did not come against them during Hezekiah's lifetime.

27 Hezekiah was very wealthy and held in high esteem. He had to build special treasury buildings for his silver, gold, precious stones, and spices, and for his shields and other valuable items. 28 He also constructed many storehouses for his grain, new wine, and olive oil; and he made many stalls for his cattle and folds for his flocks of sheep and goats.

Isaiah chapter 39 (NLT)

1 Soon after this, Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent Hezekiah his best wishes and a gift. He had heard that Hezekiah had been very sick and that he had recovered. 2 Hezekiah welcomed the Babylonian envoys and showed them everything in his treasure-houses - the silver, the gold, the spices, and the aromatic oils. He also took them to see his armory and showed them all his other treasures - everything! There was nothing in his palace or kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

3 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked him, "What did those men want? Where were they from?"

Hezekiah replied, "They came from the distant land of Babylon."

4 "What did they see in your palace?" asked Isaiah.

"They saw everything," Hezekiah replied. "I showed them everything I own - all my treasures."

5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Listen to this message from the LORD Almighty:
6 The time is coming when everything you have - all the treasures stored up by your ancestors - will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. 7 Some of your own descendants will be taken away into exile. They will become eunuchs who will serve in the palace of Babylon's king."

8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "This message you have given me from the LORD is good." But the king was thinking, "At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime."

2 Chronicles chapter 32 (NLT)

33 When Hezekiah died, he was buried in the upper area of the royal cemetery, and all Judah and Jerusalem honored him at his death. Then his son Manasseh became the next king.

The next file in this section (Part 10), is entitled: "Kings Manasseh And Amon Of Judah; And The Deeds Of King Josiah Who Was Faithful To God".

The main Bible pages on this site:

Bible Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories
Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites
Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.
If you have found parts of the Old Testament or the Book of Revelation offensive, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.

The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.

Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).

Other initials:

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There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:

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