Hezekiah sought advice with the plea: “It may be that the LORD your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the LORD your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives” (19:4). Isaiah son of Amoz replied that God had heard Assyria’s boasts and that he would strike them down. The next morning when the Israelites awoke there were 185,000 dead Assyrian soldiers on the battlefield! Sennacherib withdrew and after returning home two of his sons killed him while he was worshiping in the temple of his god. Not only was his god not able to provide victory on the battlefield he was murdered right there in his god’s temple!
Hezekiah became ill but recovered after appealing to God. The king of Babylon, hearing that he was ill, had sent ambassadors to him. Hezekiah showed them all his treasures and military strength before they returned home. Isaiah warned him that the Babylonians would return after he died to take the treasures and people into exile and Hezekiah thought this was good news! “‘The word of the LORD you have spoken is good,’ Hezekiah replied. For he thought, ‘Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?’”
After Hezekiah died his twelve year old son Manasseh succeeded him. His life is a litany of all that was wrong with Judah: “He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger. He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple. Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end” (21:6, 16a). After Manasseh died his son Amon reigned for a brief time before being assassinated by the palace officials. Amon’s eight year old son Josiah then took the throne.