When all this was completed, all Israel who had attended went out to the cities of Judah and broke up the sacred pillars, chopped down the Asherah poles, and tore down the high places and altars throughout Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Ephraim and Manasseh, to the last one.Then all the Israelites returned to their cities, each to his own possession.
Hezekiah reestablished the divisions of the priests and Levites for the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, for ministry, for giving thanks, and for praise in the gates of the camp of the LORD, each division corresponding to his service among the priests and Levites.
The king contributed from his own possessions for the regular morning and evening burnt offerings, the burnt offerings of the Sabbaths, of the New Moons, and of the appointed feasts, as written in the law of the LORD.
He told the people who lived in Jerusalem to give a contribution for the priests and Levites so that they could devote their energy to the law of the LORD.
When the word spread, the Israelites gave liberally of the best of the grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field, and they brought an abundant tenth of everything.
As for the Israelites and Judahites who lived in the cities of Judah, they also [brought] a tenth of the cattle and sheep, and a tenth of the dedicated things that were consecrated to the LORD their God. They gathered [them] into large piles.
In the third month they began building up the piles, and they finished in the seventh month.
When Hezekiah and his officials came and viewed the piles, they praised the LORD and His people Israel.
Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites about the piles.
Azariah, the chief priest of the household of Zadok, answered him, "Since they began bringing the offering to the LORD's temple, we eat and are satisfied and there is plenty left over because the LORD has blessed His people; this abundance is what is left over."
Hezekiah told them to prepare chambers in the LORD's temple, and they prepared [them].
The offering, the tenth, and the dedicated things were brought faithfully. Conaniah the Levite was the officer in charge of them, and his brother Shimei was second.
Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were deputies under the authority of Conaniah and his brother Shimei by appointment of King Hezekiah and of Azariah the ruler of God's temple.
Kore son of Imnah the Levite, the keeper of the East Gate, was over the freewill offerings to God to distribute the contribution to the LORD and the consecrated things.
Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah in the cities of the priests were to faithfully distribute [it] under his authority to their brothers by divisions, whether large or small.
In addition, [they distributed it] to males registered by genealogy three years old and above; to all who would enter the LORD's temple for their daily duty, for their service in their responsibilities according to their divisions.
[They distributed also] to those recorded by genealogy of the priests by their ancestral families and the Levites 20 years old and above, by their responsibilities in their divisions;
to those registered by genealogy-- with all their infants, wives, sons, and daughters-- of the whole assembly (for they had faithfully consecrated themselves as holy);
and to the descendants of Aaron, the priests, in the common fields of their cities, in each and every city. [There were] men who were registered by name to distribute a portion to every male among the priests and to every Levite recorded by genealogy.
Hezekiah did this throughout all Judah. He did what was good and upright and true before the LORD his God.
He was diligent in every deed that he began in the service of God's temple, in the law and in the commandment, in order to seek his God, and he prospered.
After these faithful deeds, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities and intended to break into them.
Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he planned war on Jerusalem,
so he consulted with his officials and his warriors about stopping up the waters of the springs that were outside the city, and they helped him.
Many people gathered and stopped up all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land; they said, "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?"
Then Hezekiah strengthened his position by rebuilding the entire broken-down wall and heightening the towers and the other outside wall. He repaired the supporting terraces of the city of David, and made an abundance of weapons and shields.
He set military commanders over the people and gathered the people in the square of the city gate. Then he encouraged them, saying,
"Be strong and courageous! Don't be afraid or discouraged before the king of Assyria or before all the multitude with him, for there are more with us than with him.
He has only human strength,but we have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles." So the people relied on the words of King Hezekiah of Judah.
After this, while Sennacherib king of Assyria with all his armed forces besieged Lachish, he sent his servants to Jerusalem against King Hezekiah of Judah and against all those of Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying,
"This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: 'What are you trusting in, you who remain under the siege of Jerusalem?
Isn't Hezekiah misleading you to give you over to death by famine and thirst when he says, "The LORD our God will deliver us from the power of the king of Assyria"?
Didn't Hezekiah himself remove His high places and His altars and say to Judah and Jerusalem: "You must worship before one altar, and you must burn incense on it"?
" 'Don't you know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Have any of the national gods of the lands been able to deliver their land from my power?
Who among all the gods of these nations that my fathers utterly destroyed was able to deliver his people from my power, that your God should be able to do the same for you?
So now, don't let Hezekiah deceive you, and don't let him mislead you like this. Don't believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my power or the power of my fathers. How much less will your gods deliver you from my power!'"
His servants said more against the LORD God and against His servant Hezekiah.
He also wrote letters to mock the LORD God of Israel, saying against Him: Just like the national gods of the lands that did not deliver their people from my power, so Hezekiah's God will not deliver His people from my power.
Then they called out loudly in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall to frighten and discourage them in order that he might capture the city.
They spoke against the God of Jerusalem like they had spoken against the gods of the peoples of the land, which were made by human hands.
King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed about this and cried out to heaven,
and the LORD sent an angel who annihilated every brave warrior, leader, and commander in the camp of the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria returned with shame to his land. He went to the temple of his god, and there some of his own children cut him down with the sword.
So the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the power of King Sennacherib of Assyria and from the power of all others. He gave them rest on every side.
Many were bringing an offering to the LORD to Jerusalem and valuable gifts to King Hezekiah of Judah, and he was exalted in the eyes of all the nations after that.
In those days Hezekiah became sick to the point of death, so he prayed to the LORD, and He spoke to him and gave him a miraculous sign.
However, because his heart was proud, Hezekiah didn't respond according to the benefit that had come to him. So there was wrath upon him, upon Judah, and upon Jerusalem.
Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart-- he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem-- so the LORD's wrath didn't come on them during Hezekiah's lifetime.
Hezekiah had abundant riches and glory, and he made himself treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and every desirable item.
He made warehouses for the harvest of grain, wine, and oil, and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and pens for flocks.
He made cities for himself, and he acquired herds of sheep and cattle in abundance, for God gave him abundant possessions.
This same Hezekiah blocked the outlet of the water of the Upper Gihon and channeled it smoothly downward and westward to the city of David. Hezekiah succeeded in everything he did.
When the ambassadors of Babylon's rulers were sent to him to inquire about the miraculous sign that happened in the land, God left him to test him and discover what was in his heart.
As for the rest of the events of Hezekiah's [reign] and his deeds of faithful love, note that they are written about in the Visions of the Prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, and in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
Hezekiah rested with his fathers and was buried on the ascent to the tombs of David's descendants. All Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem paid him honor at his death. His son Manasseh became king in his place.
Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king; he reigned 55 years in Jerusalem.
He did what was evil in the LORD's sight, imitating the detestable practices of the nations that the LORD had dispossessed before the Israelites.
He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had torn down and reestablished the altars for the Baals. He made Asherah poles, and he worshiped the whole heavenly host and served them.
He built altars in the LORD's temple, where the LORD had said: "Jerusalem is where My name will remain forever."
He built altars to the whole heavenly host in both courtyards of the LORD's temple.
He passed his sons through the fire in the Valley of Hinnom. He practiced witchcraft, divination, and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did a great deal of evil in the LORD's sight, provoking Him.
Manasseh set up a carved image of the idol he had made, in God's temple, about which God had said to David and his son Solomon: "I will establish My name forever in this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.
I will never again remove the feet of the Israelites from upon the land where I stationed your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do all that I have commanded them through Moses-- all the law, statutes, and judgments."
So Manasseh caused Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to stray so that they did worse evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.
The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they didn't listen.
So He brought against them the military commanders of the king of Assyria. They captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze [shackles], and took him to Babylon.
When he was in distress, he sought the favor of the LORD his God and earnestly humbled himself before the God of his ancestors.
He prayed to Him, so He heard his petition and granted his request, and brought him back to Jerusalem, to his kingdom. So Manasseh came to know that the LORD is God.
After this, he built the outer wall of the city of David from west of Gihon in the valley to the entrance of the Fish Gate; he brought it around the Ophel, and he heightened it considerably. He also placed military commanders in all the fortified cities of Judah.
He removed the foreign gods and the idol from the LORD's temple, along with all the altars that he had built on the mountain of the LORD's temple and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside the city.
He built the altar of the LORD and offered fellowship and thank offerings on it. Then he told Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.
However, the people still sacrificed at the high places, but only to the LORD their God.
The rest of the events of Manasseh's [reign], along with his prayer to his God and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, are [written about] in the Events of Israel's Kings.
His prayer and how God granted his request, and all his sin and unfaithfulness and the sites where he built high places and set up Asherah poles and carved images before he humbled himself, they are written about in the Records of Hozai.
Manasseh rested with his fathers, and he was buried in his own house. His son Amon became king in his place.
Amon was 22 years old when he became king; he reigned two years in Jerusalem.
He did what was evil in the LORD's sight just as his father Manasseh had done. Amon sacrificed to all the carved images that his father Manasseh had made, and he served them.
But he did not humble himself before the LORD like his father Manasseh humbled himself; instead, Amon increased [his] guilt.
So his servants conspired against him and put him to death in his own house.
Then the common people executed all those who conspired against King Amon and made his son Josiah king in his place.