18 Hezekiah son of Ahaz began to rule over Judah in the third year of King Hoshea’s reign in Israel.2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Abijah,[a] the daughter of Zechariah.3 He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his ancestor David had done.4 He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had been offering sacrifices to it. The bronze serpent was called Nehushtan.[b]
5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time.6 He remained faithful to the Lord in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the Lord had given Moses.7 So the Lord was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. He revolted against the king of Assyria and refused to pay him tribute.8 He also conquered the Philistines as far distant as Gaza and its territory, from their smallest outpost to their largest walled city.
18:2As in parallel text at 2 Chr 29:1; Hebrew reads Abi, a variant spelling of Abijah.
18:4Nehushtan sounds like the Hebrew terms that mean “snake,” “bronze,” and “unclean thing.”
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