New king of Judah: Hezekiah Father’s name: Ahaz His age at the beginning of his reign: 25 years old Length of reign: 29 years, in Jerusalem Mother’s name: Abi (daughter of Zechariah) Character of his reign: good (similar to that of his ancestor David) Reigning in Israel at that time: King Hoshea (son of Elah), who had been the king there for 3 years
In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz began his rule over Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king and he ruled for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. In God’s opinion he was a good king; he kept to the standards of his ancestor David. He got rid of the local fertility shrines, smashed the phallic stone monuments, and cut down the sex-and-religion Asherah groves. As a final stroke he pulverized the ancient bronze serpent that Moses had made; at that time the Israelites had taken up the practice of sacrificing to it—they had even dignified it with a name, Nehushtan (The Old Serpent).
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