It is firmly believed by scholars that Samaria
(Israel) was captured by Assyria around 722 BC.
This certainty would seem to serve to firmly
establish the beginning of the reigns of both Hezekiah, king of
Judah, and Hoshea, king of Samaria, from 2 Kings 18:9-12. In the
sixth year of the reign of Hezekiah and the ninth year of Hoshea's
reign, Samaria was taken.
Hezekiah began to reign at 722 + 6 =
Hoshea began to reign – 722 + 9 = 731
But conflicts seem to arise in 2 Kings 18:13,
where in the fourteenth year of the reign of King Hezekiah,
Sennacherib of Assyria besieges Judah. The fourteenth year of
Hezekiah would be 728 – 14 = 714 BC, but accepted history
records that King Sennacherib reigned between 705-681 BC. That
is supposedly nine years before Sennacherib became king.
Some possible reasons for this conflict
are as follows
- The date is incorrect, which seems
unlikely since it is tied to the capture of Samaria by
- Sennacherib was not king but led the
forces and, since he became king later, is referred to as the
king of Assyria.
- Sennacherib shared a co-regency with
his father, Sargon II (722-705 BC), for some years. Sargon II was
middle-aged when he became king and may have allowed his son to
become co-regent for a number of years.
- It was Sargon II and not Sennacherib
who attacked Judah.
There could be other possibilities not mentioned
here. But for those that are, the first two reasons seem unlikely,
as does the last one. The co-regency has to be the preferred
The Old Testament's 2 Kings 18:14 states the
demands of the king of Assyria, while 2 Kings 18:15-16 tells that
Hezekiah sent silver and gold and met the demands of the king
An early twentieth century publication included this woodcut
image of King Hezekiah, a ruler of Judah who received quite a
large share of comment in the Old Testament