Hezekiah (hĕzəkĪˈə) [key], in the Bible, king of Judah, son and successor of Ahaz. During his reign Sennacherib of Assyria routed (701 B.C.) the rebellious Jews, laid seige to Jerusalem, and exacted a high indemnity from them. Hezekiah built the famous Siloam Tunnel when the water supply was threatened by the approach of the Assyrian forces. However, a plague in the Assyrian army saved (690 B.C.) Judah from a second invasion by Sennacherib. Hezekiah's reign was marked by the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah and by reforms to purify the religion of Israel by eliminating certain Canaanite practices. The country also experienced great material prosperity. His son and successor was Manasseh. See also Hizkijah.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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