7. Downfall Of The Monarchy

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Period of Assyrian Conquest

From Mid-eighth Century to the Death of Hezekiah


Fall of Israel and Judah

1. With the death of Jeroboam (746) unmitigated disaster overtook the Northern Kingdom.

2. Assyria under Tiglath-pileser III (745-727) went on a rampage. He was the real founder of the Assyrian Empire.

3. Tiglath was not after tribute; he sought permanent conquest.

4. Israel was disintegrating—jealousy, bitterness, and unbridled self-interest prevailed. Israelites turned upon Israelites. Isa 9:19.

5. Much intrigue, many federations, and coalitions were formed, but Assyria over-ran the whole of Palestine.

6. Pekah’s policy brought about the downfall of Israel. Samaria is taken over. II Kings 17:1-6.

7. The last folly of Israel was to depend upon a fragmented Egypt for help. None came.

8. Tiglath forced Ahaz to pay homage to Assyrian gods and make innovations in the temple service. II Kings 16:10-18.

9. Economic and social conditions in Judah went from bad to worse.


715 - 687 B.C.

1. Hezekiah remained under Assyria as long as Sargon lived. His strike for independence was favored by Assyria’s losing control of Babylon—the rebellion of Merodach-baladan. II Kings 20:12.

2. Hezekiah heeded the warning of Isaiah not to join in the confederation of Egypt, Ethiopia, and others to resist Assyria.

3. These are the times Isaiah walked through the streets of Jerusalem clothed in a loincloth uttering his warnings.

4. Hezekiah instituted sweeping reforms—political, social, and religious. II Kings 18:3-6.

5. He removed the image of Moses’ snake from the temple.

6. He tried to enlist the Northern Kingdom in these reforms.

7. Sargon died—his son Sennacherib took over. (705-681). Hezekiah refused to pay tribute. Rebellion began. II Kings 18:7.

8. Hezekiah was aided by uprisings in both Egypt and Babylon.

9. Under the leadership of Tyre, Syria and Phoenicia revolted.

10. Anticipating siege, he dug the famous Siloam Tunnel (II Kings 20:20), bringing water from the Gihon springs.

11. In 701 Sennacherib struck. Babylon was pacified. Tyre was subdued. Babylos, Arvad, Ashdod, Moab, Edom, and Ammon hastened to pay tribute.

12. Hezekiah resisted—was subdued—his land split up—his tribute so high he had to strip the temple of all its royal treasures.

13. The later years of Hezekiah are uncertain. Assyria was in trouble with the Babylos revolt.

14. Egypt assailed Judah. Hezekiah resisted. The prophet assured him Jerusalem would not be taken. II Kings 19:29-34. Isa 14:24-27.

15. The Assyrians retired—did not take Jerusalem. Hezekiah died—his son Manasseh made peace.

16. The Assyrian army retreated because of a plague of field mice which ate up their equipment. This is referred to as “the angel of the Lord” destroying the army. II Kings 19:35. Isa 37:36.

17. Hezekiah was known as the “praying king.”


1. Judah has been in real religious trouble ever since Ahaz recognized the Assyrian gods.

2. This is the era of the First Isaiah. For fifty years this prophet dominated the religious atmosphere of Jerusalem.

3. Isaiah is a long story—too extensive for consideration at this time.

4. Isaiah continues from the days of Ahaz over into the times of Hezekiah.

5. At first Isaiah counseled Hezekiah to go along with the Assyrians—later he advised firm resistance.

6. Micah was a contemporary of Isaiah—and a firm supporter.

7. The results of these prophets continued on for generations. They helped to stabilize the Hebrew religion.

8. While Hezekiah’s reforms were transient, these prophets formulated an enduring national hope.

9. Is it possible that Jerusalem experienced a second siege by the Assyrians and was delivered by an epidemic which devastated Sennacherib’s army?

10. Most students accept the idea of two invasions.

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