Hezekiah is a critical figure in the Hebrew Bible, which credits him with major political, social, and religious reforms in Judah’s history and the weathering of a major crisis in the invasion of the Assyrians under their emperor, Sennacherib. Examining the different accounts of Hezekiah’s reign in 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Isaiah, Song-Mi Suzie Park describes a “Hezekiah complex” that developed over a long time, in which the figure of Hezekiah served as a symbol for the vicissitudes of Judah’s history. The king could be understood as a positive reformer of the “pagan” ways of the country, or as a sinner, at least partly responsible for the threats and disasters that befell Judah, from Sennacherib’s invasion through the Babylonian exile more than a century later. By showing how the stories about Hezekiah developed over time through a process of response and counterresponse, forming at the end a dialogue of memory, Park elucidates the ways in which biblical stories in general function as loci of continual dialogue, dispute, and discussion.
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