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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

2 Chronicles 32

Verses 1-33

M. Hezekiah chs. 29-32

In contrast to Ahaz, we can see Hezekiah’s love for Yahweh in how he cared for the temple. Ahaz’s reign was full of war, but Hezekiah enjoyed peace. God rewarded Hezekiah’s spiritual restoration of Judah with a remarkable military deliverance. Yet "good king" Hezekiah was not the completely faithful Son of David whose kingdom God had promised to establish forever (1 Chronicles 17:11-14).

"He is the ’golden boy’ of Chronicles." [Note: Wilcock, p. 242.]

The Chronicler gave more space to Hezekiah’s reign than to any others except David and Solomon, to whom he likened Hezekiah. [Note: Dillard, 2 Chronicles, p. 229.]

Verses 1-23

4. The invasion by Sennacherib 32:1-23

In a few details this account differs from the one in 2 Kings 18-20 and Isaiah 36-37. It was after Hezekiah’s acts of faithfulness that God tested his trust (2 Chronicles 32:1). Many of Judah’s other good kings had followed God faithfully, only to abandon faith in Him later in life as a result of pride (e.g., Solomon, Uzziah, et al.). In this respect, Hezekiah failed too (2 Chronicles 32:25).

Hezekiah’s preparations for Sennacherib’s siege did not indicate reliance on the flesh rather than on God, as his praying shows. They were simply wise defensive measures (2 Chronicles 32:1-8).

"It is no denial of one’s trust in God if one makes certain precautionary preparations. ’Pray to God and keep your powder dry’ is a wise response in the face of danger at any time." [Note: Ibid., p. 361.]

The real difference between the two armies was that while both had a measure of physical strength, Israel possessed an additional spiritual resource (2 Chronicles 32:8). This is a difference between a Christian and a non-Christian too.

Sennacherib’s fatal mistake was that he regarded Yahweh as only one of many idols (2 Chronicles 32:19). This was his undoing. God not only granted a miraculous deliverance to Jerusalem because of Hezekiah’s reliance on Him, but many nations brought gifts to the king and to Yahweh (2 Chronicles 32:21-23).

Verses 24-33

5. Hezekiah’s humility and greatness 32:24-33

Hezekiah fell short of being the perfect Son of David, just like all the rest of Judah’s monarchs. Yet when his heart did become proud because of God’s blessings, he humbled himself (2 Chronicles 32:25-26). Consequently, God postponed His discipline (2 Chronicles 32:26).

Hezekiah was immensely wealthy and enjoyed much honor in his day (2 Chronicles 32:27-30; cf. Solomon). God rewarded his faithfulness and commitment. The Chronicler passed over Hezekiah’s unwise decision-to show the Babylonian envoys his riches-with a brief comment (2 Chronicles 32:31; cf. 2 Kings 20:12-19). He was not perfect.

King Hezekiah was one of the greatest of Judah’s reformers. We can see his zeal for God clearly in his zeal for God’s house and the worship it facilitated. Not since Solomon had there been a king who more consistently reflected the heart of David.

". . . the Chronicler has gone out of his way to present Hezekiah as a second Solomon . . ." [Note: Williamson, 1 and 2 . . ., pp. 350-51.]

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 32". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/2-chronicles-32.html. 2012.