Original Research

Hezekiah and the Assyrian tribute

Gail A. R, Magdel le Roux
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 34, No 2 | a809 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v34i2.809 | © 2013 Gail A. R, Magdel le Roux | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2012 | Published: 04 September 2013

About the author(s)

Gail A. R, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa
Magdel le Roux, Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

The immensity of Hezekiah’s tribute payment to the Assyrian monarch, Sennacherib (2 Ki 18:14) has elicited limited reflection by scholars. Agriculture, generally believed to have formed the basis of the Judaean economy, could not alone have financed Hezekiah’s expenditure at the close of the 8th and the beginning of the 7th century BCE. Alternative sources of revenue, in addition to the income from the tithes and taxes as a result of his religious reforms, which undoubtedly contributed substantially, must have been available to the king. Archaeological data will not enable us to prove the veracity of the biblical narratives, but they will help us to interpret it, illuminate the context of the biblical passages and provide valuable information for the reconstruction of the social and cultural history of the early Israelites. An entirely accurate picture of the actual events that occurred will continue to elude us.

Keywords

Hezekiah; Assyrian tribute

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