|א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ נ ס ע פ צ ק ר ש ת|
חִזְקִיָּה (עזרא ב:טז, נחמיה ז:כא)
Head of a branch of the family of אָטֵר whose descendants return to יהודה with זְרֻבָּבֶל . This might be the same חזקיה who is a signatory to a pledge - an אֲמָנָה - affirmed by the leaders of the community in the time of נחמיה (נחמיה י :יח ). Those who sign the declaration promise to observe the commandments of the Torah, to refrain from intermarrying, to avoid commerce on Shabbat, and to make regular donations to the Temple.
חִזְקִיָּה בֶּן נְעַרְיָה (דברי הימים א ג:כג)
חִזְקִיָּהוּ בֶּן אָחָז (יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ) (מלכים ב יח-כ, ישעיה לו-לט, דברי הימים א ג:יג, דברי הימים ב כט-לב )
Thirteenth king of יהודה who succeeds his father. A righteous king who follows the ways of his ancestor דוד , חזקיה halts idolatrous practices in the land of יהודה . חזקיה is credited with being completely loyal to God. He tirelessly cleanses the Temple and invites the citizens of Israel to come to ירושלים for the פסח holiday (דברי הימים ב כט -ל ). חזקיהו is threatened by סנחריב , אשור 's king, and agrees to pay a huge tribute to the invader, which includes the gold from the doors of the בית המקדש . סנחריב attacks anyway and captures all of יהודה 's fortified towns, occupying לכיש . The Assyrian king sends an army led by רבשקה to ירושלים to call for the capital's surrender. חזקיה sends three of his officers to hear רבשקה 's speech and the three return, dismayed, in torn clothes. חזקיה sends these same three to ישעיהו the prophet who tells them not to be afraid: God will chase the enemy back to his homeland where he will be defeated. Upon receiving another message of doom from סנחריב , חזקיה enters the בית המקדש , spreads סנחריב 's letters on the floor, and prays to God for salvation. Again, חזקיה receives confirmation from ישעיהו that all will be well. Indeed, that night God strikes the army of סנחריב , killing 185,000 soldiers. סנחריב flees back to נינוה where he is assassinated by two of his sons. חזקיהו falls ill and receives ישעיהו who tells him that he will die of his illness. חזקיהו prays to God asking Him to recall his righteousness. God tells ישעיהו to inform the king that his prayers have been heard: not only will he recover, he will live for another fifteen years. A song describing the king's fear of his imminent death, and joy at recovery is recorded in ישעיה לח . בְּרֹאדַךְ בַּלְאֲדָן בֶּן בַּלְאֲדָן , a king of בבל , sends a present to the ill חזקיהו who gives the messengers a tour of the royal treasures. God objects to the fraternization between the two nations and tells חזקיהו via ישעיהו that in the future בבל will plunder יהודה 's wealth. חזקיהו is also noted for the water tunnel that he digs to bring water into besieged ירושלים (mentioned in מלכים ב כ :כ and דברי הימים ב לב :ל ). חזקיהו rules for 29 years and his son מנשה reigns after his death. According to the Gemara, חזקיהו leads a group of writers in composing the book of ישעיה , משלי , שיר השירים and קהלת (בבא בתרא טו .. A different tradition credits שלמה with these last three works.).