Hezekiah was the king of Judah. Hezekiah’s own father had promoted idolatry throughout Judah and had made Judah a subservient kingdom to the wicked Assyrian Empire (1 Kings 16).
When Hezekiah assumed the throne of Judah at the age of twenty-five, the northern kingdom of Israel was only a few years away from being sent into exile for their wickedness (2 Kings 18:9–10). These were dark days indeed.
But Hezekiah determined to follow the Lord with all his heart, and the Lord empowered him to do great things for His people even in the midst of the evil forces that were still at work. Hezekiah removed idolatry from the land, including all the pagan items from the temple (2 Kings 18). He restored proper worship at the temple and sent invitations to everyone throughout the land—even people living in the northern kingdom of Israel—to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover once again (2 Chronicles 29–30).
Not long after the northern kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians, the Assyrians attacked Jerusalem as well, but the Lord struck down 185,000 of their soldiers in a single night, and Jerusalem was spared (2 Kings 19:35–36).
As part of his preparations for the Assyrian attack on Jerusalem, Hezekiah constructed a water tunnel to carry water from the Gihon Spring to the pool at the lower end of the city (2 Kings 20:20). The tunnel still exists today, and in 1838 an ancient inscription was found in it that commemorated its construction.