2 Kings 18 A ton of gold


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2 Kings 18:9 In King Hezekiah’s fourth year, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. 10 At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah’s sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel. 11 The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes. 12 This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated his covenant—all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened to the commands nor carried them out.

13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 14 So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me.” The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents[c] of silver and thirty talents[d] of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace.

16 At this time Hezekiah king of Judah stripped off the gold with which he had covered the doors and doorposts of the temple of the Lord, and gave it to the king of Assyria.​

c. 2 Kings 18:14 That is, about 11 tons or about 10 metric tons
d. 2 Kings 18:14 That is, about 1 ton or about 1 metric ton

Wow... there was a ton of gold on the doors and door posts. Now that's a lot of gold. Can you imagine how much it would cost to replace a ton of gold in today's market? That's a hefty ransom!

Wow... all the people in Israel had already been deported to Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes, according to verse 11 and Hezekiah didn't want that to happen to Judah.

This is from enduringworld.com.

And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; turn away from me; whatever you impose on me I will pay.” And the king of Assyria assessed Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king’s house. At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them: This was approximately five years after the fall of Samaria. Now the king of Assyria brought his force against Judah, who had successfully resisted him before . He captured all of the fortified cities of Judah and needed to only take Jerusalem itself to completely conquer Judah.

The mention of Lachish is important to historians and archaeologists. The British Museum displays the Assyrian carvings depicting the siege of the city of Lachish, which was an important fortress city of Judah. Lachish was thirty miles southwest of Jerusalem.

“An interesting wall relief taken from the excavation of Sennacherib’s royal palace in Nineveh is persevered in the British Museum. It portrays the Assyrian king on a portable throne in his military camp outside Lachish. Prisoners of war are marching by on foot, and all the booty from the city is being displayed on ox-wagons.” (Dilday)

Archaeologists also discovered a pit at Lachish with the remains of about 1,500 casualties that probably came from the later attack of Nebuchadnezzar more than 100 years after this attack of the Assyrians.

This is from toughquestionsanswered.org.

Hezekiah panics and pays off Sennacherib by emptying his royal treasury and even removing the gold plating on the doors of the temple. However, this ransom does not succeed. Sennacherib sends an army along with three of his highest ranking officers to send a message to Hezekiah. The message to Hezekiah is received by three of his ministers and is summarized as:

  • Hezekiah was foolish to align with Egypt against Assyria, since Egypt is weak.
  • The God of Judah was obviously upset with Hezekiah because Hezekiah had removed the high places in Judah against God’s wishes. God had thus commanded Assyria to conquer Judah. Paul R. House, in 8, 1, 2 Kings, The New American Commentary, adds, “This sort of propaganda about other countries’ deities abandoning their adherents was a standard Assyrian ploy when they invaded and conquered another nation. Cogan notes that the Assyrians routinely told their enemies that their gods were angry with them, that the gods had abandoned them, and that these gods counseled them to surrender to the Assyrians. It is not unusual, then, for the spokesman to try such tactics on Judahites. What the speaker has not grasped, however, is that he addresses monotheists committed to separatist Yahwism, not the typical polytheists he is used to manipulating.”
  • The people of Jerusalem will suffer greatly from the siege and Hezekiah cannot protect them.
  • If they will surrender, they will be moved peacefully to a distant land where they will be able to live their lives and prosper. (This is an interesting way to sell deportation.)
  • None of the other gods of the nations Assyria has conquered have been able to withstand the king of Assyria (who serves the Assyrian god Assur). Why would they think Judah will be the first?

So according to this commentary, Hezekiah didn't want to be conquered. Judah is in serious trouble. Only Lachish stands in the way of the conquest of Jerusalem. The king of Assyria, according to this commentary, sent word to Judah that king Hezehiah caused the conquest because he took out the asherah poles and stuff. The king of Assyria also told the people, according to this commentary, that Hezehiah made a bad alliance with Egypt. Egypt couldn't help them.

I remember hearing that before the US went into battle, they littered the area with propaganda first. By the time our troops got there, the enemy was so afraid we were going to eat them alive [literally, knife and fork type eating alive] so they surrendered.

According to what I read here.... this is the same thing. The Assyrian king marched in and told the people of Judah that they might as well give up..... so they stripped the gold off the wall of the Temple to pay the king off instead of asking God for help.

2 kings 17.jpg

Maps and money always put things in perspective.

Israel had already been conquered and deported by Assyria.
Judah was next and Assyria was not far from Jerusalem.
Hezekiah paid off the Assyrians by stripping the ton of gold off God's Temple doors.

Just fyi.... an ounce of gold today sells for $1,233.90..... there are 16 ounces to a pound and there are 2000 pounds in a ton.