1 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz began his rule over Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king and he ruled for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. In God's opinion he was a good king; he kept to the standards of his ancestor David. He got rid of the local fertility shrines, smashed the phallic stone monuments, and cut down the sex-and-religion Asherah groves. As a final stroke he pulverized the ancient bronze serpent that Moses had made; at that time the Israelites had taken up the practice of sacrificing to it - they had even dignified it with a name, Nehushtan (The Old Serpent). 5 Hezekiah put his whole trust in the God of Israel. There was no king quite like him, either before or after. He held fast to God - never loosened his grip - and obeyed to the letter everything God had commanded Moses. And God, for his part, held fast to him through all his adventures. 7 He revolted against the king of Assyria; he refused to serve him one more day. And he drove back the Philistines, whether in sentry outposts or fortress cities, all the way to Gaza and its borders.
9 In the fourth year of Hezekiah and the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria attacked Samaria. He threw a siege around it and after three years captured it. It was in the sixth year of Hezekiah and the ninth year of Hoshea that Samaria fell to Assyria. The king of Assyria took Israel into exile and relocated them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River, and in towns of the Medes. 12 All this happened because they wouldn't listen to the voice of their God and treated his covenant with careless contempt. They refused either to listen or do a word of what Moses, the servant of God, commanded.