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2 Kings 18:13 In the fourteenth year of Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked and captured all the fortified cities of Judah. 14So Hezekiah king of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand from me.”
And the king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the royal palace.
16At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold with which he had plated the doors and doorposts of the temple of the LORD, and he gave it to the king of Assyria.

Hezekiah gave all the gold and silver to the king of Assyria in exchange to stay as the ruler of Judah. Two chapters later he bragged about how rich he was:

2 Kings 20:12 At that time Merodach-baladanb son of Baladan king of Babylon sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he had heard about Hezekiah’s illness. 13And Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his treasure house—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil, as well as his armory—all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his palace or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.

How could he get so rich so quickly? Did he fool Sennacherib?

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  • Did this answer your question?
    – Dottard
    Oct 28 '20 at 21:53
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I will propose a "creative" solution from "left wing" here. I note the following sequence of events:

  • 1 Kings 18:13, 14 - The king of Assyria demands payment
  • 1 Kings 18:15, 16 - Hezekiah pays up with "ALL" that is in his treasuries and strips the gold from the doors of the temple.

I note that after this there is no record of the siege being called off, but rather, the siege is continued and more demands are made, all in the 14th year of kings Hezekiah (V13).

  • 1 Kings 18:17-37 - The siege continues and the field commander demands surrender and submission to Assyria
  • 1 Kings 19:1-13 - Hezekiah is told and is very distressed (he has no more money!!)
  • 1 Kings 19:14-19 - Hezekiah prays to God for help (as he should have done in the first place)
  • 1 Kings 19:20-34 - Isaiah prophesies Assyria's defeat
  • 1 Kings 19:35, 36 - that same night 185,000 soldiers killed by thee Angel of the LORD.
  • 1 Kings 20 - at about the same time (V1) Hezekiah becomes very ill.

All the events in 1 Kings 18:13 - 19:36 appear to have occurred in a matter of days or a week or two.

Now, it is entirely possible that following the divinely orchestrated humiliation and destruction of the Assyrian army, without its infantry, that Hezekiah might have recovered the silver and gold because there was (almost) no one to defend it. It appears that Sennacherib returned to Nineveh (1 Kings 19:36) with very few others.

If the above is true, then there might have been some justification in Hezekiah showing off the recovered treasure to the Babylonian envoys (1 Kings 18:12-15) but was rebuked (V16-18) by Isaiah for not giving glory to God.

While I find the above the most probable sequence of events, there are two other possibilities, both of which are unsatisfactory for various reasons:

  1. The incident with Hezekiah's illness occurred before the siege. This is almost impossible because of the simple chronology involved and is dismissed by several commentators as well.
  2. Hezekiah did not give them "ALL" the silver and gold but had much more in other stores unknown to the Assyrians. This is also unlikely as it plainly contradicts the unambiguous statement of 1 Kings 18:15, 16 that Hezekiah gave them ALL.
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  • I agree that this is the most likely scenario, the recovery of the treasure from the Assyrians in disarray. (Up-voted +1). I erred myself in not remembering the fifteen years given to the king and I have deleted my previous answer.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 24 '20 at 4:01

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