| King Hezekiah
And Following Jesus Christ
How does learning about King Hezekiah of the Old
Testament help us to know more about Jesus and His love
for us ?
There are types in the Old testament that foreshadow an
arch-type in the New Testament. Adam and King David for example are
both types of Christ. By their very nature Old Testament types are
imperfect since they only prefigure the ultimate reality that is
made know by and through Jesus Christ. Types of Christ find their
perfection in the New Testament in their arch-type, Jesus Christ.
These Old Testament types help shine forth God’s glory by being
manifestations of God grace and by pointing to their ultimate
fulfillment in the New Covenant. To the extent that they are good
they should not be misunderstood as taking away from the glory of
God. Rather, it is God’s glory that is being worked out and made
manifest within them. “ ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts !’
they cried one to the other. ‘All the earth is filled with his glory
!’ ” (Isaiah 6:3) By studying these types we can learn a deeper
meaning about who they are pointing to.
TYPES AND SHADOWS POINTING AHEAD AND REVEALING GOD'S
The Holy Bible has both human authors and a Divine Author.
Scripture scholar Scott Hahn, Ph.D., writes:
The king of Judah had a throne and this throne symbolized
Yahweh’s kingship over Israel. Cf. 1 Chron 28:5 29:23. King
Hezekiah is a descendant [a son] of King David, and as king is a
type of Christ.
So when we read the Bible, we need to read it on two
levels at once. We read the Bible in a literal sense .. ..
. But we read it also in a spiritual sense, searching out
what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us through the words
We do this in imitation of Jesus, because this is
the way He read the scriptures. He referred to Jonah (Mt
12:39), Solomon (Mt 12:42), the temple (Jn 2:19), and the
brazen serpent (Jn 3:14) as "signs" that prefigured Him.
We see in Luke's gospel, as our Lord comforted the disciples
on the road to Emmaus, that "beginning with Moses and all
the prophets, He interpreted to them what referred to Him in
all the scriptures" (Lk 24:27). After this spiritual
reading of the Old Testament, we are told, the disciples'
hearts burned within them.
What ignited this fire in their hearts ? Through
the scriptures, Jesus had initiated His disciples into a
world that reached beyond their senses. A good teacher, God
introduced the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar. Indeed,
He had created the familiar with this end in mind,
fashioning the persons and institutions that would best
prepare us for the coming of Christ and the glories of His
Learning to Type
The first Christians followed their Master in
reading the Bible this way. In the letter to the Hebrews,
the Old Testament tabernacle and its rituals are described
as "types and shadows of heavenly realities" (8:5), and
the law as a "shadow of the good things to come" (10:1).
Saint Peter, in turn, noted that Noah and his family "were
saved through water," and that "this prefigured baptism,
which saves you now" (1 Pt 3:20-21). Peter's word
translated as "prefigured" is actually the Greed word for
"typify," or "make a type." The apostle Paul, for his
part, described Adam as a "type" of Jesus Christ (Rom
So what is a type ? A type is a real person,
place, thing, or event in the Old Testament that foreshadows
something greater in the New Testament. From "type" we
get the word "typology," the study of Christ's
foreshadowing in the Old Testament (see Catechism, 128-130).
[HHQ, pages 22-23.]
Hezekiah, as King of Israel, would have been anointed when
he became king.
[Cf. 2 Kings 11:12 "Then Jehoiada led out the king’s son and put
the crown and the insignia upon him. They proclaimed him king and
anointed him …"]
The king was a consecrated and recognized as chosen by God.
[Cf. 1 Kings 2:15, 1 Chron 28:5.] As king, Saul, is recognized
as Yahweh’s anointed, and therefore is a sacred person. [Cf. 1 Sam
24:7, 11 26:9, 11, 23 2 Sam 1:14, 16.]
The words "anointed" and "messiah" are synonyms being
respectively the translation and the transliteration of the same
Hebrew word "mashiah." The word "Christ" is the Greek
translation of this word. Therefore, Hezekiah as an anointed king
of Judah prefigured Jesus the Christ.
This typology is also seen in several parallels in King
Hezekiah’s life with that of Jesus Christ. King Hezekiah was one of
the few holy kings of Judah.
King Hezekiah cleans the temple ( 2 Chronicles 29:
1,5,15,16.) He restores the Jews to faithfulness in following the
Lord ( 2 Chronicles 30: 6-13, 26-27.) He prays for the sinful
Israelites and God accepts that in reparation for their sins and
spares them ( 2 Chronicles 30: 18-20.)
2 Kings 18:1-7 " … Hezekiah, … king of Judah, began to
… He pleased the LORD, just as his forefather David had done.
… He put his trust in the LORD, the God of Israel; and neither
before him nor after him was there anyone like him among all the
kings of Judah. Loyal to the LORD, Hezekiah never turned away from
him, but observed the commandments which the LORD had given Moses.
The LORD was with him, and he prospered in all that he set out to
do. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him."
After the Assyrian King had attacked, captured, and deported
the northern kingdom, he also attacked the southern kingdom of
Judah. King Hezekiah showed great faith in the One True God. The
Assyrian King Sennacherib sent his commander to the Jews and he made
fun of them in verse 23 and then in verse 27 he told them that they
would “ … have to eat their own excrement and drink their urine.”
2 Kings 18:28-32 "Then the commander stepped forward and
cried out in a loud voice in Judean, ‘Listen to the words of the
great king, the king of Assyria.
Thus says the king: "Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, since he
cannot deliver you out of my hand. Let not Hezekiah induce you to
rely on the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely save us … Do not
listen to Hezekiah, for the king of Assyria says: Make peace with
me and surrender ! Then each of you will eat of his own vine and of
his own fig-tree, and drink the water of his own cistern … Choose
life, not death. Do not listen to Hezekiah when he would seduce
you by saying,
‘The LORD will rescue us.’ " ’ "
However, King Hezekiah sends his ministers to the Prophet
Isaiah ( vs. 19:2) and puts his trust in Isaiah’s prophetic word
that the Assyrian king will die by the sword, vs.7.
King Hezekiah then prays to the Lord " … Therefore, O
LORD, our God, save us from the power of this man, that all the
kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God." 2
What is amazingly profound is that this evil King
Sennacherib of Assyria is praying to his own false god Nisroch, and
it is at this precise time that he is slain and this is done so by
King Sennacherib’s own sons. (2 Kings 19:37) Thus the power and
majesty of the One True God is made manifest.
Another striking parallel between Jesus Christ and the good
King Hezekiah, a type of Christ, is found in 2 Kings 20. We read
the King Hezekiah is mortally ill and that he prays to the Lord.
Then the Lord speaks through his holy prophet Isaiah that the king
is to go up to the temple on the third day and his life will be
saved and the city will be saved as well. (2 Kings 20:1-6 ) Thus,
Christ’s own resurrection on the third day was foreshadowed and how
He brought His own Body back to Life and saved the city, the New
Jerusalem, the Church.
THE HOLDER OF THE KEYS
A very important thing happened in the life of King Hezekiah
that Jesus Christ later alludes to. It takes a little study to see
the importance, but later on we will gain the fruit of this Bible
study. God rewards those who dive into His truth with a prayerful
and humble heart.
Isaiah 22:15,19-24 "Thus says the Lord, the GOD of hosts:
Up, go to that official, Shebna, master of the palace… 19 I will
thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station.
On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah; I
will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and
give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. I will place
the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one
shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open. I will fix him like
a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family ..."
So, we must examine what is the extent of the power that
Eliakim receives when he receives the "key of David." This can
be done by looking at his new title "master of the palace" and
what type of authority that person had. The Hebrew word,
Strong’s # 5921 which literally means "over," is translated above
as "master" and as "regent" in 2 Chronicles 26:21.
2 Chronicles 26:21 "King Uzziah remained a leper to the
day of his death. As a leper he dwelt in a segregated house, for he
was excluded from the house of the LORD. Therefore his son Jotham
was regent of the palace and ruled the people of the land."
From this verse we can see that the holder of the KEYS,
"the regent / master of the palace" ruled as an agent or
representative for the king.
Cf. 1 Kings 18:3,4 2 Kings 10:5, and 15:5
Bible translations will vary. For example The New Intl.
Version translates the passage in Isaiah 22 as "charge of the
This title, or position was also known in non-Jewish
governments. And the extent of his authority is self evident. See
Genesis 41:39-40 "So Pharaoh said to Joseph: ‘ … You shall be in
charge of my palace, [ literally: over my house ] ... Only in
respect to the throne shall I outrank you.’ " [explanatory
The Hebrew word that is translated as "palace,"
Strong’s 1004, literally means "house." So, some
translations will read "over the (king’s) house.
So, we see how the holder of the keys, the master of the
palace, was a ruler with authority. 2 Chronicles 28:7 seems to
suggests that he ruled not by exercising his own private judgment,
but rather was in charge of executing the will of the king.
2 Chronicles 28:7 "Zichri, an Ephraimite warrior, killed
Maaseiah, the king’s son, and Azrikam, the master of the palace, and
also Elkanah, who was second to the king."
Being listed in their order of importance we see that king’s
son is most important, because he will someday be king himself.
The Master of the palace is placed after him but before the person
"second to the king," the person whose opinion or judgment is
second most important. Therefore, the Master of the palace’s duty
was to rule according to the king’s own judgment.
We see this confirmed by the passage in Isaiah 22:22 when
we read that the Master of the palace will rule such that when "he
opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open." This
passage presupposes that he will just be executing a judgment in
keeping with the will of the king, or else it would have said,
"what he opens, no one shall shut, except for the king." The
Master of the palace is, so to speak, the agent or mouthpiece for
We see this further confirmed when Assyria wages war on the
Jews. The Jewish King Hezekiah sends out his ministers to negotiate
and communicate for him. The Master of the palace is his chief
minister, and representative. Being mentioned first in the listing
of officials denotes his authority over the other ministers.
2 Kings 18:17-18 "The king of Assyria sent the general …
with a great army to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. … They called for
the king, who sent out to them Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, the master
of the palace; Shebnah the scribe; and the herald Joah, son of Asaph."
One important point in Isaiah 22 is that it is the transfer
of the keys that designates Eliakim as the new master of the palace.
Isaiah 22:15-22 “… go to that official,
Shebna, master of the palace,
… I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your
On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim … and give over to him
your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of
Jerusalem … I will place the key of the House of David on his
shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one
King David had been dead many years when this took place.
Therefore, this verse shows that the office of key holder / master
of the palace, was an office with successors just as the office of
king was. It was the transferring of the keys that denoted the
transfer of power to the new successor of this office as the king’s
representative, his regent, the master of the palace.
To see how this teaching can bring us more closely into the
love of Jesus Christ see the following article
KEYS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Fear keeps some people from following
Overcoming the Fear