“I tell you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Luke 10:24)
King Hezekiah was another of Christ’s royal ancestors. He ruled Judah during the time of the prophets Isaiah and Micah, at the turn of the 7th century BC. He fortified the city of Jerusalem and dug a tunnel to bring water to a reservoir within its walls. Hezekiah is also described in the Bible as one of Judah’s greatest kings, for his trust in God and many good deeds (2 Kings 18:5-6).
The king did his best to lead people back to God. He sent out royal messengers across Judah and the rest of Israel, inviting the people to visit the Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The letters they carried read: “The Lord, your God, is gracious and compassionate, and he will not turn his face away from you if you return to him.” (2 Chronicles 30:6-9).
From Isaiah and Micah, Hezekiah must have learned of their prophecies of the Messiah (cf Sirach 48:22). Christ once told his disciples: “I tell you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” (Luke 10:24) Hezekiah was surely one of these kings. It was during his lifetime that the promise of a ruler born of a Virgin in Bethlehem came to light.
As Hezekiah grew older, he discovered that he was terminally ill and prayed earnestly to God to be saved from death. In response, the prophet Isaiah told him that God had heard his prayer and had added fifteen years to his life. Isaiah then said that after three days, he would recover and be able to visit the temple. This was mirrored in the later resurrection of Christ on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
This stained glass image of King Hezekiah belongs to the grand Rose Window of St Catherine’s, West Drayton. The Rose Window is based on the Jesse Tree theme and therefore features various kings and prophets. Dating to the light 19th century, it was designed by Lavers & Westlake. This pane features Hezekiah, who is portrayed as an elderly king. He is referred to by his Latin name, Ezekias.
One thought on “King Hezekiah, the messenger of mercy”