Toward a Better 'Hezekiah'

How to Cite

Giffone, B. D. (2023). Toward a Better ’Hezekiah’: The Literary Structuring of Isaiah 1–39. Old Testament Essays, 36(2), 471–489. Retrieved from


This study proposes a new structure for Isa 1–39 in its received form that brings together the observations of numerous studies concerning individual units and themes within this larger section of the book. Whereas parallels have been discerned between Isa 1–12 and Isa 13–27, here it is argued that those parallels can be found in Isa 28–39 as well. Particular attention will be paid to how the pieces of the book contribute to the reader’s evolving perception of the figure of Hezekiah. The person or school who crafted the book called Isaiah initially exalts the figure of Hezekiah such that the naïve reader might be led to hope that Hezekiah was the idealised Davidic ruler of Isa 1–12. Therefore, Hezekiah’s failure in Isa 39 that leads to the exile is all the more disappointing. The presentation of Hezekiah in the book called Isaiah comes into starker relief when compared to the presentations in the books of Kings and Chronicles. The Chronicler’s re-telling of the Hezekiah stories points backwards to the Isaiah editors’ priorities in adopting material from Kings.


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