Hezekiah was king of Judah when the new superpower, Assyria, conquered the northern kingdom of Israel and scattered its inhabitants across Mesopotamia (2 Kings 18:9-12) . “That which He could no longer do through them in the land of their fathers He would seek to accomplish by scattering them among the heathen. His plan for the salvation of all who should choose to avail themselves of pardon through the Saviour of the human race must yet be fulfilled; and in the afflictions brought upon Israel, He was preparing the way for His glory to be revealed to the nations of earth.”-Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 292.
A few years later, the Assyrian king Sennacherib turned his attention to Judah and captured all its fortified cities and exacted heavy tribute (2 Kings 18:13-15) . Although Hezekiah emptied the temple and palace treasuries, the Assyrian king was not satisfied and sent officials to negotiate the surrender of Jerusalem.
The Assyrians then taunted the people, warning that since the gods of the nations around them didn’t save them from Assyria, what made the Jews think that their God would do any better? (See 2 Kings 18:28-30, 2 Kings 18:33-35.)
The outcome of all this was seen when the huge Assyrian army camped around the walls of Jerusalem. The frightened inhabitants of the besieged city arose one morning, not to see the final actions of a conquering army about to rip open the defenses of a besieged city but to see soldiers lying scattered on the ground in a deathly stillness as far as the eye could see (2 Kings 19:35) . The disgraced Assyrian king went home, only to meet his end at the hands of two of his own sons (2 Kings 19:36-37) .