In December 2015, archaeologists discovered a royal seal belonging to King Hezekiah of Judah (circa 716–697 BC).
The Hebrew inscription on the seal, also called a bulla, reads “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah.”
“Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.”
– 2 Kings 18:1
The seal was found at the site of the Ophel excavations at the foot of the Temple Mount’s southern wall.
1 Kings 11-12 says, Solomon’s idolatry in his latter years prompted the LORD to split the house of David into 2: northern Israel and southern Judah. Subsequently, the LORD gave the kingdom of Israel into the hand of Shalmaneser of Assyria, to punish Israel for “whoredom”, i.e. spiritual fornication. Thereafter, Israel became known as Samaria. Though the northern kingdom of Israel was punished, the southern kingdom of Judah was spared.
“Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORD liveth.”
– Hosea 4:15
Significantly, per 2 Kings 18-20, Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, was king of Judah at the time Assyria conquered Israel.
Some time after the fall of Israel, another king of Assyria, Sennacherib, besieged Judah. Hezekiah sought out Isaiah and prayed to the LORD. Isaiah revealed that Judah would not fall to the Assyrians, 2 Kings 19:31-36.
“For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD. For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake. And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.”
– 2 Kings 19:31-36
2 Kings 18-19 is historical but also a foreshadowing of the end times, for in the tribulation “the Assyrian” will come and besiege Israel, Isaiah 14:25. Sennacherib was from Ninevah. Today, ISIS controls Ninevah.
“The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.”
– Isaiah 14:24-26
This end times “Assyrian” is the Antichrist or the Little Horn, spoken of by Daniel. He will lead the fourth beast, Daniel 7:8 and Daniel 8:9. And in the end he will be defeated by Jesus Christ, Daniel 8:25 and Daniel 2:35.
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”
– Daniel 8:23-25