Jeremy Goldberg, «Two Assyrian Campaigns against Hezehiah and Later Eight Century Biblical Chronology», Vol. 80 (1999) 360-390
The massive Assyrian invasion of Judah in 701 (reflected in 2 Kgs 18,13b; 18,1719,37) has apparently been confused with an earlier, limited invasion in Hezekiahs 14th year (reflected in 2 Kgs 18,13a.14-16; 2 Kgs 20; 2 Chr 32; Isa 22). Historically, this earlier campaign can best be dated to 712, when Sargon II apparently led the Assyrian royal guard on a Palestinian campaign. Chronologically, this dating fits perfectly with e.g. recent dating of the definitive fall of Samaria (2 Kgs 18,9: in Hezekiahs 6th year) to 720. 2 Kgs 18,9s parallel dating to Hosheas 9th year agrees with his apparent accession in 731 or 729. Dating Menahems death to 743 (as required, following biblical data, to avoid a triple overlap among Uzziah, Jotham and Ahaz) agrees with Eponym Chronicle evidence for this dating of 2 Kgs 15,19-20s presumably already desperate fiasco, and is consistent with a plausibly composite 738 tribute-list naming Menahem. Combining these datings produces a workable later 8th century biblical chronology.
for the period immediately preceding the 701 invasion by Sennacherib, and after which such strength appears impossible25.
A strong diplomatic position of Hezekiah following the campaign reflected in 2 Kgs 20 also helps considerably in explaining confusion between distinct campaigns reflected in 2 Kgs 18,14-16 / 2 Kgs 20 etc. and 2 Kgs 18,1719,37 etc., as such strength would naturally have been connected to 2 Kgs 19,35s exaggerated Assyrian setback rather than 2 Kgs 18,14-16s Judaean surrender (taken in isolation).
2. Dating the Assyrian Campaign in Year 14 of Hezekiah to 712
Assyrian evidence provides only one clearly datable episode that can plausibly be connected with an Assyrian campaign against Hezekiah prior to 701. This episode involves Assyrian suppression in 712 of a plot organized by Ashdod, in which Judah was implicated26. While the limited records clearly pertaining to the 712 campaign mention only Ashdod as a target, the Assyrian conflict with Hezekiah reported by the extremely fragmentary Azekah text is increasingly widely (n. 10 above) and very plausibly thought to be part of the same campaign. This setting is partly based on difficulties for the only known alternative, a setting in 701: (1) The spelling used for Hezekiah in the Azekah text never occurs in known records of Sennacherib and that used for Assur never occurs in his known historical records27. (2) This texts implicit reference to Ashdod as a province28 disagrees with known accounts of the 701