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.
accepted44, has the important advantage of explaining vv. 3-4s otherwise problematic trembling over the fall of Babylon45 by its implications for late 8th century Judah i.e. by Isaiahs recognition (in spite of his aversion to foreign alliances!) of the giant step which this would represent towards Assyrian fulfillment of Yahwehs terrible plan for Judah (cf. v. 10s reference to threshing). This explanation is strongly supported by Isa 20s apparent confirmation of the fearful significance of the fall of Babylon to Isaiah: taken straightforwardly, this text indicates that Isaiah walked around naked for "three years", starting in the year of Ashdods fall i.e. from 712 to 710 (reckoning inclusively) before the explanation was given by Yahweh that this behavior symbolized the coming overthrow of Levantine and Nilotic opposition to Assyria. This nakedness also provides Isa 22 with a further connection to 712 as Isa 22,6.8.14 all refer to uncovering.
3. Dating the Fall of Samaria to 720 / Year 6 of Hezekiah
In recent years, the fall of Samaria has been the most intensively discussed subject in later 8th century biblical history and chronology. The proposal of most interest here is Galils identification of the biblical fall of Samaria, i.e. the conquest recounted by 2 Kgs 17,6; 18,10 (and dated to year 6 of Hezekiah by 2 Kgs 18,10), with its known fall to Sargon II in 72046. This fits perfectly chronologically with both the death of Josiah in 609 and the apparent dating of year 14 of Hezekiah to 712.
Preferring this identification to a hypothetical capture of Samaria in 722 or 723 is further supported by the following considerations.
It seems extremely unlikely that the crushing of a subsequent revolt in 720 would have merited the great pride which Sargon II later, after many great victories, took in his conquest of Samaria, as