I received the following question:

You believe that Hezekiah wrote the “Psalms of the Degrees” that are not attributed to David. However, why would Hezekiah write so much about Israel, when he was a king of Judah? In 121 the psalmist writes “he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” In 125 “Peace be upon Israel.”  Etc.  Israel and Judah were split during the time of Hezekiah, right? 

You need to remember all throughout the book of Kings, and especially during that later portion after the northern kingdom of Israel goes into captivity, that Israel is split into two parts. The northern kingdom, being the majority of the twelve tribes, takes on the name of “Israel,” whereas the southern kingdom, dominated by the tribe of Judah, takes on the name of Judah. However, to say that the southern kingdom was not Israel would not be correct. The southern kingdom was as much Israel as the northern kingdom was. If it helps, you can think of them as “Ephraim Israel” in the north, for Ephraim was the dominant tribe there, and “Judah Israel” in the south. However, they were both Israel. When Hezekiah speaks of “Israel,” he is speaking of his own nation and people, not the northern kingdom exclusively. He is speaking of Judah Israel. Although, once the northern kingdom was destroyed, as it was in his days, he really did rule over all that was left of Israel, so the distinction was starting to go away during his reign. The bottom line is that he was speaking of his own nation of Judah Israel, or of the combined nation that he knew that God would make of the two of them in the future.

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