Jerusalem had suffered some serious catastrophe before Nehemiah's return; a body of exiles returned, and in spite of interference the work of rebuilding was completed; through their influence the Judaean community underwent reorganization, and separated itself from its so-called heathen neighbours.
If the impression left upon current thought can be estimated from certain of the utterances of the court-prophet Isaiah and the Judaean countryman Micah, the light which these throw upon internal conditions must also be used to gauge the real extent of the religious changes ascribed to Hezekiah.
In the long reign of his son Manasseh later writers saw the deathblow to the Judaean kingdom.
The Fall of the Judaean Monarchy.
The book of Kings gives the standpoint of a later Judaean writer, but Josiah's authority over a much larger area than Judah alone is suggested by xxiii.