Scriptures

2 Chronicles 33

Introduction

‘Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “My Name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” In both courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger. He took the image he had made and put it in God’s temple, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. I will not again make the feet of the Israelites leave the land I assigned to your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them concerning all the laws, decrees and regulations given through Moses.” But Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.’ 2 Chronicles 33:1-9

Manasseh King Of Judah

Manasseh was the longest reigning king of Judah and he reigned from 687 to 642 B.C., but reigned together with his father, Hezekiah, from about 696 to 687 B.C.

2 Kings 21:1-9, tells us that Hezekiah named his son Manasseh, possibly because God helped him forget his illness. The name Manasseh means ‘forget’, Genesis 41:51.

He became king when he was only twelve years old and reigned for fifty-five years, which means he the longest reigning king of Judah after the division of Israel during the reign of Rehoboam.

He didn’t start off well as king, because he did evil in God’s eyes by getting involved in idolatry, witchcraft and child sacrifice, 2 Kings 21:1-9. He basically undone everything his father, Hezekiah had achieved to keep Judah right with God.

He built altars in God’s temple, erected altars to Baal, made an Asherah pole, 2 Kings 21:7 /  Ezekiel 8:3 / Ezekiel 8:5 / Jude 1:4, worshipped the starry hosts, Deuteronomy 4:19 / Acts 7:42-43.

He also sacrificed his own son through the fire, 2 Chronicles 33:6, tells us ‘he sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom.’ In other words, he sacrificed several of his children to Molek.

Manasseh totally took the people away from God to such an extent that Judah were worse that than the nations that God had destroyed before, Genesis 15:16.

‘The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. In his distress he sought the favour of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.’ 2 Chronicles 33:10-13

Manasseh totally disobeyed God and commands, and because he and the people wouldn’t listen to God or obey His ways, 2 Kings 21:9-10.

Whilst he reigned Judah was subjected to Assyria, who eventually placed him in prison in Babylon. He had a hook put through his nose and he was bound with bronze shackles, 2 Kings 25:7.

It appears the only thing that would get him back on track with God was to spend some time in captivity. After praying to God, humbling himself and repenting of his sinfulness, he went back to Jerusalem to begin a campaign to get God’s people back on track with God, but that didn’t last long. The good news in all of this was the Israelites never again got involved in worshipping false gods.

‘Afterward he rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, west of the Gihon spring in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate and encircling the hill of Ophel; he also made it much higher. He stationed military commanders in all the fortified cities in Judah. He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the LORD, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the LORD and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel. The people, however, continued to sacrifice at the high places, but only to the LORD their God.’ 2 Chronicles 33:14-17

Manasseh now begins to rebuild the outer wall of Jerusalem, Nehemiah 3:15, but makes it higher, he gets rid of all the foreign gods and removed all the images and altars and threw them outside the city.

After restoring the altar of the LORD, they offered fellowship and thanks offering sacrifices on the altar and encouraged the people to serve God, the God of Israel.

Notice however, he didn’t get rid of the high places, and so, the people continued sacrifice in those high places, but only to God. It appears that Manasseh could only undo some of the evil practices that he had done before his repentance.

‘The other events of Manasseh’s reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel. His prayer and how God was moved by his entreaty, as well as all his sins and unfaithfulness, and the sites where he built high places and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself—all these are written in the records of the seers. Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his palace. And Amon his son succeeded him as king.’ 2 Chronicles 33:18-20

Everything Manasseh had done, his prayer and the words the seer spoke to him, 2 Kings 21:11-15, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel. Amon, his son, now becomes king of Judah.

Despite his repentance, Manasseh will go down in history and be remembered for his sin. Many commentators suggest that Manasseh, is more responsible for bringing the kingdom of Judah to an end, than any other person, 2 Kings 23:26 / 2 Kings 24:3 / Jeremiah 15:4.

Amon King Of Judah

‘Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as his father Manasseh had done. Amon worshiped and offered sacrifices to all the idols Manasseh had made. But unlike his father Manasseh, he did not humble himself before the LORD; Amon increased his guilt. Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. Then the people of the land killed all who had plotted against King Amon, and they made Josiah his son king in his place.’ 2 Chronicles 33:21-25

Manasseh’s son was named Amon, this is the name of Egyptian god, who was the god of the wind and of certain powers of generation, Nahum 3:8. Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king of Judah and he reigned for two years, 642 to 640 B.C. 2 Kings 21:19-26.

Amon was certainly following in the footsteps of his father Manasseh and it appears there was some kind of conspiracy within Amon’s officials which led to him being assassinated.

The murderers put Josiah on the throne as king, however since Josiah was only eight years old, it appears that some of Amon’s officials, or priests of the temple, were irritated with the apostasy that was led by Manasseh and Amon, 2 Kings 21:19-26.

In other words, they wanted a change, they wanted someone who was young enough they could train to be king.

Ellison, in his commentary, says the following.

‘There are only minor variations here from the parallel in 2 Kings. No motivation for the assassination is given. Amon may have been the vicious son of a bad father, or it may have been out of disgust for his following a discredited policy. Amon was the unhappy product of his father’s pagan life, not of his pious death.’

Go To 2 Chronicles 34

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD."

Isaiah 55:8

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