2 Kings 21


‘Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 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 destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. 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, ‘In Jerusalem I will put my Name.’ In the two courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger. He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the LORD 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 wander from the land I gave their ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them.’ But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.’ 2 Kings 21:1-9

Manasseh King Of Judah

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 was the longest-reigning king of Judah after the division of Israel during the reign of Rehoboam.

He didn’t start off well as the king, because he did evil in God’s eyes by getting involved in idolatry, witchcraft and child sacrifice, 2 Chronicles 33:1-10. Whilst he reigned Judah was subjected to Assyria, who eventually placed him in prison in Babylon. After repenting, 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, 2 Chronicles 33:11-17.

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, Jude 1:4, and worshipped the starry hosts, 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 disobeyed God and commands, and because he and the people wouldn’t listen to God or obey His ways, 2 Chronicles 33:10, Manasseh totally took the people away from God to such an extent that Judah was worse that than the nations that God had destroyed before.

‘The LORD said through his servants the prophets: ‘Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and give them into the hands of enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their enemies; they have done evil in my eyes and have aroused my anger from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until this day.’ Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end—besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the LORD. As for the other events of Manasseh’s reign, and all he did, including the sin he committed, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzza. And Amon his son succeeded him as king.’ 2 Kings 21:10-18

This is not good news for Manasseh and Judah, judgment is being announced here by God because of Manasseh’s sinful actions. God is going to bring such a disaster to Jerusalem and Judah that everyone who hears of it will ‘tingle’. The tingle will be like a sharp discordant note that pains one’s ears, tingling ears are a sign that an especially severe judgment was coming, 1 Samuel 3:11 / Jeremiah 19:3.

God is going to stretch out over Jerusalem ‘the measuring line’, in other words, when measured with God’s standard, that is His Word, Jerusalem, just like Samaria and the house of Ahab will be seen to be crooked.

God is going to forsake the remnant, that is the Southern Kingdom of Judah because they didn’t repent, Luke 13:3, and because Manasseh had shed so much blood during his reign.

This probably isn’t just referring to the blood he shed when he sacrificed his sons, 2 Kings 21:6 / 2 Chronicles 33:6, it’s also probably referring to all the prophets that God sent to Judah at this time, who were killed by him, 2 Kings 21:10 / Hebrews 11:32.

According to Jewish legend, it was during this time that the prophet Isaiah was executed by Manasseh by being sawn in two, Hebrews 11:37.

It appears when Manasseh was in prison he didn’t really repent of everything he did, 2 Chronicles 3:11-13 / 2 Chronicles 33:18-20. He tried to correct the sin of his early reign, but it was too late, he had already led the people too far away from God.

Only Manasseh and Amon are recorded to have been buried in the garden of Uzza, 2 Kings 21:18, and because of their awful sins, we can safely know that this place was a disgraceful location, it wasn’t a place where faithful royals were buried.

Amon King Of Judah

‘Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz; she was from Jotbah. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as his father Manasseh had done. He followed completely the ways of his father, worshiping the idols his father had worshiped, and bowing down to them. He forsook the LORD, the God of his ancestors, and did not walk in obedience to him. Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated the king 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. As for the other events of Amon’s reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. And Josiah his son succeeded him as king.’ 2 Kings 21:19-26

It’s important to note that Manasseh’s son was named Amon, this is the name of the Egyptian god, who was the god of the wind and 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.

Amon was certainly following in the footsteps of his father Manasseh and it appears there was some kind of conspiracy among 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 Chronicles 33:21-25. In other words, they wanted a change, they wanted someone who was young enough they could train to be king.

Go To 2 Kings 22


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