Manasseh becomes king of Judah. Amon becomes king of Judah. Josiah becomes king of Judah.
VERSE 1. Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem.
Manasseh was twelve years old. Manasseh will be an evil king.
VERSE 2. He did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, after the abominations of the nations whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
He did that which was evil. Not only was Manasseh evil himself. But he used his position of power to craft his people into the most evil nation on earth.
VERSE 3. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; and he raised up altars for the Baals, made Asheroth, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served them.
made Asheroth. That is, he made Asherah poles. These were poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah.
worshiped all the army of the sky. That is, worshipping the Host of heaven.
This was probably an old Canaanite cult, and not astral worship as seen in ancient Assyria.
VERSE 4. He built altars in the LORD’s house, of which the LORD said, “My name shall be in Jerusalem forever.”
VERSE 5. He built altars for all the army of the sky in the two courts of the LORD’s house.
VERSE 6. He also made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and dealt with those who had familiar spirits and with wizards. He did much evil in the LORD’s sight, to provoke him to anger.
made his children to pass through the fire. That is, he burned his own children to death.
This was viewed as making a religious sacrifice. The LORD God absolutely prohibited this.
VERSE 7. He set the engraved image of the idol, which he had made, in God’s house, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever.
VERSE 8. I will not any more remove the foot of Israel from off the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them, even all the law, the statutes, and the ordinances given by Moses.”
VERSE 9. Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel.
This verse could be the national anthem for most of the kings of Judah. They didn’t listen to the LORD God.
And their corrupting influence meant that their people didn’t listen to the LORD either.
VERSE 11. Therefore the LORD brought on them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.
Therefore. The LORD God spoke to them. But they didn’t listen.
Now they face the consequences.
took Manasseh in chains. Evil Manasseh is captured and taken away as a prisoner to far-away Babylon.
VERSE 12. When he was in distress, he begged the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.
VERSE 13. He prayed to him; and he was entreated by him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.
VERSE 14. Now after this, he built an outer wall to David’s city on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance at the fish gate. He encircled Ophel with it, and raised it up to a very great height; and he put valiant captains in all the fortified cities of Judah.
VERSE 15. He took away the foreign gods and the idol out of the LORD’s house, and all the altars that he had built in the mountain of the LORD’s house and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city.
He took away the foreign gods. Manasseh embarks on a path of religious reform.
VERSE 16. He built up the LORD’s altar, and offered sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving on it, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel.
VERSE 17. Nevertheless the people still sacrificed in the high places, but only to the LORD their God.
VERSE 18. Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, behold, they are written among the acts of the kings of Israel.
VERSE 19. His prayer also, and how God listened to his request, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places in which he built high places and set up the Asherah poles and the engraved images before he humbled himself: behold, they are written in the history of Hozai.
Hozai. Or “the seers.”
VERSE 20. So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house; and Amon his son reigned in his place.
Manasseh slept with his fathers. That is, he died.
VERSE 21. Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem.
Amon was twenty-two years old. He is yet another evil king.
VERSE 22. He did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, as did Manasseh his father; and Amon sacrificed to all the engraved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them.
VERSE 23. He didn’t humble himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but this same Amon trespassed more and more.
Amon’s own servants assassinate him.
VERSE 25. But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.
Josiah his son. Josiah is sometimes referred to as “they boy king.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.