Evil Manasseh becomes king of Judah. Evil Amon becomes king of Judah.
VERSE 1. Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.
twelve years old. In 697 BC, they install a child as king. Nobody would say that’s a recipe for success.
he reigned fifty-five years. Under evil Manasseh, the nation suffered 55 years of evil leadership.
Even though evil Manasseh reigned longer than any other king of Judah or Israel, the record of his reign is brief.
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.
the abominations of the nations. Evil Manasseh reestablished the detestable practices of the Canaanite peoples.
VERSE 3. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he raised up altars for Baal, and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel did, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served them.
built again the high places. These were places where people worshipped the LORD God, contrary to the Law of Moses. Hezekiah had purged the land of them. But now evil Manasseh restores them.
raised up altars for Baal. Evil Manasseh re-erected altars to Baal.
made an Asherah. Evil Manasseh made a pole to represent Asherah, as Ahab had done in Samaria.
VERSE 4. He built altars in the LORD’s house, of which the LORD said, “I will put my name in Jerusalem.”
built altars in the LORD’s house. Evil Manasseh defiantly built altars to idols right in the temple and its courtyards.
I will put my name in Jerusalem. The temple was exclusively reserved for the LORD God.
He built altars for all the army of the sky. Evil Manasseh revived Assyrian astral worship.
VERSE 6. He made his son to pass through the fire, practiced sorcery, used enchantments, 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.
He made his son to pass through the fire. Evil Manasseh practices human sacrifice. He slaughters his own child, as a religious sacrifice to the Ammonite god Molech.
Sorcery … enchantments … mediums … wizards. Evil Manasseh participated in all these, then though they are prohibited in the Law of Moses.
VERSE 7. He set the engraved image of Asherah that he had made in the house of which the LORD 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;
Evil Manasseh further desecrates the temple by placing in it the carved Asherah pole he had made.
VERSE 8. I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander any more out of the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.”
VERSE 9. But they didn’t listen, and Manasseh seduced them to do that which is evil more than the nations did whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel.
Manasseh seduced them. The people of the LORD God can be duped by an evil person.
do that which is evil more. King Manasseh transformed his people into the most evil nation on earth.
his servants the prophets. This probably refers to Isaiah, and possibly others.
VERSE 11. “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, and has done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has also made Judah to sin with his idols;
VERSE 12. therefore the LORD the God of Israel says, ‘Behold, I will bring such evil on Jerusalem and Judah that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle.
his ears will tingle. The facts of what will happen to Jerusalem and Judah will shock all who hear it.
VERSE 13. I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plumb line of Ahab’s house; and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.
I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish. This could not be more clear.
VERSE 14. I will cast off the remnant of my inheritance and deliver them into the hands of their enemies. They will become a prey and a plunder to all their enemies,
VERSE 15. because they have done that which is evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.’ ”
they have done that which is evil. Evil Manasseh led the nation into doing evil.
VERSE 16. Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; in addition to his sin with which he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the LORD’s sight.
Manasseh shed innocent blood. Evil Manasseh practiced human sacrifice. He murdered his own son.
And he inspired other parents to murder their own children.
VERSE 17. Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
VERSE 18. Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza; and Amon his son reigned in his place.
Manasseh slept with his fathers. That is, he died.
VERSE 19. Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.
Amon was twenty-two years old. That was in 642 BC.
He did that which was evil. Evil Amon is yet another evil king in a very long line of evil kings.
VERSE 21. He walked in all the ways that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshiped them;
VERSE 22. and he abandoned the LORD, the God of his fathers, and didn’t walk in the way of the LORD.
put the king to death. Evil Amon is assassinated by his own palace staff. A similar thing happened to three other evil kings:
1 Kings 15:27. Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against [king Nadab]; and Baasha struck him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel were besieging Gibbethon.
1 Kings 16:10. and Zimri went in and struck [king Elah] and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place.
2 Kings 15:10. Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against [king Zechariah], and struck him before the people and killed him, and reigned in his place.
2 Kings 21:23. The servants of [king] Amon conspired against him, and put the king to death in his own house.
VERSE 24. 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.
the people of the land. There was a popular uprising. They assassinate the palace staff who has assassinated king Amon.
In the succession of events, there is a cascade of three levels of evil:
- King Amon is evil
- He is assassinated by his own palace staff, who themselves are evil
- The palace staff are assassinated by a popular uprising of king Amon’s supporters, who themselves are evil
VERSE 25. Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
Josiah his son. Josiah is one of Judah’s best kings.
reigned in his place. This happened in 640 BC. Josiah is only eight years old.
For that reason, Josiah is often referred to as “the boy-king.”
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