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Two Kings Twenty One

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

2 Kings 21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hephzibah.

twelve years old. Manasseh was evidently born three years after Hezekiah's supernatural healing and God's promise of a fifteen-year extension of his life (2 Kings 20:6). Without this miracle, the Davidic line of kings in Israel would have been stopped, and God's promise to David (2 Samuel 7:12-16) would have failed. But God's promises are sure, even if miracles are necessary to keep them!

2 Kings 21: 2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.

2 Kings 21:3 For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.

2 Kings 21:4 And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name.

2 Kings 21:5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.

2 Kings 21:6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

wizards. Manasseh, despite his godly father, soon took up the abominable practices of his grandfather Ahaz and the kings of Israel (2 Kings 16:3; 17:17). His father died when he was only twelve years old (2 Kings 21:1) and evidently had devoted little time to Manasseh's religious instruction. Nothing is known about his mother except her name, which means “My delight is in her,” a name perhaps indicating over-indulgent parents.”

much wickedness. Manasseh shed much “innocent blood” (2 Kings 21:16) and, according to Jewish tradition, this may even have included the prophet Isaiah, who was supposed to have been “sawn asunder” (Hebrews 11:37).

2 Kings 21:7 And he set a graven image of the grove 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 tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:

a graven image. Manasseh seems to have committed every sin he could think of to deface the memory of his father and his father's God, even to the extent of erecting a great idol and altars for the worship of false gods in the very temple of God. Yet he surely knew of the mighty miracles wrought by God on behalf of Judah because of his father, so it is amazing that he could be so presumptuous as to defy God and shame his godly heritage. God was longsuffering with Manasseh for many years, possibly because of his father, but His judgment finally must come.

2 Kings 21:8 Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if 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.

2 Kings 21:9 But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel.

2 Kings 21:10 And the LORD spake by his servants the prophets, saying,

2 Kings 21:11 Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:

that the Amorites did. Manasseh's catalog of evil deeds exceeded that of the Amorites and all the other Canaanite tribes. God had no recourse left except to expel His own people from the promised land as well (2 Kings 21:12-14).

2 Kings 21:12 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.

2 Kings 21:13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down.

the plummet. The plummet is a surveyor's weighted line suspended from the top of a wall or column to tell whether it is standing straight; if not, it will be torn down and rebuilt. The line is the surveyor's tape used to measure the dimensions of the structure. Jerusalem and its king had failed by every standard, and God would have to remove it from its place and start again later.

2 Kings 21:14 And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies;

2 Kings 21:15 Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day.

2 Kings 21:16 Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.

2 Kings 21:17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

acts of Manasseh. The supplementary account of Manasseh's life in 2 Chronicles 33:11-18 informs us that, while Manasseh was in captivity in Babylon, he turned back to God and was later able to lead Judah into a brief period of revival. When his son Amon became king, he quickly undid most of his father's reforms.

2 Kings 21:18 And 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 stead.

2 Kings 21:19 Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.

2 Kings 21:20 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh did.

2 Kings 21:21 And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them:

2 Kings 21:22 And he forsook the LORD God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the LORD.

2 Kings 21:23 And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and slew the king in his own house.

2 Kings 21:24 And the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.

2 Kings 21:25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

2 Kings 21:26 And he was buried in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his stead.