Two Chronicles Thirty Three

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

2 Chronicles 33:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem:

Manasseh. The long and wicked reign of Manasseh is also discussed in 2 Kings 21. The first twelve years of his life had seen many evidences of God's blessing and miraculous power—probably including the destruction of the Assyrian army. He was quite young, however, and evidently received little instruction from his father. Evidently subversive teachers had exerted more influence on his early training. Nothing is known about his mother Hephzi-bah (2 Kings 21:1), except that her name seems to mean “My Delight.” In any case, whatever godly teachings he may have received from his parents, he rebelled against them in his teen-age years when he had become king.

2 Chronicles 33:2 But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.

did that which was evil. Much of the narrative in 2 Chronicles 33:1-9 was evidently taken from the same source as 2 Kings 21:1-9. However, only the Chronicler gives the account of Manasseh's eventual return to the faith of his father (2 Chronicles 33:12-18).

2 Chronicles 33:3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.

2 Chronicles 33:4 Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.

2 Chronicles 33:5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

the son of Hinnom. This valley had been so identified since at least the time of Joshua (Joshua 15:8), and it is probable that the original “son of Hinnom” was a Jebusite who offered his valley for the pagan sacrificial rituals of the Canaanites. See note on 2 Chronicles 28:3.

wrought much evil. Manasseh departed so far from the godly practices of his father, entering so deeply into every form of Satanic doctrine and practice and leading his people to participate in them (even “worse than the heathen”—2 Chronicles 33:9), that the only divine remedy was eventual judgment and exile (2 Kings 21:12-16).

2 Chronicles 33:7 And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:

2 Chronicles 33:8 Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land which I have appointed for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.

2 Chronicles 33:9 So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel.

2 Chronicles 33:10 And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken.

2 Chronicles 33:11 Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.

Manasseh. Manasseh's name has been found by archaeologists as listed among the kings who had been placed in servitude to the king of Assyria.

bound him with fetters. The word “fetters” is actually the word for “brass” or “bronze.” Whether Manasseh's brass fetters consisted of chains or hooks is not known. Engravings found by archaeologists show that one of the practices of the cruel Assyrians was to lead captives leaders by means of hooks in their noses. Compare 2 Kings 19:28, where the Assyrian king himself is threatened with divine judgment analogous to this despicable practice of theirs.

2 Chronicles 33:12 And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,

humbled himself greatly. Manasseh's repentance and attempted restoration of true religion, while it may have resulted in his own personal salvation, was too little and too late as far as the people as a whole were concerned. His son Amon led them right back into paganism again and not even the later revivals sponsored by Josiah could permanently bring the people back to God.

2 Chronicles 33:13 And prayed unto him: and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.

2 Chronicles 33:14 Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah.

2 Chronicles 33:15 And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city.

2 Chronicles 33:16 And he repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.

2 Chronicles 33:17 Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet unto the LORD their God only.

2 Chronicles 33:18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel.

book of the kings of Israel. The account of Manasseh in the canonical book of Kings does not mention such a prayer (see 2 Kings 21:1-18), so the nature of this apparently lost book of the kings of Israel is not known. An apocryphal book known as “The Prayer of Manasseh” may reflect the material in this missing book to some degree.

2 Chronicles 33:19 His prayer also, and how God was entreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings of the seers.

2 Chronicles 33:20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.

2 Chronicles 33:21 Amon was two and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned two years in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 33:22 But he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as did Manasseh his father: for Amon sacrificed unto all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them;

2 Chronicles 33:23 And humbled not himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more.

2 Chronicles 33:24 And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house.

2 Chronicles 33:25 But 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.