Manasseh1 was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years.
He did evil in the eyes of the LORD,2 following the detestable3 practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.
He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had demolished; he also erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles.4 He bowed down5 to all the starry hosts and worshiped them.
He built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "My Name6 will remain in Jerusalem forever."
In both courts of the temple of the LORD,7 he built altars to all the starry hosts.
He sacrificed his sons8 ina the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums9 and spiritists.10 He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
He took the carved image he had made and put it in God's temple,11 of which God 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 leave the land12 I assigned to your forefathers, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them concerning all the laws, decrees and ordinances given through Moses."
But Manasseh led Judah and the people of Jerusalem astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.1310
The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.
So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner,14 put a hook15 in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles16 and took him to Babylon.
In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled17 himself greatly before the God of his fathers.
And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God.
Afterward he rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, west of the Gihon18 spring in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate19 and encircling the hill of Ophel;20 he also made it much higher. He stationed military commanders in all the fortified cities in Judah.
He got rid of the foreign gods and removed21 the image from the temple of the LORD, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city.
Then he restored the altar of the LORD and sacrificed fellowship offeringsb and thank offerings22 on it, and told Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel.
The people, however, continued to sacrifice at the high places, but only to the LORD their God.
The other events of Manasseh's reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel.c19
His prayer and how God was moved by his entreaty, as well as all his sins and unfaithfulness, and the sites where he built high places and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled23 himself--all are written in the records of the seers.d24