2 Kings 21

Manasseh King of Judah

1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.
2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.
3 He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them.
4 He built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.”
5 In the two courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts.
6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger.
7 He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the LORD 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.
8 I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I gave their ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them.”
9 But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.
10 The LORD said through his servants the prophets:
11 “Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols.
12 Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.
13 I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.
14 I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and give them into the hands of enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their enemies;
15 they have done evil in my eyes and have aroused my anger from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until this day.”
16 Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end—besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the LORD.
17 As for the other events of Manasseh’s reign, and all he did, including the sin he committed, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?
18 Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzza. And Amon his son succeeded him as king.

Amon King of Judah

19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz; she was from Jotbah.
20 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as his father Manasseh had done.
21 He followed completely the ways of his father, worshiping the idols his father had worshiped, and bowing down to them.
22 He forsook the LORD, the God of his ancestors, and did not walk in obedience to him.
23 Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated the king in his palace.
24 Then the people of the land killed all who had plotted against King Amon, and they made Josiah his son king in his place.
25 As for the other events of Amon’s reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?
26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. And Josiah his son succeeded him as king.

2 Kings 21 Commentary

Chapter 21

Wicked reign of Manasseh. (1-9) The prophetic denunciations against Judah. (10-18) Wicked reign and death of Amon. (19-26)

Verses 1-9 Young persons generally desire to become their own masters, and to have early possession of riches and power. But this, for the most part, ruins their future comfort, and causes mischief to others. It is much happier when young persons are sheltered under the care of parents or guardians, till age gives experience and discretion. Though such young persons are less indulged, they will afterwards be thankful. Manasseh wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, as if on purpose to provoke him to anger; he did more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed. Manasseh went on from bad to worse, till carried captive to Babylon. The people were ready to comply with his wishes, to obtain his favour and because it suited their depraved inclinations. In the reformation of large bodies, numbers are mere time-servers, and in temptation fall away.

Verses 10-18 Here is the doom of Judah and Jerusalem. The words used represent the city emptied and utterly desolate, yet not destroyed thereby, but cleansed, and to be kept for the future dwelling of the Jews: forsaken, yet not finally, and only as to outward privileges, for individual believers were preserved in that visitation. The Lord will cast off any professing people who dishonour him by their crimes, but never will desert his cause on earth. In the book of Chronicles we read of Manasseh's repentance, and acceptance with God; thus we may learn not to despair of the recovery of the greatest sinners. But let none dare to persist in sin, presuming that they may repent and reform when they please. There are a few instances of the conversion of notorious sinners, that none may despair; and but few, that none may presume.

Verses 19-26 Amon profaned God's house with his idols; and God suffered his house to be polluted with his blood. How unrighteous soever they were that did it, God was righteous who suffered it to be done. Now was a happy change from one of the worst, to one of the best of the kings of Judah. Once more Judah was tried with a reformation. Whether the Lord bears long with presumptuous offenders, or speedily cuts them off in their sins, all must perish who persist in refusing to walk in his ways.

Cross References 42

  • 1. Isaiah 62:4
  • 2. ver 16; S Deuteronomy 4:25; Jeremiah 15:4
  • 3. Deuteronomy 9:4; S Deuteronomy 18:9; S 1 Kings 14:24; 2 Kings 16:3
  • 4. S 1 Kings 3:3; S 2 Kings 18:4
  • 5. S Judges 6:28; 1 Kings 16:32
  • 6. S Deuteronomy 16:21
  • 7. S Genesis 2:1; Deuteronomy 17:3; 2 Kings 17:16; Jeremiah 19:13
  • 8. Isaiah 66:4; Jeremiah 4:1; Jeremiah 7:30; Jeremiah 23:11; Jeremiah 32:34; Ezekiel 23:39
  • 9. S Exodus 20:24; S 2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 8:29
  • 10. 1 Kings 7:12; 2 Kings 23:12
  • 11. S Leviticus 18:21; S Deuteronomy 18:10; S 2 Kings 3:27; 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 17:17
  • 12. Deuteronomy 18:14
  • 13. S Leviticus 19:31
  • 14. 2 Kings 23:26
  • 15. Deuteronomy 16:21; 2 Kings 23:4
  • 16. S Leviticus 15:31
  • 17. S Exodus 20:24; S 2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 8:29; 1 Kings 9:3; 2 Kings 23:27; Jeremiah 32:34
  • 18. S 2 Samuel 7:10
  • 19. S 2 Kings 18:12
  • 20. S 1 Kings 14:9; Ezekiel 5:7; Proverbs 29:12
  • 21. Deuteronomy 9:4
  • 22. S 1 Kings 14:9; 2 Kings 24:3-4
  • 23. S Genesis 15:16; 1 Kings 21:26
  • 24. Ezekiel 18:12
  • 25. 2 Kings 23:26; 2 Kings 24:3; Jeremiah 15:4; Ezekiel 7:5
  • 26. S 1 Samuel 3:11; Jeremiah 19:3
  • 27. Isaiah 28:17; Isaiah 34:11; Lamentations 2:8; Amos 7:7-9
  • 28. 2 Kings 23:27
  • 29. Psalms 78:58-60; Jeremiah 12:7; Jeremiah 23:33
  • 30. 2 Kings 19:4; Ezra 9:8; Nehemiah 1:2; Isaiah 1:9; Isaiah 10:21; Jeremiah 6:9; Jeremiah 40:15; Jeremiah 42:2; Jeremiah 44:7,28; Jeremiah 50:20; Micah 2:12
  • 31. S Exodus 32:22
  • 32. Jeremiah 25:7
  • 33. 2 Kings 24:4; Job 22:14; Psalms 10:11; Psalms 94:7; Psalms 106:38; Isaiah 29:15; Isaiah 47:10; Isaiah 59:3,7; Jeremiah 2:34; Jeremiah 7:6; Jeremiah 19:4; Jeremiah 22:17; Lamentations 4:13; Ezekiel 7:23; Ezekiel 8:12; Ezekiel 9:9; Ezekiel 22:3-4; Hosea 4:2; Zephaniah 1:12
  • 34. S ver 2,11
  • 35. ver 26; Esther 1:5; Esther 7:7
  • 36. ver 2-6; 1 Kings 15:26
  • 37. S 1 Samuel 8:8
  • 38. 1 Kings 11:33
  • 39. S 2 Kings 12:20; 2 Chronicles 33:24-25
  • 40. 2 Kings 14:5
  • 41. 2 Chronicles 33:21; Zephaniah 1:1
  • 42. S ver 18

Chapter Summary


In this chapter a short history is given of the two wicked reigns of Manasseh and Amon; Manasseh is charged with great idolatry, with enchantments and witchcrafts, and seducing the children of Israel, 2Ki 21:1-9 and a prophecy is given out of the destruction of Jerusalem for his sins, 2Ki 21:10-16, and an account is given of his death and burial, 2Ki 21:17,18, and of his son and successor Amon, and the evils committed by him, 2Ki 21:19-22 and of the conspiracy against his life, which succeeded, and Josiah his son reigned in his stead, 2Ki 21:23-26.

2 Kings 21 Commentaries

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