Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king, and he ruled for fifty-five years in Jerusalem.
He did what was evil in the LORD's eyes, imitating the detestable practices of the nations that the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.
He rebuilt the shrines that his father Hezekiah had destroyed, set up altars for the Baals, and made sacred poles. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky and worshipped them.
He even built altars in the LORD's temple, the very place the LORD was speaking about when he said, "My name will remain in Jerusalem forever."
Manasseh built altars for all the stars in the sky in both courtyards of the LORD's temple.
He burned his own sons alive in the Ben-hinnom Valley, consulted sign readers, fortune-tellers, and sorcerers, and used mediums and diviners. He did much evil in the LORD's eyes and made him angry.
Manasseh set up the carved image he had made in God's temple, the very temple God had spoken about to David and his son Solomon, saying: In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have selected out of all Israel's tribes, I will put my name forever.
I will never again remove Israel from the fertile land I gave to your ancestors, provided they carefully do everything I have commanded them—keeping all the Instruction, the regulations, and the case laws given through Moses.
In this way Manasseh led Judah and the residents of Jerusalem into doing even more evil than the nations that the LORD had wiped out before the Israelites.
The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they wouldn't listen.
So the LORD brought the army commanders of Assyria's king against them. They captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains, and carried him off to Babylon.
During his distress, Manasseh made peace with the LORD his God, truly submitting himself to the God of his ancestors.
He prayed, and God was moved by his request. God listened to Manasseh's prayer and restored him to his rule in Jerusalem. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was the true God.
After this, Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of David's City, west of the Gihon Spring in the valley, extending as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate, enclosing the elevated fortress and greatly increasing its height. He also installed military commanders in all the fortified cities of Judah.
He removed the foreign gods and the idol from the LORD's temple, as well as all the altars he had built on the hill of the LORD's temple and in Jerusalem, dumping them outside the city.
He restored the LORD's altar, offered well-being sacrifices and thank offerings on it, and ordered the people of Judah to worship the LORD, Israel's God.
The people, however, still sacrificed at the shrines, but only to the LORD their God.
The rest of Manasseh's deeds, including his prayer to God and what the seers told him in the name of the LORD, Israel's God, are found in the records of Israel's kings.
Manasseh's prayer and its answer, all his sin and unfaithfulness, and the locations of the shrines, sacred poles, and idols he set up before he submitted are written in the records of Hozai.
Manasseh lay down with his ancestors and was buried in his palace. His son Amon succeeded him as king.