2 Kings 21

Judah's King Manasseh

1 Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king; he reigned 55 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah.
2 He did what was evil in the Lord's sight,[a] imitating the abominations of the nations that the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites.
3 He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed[b] and reestablished the altars for Baal. He made an Asherah,[c] as King Ahab of Israel had done; he also worshiped the whole heavenly host and served them.
4 He would build altars in the Lord's temple, where the Lord had said, "Jerusalem is where I will put My name."[d]
5 He built altars to the whole heavenly host in both courtyards of the Lord's temple.
6 He made his son pass through the fire,[e] practiced witchcraft and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists.[f] He did a great amount of evil in the Lord's sight, provoking [Him].
7 Manasseh set up the carved image of Asherah he made in the temple[g] that the Lord had spoken about to David and his son Solomon, "I will establish My name forever in this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.[h]
8 I will never again cause the feet of the Israelites to wander from the land I gave to their ancestors if only they will be careful to do all I have commanded them-the whole law that My servant Moses commanded them."[i]
9 But they did not listen; Manasseh caused them to stray so that they did greater evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.[j]
10 The Lord spoke through His servants the prophets, saying,
11 "Since Manasseh king of Judah has committed all these abominations-greater evil than the Amorites who preceded him had done-and by means of his idols has also caused Judah to sin,
12 this is what the Lord God of Israel says: 'I am about to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that everyone who hears about it will shudder.[k]
13 I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line [used on] Samaria and the mason's level [used on] the house of Ahab,[l] and I will wipe Jerusalem clean as one wipes a bowl-wiping it and turning it upside down.
14 I will abandon the remnant of My inheritance and hand them over to their enemies. They will become plunder and spoil to all their enemies,
15 because they have done what is evil in My sight and have provoked Me from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until today.' "
16 Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem with it from one end to another. This was in addition to his sin he caused Judah to commit so that they did what was evil in the Lord's sight.

Manasseh's Death

17 The rest of the events of Manasseh's [reign], along with all his accomplishments and the sin that he committed, are written about in the Historical Record of Judah's Kings.
18 Manasseh rested with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his own house, the garden of Uzza. His son Amon became king in his place.[m]

Judah's King Amon

19 Amon was 22 years old when he became king; he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz; [she was] from Jotbah.
20 He did what was evil in the Lord's sight as his father Manasseh had done.
21 He walked in all the ways his father had walked; he served the idols his father had served, and he worshiped them.
22 He abandoned the Lord God of his ancestors and did not walk in the way of the Lord.
23 Amon's servants conspired against the king and killed him in his own house.
24 Then the common people[n] executed all those who had conspired against King Amon and made his son Josiah king in his place.[o]
25 The rest of the events of Amon's [reign], along with his accomplishments, are written about in the Historical Record of Judah's Kings.
26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza, and his son Josiah became king in his place.

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.

Footnotes 15

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 21

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