2 Kings 21:1-18

Manasseh Reigns in Judah

1 1Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah.
2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, 2according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel.
3 For he rebuilt the high places 3that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made 4an Asherah, 5as Ahab king of Israel had done, 6and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
4 7And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, 8"In Jerusalem will I put my name."
5 And he built altars 9for all the host of heaven in 10the two courts of the house of the LORD.
6 11And he burned his son as an offering[a] and 12used fortune-telling and 13omens and dealt 14with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
7 And the carved image of 15Asherah that he had made he set in the house of which the LORD said to David and to Solomon his son, "In this house, 16and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever.
8 17And I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander anymore out of the land that I gave to their fathers, if only they will be careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the Law that my servant Moses commanded them."
9 But they did not listen, and Manasseh led them astray to do more evil than the nations had done whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel.

Manasseh's Idolatry Denounced

10 And the LORD said by his servants the prophets,
11 18"Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done things 19more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, 20and has made Judah also to sin 21with his idols,
12 therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster[b] that the ears of everyone who hears of it 22will tingle.
13 23And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria, and the plumb line of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.
14 And I will forsake the remnant of my heritage and give them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies,
15 because they have done what is evil in my sight and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day."
16 24Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin 25that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.
17 26Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh and all that he did, and the sin that he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?
18 27And Manasseh slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his house, 28in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son reigned in his place.

2 Kings 21:1-18 Meaning and Commentary

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 21:1-18 In-Context

1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah.
2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel.
3 For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
4 And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "In Jerusalem will I put my name."
5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
6 And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
7 And the carved image of Asherah that he had made he set in the house of which the LORD said to David and to Solomon his son, "In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever.
8 And I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander anymore out of the land that I gave to their fathers, if only they will be careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the Law that my servant Moses commanded them."
9 But they did not listen, and Manasseh led them astray to do more evil than the nations had done whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel.
10 And the LORD said by his servants the prophets,
11 "Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done things more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols,
12 therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.
13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria, and the plumb line of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.
14 And I will forsake the remnant of my heritage and give them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies,
15 because they have done what is evil in my sight and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day."
16 Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.
17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh and all that he did, and the sin that he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?
18 And Manasseh slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son reigned in his place.
19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.
20 And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, as Manasseh his father had done.
21 He walked in all the way in which his father walked and served the idols that his father served and worshiped them.
22 He abandoned the LORD, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the LORD.

Cross References 28

  • 1. For ver. 1-9, see 2 Chronicles 33:1-9
  • 2. [2 Kings 16:3]
  • 3. 2 Kings 18:4
  • 4. See Deuteronomy 16:21
  • 5. 1 Kings 16:32, 33
  • 6. 2 Kings 17:16; 2 Kings 23:5; [Deuteronomy 4:19]
  • 7. Jeremiah 7:30; Jeremiah 32:34
  • 8. ver. 7; 2 Kings 23:27; 2 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 8:29; 1 Kings 9:3; [Deuteronomy 12:11]
  • 9. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 10. 2 Kings 23:12; 1 Kings 6:36; 1 Kings 7:12
  • 11. See Leviticus 18:21
  • 12. See Leviticus 19:26
  • 13. 2 Kings 17:17
  • 14. 2 Kings 23:24; See Leviticus 19:31
  • 15. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 16. [See ver. 4 above]
  • 17. [2 Samuel 7:19]
  • 18. ver. 2; 2 Kings 23:26; 2 Kings 24:3, 4; Jeremiah 15:4
  • 19. 1 Kings 21:26
  • 20. ver. 16
  • 21. ver. 21
  • 22. 1 Samuel 3:11; Jeremiah 19:3
  • 23. Isaiah 34:11; [Isaiah 28:17; Lamentations 2:8; Amos 7:7, 8]
  • 24. 2 Kings 24:4
  • 25. ver. 11
  • 26. See 2 Chronicles 33:11-19
  • 27. For ver. 18-24, see 2 Chronicles 33:20-25
  • 28. ver. 26

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew made his son pass through the fire
  • [b]. Or evil
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.