Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for fifty-five years. His mother was Hephzibah.
Following the disgusting practices of the nations whom the Lord had driven out of the land as his people advanced, Manasseh sinned against the Lord. 1
He rebuilt the pagan places of worship that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he built altars for the worship of Baal and made an image of the goddess Asherah, as King Ahab of Israel had done. Manasseh also worshiped the stars.
He built pagan altars in the Temple, the place that the Lord had said was where he should be worshiped. 2
In the two courtyards of the Temple he built altars for the worship of the stars.
He sacrificed his son as a burnt offering. He practiced divination and magic and consulted fortunetellers and mediums. He sinned greatly against the Lord and stirred up his anger.
He placed the symbol of the goddess Asherah in the Temple, the place about which the Lord had said to David and his son Solomon: "Here in Jerusalem, in this Temple, is the place that I have chosen out of all the territory of the twelve tribes of Israel as the place where I am to be worshiped. 3
And if the people of Israel will obey all my commands and keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them, then I will not allow them to be driven out of the land that I gave to their ancestors."
But the people of Judah did not obey the Lord, and Manasseh led them to commit even greater sins than those committed by the nations whom the Lord had driven out of the land as his people advanced.
Through his servants the prophets the Lord said,
"King Manasseh has done these disgusting things, things far worse than what the Canaanites did; and with his idols he has led the people of Judah into sin.
So I, the Lord God of Israel, will bring such a disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that everyone who hears about it will be stunned.
I will punish Jerusalem as I did Samaria, as I did King Ahab of Israel and his descendants. I will wipe Jerusalem clean of its people, as clean as a plate that has been wiped and turned upside down.
I will abandon the people who survive, and will hand them over to their enemies, who will conquer them and plunder their land.
I will do this to my people because they have sinned against me and have stirred up my anger from the time their ancestors came out of Egypt to this day."
Manasseh killed so many innocent people that the streets of Jerusalem were flowing with blood; he did this in addition to leading the people of Judah into idolatry, causing them to sin against the Lord.
Everything else that Manasseh did, including the sins he committed, is recorded in [The History of the Kings of Judah.]
Manasseh died and was buried in the palace garden, the garden of Uzza, and his son Amon succeeded him as king.