Manasseh's and repentance. (1-20) Amon's wicked reign in Judah. (21-25)
Verses 1-20 We have seen Manasseh's wickedness; here we have his repentance, and a memorable instance it is of the riches of God's pardoning mercy, and the power of his renewing grace. Deprived of his liberty, separated from his evil counsellors and companions, without any prospect but of ending his days in a wretched prison, Manasseh thought upon what had passed; he began to cry for mercy and deliverance. He confessed his sins, condemned himself, was humbled before God, loathing himself as a monster of impiety and wickedness. Yet he hoped to be pardoned through the abundant mercy of the Lord. Then Manasseh knew that Jehovah was God, able to deliver. He knew him as a God of salvation; he learned to fear, trust in, love, and obey him. From this time he bore a new character, and walked in newness of life. Who can tell what tortures of conscience, what pangs of grief, what fears of wrath, what agonizing remorse he endured, when he looked back on his many years of apostacy and rebellion against God; on his having led thousands into sin and perdition; and on his blood-guiltiness in the persecution of a number of God's children? And who can complain that the way of heaven is blocked up, when he sees such a sinner enter? Say the worst against thyself, here is one as bad who finds the way to repentance. Deny not to thyself that which God hath not denied to thee; it is not thy sin, but thy impenitence, that bars heaven against thee.
Verses 21-25 Amon's father did ill, but he did worse. Whatever warnings or convictions he had, he never humbled himself. He was soon cut off in his sins, and made a warning for all men not to abuse the example of God's patience and mercy to Manasseh, as an encouragement to continue in sin. May God help us to be honest to ourselves, and to think aright respecting our own character, before death fixes us in an unchangeable state.
This chapter gives an account of the reign of Manasseh, of his idolatries and impieties, 2Ch 33:1-10, of his captivity, humiliation, repentance, and reformation, 2Ch 33:11-17 of his last end, death, and burial, 2Ch 33:18-20 and of the wicked reign of Amon his son, and of his death by his servants, 2Ch 33:21-25.
The Brenton translation of the Septuagint is in the public domain.