2 Kings 21

Manasseh Succeeds Hezekiah

1 1Manasseh was twelve * years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Hephzibah.
2 2He did evil in the sight of the LORD, 3according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD dispossessed before * the sons of Israel.
3 For 4he rebuilt * the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and 5he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and 6worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
4 7He built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "8In Jerusalem I will put My name."
5 For he built altars for 9all the host of heaven in 10the two courts of the house of the LORD.
6 11He made his son pass through the fire, 12practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD provoking Him to anger.
7 Then 13he set the carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the LORD said to David and to his son Solomon, "14In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever.
8 "And I 15will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe 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 16seduced them to do evil more than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before * the sons of Israel.

The King's Idolatries Rebuked

10 Now the LORD spoke through His servants the prophets, saying,
11 "17Because * Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, 18having done wickedly more than all the Amorites did who were before him, and 19has also made Judah sin 20with his idols;
12 therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Behold, I am bringing such calamity on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, 21both his ears will tingle.
13 '22I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside * down.
14 'I will abandon the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies, and they will become as plunder and spoil to all their enemies;
15 because * they have done evil in My sight, and have been provoking Me to anger since the day their fathers came from Egypt, even to this day.' "
16 23Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood until * he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides * his sin 24with which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the LORD.
17 25Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh and all that he did and his sin which he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles * of the Kings of Judah?
18 26And Manasseh slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his own house, 27in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son became king in his place.

Amon Succeeds Manasseh

19 28Amon was twenty-two * years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.
20 He did evil in the sight of the LORD, 29as Manasseh his father had done.
21 For he walked in all the way that his father had walked, and served the idols that his father had served and worshiped them.
22 So 30he forsook the LORD, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the LORD.
23 31The servants of Amon conspired against him and killed the king in his own house.
24 Then 32the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.
25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles * of the Kings of Judah?
26 He was buried in his grave 33in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son 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.

Cross References 33

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

Footnotes 3

Chapter Summary


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

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