Manasseh Succeeds Hezekiah in Judah
1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2 But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, like the repulsive acts of the [pagan] nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons (descendants) of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the [idolatrous] high places which his father Hezekiah had torn down; and he set up altars for the Baals and made the Asherim, and worshiped all the host of heaven [the sun, the moon, stars and planets] and served them. 4 He built [pagan] altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “My Name shall be in Jerusalem forever.” 5 He built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6 He made his sons pass through the fire [as an offering to his gods] in the Valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, and practiced sorcery, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. 7 Then he set the carved image of the idol which he had made in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My Name [and the symbol of my Presence] forever; 8 and I will not again remove Israel from the land which I appointed for your fathers, if they will only be careful to do everything that I have commanded them in regard to all the law, the statutes, and the ordinances given through Moses.” 9 So Manasseh caused Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to sin, by doing more evil than the [pagan] nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the sons of Israel.
Manasseh’s Idolatry Rebuked
10 Now the Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention. 11 So the Lord brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks [through his nose or cheeks] and bound him with bronze [chains] and took him to Babylon. 12 But when he was in distress, he sought the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his pleading, and brought him back to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.
14 After this he built an outer wall for the City of David on the west side of Gihon, in the river valley, to the entrance of the Fish Gate; and he encircled the Ophel with it and made it very high. Then he put military commanders in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 He also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, as well as all the altars which he had built on the mountain of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem; and he threw them outside the city. 16 Then he set up the altar of the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it; and he ordered Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. 17 Yet the people still sacrificed on the high places, but only to the Lord their God.
18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the Lord God of Israel, behold, they are among the records of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer also and how God heard him, and all his sin, his unfaithfulness, and the sites on which he built high places and set up the Asherim and the carved images, before he humbled himself, behold, they are written in the records of the Hozai. 20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers [in death], and they buried him in [the garden of] his own house. And his son Amon became king in his place.
Amon Becomes King in Judah
21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned for two years in Jerusalem. 22 But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father Manasseh had done. Amon sacrificed to all the carved images which his father Manasseh had made, and he served them. 23 Further, he did not humble himself before the Lord as his father Manasseh [finally] had done, but Amon multiplied his guilt and his sin. 24 And his servants conspired against him and killed him in his own house (palace). 25 But the people of the land struck down all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah king in his place.