2 Kings 21
Manasseh Succeeds Hezekiah
Manasseh was twelve years old when he [a]became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did [great] evil in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with the [idolatrous] repulsive acts of the [pagan] nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons (descendants) of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places [for the worship of pagan gods] which his father Hezekiah had destroyed; and he set up altars for Baal and made an [image of] Asherah, just as Ahab king of Israel had done, and he worshiped all the [starry] host of heaven and served them. And he built [pagan] altars in the house (temple) of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My [b]Name (Presence).” And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courtyards of the house of the Lord. He made his son pass through the fire and burned him [as an offering to Molech]; he practiced witchcraft and divination, and dealt with mediums and soothsayers. He did great evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. He made a carved image of the [goddess] Asherah and set it up in the house (temple), of which the Lord said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this house and in Jerusalem [in the tribe of Judah], which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My Name forever. And I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will be careful to act in accordance with everything that I have commanded them, and with all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.” But they did not listen; and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons (descendants) of Israel.
The King’s Idolatries Rebuked
Now the Lord spoke through His servants the prophets, saying, “Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these repulsive acts, having done more evil than all the Amorites did who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols; therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am bringing such catastrophe on Jerusalem and Judah, that everyone who hears of it, both of his ears will ring [from the shock]. I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will wipe Jerusalem clean just as one wipes a [dirty] bowl clean, wiping it and turning it upside down. I will abandon the remnant (remainder) of My inheritance and hand them over to their enemies; and they will become plunder and spoil to all their enemies, because they have done evil in My sight, and have been provoking Me to anger, since the day their fathers came from Egypt to this day.’”
Moreover, Manasseh shed a very great quantity of innocent blood, until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah sin, by doing evil in the sight of the Lord. Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, everything that he did, and the sin that he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? Manasseh slept with his fathers [in death] and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza. And his son Amon became king in his place.
Amon Succeeds Manasseh
Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. He also did evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father Manasseh had done. He walked in all the [evil] ways that his father had walked; and he served the idols that his father had served, and worshiped them; he abandoned the Lord, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. But the servants of Amon conspired against him and killed the king in his own house (palace). Then the people of the land [of Judah] killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his place. 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? He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza, and his son Josiah became king in his place.
- 2 Kings 21:1 Manasseh ruled longer than any other king of Israel or of Judah, and was the most malevolent of all of them.
- 2 Kings 21:4 See note Deut 12:5.
2 Kings 22
Josiah Succeeds Amon
Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and reigned for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father (ancestor) David, and did not turn aside to the right or to the left.
In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam the scribe to the house of the Lord, saying, “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, so that he may count the entire amount of money brought into the house of the Lord, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. And have them deliver it to the hands of the workmen who have been appointed over the house of the Lord, and have them give it to the workmen who are in the house of the Lord to repair the damages of the house— that is, [have them give the money] to the carpenters and the builders and the masons—and to buy timber and cut stones to repair the house (temple). However, no accounting shall be required of them for the money placed in their hands, because they act faithfully.”
The Lost Book
Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house (temple) of the Lord.” Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. Shaphan the scribe came to the king and brought back word to him: “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have placed it in the hands of the workmen who have been appointed over the house of the Lord.” Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it [aloud] before the king.
Now when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the servant of the king, saying, “Go, inquire of the Lord for my sake and for the sake of the people and for all Judah concerning the words of this book which has been found, for great is the wrath of the Lord which has been kindled against us, because our fathers have not listened to and obeyed the words of this book, so as to act in accordance with everything that is written concerning us.”
So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (she was living in Jerusalem, in the Second Quarter [the new part of the city]); and they spoke to her. She said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, thus says the Lord: “Behold, I am bringing a catastrophe on this place (Judah) and on its inhabitants, [according to] all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. Because they have abandoned (rejected) Me and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore My wrath burns against this place, and it will not be quenched.”’ But to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord, you shall say this to him: ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “Regarding the words which you have heard, because your heart was tender (receptive, penitent) and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and because you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I have heard you,” declares the Lord. “Therefore, behold, [King Josiah,] I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be taken to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil (catastrophe) which I will bring on this place.”’” So they brought back word to the king.