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21 1-2 New king of Judah: Manasseh

His age at the beginning of his reign: 12 years old

Length of reign: 55 years, in Jerusalem

Mother’s name: Hephzibah

Character of his reign: evil; he did the same things the nations had done that were thrown out of the land to make room for the people of Israel

3-5 He rebuilt the hilltop shrines that his father Hezekiah had destroyed. He built altars for Baal and made a shameful Asherah idol, just as Ahab the king of Israel had done. Heathen altars to the sun god, moon god, and the gods of the stars were placed even in the Temple of the Lord—in the very city and building that the Lord had selected to honor his own name. And he sacrificed one of his sons as a burnt offering on a heathen altar. He practiced black magic and used fortune-telling, and patronized mediums and wizards. So the Lord was very angry, for Manasseh was an evil man, in God’s sight. Manasseh even set up a shameful Asherah idol in the Temple—the very place that the Lord had spoken to David and Solomon about when he said, “I will place my name forever in this Temple, and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the cities of the tribes of Israel. If the people of Israel will only follow the instructions I gave them through Moses, I will never again expel them from this land of their fathers.”

But the people did not listen to the Lord, and Manasseh enticed them to do even more evil than the surrounding nations had done, even though Jehovah had destroyed those nations for their evil ways when the people of Israel entered the land.

10 Then the Lord declared through the prophets, 11 “Because King Manasseh has done these evil things and is even more wicked than the Amorites who were in this land long ago, and because he has led the people of Judah into idolatry: 12 I will bring such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of those who hear about it will tingle with horror. 13 I will punish Jerusalem as I did Samaria, and as I did King Ahab of Israel and his descendants. I will wipe away the people of Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish and turns it upside down to dry. 14 Then I will reject even those few of my people who are left, and I will hand them over to their enemies. 15 For they have done great evil and have angered me ever since I brought their ancestors from Egypt.”

16 In addition to the idolatry which God hated and into which Manasseh led the people of Judah, he murdered great numbers of innocent people. And Jerusalem was filled from one end to the other with the bodies of his victims.

17 The rest of the history of Manasseh’s sinful reign is recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Judah. 18 When he died he was buried in the garden of his palace at Uzza, and his son Amon became the new king.

19-20 New king of Judah: Amon

His age at the beginning of his reign: 22 years old

Length of reign: 2 years, in Jerusalem

Mother’s name: Meshullemeth (daughter of Haruz, of Jotbah)

Character of his reign: evil

21 He did all the evil things his father had done: he worshiped the same idols 22 and turned his back on the Lord God of his ancestors. He refused to listen to God’s instructions. 23 But his aides conspired against him and killed him in the palace. 24 Then a posse of civilians killed all the assassins and placed Amon’s son Josiah upon the throne. 25 The rest of Amon’s biography is recorded in The Annals of the Kings of Judah. 26 He was buried in a crypt in the garden of Uzza, and his son Josiah became the new king.

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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