2 Kings 21

Manasseh & Amon
2 Kings 21

Manasseh: King of Judah (Evil – 55 Years) (21:1-18)

The reign of manasseh is a pivotal time in the history of Israel because during his reign the Lord changes with regard to the divine center. previously he had protected Jerusalem because his name was there. But after Manasseh’s wicked reign, the Lord vows to destroy Jerusalem (v.13, II Kings 24:3, Jer. 15:1-14). the “chief of sinners” in the old testament is manasseh. Isaiah’s prophecy was concluded during the reign of manasseh. for An example of this change in God’s ways, read Isa. 5:1-7.
manasseh’s restoration is recorded in II Chron. 33 but not in II Kings. Even though he was restored, the people did not turn around. that is why leaders are so responsible. the Lord’s pleading with manaddeh may be recorded in Joel, who prophesied under Manasseh, in Joel 2:12-14.
Understanding of the times is very important. Zedekiah did not understand that with manasseh’s sin the Lord had chnaged his policy with regard to the protection of Jerusalem. When jeremiah told him to submit to the king of babylon and his life would be spared, but he didn’t believe him. we too, in the new testament, need to understand that we are living in the days of second epistles. there is a need for separation, etc. we need to realize that the Lord isn’t going to restore christendom, rather he is going to judge it.

vv.1-2 Summary

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hephzibah. v.1 manasseh has the longest recorded reign of any king in isreal and judah. This shows that prosperity, longevity, etc. are not indicators of a good reign. Job’s friends made the same mistake. He lost his father at a critical age. also, we don’t know how early inhis reign he repented. his mother’s name is “Hephzibah” which means “My delight is in her”. This is the very name restored Jerusalem will be called by the Lord (Isa. 62:4)… but how different her son was.
2 And he did evil in the sight of Jehovah, like the abominations of the nations that Jehovah had dispossessed from before the children of Israel. v.2 when the people of God become no different than the backdrop, then the Lord must disown that which is not of Him. For Israel called out from the nations, this moment is Manasseh. For the church called out of the world, the moment is Laodicea. c.p. v.9.

vv.3-9 institution of idolatry and sin against the Lord’s name

3 And he built again the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars to Baal and made an Asherah, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. v.3 the spirit of god connects manasseh with Ahab who was know for systematically making idolatry the national religion. Ahab’s reign was a turning point is Isreal’s history, and Manasseh is likewise the turnign point for Judah (see v.13).
4 And he built altars in the house of Jehovah, of which Jehovah had said, In Jerusalem will I put my name. v.4 in the very place where the Lord’s name was… what an insult!
5 And he built altars to all the host of heaven in both courts of the house of Jehovah. v.5 the inner an outer courts… idolatry permeated everything.
6 And he caused his son to pass through the fire, and used magic and divination, and appointed necromancers and soothsayers: he wrought evil beyond measure in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger. 7 And he set the graven image of the Asherah that he had made, in the house of which Jehovah had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever; 8 neither will I any more cause the foot of Israel to wander away from the land that I gave their fathers; if they will only take heed 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 would not hearken, and Manasseh led them astray to do more evil than the nations that Jehovah had destroyed from before the children of Israel. v.9 compare with v.2…. not it is “more evil”. Kelly says that now “It became a moral impossibility for Judah to abide in the land of Jehovah.” if God drove out the other nations for their sin, to be consistent (righteous) he must do the same to Judah for their sin.
10 And Jehovah spoke by his servants the prophets saying, 11 Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols; 12 therefore thus saith Jehovah the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. v.12 judgment must begin at the house of god.
13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipeth a pan, wiping it and turning it upside down. v.13 the “line of Samaria” and the “plummet of the house of Ahab” are God’s ways of judgement that he had already exercized against the northern kingdom. the southern kingdom would not be exempt.
14 And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies; v.14 “the remnant of mine inheritance” refers to the two tribes, which had been left for the Lord in the south of the Land.
15 because they have done evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt even to this day. v.15 here the judgement is connected with the whole scope of Israel’s rebellion from the time of the exodus.
16 And Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem with it from one end to another; beside his sin with which he made Judah to sin, in doing evil in the sight of Jehovah. v.16 this refers to Manasseh’s persecution of God’s people.
Historical Note. Jewish history says that Isaiah was executed by Manasseh for speaking out against the evil. He was taken to the center of the city and cut in half with a saw (Heb. 11:37). Shortly after Isaiah was killed, the Lord brought Jeremiah on the scene. He too was persecuted by other kings.
17 And the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin which he sinned, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 18 And Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza; and Amon his son reigned in his stead. v.18 Even though he repented and was restored (II Chron. 33), there were certain consequences:
  1. his nation – the Lord removed his protecting hand
  2. his family – his son was very wicked
  3. himself – he himself was deprived of the privilege of burial with the kings.

Amon: King of Judah (Evil – 2 Years) (21:19-26)

19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Meshullemeth, daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. v.19 his mother must have been an Edomite, if Jotbah is the same place as Jobathah (Num. 33:33; Deut. 10:7). He should have learned from his father’s mistakes. But his mother was an enemy of God’s people.
20 And he did evil in the sight of Jehovah, as Manasseh his father had done; vv.20-21 in II Chron. 33:15 we find that manasseh repented and did a thorough clean up of Idolatry, casting all the idols out of the city. But his son picked up right were he left off, and we never read of any repentence for amon.
21 and he walked in all the way that his father had walked in, and served the idols that his father had served, and worshipped them; v.21 how sad that this is his only epitaph. to raise up idols that have been destroyed is even worse in the eyes of Jehovah than to set up new ones (Gal. 2:18). This is why josiah “ground to dust” and “burned” the idols, etc. (II Chron. 34:4) according to Deut. 7:5. there would be nothing left to resurrect by the next generation, to trip them up.
22 and he forsook Jehovah the God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of Jehovah. v.22 turning away from the Lord in our hearts will result in a turning away from him in our practical walk. See II Chron. 33:23… the Lord must have spoken to him, perhaps through his father’s exerience, or his own, but he refused to humble himself. The decline was increasing in steepness.
23 And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and slew the king in his own house. v.23 a violent death is the reward for a godless king, just like the last kings of Israel. we don’t know exactly why the servants refused amon’s rule, but perhaps the moral degradation that comes with Idolatry made him incapable of ruling properly. However, it is always wrong to kill the Lord’s anointed.
24 But the people of the land smote all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead. v.24 Perhaps these “people” were the godly men left over from manasseh’s repentence who knew that what the servants had done was wrong, despite amon’s wickedness. Note: they set the rightful heir on the throne.
25 And the rest of the acts of Amon, what he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 26 And he was buried in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza; and Josiah his son reigned in his stead. v.26 like his father, he loses the priviledge of burial with the godly kings of judah.