1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hephzibah.
2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
3 For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.
4 And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name.
5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
7 And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which the LORD said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:
8 Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if 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 hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel.
10 And the LORD spake 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, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:
12 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.
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 a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down.
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;
15 Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day.
16 Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.
17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that 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.
19 Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.
20 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh did.
21 And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them:
22 And he forsook the LORD God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the LORD.
23 And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and slew the king in his own house.
24 And the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.
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 And he was buried in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his stead.
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The book of 2 Kings is a continuation of the history of Israel and Judah, the two kingdoms that were formed after the division of the united kingdom of Israel. This division was a result of King Solomon's disobedience and idolatry, which led to the kingdom being torn apart. 2 Kings Chapter 21 focuses on the reign of Manasseh, son of King Hezekiah, and his reign over Judah. This chapter also mentions the reign of Amon, Manasseh's son, and the downfall of the kingdom of Judah. In this essay, we will explore the main themes of 2 Kings Chapter 21 and the meaning it brings to the readers.
The chapter begins by mentioning that Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. This was a long reign compared to other kings mentioned in the Bible. However, the chapter also mentions that Manasseh did evil in the sight of the Lord, following the practices of the nations that God had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed and erected altars for Baal and Asherah. He also worshipped the stars and the host of heaven, and even built altars for them in the house of the Lord.
Manasseh's reign was characterized by idolatry and disobedience to God's commandments. He also led the people of Judah astray, causing them to do more evil than the nations that the Lord had destroyed before them. The chapter mentions that the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, warning them of the consequences of their actions, but they did not listen. Instead, they rejected God's laws and followed the practices of the nations around them.
Manasseh's reign is a clear example of the consequences of disobedience and idolatry. Despite being the son of a godly king like Hezekiah, Manasseh chose to reject God's laws and follow the practices of the nations around him. This led to the downfall of the kingdom of Judah and the suffering of its people. It also serves as a reminder that even those who come from a godly background can choose to rebel against God and face the consequences of their actions.
Manasseh's reign also highlights the importance of leadership and its impact on the people. As the king, Manasseh had a great influence on the people of Judah, and his actions led them astray. This emphasizes the need for godly leaders who will lead their people in the right direction and set a good example for them to follow.
The chapter mentions that the Lord brought judgment upon Judah because of Manasseh's actions. He said that He will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, and He will forsake the remnant of His inheritance. The Lord also mentions that He will deliver the people of Judah into the hands of their enemies, and they will become a byword among all nations. This prophecy was fulfilled when the Assyrians invaded Judah and carried away its people into captivity.
However, the chapter also mentions that the Lord was merciful and gave the people of Judah a chance to repent. He sent His prophets to warn them, but they did not listen. The Lord also mentions that He will not bring judgment upon Judah during Manasseh's reign, but it will happen during the reign of his son, Amon.
The downfall of the kingdom of Judah serves as a warning to the readers about the consequences of disobedience and idolatry. God had warned the Israelites time and again about the consequences of turning away from Him and following other gods. However, the people of Judah did not listen, and their actions led to their downfall. This is a reminder that God's warnings should not be taken lightly, and we should always strive to follow His commandments.
The downfall of Judah also highlights the mercy and patience of God. Despite the people's disobedience, God still gave them a chance to repent and turn back to Him. He sent His prophets to warn them, but they did not listen. This shows that even in the midst of judgment, God is still merciful and gives us a chance to turn back to Him and seek forgiveness.
After Manasseh's death, his son Amon became king of Judah, and he reigned for two years. However, the chapter mentions that he did evil in the sight of the Lord, just like his father. He continued to walk in the ways of his father and served the idols that his father had worshipped. He did not humble himself before the Lord, and his servants conspired against him and killed him in his own house.
Amon's reign is a continuation of the consequences of Manasseh's actions. Despite being given a chance to turn back to God, Amon chose to follow the ways of his father and continued to serve idols. This led to his downfall and the end of the line of David's kings in Judah. Amon's reign serves as a reminder that the consequences of our actions can affect not only us but also those around us.
The chapter ends with the mention of Josiah, Amon's son, becoming king of Judah at the age of eight. The chapter mentions that he did what was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father David. He removed the idols and altars of Baal and Asherah that his father had set up and restored the temple of the Lord. During the restoration process, a book of the Law was found, which was given to Hilkiah, the high priest, who read it to the king. Upon hearing the words of the Law, King Josiah tore his clothes and wept, realizing that the people of Judah had not been following God's commandments.
King Josiah then gathered the elders and all the people of Judah and read the book of the Law to them. He made a covenant with the Lord to follow His commandments and to keep His statutes and testimonies with all his heart and soul. The people of Judah also made a covenant to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments. As a result, the Lord promised to delay the judgment upon Judah during Josiah's reign.
The restoration of the temple and the finding of the book of the Law serves as a turning point in the history of Judah. It shows the power of God's Word to bring about repentance and change in the hearts of people. King Josiah's response to hearing the words of the Law is a reminder that God's Word has the power to convict us of our sins and lead us to repentance. It also emphasizes the importance of reading and studying God's Word, as it is the key to understanding His will for us.
The restoration of the temple also shows the importance of making a covenant with God. King Josiah and the people of Judah made a commitment to follow God's commandments and keep His statutes. This is a reminder that as God's people, we should always strive to keep our promises to Him and follow His commandments with all our hearts and souls.
2 Kings Chapter 21 is a powerful chapter that highlights the consequences of disobedience and the importance of following God's commandments. It also shows the mercy and patience of God, who gives us a chance to repent and turn back to Him. The chapter also emphasizes the power of God's Word to bring about change and the importance of making a covenant with God to follow His commandments. Overall, this chapter serves as a reminder of the consequences of our actions and the importance of staying faithful to God's commandments.