2 Kings 21

* Wicked reign of Manasseh. (1-9) The prophetic denunciations

against Judah. (10-18) Wicked reign and death of Amon. (19-26)

1-9 Young persons generally desire to become their own masters,

and to have early possession of riches and power. But this, for

the most part, ruins their future comfort, and causes mischief

to others. It is much happier when young persons are sheltered

under the care of parents or guardians, till age gives

experience and discretion. Though such young persons are less

indulged, they will afterwards be thankful. Manasseh wrought

much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, as if on purpose to

provoke him to anger; he did more evil than the nations whom the

Lord destroyed. Manasseh went on from bad to worse, till carried

captive to Babylon. The people were ready to comply with his

wishes, to obtain his favour and because it suited their

depraved inclinations. In the reformation of large bodies,

numbers are mere time-servers, and in temptation fall away.
10-18 Here is the doom of Judah and Jerusalem. The words used

represent the city emptied and utterly desolate, yet not

destroyed thereby, but cleansed, and to be kept for the future

dwelling of the Jews: forsaken, yet not finally, and only as to

outward privileges, for individual believers were preserved in

that visitation. The Lord will cast off any professing people

who dishonour him by their crimes, but never will desert his

cause on earth. In the book of Chronicles we read of Manasseh's

repentance, and acceptance with God; thus we may learn not to

despair of the recovery of the greatest sinners. But let none

dare to persist in sin, presuming that they may repent and

reform when they please. There are a few instances of the

conversion of notorious sinners, that none may despair; and but

few, that none may presume.
19-26 Amon profaned God's house with his idols; and God

suffered his house to be polluted with his blood. How

unrighteous soever they were that did it, God was righteous who

suffered it to be done. Now was a happy change from one of the

worst, to one of the best of the kings of Judah. Once more Judah

was tried with a reformation. Whether the Lord bears long with

presumptuous offenders, or speedily cuts them off in their sins,

all must perish who persist in refusing to walk in his ways.

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