2 Kings 21
Manasseh’s Reign over Judah1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. ▼ His mother ▼
▼ Heb “the name of his mother.”was Hephzibah. 2 He did evil in the sight of ▼
▼ Heb “in the eyes of.”the Lord and committed the same horrible sins practiced by the nations ▼
▼ Heb “like the abominable practices of the nations.”whom the Lord drove out from before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he set up altars for Baal and made an Asherah pole just like King Ahab of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky ▼ and worshiped ▼
▼ Or “served.”them. 4 He built altars in the Lord’s temple, about which the Lord had said, “Jerusalem will be my home.” ▼
▼ Heb “In Jerusalem I will place my name.”5 In the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple he built altars for all the stars in the sky. 6 He passed his son ▼
▼ The LXX has the plural “his sons” here.through the fire ▼ and practiced divination and omen reading. He set up a ritual pit to conjure up underworld spirits, and appointed magicians to supervise it. ▼
▼ Heb “and he set up a ritual pit, along with conjurers.” The Hebrew אוֹב (’ov), “ritual pit,” refers to a pit used by a magician to conjure up underworld spirits. In 1 Sam 28:7 the witch of Endor is called a בַעֲלַת אוֹב (ba’alat ’ov), “owner of a ritual pit.” See H. Hoffner, “Second millennium Antecedents to the Hebrew ’ÔḆ,” JBL 86 (1967), 385–401.He did a great amount of evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. ▼
▼ Heb “and he multiplied doing what is evil in the eyes of the Lord, angering.” The third masculine singular pronominal suffix (“him”) has been accidentally omitted in the MT by haplography (note the vav that immediately follows).7 He put an idol of Asherah he had made in the temple, about which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, “This temple in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will be my permanent home. ▼
▼ Heb “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I chose from all the tribes of Israel, I will place my name perpetually (or perhaps “forever”).”8 I will not make Israel again leave the land I gave to their ancestors, ▼
▼ Heb “I will not again make the feet of Israel wander from the land which I gave to their fathers.”provided that they carefully obey all I commanded them, the whole law my servant Moses ordered them to obey.” 9 But they did not obey, ▼
▼ Heb “listen.”and Manasseh misled them so that they sinned more than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed from before the Israelites.
10 So the Lord announced through ▼
▼ Heb “spoke by the hand of.”his servants the prophets: 11 “King Manasseh of Judah has committed horrible sins. ▼
▼ Heb “these horrible sins.”He has sinned more than the Amorites before him and has encouraged Judah to sin by worshiping his disgusting idols. ▼ 12 So this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I am about to bring disaster on Jerusalem and Judah. The news will reverberate in the ears of those who hear about it. ▼
▼ Heb “so that everyone who hears it, his two ears will quiver.”13 I will destroy Jerusalem the same way I did Samaria ▼ and the dynasty of Ahab. ▼
▼ Heb “I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria, and the plumb line of the house of Ahab.” The measuring line and plumb line are normally used in building a structure, not tearing it down. But here they are used ironically as metaphors of judgment, emphasizing that he will give careful attention to the task of judgment.I will wipe Jerusalem clean, just as one wipes a plate on both sides. ▼
▼ Heb “just as one wipes a plate, wiping and turning [it] on its face.” The word picture emphasizes how thoroughly the Lord will judge the city.14 I will abandon this last remaining tribe among my people ▼ and hand them over to their enemies; they will be plundered and robbed by all their enemies, ▼
▼ Heb “they will become plunder and spoils of war for all their enemies.”15 because they have done evil in my sight ▼
▼ Heb “in my eyes.”and have angered me from the time their ancestors left Egypt right up to this very day!’”
16 Furthermore Manasseh killed so many innocent people, he stained Jerusalem with their blood from end to end, ▼
▼ Heb “and also Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, until he filled Jerusalem from mouth to mouth.”in addition to encouraging Judah to sin by doing evil in the sight of the Lord. ▼
▼ Heb “apart from his sin which he caused Judah to commit, by doing what is evil in the eyes of the Lord.”
17 The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign and all his accomplishments, as well as the sinful acts he committed, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. ▼
▼ Heb “As for the rest of the events of Manasseh, and all which he did, and his sin which he committed, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Judah?”18 Manasseh passed away ▼
▼ Heb “lay down with his fathers.”and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzzah, and his son Amon replaced him as king.
Amon’s Reign over Judah19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned for two years in Jerusalem. ▼ His mother ▼
▼ Heb “the name of his mother.”was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz, from Jotbah. 20 He did evil in the sight of ▼
▼ Heb “in the eyes of.”the Lord, just like his father Manasseh had done. 21 He followed in the footsteps of his father ▼
▼ Heb “walked in all the way which his father walked.”and worshiped and bowed down to the disgusting idols ▼ which his father had worshiped. ▼
▼ Heb “and he served the disgusting idols which his father served and he bowed down to them.”22 He abandoned the Lord God of his ancestors and did not follow the Lord’s instructions. ▼
▼ Heb “and did not walk in the way of the Lord.”23 Amon’s servants conspired against him and killed the king in his palace. 24 The people of the land executed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they ▼
▼ Heb “the people of the land.” The pronoun “they” has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons, to avoid the repetition of the phrase “the people of the land” from the beginning of the verse.made his son Josiah king in his place.
25 The rest of Amon’s accomplishments are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. ▼
▼ Heb “As for the rest of the things of Amon which he did, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Judah?” Many Hebrew mss have וְכָל (vecol), “and all,” before אֲשֶׁר (’asher). In this case we can translate, “As for the rest of the events of Amon’s reign, and all his accomplishments,….”26 He was buried ▼
▼ Heb “he buried him.” Here “he” probably refers to Amon’s son Josiah.in his tomb in the garden of Uzzah, and his son Josiah replaced him as king.
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