Melachim II Twenty-One: Manasseh

Hezekiah is dead, and his son Manasseh becomes king at the young age of twelve. He’ll end up having a long reign of 55 years. “And he did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord; like the abominations of the nations that the Lord had driven out from before the children of Israel (Kings II 21:2).” So not only does he not particularly take after his father, but he also actively undoes his father’s work by reestablishing pagan altars. He even builds foreign altars in the Temple, God’s house, and passes his son through fire. This is a phrase used several times in Tanakh, which indicates having children participate in cultish rites, or even child sacrifice. It’s unforgivable in the eyes of God and the ancient Israelites, as is a lot of what Manasseh does.

God talks to the prophets about Manasseh. “Therefore, has the Lord God of Israel said, ‘Behold I bring calamity on Jerusalem and Judah, concerning which the two ears of all those who hear it will tingle (Kings II 21:12).'” God is fed up, to the point that He no longer feels loyalty to the people, and has no problem giving them to their enemies. On top of all of this, Manasseh sheds a great deal of innocent blood. Finally though, he dies, and his son Amon takes the throne at the age of 22. This king only reigns for two years though, before he is assassinated by his own servants in his palace. The chapter ends with Josiah, his son, taking the throne.


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