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the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 33

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-25

Chapter 33

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, he reigned for fifty-five years ( 2 Chronicles 33:1 )

One of the longest. His was the longest reign of any king.

He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord ( 2 Chronicles 33:2 ),

Now here you go. Hezekiah had restored the temple, rebuilt the thing, re-established the worship. Things were going good, God was blessing. They really became strong and prosperous again. And here his son takes over now. Twelve years old when he takes over. He does that which is evil in the sight of the Lord.

like to the heathen, that the LORD had cast out of the land before the children of Israel had come in. He built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, he raised up the altars for Baalim, he made the groves, worshipped all the host of heaven, served them. He built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. He built altars for all of the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. He caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom ( 2 Chronicles 33:2-6 ):

So the same thing that Ahaz his grandfather had done.

also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with familiar spirits, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger ( 2 Chronicles 33:6 ).

These things that he did, as far as the enchantments, witchcraft, familiar spirits, wizards, these are the things that Isaiah speaks out against when their calamity came, and Isaiah was put to death, actually, by Manasseh. And at the time of Manasseh's doing all these things and the judgment of Babylon was predicted, Isaiah said, "Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee" ( Isaiah 47:13 ).

So these are the things that Manasseh did. He started following after his horoscope and astrologers and all of these people. And, of course, it might be good until you're really in trouble and then it's no help at all.

So he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever: neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land which I have appointed for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do all that I have commanded them ( 2 Chronicles 33:7-8 ),

But here he is, disobeying.

Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel. And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to the people: but they would not hearken ( 2 Chronicles 33:9-10 ).

God spoke; they would not hearken. And, of course, in the thirty-sixth chapter God said, "I sent the messengers and all but they would not hearken." They mocked Him.

Wherefore ( 2 Chronicles 33:11 )

And, of course, Manasseh ordered Isaiah sawed in two. Just stretched him out and took a saw and cut him right in two.

Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, bound him with fetters, carried him to Babylon. And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and he prayed unto him: and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that Jehovah was God ( 2 Chronicles 33:11-13 ).

So Manasseh had a conversion experience. It was a tough way. He was taken captive by the king of Assyria who drug him through these thorns, gave him a rough time, brought him as a captive to Babylon. And while he was there, he began to call out upon God. And, of course, God is so good. God was merciful. God heard his prayer and God brought him back again to Jerusalem. And from that time on, Manasseh was a changed man. But he was not able to undo the folly of his earlier years. He did start bringing about spiritual reforms.

He took away the strange gods, and the idols out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built. And he repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and [so forth]. Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places, unto the LORD their God only ( 2 Chronicles 33:15-17 ).

So there was a partial return unto God. At his death his son Amon began to reign.

Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, he reigned for only two years. He did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, even as his father Manasseh: for he sacrificed unto all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them ( 2 Chronicles 33:21-22 );

Which means that Manasseh didn't get rid of them all.

He humbled not himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more. And his servants conspired against him, and killed him in his own house ( 2 Chronicles 33:23-24 ).

And so his son Josiah began to reign.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 33". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/2-chronicles-33.html. 2014.
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