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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 21

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-26

Chapter 21

Now Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign ( 2 Kings 21:1 ),

Manasseh was the son of Hezekiah, and here is something that I think is interesting for speculation. Would it have been better for Hezekiah had he died instead of being healed? Was the healing of Hezekiah God's perfect will and plan? God had sent the message; "You're going to die." Hezekiah began to weep and of course, in Hezekiah he says that he all night long, he sort of chattered like a dove and all, you know, and just weeping before God and all. And so God sent Isaiah back and say, "I've seen his tears; I've heard his prayer. I'll give him fifteen years." Was that really God's real purpose and plan? Would it not have been much better had Hezekiah died at that time?

For his son Manasseh began to reign when he was twelve years old, which means Manasseh was conceived and born after Hezekiah had his life extended. Had Hezekiah died at that point, Manasseh would never have been born. And I say that because we read concerning Manasseh,

He did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. He built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, he made a grove, as did Ahab the king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. He built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem I will put my name. He built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. He made his son pass through the fire, he observed times, used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. Made the graven images ( 2 Kings 21:2-7 ),

And it was because of Manasseh's leading the people into such depths of sin they could never recover. And thus, Judah fell as a result of Manasseh's leading them to the depths of sin. Now what would have happened to the nation had Hezekiah not insisted in prayer that God heal him? The whole story of the nation could have been much different. The whole history could have been much different. But here is a man insisting with tears, begging, "Oh God, heal me please. Lord, I'll serve you. I love you. Please heal me, God." This is a part of the problem that evolves when I start ordering God rather than taking orders from God.

When I think that prayer is that instrument and tool whereby I am to get my will done, rather than the instrument whereby we can get God's will done, I wonder how much damage is done by these insisting prayers that we hear so much about today. The nation could have been spared the horrors of Manasseh had Hezekiah died. It's something to contemplate and think about. I don't have any answers for it, but it's just something to think about.

But Manasseh was an extremely wicked king and God testified in verse twelve.

I am going to bring such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever hears about it, their ears will tingle. For I'm going to stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, the plummet of the house of Ahab: I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down. 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 of their enemies; Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger ( 2 Kings 21:12-15 ),

And so forth. Now in the New Testament we read of the prophets of God, men of faith in Hebrews chapter eleven, men of great faith who stop the mouths of lions, who survived through the fires. And yet it says they were stoned, they were sawed in two. According to tradition, and extra-curricular scriptures, Isaiah was the man referred to who was sawed in two. And this was done by Manasseh, the wicked son of Hezekiah. This glorious prophet Isaiah, he had him sawn in two. Evil, wicked man who never would have existed had Hezekiah not insisted on God healing him.

Manasseh died, was buried in the garden of his own house, and his son Amon reigned in his stead. He was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; he reigned for two years in Jerusalem. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, walking after the ways of his father Manasseh. He served the idols that his father had served; he worshipped them ( 2 Kings 21:18-21 ):

Actually he grew up in it. He was one of the children of Manasseh who Manasseh made to pass through the fire to this pagan in the rites to these pagan gods.

And the servants of Amon conspired against him ( 2 Kings 21:23 ),

The walk, fire-walking and all, causing your children to do the fire walk, and you know, they get into these trances and so forth, and walk across coals, but you notice it also says along with these things that they dealt with familiar spirits or with demon spirits and all. And this is all a part of demonology. He reigned for two years. His servants conspired against him.

and killed him in his own house. And Josiah his son began to reign as king in his stead ( 2 Kings 21:23-24 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/2-kings-21.html. 2014.
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