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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

2 Kings 21

Verses 1-26

The Reigns of Manasseh and Amon

3. The high places, etc.] Manasseh not only restored the country sanctuaries which had been destroyed by Hezekiah as seats of corruption (see 2 Kings 18:4, 2 Kings 18:22), and renewed the Baal worship practised by the house of Ahab (see 2 Kings 11:18, and cp. 1 Kings 16:31-32), but also introduced star worship, a form of religion previously unknown in Judah. The host of heaven] The worship of the stars, which was probably introduced from Assyria, was conducted on the flat roofs of the houses: see Jeremiah 19:13; Zephaniah 1:5, and cp. 2 Kings 23:11, 2 Kings 23:12.

5. In the two courts] If the view expressed in the note on 1 Kings 7:12 be correct, the two courts may be the inner (or upper) court immediately surrounding the Temple, and the court enclosing the Palace.

6. Pass through the fire] see on 2 Kings 16:3. For his son 2 Chronicles 33:6 has ’his children.’ Observed times] RV ’practised augury’: by the observation of the clouds, etc. Familiar spirits] RV ’them that had familiar spirits’: such persons were believed to be animated by, or to have intercourse with, the spirits of the dead: cp. 1 Samuel 28:7. One of the devices employed by them was probably ventriloquism, the spirit appearing to speak from the ground (Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 29:4).

7. A graven image of the grove] better, ’a carved Asherah.’ This was placed in the Temple itself, whence it was removed by Josiah (2 Kings 23:6).

9. Manasseh seduced them] The evil example of Manasseh and his court had a worse effect upon the people at large than that of any previous Judæan king, so that at a much later date the prophet Jeremiah declared that it was for what Manasseh did that the judgment announced by him was to come upon the nation (Jeremiah 15:4).

11. The Amorites] The inhabitants of Canaan had been destroyed for the very iniquities which Manasseh was now surpassing: cp. Deuteronomy 9:5.

13. The line of Samaria] The judgment denounced against Judah would be carried out with the same precision and exactness as the judgment that overtook the northern kingdom and the dynasty of Ahab. As a man wipeth a dish] i.e. Jerusalem would be finished and done with.

14. The remnant] see 2 Kings 19:3. Jerusalem had survived the calamities that had been inflicted on the rest of Judah by the Assyrians (2 Kings 18:13), but it would not be delivered from the enemies that awaited it in the future.

17. The rest of the acts] see 2 Chronicles 33:12-19, where it is related that Manasseh was taken captive by the king of Assyria to Babylon, repented there of his sins, was restored to his kingdom, and instituted a religious reformation.

19. Jotbah] cp. Deuteronomy 10:7; Numbers 33:33.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.