2 Chronicles 33:1 Manasseh [was] twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem:
Ver. 1. Manasseh was twelve years old.] See 2 Kings 21:1.
And he reigned fifty and five years.] So long he reigned, (1.) For the punishment of the people’s sins; (2.) That he might have time enough to amend his own life; (3.) That in him, as afterwards in Paul, "God might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them who should afterwards believe on him to life everlasting." [1 Timothy 1:16] Vide ubi supra.
2 Chronicles 33:2 But did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
Ver. 2. But he did that which was evil.] He quickly made mad Work, as we say, turning all upside down. So great is the loss of good princes, when they die: and so suddenly can God cause the sun to go down over a nation, even at noonday, for the just punishment of such ungrateful wretches as love darkness better than light, because their works are evil. See on 2 Kings 21:2.
2 Chronicles 33:3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.
Ver. 3. For he built again.] Heb., He returned, and built. He returned, but not to God. Whilst his father lived, he seemed to hate the high places; but now he changed his mind, but for the worse: profecit in peius. See 2 Kings 21:3.
He worshipped all the host of heaven.] So do those, after a sort, that attribute to the stars more than is meet.
2 Chronicles 33:4 Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.
Ver. 4. In the house of the Lord.] Which was as bad as for a wife to bring her paramours into her husband’s bed.
2 Chronicles 33:5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
Ver. 5. And he built altars.] See 2 Kings 21:5.
2 Chronicles 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
Ver. 6. And he caused his children to pass, &c.] Thinking thereby to merit remission of sin, [Micah 6:7] and to obtain victories, as that king of Moab did. [2 Kings 3:27]
And he observed times, and used enchantments.] Five of those six sorts of witchcraft mentioned by Moses, [Deuteronomy 18:9-14] Manasseh fell into. See 2 Kings 21:6.
2 Chronicles 33:7 And 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:
Ver. 7. The idol which he had made.] This was some special idol worshipped by him in a grove, and now brought into the temple, as it were on purpose to provoke the Lord. (a)
2 Chronicles 33:8 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, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.
Ver. 8. Neither will I any more.] See 2 Kings 21:8.
2 Chronicles 33:9 So 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.
Ver. 9. So Manasseh made Judah.] The people follow their prince, as in a beast the body followoth the head: and as in a fish, putrefaction beginneth at the head: so here.
2 Chronicles 33:10 And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken.
Ver. 10. And the Lord spake to Manasseh,] sc., By his prophets, Isaiah, Joel, Micah, Habakkuk, and others; sed surdo fabulam; they lost their sweet words.
2 Chronicles 33:11 Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.
Ver. 11. Wherefore the Lord brought upon them.] Manasseh, though son to good Hezekiah, and one of our Saviour’s progenitors, was not spared; and shall other such sinners go unpunished? Never think it.
Of the king of Assyria.] Of the king of Babylon, saith Josephus: but herein, saith Lyra, there is no difference. Assyria was the beginning of the Babylonish monarchy.
Which took Manasseh among the thorns.] Or, Thistles, as 2 Kings 14:9. Thither he had now fled to hide himself, who erst had faced the heavens, and opposed with crest and breast whatsoever stood in the way of his sins and lusts. The prophet Isaiah he had sawn asunder, if all be true that is storied of him. Now himself was carried bound to Babylon, and there put into a brazen vessel full of holes, saith Jerome, and therein tormented by fire put about it. At other times he was fed, saith Chrysostom, (a) but with so much barley bread in a day, and so much water mingled with vinegar, as might keep him alive: being all the while bound with chains in the prison house, and this of itself was misery enough for a king to endure. We know the proverb, Si non sis qui fueris, non est cur velis vivere.
2 Chronicles 33:12 And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,
Ver. 12. And when he was in affliction.] When the rod spake, he heard it [Micah 6:9] who would not hear the word. [2 Chronicles 33:10] God sent him into the dungeon to repent; as he did David into the depths, and Jonah into the whale’s belly to pray. Adversity hath whipt many a soul to heaven, which otherwise prosperity had coached to hell.
He besought the Lord.] There is a prayer extant that is said to be his, pia sane et elegans, saith Lavater; but it is Apocryphal, as not found in the Hebrew text.
And humbled himself greatly.] As he had sinned greatly, so his humiliation bore a proportion, being deep, downright, and such as brought him home. The prodigal changed many places ere he came home in earnest. Many came out of Egypt, that never came into Canaan. Ahab humbled himself, so did those justiciaries, [Isaiah 58:3] but not greatly, as Manasseh; their sorrow for sin was but skin deep.
2 Chronicles 33:13 And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he [was] God.
Ver. 13. And prayed to him.] His afflictions, like Benhadad’s best counsellors, sent Manasseh with a cord about his neck, to the merciful King of Israel.
And he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication.] Note this against those old and our new Novatians. Despair not of mercy, though never so sinful; but know, that if men can find a praying heart, God will find a pitying heart.
And brought him again to Jerusalem.] How, and by what means, is not recorded. The Lord knoweth how to deliver his. [2 Peter 2:9]
Then Manasseh knew that the Lord he was God.] This lesson he had learned in the school of BabyIon. Christianorum Theologia, Crux, saith Luther. The cross had taught Manasseh more of God than ever he knew before.
2 Chronicles 33:14 Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah.
Ver. 14. Now after this he built a wall.] It is uncertain how he got out of prison; whether with the king of Babylon’s good leave, or by making escape. There are that tell us, that the prison doors were opened, his chains loosened, and he delivered, as afterwards Peter was. [Acts 12:3-11] Howsoever, he thought good to fortify himself against the Babylonians, and whatsoever enemies. This, though it be here set down first, yet Josephus saith, that the first work he did after his return, was to reform religion.
2 Chronicles 33:15 And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast [them] out of the city.
Ver. 15. And he took away the strange gods.] This he had promised to do, doubtless, in his distress; and now he doth it. "Vow, and perform to the Lord your God," &c.
And cast them out of the city.] Saying unto them, "Get you hence." [Isaiah 30:22] "What have I to do any more with idols?" [Hosea 14:8] This was his repentance from sin.
2 Chronicles 33:16 And he repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.
Ver. 16. And he repaired the altar of the Lord.] Which himself had defaced in his idolatrous humour. His contrition was seconded with conversion; his humiliation with reformation.
And commanded Judah to serve the Lord,] Before he had seduced them, now he reduceth them into the right way; laying God’s and his charge upon them to live better.
2 Chronicles 33:17 Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places, [yet] unto the LORD their God only.
Ver. 17. Nevertheless the people did sacrifice.] Do Manasseh what he could to the contrary. Plus valet malum inolitum, quam bonum insolitum. It is hard to break people off their sinful and superstitious customs.
2 Chronicles 33:18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold, they [are written] in the book of the kings of Israel.
Ver. 18. And his prayer unto God.] See on 2 Chronicles 33:12.
2 Chronicles 33:19 His prayer also, and [how God] was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they [are] written among the sayings of the seers.
Ver. 19. His prayer also] Which was sure some excellent and eximious prayer, and is therefore so much mentioned. Affliction exciteth devotion: and then, if ever, men "pray in the Holy Ghost."
And all his sin, and his trespass.] His transgression against God, and his trespass against men. So St Paul, I was - as to the first table - "a blasphemer," saith he, and - as to the second - "a persecutor": and - as to both - "injurious," one that wronged both God and man. [1 Timothy 1:13]
Among the sayings of the seers.] Or, Of Hosai, who might be some prophet, whose book is not now extant. Some Rabbis hold that Hosai is Isaiah. Others of them say, that Isaiah was slain by Manasseh, before his captivity. Seder Olam maketh mention of Ozai as a prophet under the reign of Amon.
2 Chronicles 33:20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.
Ver. 20. And they buried him in his own house.] See on 2 Kings 21:18.
2 Chronicles 33:21 Amon [was] two and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned two years in Jerusalem.
Ver. 21. Amon was twenty and two years old.] See 2 Kings 21:19.
And reigned two years.] Twelve, saith the Greeks. Perhaps he reigned ten years in his father’s absence, as Philo saith he did.
2 Chronicles 33:22 But he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD, as did Manasseh his father: for Amon sacrificed unto all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them;
Ver. 22. Which Manasseh his father had made.] But not burnt, as he ought. [Deuteronomy 7:5] See 2 Kings 21:20.
2 Chronicles 33:23 And humbled not himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more.
Ver. 23. But Amon trespassed more and more.] Heb., He multiplied trespass; adding rebellion to sin, he died in it.
2 Chronicles 33:24 And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house.
2 Chronicles 33:25 But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.
Ver. 24, 25. See on 2 Kings 21:21-24.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 33". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
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