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Friday, May 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 21

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary


Second Kings Chapter 21

2 Kings 21:1 "Manasseh [was] twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name [was] Hephzibah."

Since Manasseh was 12 years old, when he began to reign, we can safely assume that this child was born to Hezekiah 3 years after his terrible illness. The name "Manasseh" means forgetting. We can see why Hezekiah would have named his son this. He was forgetting his illness, and this child was helping him forget. In some places, Manasseh is spoken of as Manasses. "Hephzibah" means my delight is in her.

2 Kings 21:2 "And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel."

Manasseh was rather young, when Hezekiah died, so he, possibly, did not have the training of his father. It appears, that many of the people in Jerusalem still believed like Ahaz, Manasseh’s grandfather. Manasseh, probably, was influenced by them. It seemed, that many of Manasseh’s friends were heathens.

2 Kings 21:3 "For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them."

The children of Israel all through the ages, had wanted to worship in the high places, instead of in the temple provided for that purpose. We read where Hezekiah abolished Baal worship, and the worship in the high places, but we did not hear where he executed those involved in these evil worship practices. They had, probably, secretly still carried on the worship, after Hezekiah had done away with it. That is why it immediately was re-instituted the minute Hezekiah dies. Worshipping the host of heaven has to do with astrology. That is just as evil today, as it was in the time of Manasseh.

2 Kings 21:4 "And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name."

The building of altars for other gods in the temple, would be an abomination. The LORD God Jehovah had put his name in the temple. It was for His use, and no other. This building of altars to false gods in the temple, would bring down the wrath of God.

2 Kings 21:5 "And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD."

The outer court was for the people, and the inner court had been for use of the priests. These altars stood beside the altar of God.

2 Kings 21:6 "And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke [him] to anger."

We can see from the following Scriptures, that they were without excuse, because they had the law of God, which strictly forbid these practices anywhere. It would make it even worse for them to be doing them in the house of the LORD. Deuteronomy 18:10 "There shall not be found among you [any one] that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, [or] that useth divination, [or] an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch," Deuteronomy 18:11 "Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer." Deuteronomy 18:12 "For all that do these things [are] an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee." In just a few years, the LORD would allow the temple to be burned, because of these terrible practices in the temple. He would, also, {in His wrath} let Jerusalem be burned.

2 Kings 21:7 "And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which the LORD said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:"

It is forbidden in the ten commandments to make a graven image, but it is a much worse sin to set the abomination up in the temple. God had chosen the city of Jerusalem and the temple to be His forever. They had broken the heart of God with this blasphemy.

2 Kings 21:8 "Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them."

This land had been given to the tribes of Israel as their inheritance forever. God had no intention of them ever living anywhere else. The only thing they had to do, was remain faithful to the LORD and keep His commandments. The law of God is, many times, spoken of as the law of Moses.

2 Kings 21:9 "But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel."

The sins were of the people of Judah. Manasseh was their leader, but they were willing to be led into these abominations. This was a young king with no desire to follow the ways of the LORD. There was revelry, and many of the people were caught up in this sinful way of life. A king can influence his people toward good, or evil. In the case of Manasseh, he led them into terrible sin, blaspheming the name of the LORD.

2 Kings 21:10 "And the LORD spake by his servants the prophets, saying,"

Prophets, in the verse above, is a plural word. We know from that, there were some other prophets that were loyal to God, besides Isaiah. Some believe that Habakkuk was of this time, and perhaps, Nahum and Zephaniah. These were definitely the LORD’s prophets. He spoke to them in this verse. It is believed Manasseh killed Isaiah.

2 Kings 21:11 "Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, [and] hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which [were] before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:"

2 Kings 21:12 "Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I [am] bringing [such] evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle."

We know that the LORD had postponed judgment on Jerusalem and Judah because of the things that Hezekiah had done. Jerusalem and Judah were no better than the heathen nations, that God had run out of this country. They were not worshipping the One True God, but had begun to worship idols and false gods, such as Baal. The worst thing they had done was desecrat the temple of the LORD, by bringing these abominations into the temple of the LORD. The wrath of God will come upon them so greatly, it will be the talk of all the nations around them. The destruction will be so great, it will be worse than they could imagine.

2 Kings 21:13 "And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as [a man] wipeth a dish, wiping [it], and turning [it] upside down."

Samaria was evil and was judged severely, but the judgment on Judah and Jerusalem will be even greater. They have been measured, and they came up short. God has a standard that He measures all with. They will not be able pass the standard. His anger will be so great, He will wipe them off the earth like a person would wipe a plate. They will be turned upside down, until nothing is left.

2 Kings 21:14 "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 their enemies;"

The remnant, which God had always preserved, will not be under God’s protection any longer. There will be a small remnant, but they will not be kept by divine intervention. When the wrath of God has fallen, they will all feel the punishment. God will not only not help them, but He will help their enemies.

2 Kings 21:15 "Because they have done [that which was] evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day."

God had forgiven them over and over for their sins, but they had done too much this time, God will not look the other way. His fury has come up in His face. During this time, the LORD will remove His presence from the temple in Jerusalem, and will allow the temple to be destroyed. Their evils were worse than they had ever been before. They were "worshipping the hosts of heaven". They were practicing astrology. They were worshipping Baal and Astarte. They were even sacrificing their children to some of the false gods. Even worse than doing all of this, was the fact that they had brought the images of the false gods and their altars into the temple.

2 Kings 21:16 "Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD."

It appears, that Manasseh was killing innocent people, who did not agree with him. This killing was slanted toward those, who would not participate in the worship of false gods. Some of these killed were actually prophets.

2 Kings 21:17 "Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?"

The book of Chronicles in the Bible tells of the warnings God sent to Manasseh through the prophets. He did not change, and the judgment of God fell upon him. There are many more things, besides what is in the Bible in this book of records mentioned here. Notice, not only the things he did, but the sins that he committed are recorded.

2 Kings 21:18 "And Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza: and Amon his son reigned in his stead."

The burying of Manasseh in the garden of his house could be for several reasons. He was such an evil king, he should not be buried with Hezekiah and David, who pleased God. There is a message in this. All men, good or bad, must some day die. The judgment of God is pronounced on them one at a time.

2 Kings 21:19 "Amon [was] twenty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name [was] Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah."

Amon was an evil king. He did just what his evil father had done. All of the worship of false gods grew even worse. He added magic and necromancy to the evils of his father. There seemed to be nothing too evil for him to do. His own men killed him, after a reign of two years. Haruz was, probably, an Arab.

2 Kings 21:20 "And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh did."

He and his dad would rank with the most evil of all the kings of Judah.

2 Kings 21:21 "And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them:"

This is where a father was a very bad influence on his son. They both worshipped Baal, Ashtoreth, Moloch, and Aserah. They both followed every evil in existence in that day. They followed astrology, witchcraft, magic, and necromancy among all other evil things.

2 Kings 21:22 "And he forsook the LORD God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the LORD."

Some of the other evil kings had the high places, but still worshipped Jehovah, too. Manasseh and Amon did not worship the LORD at all. They even put statues of the false gods and their altars in the temple of God.

2 Kings 21:23 "And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and slew the king in his own house."

He was so evil many people wanted to kill him. It is interesting that his own servants killed him. He was killed in his own home, probably, because of some of the cruelty he had shown to others.

2 Kings 21:24 "And 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."

The people in the land, that this is speaking of, were those who had followed him into this idolatrous worship. The terrible thing about his horrendous sin, was that he had led the people into the same sins. These same people killed the people, who killed Amon. They, out of faithfulness to him, find his 8 year old son, Josiah and make him king. Josiah will be a king that does right in the sight of the LORD.

2 Kings 21:25 "Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?"

2 Kings 21:26 "And he was buried in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his stead."

He was buried in the same garden with his evil father.

2 Kings 21 Questions

1. How old was Manasseh, when he began to reign?

2. How many years did he reign?

3. What does "Manasseh" mean?

4. What kind of king was he?

5. What were some of the specific evil things he did?

6. Where had these worshippers of false gods been in the reign of Hezekiah?

7. The building of altars to other gods in the temple, would be an _____________.

8. Where had the LORD put His name?

9. The building of altars to false gods, would bring down God’s _________.

10. What did they cause their children to do?

11. Quote Deuteronomy 18:10-12.

12. What will happen to the temple in a few years, because of these abominations?

13. Where do we read that it is forbidden to make a graven image?

14. How did these terrible things being done in the temple affect God?

15. The inheritance of this land by the children of Israel, was to be ______________.

16. What must they do to keep their inheritance?

17. Who is at fault in these sins?

18. Who had the LORD sent with messages of warning?

19. Who were, probably, some of the other prophets besides Isaiah?

20. The evil, that the LORD would bring on Judah and Jerusalem, would be how bad?

21. How will God wipe Jerusalem?

22. What will happen to the remnant?

23. Who will God help?

24. What is "worshipping the host of heaven"?

25. What innocent people was Manasseh killing?

26. Where was Manasseh buried?

27. How old was Amon, when he began to reign?

28. What kind of king was he?

29. How long did he reign?

30. What evils did he add to his father’s evils?

31. Who were some of the false gods they worshipped?

32. Who killed Amon?

33. Who reigned in his stead?

34. How old was he, when he began to reign?

35. What kind of king was he?

Verse 1

2Ki 21:1

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Kings 21". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-kings-21.html.
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