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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 21

Whedon's Commentary on the BibleWhedon's Commentary

Verse 1

REIGN OF MANASSEH, 2 Kings 21:1-18.

1. Manasseh… twelve Hence it appears by comparison with 2 Kings 20:6, that he must have been born three years after Hezekiah’s severe illness. See, also, note on 2 Kings 20:3. Perhaps he was the only son, or perhaps his older brothers had died. Though only twelve years old, he seems to have taken the kingdom into his own hand at that early age, and this fact may largely account for the wickedness of his reign. On the early maturity of persons in the East, see note on 2 Kings 18:2.

Fifty and five years The longest reign of any Jewish king.

Hephzibah The name means, my delight is in her; but notwithstanding this amiable name, and the piety of her husband, she seems to have illy trained her son.

Verse 2

2. He did… after the abominations of the heathen Keil thinks that the young and inexperienced king was led into idolatry by such a godless party in the nation as is described in Isaiah 28:14; Isaiah 30:9-11.

Verse 3

3. As did Ahab See notes on 1 Kings 16:30-33.

Host of heaven See note on 2 Kings 17:16.

Verse 4

4. Built altars in the house of the Lord Erected altars to heathen gods even in the temple of Jehovah, as well as in the outer courts, as the next verse informs us.

Verse 6

6. Made his son pass through the fire So he equalled the wicked Ahaz in the horrible abomination. See 2 Kings 16:3, note.

Observed times Rather, practised magic. The word עונן , thus rendered, is, according to Aben Ezra, from ענן , a cloud, and refers to the practice of divination by observing the courses of the clouds.

Enchantments… familiar spirits… wizards Various forms of sorcery and witchcraft, all positively forbidden in the law. See on Deuteronomy 18:9-12.

Verse 7

7. A graven image of the grove Rather, the image of the Asherah; that is, the Asherah-pillar, or image, already mentioned in 2 Kings 21:3. (English version, incorrectly, “grove.”) He refrained not even from setting up this abominable image in the very temple which had been consecrated to the pure worship of Jehovah.

Verse 9

9. More evil than did the nations Because the worship of their own false gods by nations who knew not the true God, was far less condemnatory than for Israel, who had received so many revelations of Jehovah, to turn aside to the worship of idols.

Verse 10

10. By his… prophets The prophets of this period are nowhere named.

Verse 12

12. Ears shall tingle So amazed shall he be at the terrible tidings. Compare 1 Samuel 3:11, note.

Verse 13

13. Line of Samaria… plummet of the house of Ahab The line is used in measuring, the plummet in levelling or squaring, and both are used here metaphorically as standards of Divine Judgment. Jehovah will visit Jerusalem with the same measure of severity as he did Samaria and the house of Ahab; that is, he will destroy the city and exterminate its inhabitants. Compare 2 Kings 17:6; 2 Kings 10:11.

As a man wipeth a dish A contemptuous simile. When one has finished using a dish he wipes it and turns it upside down; so Jehovah shall empty, and wipe out, and turn over, Jerusalem: that is, he shall utterly overthrow it, and leave it upside down, or literally, upon its face.

Verse 14

14. The remnant of mine inheritance Judah and Benjamin, which alone remained as tribes and chief representatives of the chosen nation.

Verse 16

16. Shed innocent blood Probably of those prophets (comp. 2 Kings 21:10) who reproved his sins and uttered the word of the Lord against him. Josephus says, “He barbarously slew all the righteous men that were among the Hebrews; nor would he spare the prophets, for he every day slew some of them, till Jerusalem was overflown with blood.” It was during the reign of Manasseh, according to Jewish tradition, that Isaiah was sawn asunder. Hebrews 11:37.

Besides his sin That is, especially, his abominable idolatry.

Verse 17

17. The rest of the acts of Manasseh Besides what is here recorded of Manasseh, the parallel history in 2 Chronicles 33:0 informs us, that as a judgment for his sins he was captured by Assyrian warriors, bound with fetters, and carried to Babylon. There he humbled himself before God, and, in answer to prayer, was restored to his kingdom, whereupon he removed the signs of his idolatry, and sacrificed to Jehovah. He also fortified Jerusalem and strengthened the various cities of Judah. See notes on that chapter.

Verse 18

18. Garden of his own house A garden or field connected with his own private house, not the royal palace on Zion, but probably, as Keil supposes, his summer palace. The locality of this garden cannot now be determined, but it apparently took its name, the garden of Uzza, from some former owner, of whom we find elsewhere no certain trace. Cornelius a Lapide suggests that it may be identical with Perez-uzzah, where Uzzah was smitten for attempting to steady the ark of God. 2 Samuel 6:8.

Verse 19

REIGN OF AMOS, 2 Kings 21:19-26.

19. Two years The rabbies say, that the sons of idolatrous kings who succeeded their fathers seldom reigned more than two years, and Nadab, (1 Kings 15:25,) Elah, (2 Kings 16:8,) and Ahaziah, (2 Kings 22:51,) are cited as instances. The site of Jotbah is unknown.

Verse 23

23. The servants of Amon Probably his court-attendants. For what reason they conspired against him is at present only a matter of conjecture.

Verse 24

24. The fact stated in this verse, that the people of the land rose up against the conspirators and slew them, argues that Amon was not unpopular with the great body of the nation. Possibly the conspirators sought to establish a new dynasty in Judah, a movement not likely to meet with favour, and therefore the people hastened to place Josiah on the throne, though he was then only eight years old.

Verse 26

26. In his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza That is, by the side of his father in the family tomb. See note on 2 Kings 21:18.

Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/2-kings-21.html. 1874-1909.
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