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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Manasses Prayer of

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Manas´ses, Prayer of [APOCRYPHA]. This pseudepigraphal work has come down to us in the MSS. of the Latin Vulgate, and is found in the early printed editions of that version. Du Pin asserts that the Latin fathers have often cited this prayer; but the earliest reference to it which we know of is in the Apostolical Constitutions attributed to Clemens Romanus, but which are generally believed to be a work of the fourth century. In this work the prayer is cited as if it were an integral portion of the book of Chronicles, together with some traditional accounts of the nature of his imprisonment in shackles of iron, and of his miraculous release: which are also alluded to in the Targum on Chronicles. It is entitled 'The Prayer of Manasses, king of Judah, when he was holden captive in Babylon,' and had doubtless its origin from . This prayer, however, not being found in the Hebrew, and not being cited by the more eminent fathers, nor contained in any of the catalogues of ancient councils, has not been received in the church as genuine or canonical. It is classed in the Sixth Article of the Church of England, among the 'other books read by the church for example of life and instruction of manners;' but the Church of Rome classes it with 3rd and 4th Esdras, removing it to the end of the Bible, and rejecting it from the deutero-canonical, as well as from the proto-canonical books.

The prayer of Manasses abounds in pious sentiments. Dr. Horne describes it as not unworthy of the occasion on which it is pretended to have been composed. Du Pin observes that, though not very eloquent, it is full of good thoughts.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Manasses Prayer of'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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