The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Chronicles

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2 Chronicles 33

2Ch 33:1

2Ch 33: "For fifty-five years the reign of Manasseh continued, and for most of those years it was a time of great evil and wickedness. Manasseh quickly forgot the righteousness of his father Hezekiah, and brought the nation of Judah to one of its lowest ebbs. His was the longest reign of any of the kings of the Davidic throne, and brought an apostasy into a state religion. His mother's name was Hephzibah, and he was born on the third year of Hezekiah's miraculous extension of 15 years following the defeat of Sennacherib. Even though the message of Yahweh was delivered to the king and nation, the sad record is 'they would not hearken' (v 10). Therefore the divine judgment came against the king (v 11), and he was taken into captivity into Babylon towards the end of his reign. Then came the most remarkable change in Manasseh. In his affliction, he prayed unto Yahweh and humbled himself. After so long a period of absolute apostasy and wickedness, the heart of Manasseh was turned to Yahweh. He 'knew' that Yahweh was God (v 13). The idea is that Manasseh recognised the hand of Providence in his life. He desperately desired to undo the evil he had done, but he had slain those who could have helped. Idolatry was still rampant in the days of his grandson, Josiah. Though Manasseh tried to repair his folly, there was not a sincere response by the nation. Certainly that sacrificed to Yahweh only (v 17), but they did this openly because they feared the king. Secretly they continued to serve pagan gods and this was openly done in the succeeding reign. The folly of Manasseh was seen in the evil reign of his son Amon, who reflected the environment of his early upbringing. It was a period of political instability (v 24) and of spiritual decadence (v 17). It was a time of great shadows in the record of Judah" (GEM).

2Ch 33:2

These kings had a great deal of influence over the people's thinking. The people were clearly weak in following -- like sheep -- in the ways of their leader, but this is the way we are made. We like to follow leaders, and we like to be leaders. There is a lesson for us here in both of these aspects. When we are leading, let us be sure to be righteous; and when we are following, let us make sure we have chosen the right leader -- the "Hezekiah", not the "Manasseh".

2Ch 33:3

ASHERAH: See Lesson, Asherah.

2Ch 33:11

KING OF ASSYRIA: See Lesson, Babylon = Assyria.

AND TOOK HIM TO BABYLON: Babylon, having been conquered by Sennacherib of Assyria, was now being governed by his son Esarhaddon.

2Ch 33:17

Manasseh could not influence the people to repent.

2Ch 33:19

ASHERAH: See Lesson, Asherah.

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