2 Kings 21 – “Menasseh’s Wickedness; Amnon’s Brief Reign”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Menasseh reinstitutes the idolatrous practices that his father uprooted. Amon succeeds Menasseh as king of Judah, but he is quickly killed in a coup. Amnon’s son Josiah becomes the next king.

II. Photo
Manasseh upsets God: “He consigned his son to the fire… he did much that was displeasing to the Lord, to vex Him.” (v. 6)

III. Important Verses
2-9: He did what was displeasing to the LORD, following the abhorrent practices of the nations that the LORD had dispossessed before the Israelites. He rebuilt the shrines that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he erected altars for Baal and made a sacred post, as King Ahab of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the host of heaven and worshiped them, and he built altars for them in the House of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “I will establish My name in Jerusalem.” He built altars for all the hosts of heaven in the two courts of the House of the LORD. He consigned his son to the fire; he practiced soothsaying and divination, and consulted ghosts and familiar spirits; he did much that was displeasing to the LORD, to vex Him. The sculptured image of Asherah that he made he placed in the House concerning which the LORD had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this House and in Jerusalem, which I chose out of all the tribes of Israel, I will establish My name forever. And I will not again cause the feet of Israel to wander from the land that I gave to their fathers, if they will but faithfully observe all that I have commanded them — all the Teachings with which My servant Moses charged them.” But they did not obey, and Manasseh led them astray to do greater evil than the nations that the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.
11-12: Because King Manasseh of Judah has done these abhorrent things — he has outdone in wickedness all that the Amorites did before his time — and because he led Judah to sin with his fetishes, assuredly, thus said the LORD, the God of Israel: I am going to bring such a disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that both ears of everyone who hears about it will tingle.
16: Moreover, Manasseh put so many innocent persons to death that he filled Jerusalem [with blood] from end to end — besides the sin he committed in causing Judah to do what was displeasing to the LORD.
23-24: Amon’s courtiers conspired against him; and they killed the king in his palace. But the people of the land put to death all who had conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his stead.

IV. Outline
1-18. Menasseh king of Judah
1. Introductory statement
2-9. Menasseh’s idolatrous ways
10-15. God’s warning
16. Menasseh’s murderous ways
17-18. Summary statement
19-26. Amnon king of Judah
19. Introductory statement
20-22. Amnon’s sins
23. Amnon is killed
24. The people kill the conspirators
25-26. Summary statement

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Cogan, Mordechai and Hayim Tadmor. “II Kings” The Anchor Bible v. 11 (USA: Doubleday, 1988).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Hobbs, T.R. “2 Kings” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 13 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1985).
Photo taken from http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2191/2417164282_3cedc64029.jpg

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