The Life of Manasseh, King of Judah

An harmony of 2 Kings 18, 2 Chronicles 33 and The Prayer of Manasseh

2 Kings 18, 2 Chronicles 33, and The Prayer of Manasseh are from the ESV
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Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "In Jerusalem will I put my name." And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. And he burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger. And the carved image of Asherah that he had made he set 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 the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. And I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander anymore out of the land that I gave to their fathers, if only they will be careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the Law, the statutes, and the rules that my servant Moses commanded them." But they did not listen, and Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray to do more evil than the nations had done whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel.

And the LORD said by his servants the prophets, "Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done things more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols, therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria, and the plumb line of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. And I will forsake the remnant of my heritage and give them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies, because they have done what is evil in my sight and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day." Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.

The LORD spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention. Therefore the LORD brought upon them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks and bound him with chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon. And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him,

O Lord Almighty,
the God of our fathers,
of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob
and of their righteous descendants;
you who made heaven and earth
with all their order;
who shackled the sea by your word of command,
who closed up the deep
and sealed it with your terrible and glorious name;
at whom all things shudder,
and tremble before thy power,
for your glorious splendor is unendurable,
and the wrath of your threat to sinners is overpowering;
yet immeasurable and unsearchable
your promised mercy,
for you are the Lord Most High,
of great compassion, patient, and very merciful,
repenting over the evils of human beings.
Therefore you, O Lord, God of the righteous,
did not appointed repentance for the righteous,
for Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, who did not sin against thee,
but thou hast appointed repentance for me, the sinner.

For the sins I committed are more in number than the sand of the sea;
my transgressions are multiplied, O Lord, they are multiplied!
I am unworthy to look up and see the height of heaven
because of the multitude of my iniquities.
I am weighted down with many an iron fetter,
so that I am rejected because of my sins,
and I have no relief;
for I have provoked your wrath
and did what is evil in your sight,
setting up abominations and multiplying offenses.

And now I bend the knee of my heart,
imploring you for your kindness.
I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned,
and I know my transgressions.
I earnestly implore you,
forgive me, O Lord, forgive me!
Do not destroy me with my transgressions!
Do not be angry with me forever or lay up evil for me;
do not condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent,
and in me you will show forth your goodness;
for, unworthy as I am, you will save me in your great mercy,
and I will praise thee continually all the days of my life.
For all the might of heaven sings thy praise,
and yours is the glory forever. Amen.

And God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God. Afterward he built an outer wall for the city of David west of Gihon, in the valley, and for the entrance into the Fish Gate, and carried it around Ophel, and raised it to a very great height. He also put commanders of the army in all the fortified cities in Judah. And he took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built on the mountain of the house of the LORD and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside of the city. He also restored the altar of the LORD and offered on it sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving, and he commanded Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel. Nevertheless, the people still sacrificed at the high places, but only to the LORD their God.

Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh and all that he did, and the sin that he committed, and his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And his prayer, and how God was moved by his entreaty, and all his sin and his faithlessness, and the sites on which he built high places and set up the Asherim and the images, before he humbled himself, behold, they are written in the Chronicles of the Seers. And Manasseh slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son reigned in his place.


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