|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-9 Young persons generally desire to become their own masters, and to have early possession of riches and power. But this, for the most part, ruins their future comfort, and causes mischief to others. It is much happier when young persons are sheltered under the care of parents or guardians, till age gives experience and discretion. Though such young persons are less indulged, they will afterwards be thankful. Manasseh wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, as if on purpose to provoke him to anger; he did more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed. Manasseh went on from bad to worse, till carried captive to Babylon. The people were ready to comply with his wishes, to obtain his favour and because it suited their depraved inclinations. In the reformation of large bodies, numbers are mere time-servers, and in temptation fall away.
Verse 5. - And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. The temple of Solomon had two courts only, an inner and an outer. The outer court was for the people, the inner for the priests and Levites. Manasseh desecrated the temple to the extent of setting up in each of these two courts an idolatrous altar, dedicated to the worship of the host of heaven. In the inner court his altar was a rival to the great brazen altar of Solomon (1 Kings 9:64; 2 Chronicles 4:1), which Ahaz had for a time removed from its place in front of the porch (2 Kings 16:14), but which Hezekiah had most certainly reinstated.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he built altars for all the host of heaven,.... Sun, moon, and stars:
in the two courts of the house of the Lord; in the court of the priests, and in the court of the people; and all this must be supposed to be done, not as soon as he began to reign, but when he was grown up to man's estate, and had children, as the next verse shows; unless it can be thought that those nobles in Judah, who liked not the reformation made by Hezekiah, took the advantage of his youth, and advised him to these idolatries.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. the two courts of the house of the Lord—the court of the priests, and the large court of the people.
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