2 Chronicles 33:12
And when he was in affliction, he sought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,
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(12) When he was in affliction.—See this phrase in 2Chronicles 28:22.

He besought.—Literally, stroked the face, a curious realistic phrase occurring in Exodus 32:11.

The God of his fathers.—Whom he had forsaken for the gods of aliens. Some MSS., and the Syriac, Targum, and Arabic insert “Jehovah” before this phrase.

2 Chronicles 33:12. When he was in affliction he besought the Lord his God — Being “deprived of his authority and liberty, and secluded from his evil counsellors and companions, and from all his pleasures, in chains, and in a prison, without any other prospect than of ending his days in that wretched situation, he had leisure to reflect on what had passed. He then, no doubt, recollected the honour, prosperity, and deliverances with which his father had been favoured; his own good education, with the instruction and warnings of the prophets; and his atrocious, multiplied, and daring crimes: and he remembered that his miseries had been foretold by his faithful monitors. Thus, by the special grace of God, his solitude and affliction brought him to view his own conduct and character in another light than before, and he began to cry for mercy and deliverance, humbling himself greatly before the God of his fathers.” — Scott. Bishop Hall remarks, from this verse, the truth of that saying of the prophet, Affliction giveth understanding. “If the cross bear us not to heaven,” says he, “nothing can. What use were there of the grain, but for the edge of the sickle, wherewith it is cut down; the stroke of the flail, wherewith it is beaten; the weight and attrition of the mill, wherewith it is crushed; the fire of the oven, wherewith it is baked? Say now, Manasseh, with that grand-father of thine, It is good for me that I have been afflicted; thine iron was more precious to thee than thy gold; thy jail was a more happy lodging to thee than thy palace; Babylon was a better school to thee than Jerusalem. How foolish are we to frown upon our afflictions! These, how severe soever, are our best friends: they are not indeed for our pleasure, they are for our profit; their issue makes them worthy of a welcome. What do we care how bitter that potion is which brings us health?”33:1-20 We have seen Manasseh's wickedness; here we have his repentance, and a memorable instance it is of the riches of God's pardoning mercy, and the power of his renewing grace. Deprived of his liberty, separated from his evil counsellors and companions, without any prospect but of ending his days in a wretched prison, Manasseh thought upon what had passed; he began to cry for mercy and deliverance. He confessed his sins, condemned himself, was humbled before God, loathing himself as a monster of impiety and wickedness. Yet he hoped to be pardoned through the abundant mercy of the Lord. Then Manasseh knew that Jehovah was God, able to deliver. He knew him as a God of salvation; he learned to fear, trust in, love, and obey him. From this time he bore a new character, and walked in newness of life. Who can tell what tortures of conscience, what pangs of grief, what fears of wrath, what agonizing remorse he endured, when he looked back on his many years of apostacy and rebellion against God; on his having led thousands into sin and perdition; and on his blood-guiltiness in the persecution of a number of God's children? And who can complain that the way of heaven is blocked up, when he sees such a sinner enter? Say the worst against thyself, here is one as bad who finds the way to repentance. Deny not to thyself that which God hath not denied to thee; it is not thy sin, but thy impenitence, that bars heaven against thee.The Assyrian monuments contain no record of this expedition; but there can be little doubt that it fell into the reign of Esarhaddon (2 Kings 19:37 note), who reigned at least thirteen years. Esarhaddon mentions Manasseh among his tributaries; and he was the only king of Assyria who, from time to time, held his court at Babylon.

Among the thorns - Translate - " with rings;" and see 2 Kings 19:28 note.

12, 13. when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God—In the solitude of exile or imprisonment, Manasseh had leisure for reflection. The calamities forced upon him a review of his past life, under a conviction that the miseries of his dethronement and captive condition were owing to his awful and unprecedented apostasy (2Ch 33:7) from the God of his fathers. He humbled himself, repented, and prayed for an opportunity of bringing forth the fruits of repentance. His prayer was heard; for his conqueror not only released him, but, after two years' exile, restored him, with honor and the full exercise of royal power, to a tributary and dependent kingdom. Some political motive, doubtless, prompted the Assyrian king to restore Manasseh, and that was most probably to have the kingdom of Judah as a barrier between Egypt and his Assyrian dominions. But God overruled this measure for higher purposes. Manasseh now showed himself, by the influence of sanctified affliction, a new and better man. He made a complete reversal of his former policy, by not only destroying all the idolatrous statues and altars he had formerly erected in Jerusalem, but displaying the most ardent zeal in restoring and encouraging the worship of God. No text from Poole on this verse. And when he was in affliction,.... In prison; however, in fetters; according to the Targum, the Chaldeans made an instrument of brass with holes in it, and put him in it, and fire about it, something like the brasen bull of Perillus; and the above Arabian writer (k) calls it a tower of brass:

he besought the Lord his God; by prayer and supplication:

and humbled himself greatly before the Lord God of his fathers; confessing his sins, expressing great sorrow and repentance for them.

(k) Abulph. & Suidas, ib. (Hist. Dynast. Dyn. 3. p. 67.)

And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,
12. affliction] R.V. distress, as in 2 Chronicles 28:22.

12, 13. fathers, and prayed] R.V. fathers. And he prayed.The reign of Manasseh; cf. 2 Kings 21:1-18. - The characteristics of this king's reign, and of the idolatry which he again introduced, and increased in a measure surpassing all his predecessors (2 Chronicles 33:1-9), agrees almost verbally with 2 Kings 21:1-9. Here and there an expression is rhetorically generalized and intensified, e.g., by the plurals לבּעלים and אשׁרות (2 Chronicles 33:3) instead of the sing. לבּעל and אשׁרה (Kings), and בּנין (2 Chronicles 33:6) instead of בּנו (see on 2 Chronicles 28:3); by the addition of וכשּׁף to ונחשׁ עונן, and of the name the Vale of Hinnom, 2 Chronicles 33:6 (see on Joshua 15:18, גּי for גּיא); by heaping up words for the law and its commandments (2 Chronicles 33:8); and other small deviations, of which הסּמל פּסל (2 Chronicles 33:7) instead of האשׁרה פּסל (Kings) is the most important. The word סמל, sculpture or statue, is derived from Deuteronomy 4:16, but has perhaps been taken by the author of the Chronicle from Ezekiel 8:3, where סמל probably denotes the statue of Asherah. The form עילום for עולם (2 Chronicles 33:7) is not elsewhere met with.
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