2 Chronicles 33:14
Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Now after this . . . valley.—Rather, And afterwards he built an outer wall to the city of David westward unto Gihon in the ravine. Manasseh completed the wall begun by Hezekiah (2Chronicles 32:5). This highly circumstantial account of the public works undertaken by Manasseh after his restoration, is utterly unlike fiction, and almost compels the assumption of a real historical source, no longer extant, from which the whole section has been derived.

Even to the entering in of the fish gate.—The fish-gate lay near the north-east corner of the lower city (Nehemiah 3:3). The direction of the outer wall is described first westward, and then eastward.

And compassed about Ophel.And surrounded the Ophel (mound); seil., with the wall, which he carried on from the north-east to the south-east. Uzziah and Jotham had already worked upon these fortifications (2Chronicles 26:9; 2Chronicles 27:3). Manasseh now finished them, “raising them up to a very great height.”

Raised iti.e., the outer wall.

And put captains of war.—(Comp. 2Chronicles 17:2; 2Chronicles 32:6.) Literally, captains of an army ( sārê chayil).

Of Judah.—Heb., in Judah. Some MSS. and the Vulgale read as the Authorised Version.

2 Chronicles 33:14. After this he built a wall without the city of David — He repaired and strengthened that wall which Hezekiah had built, (2 Chronicles 32:5,) and which, possibly, the king of Assyria, or of Babylon rather, when he last took Jerusalem, had caused to be thrown down, either wholly or in part. On the west side of Gihon — On the west side of the city of David, to which Hezekiah had brought the watercourse down, mentioned 2 Chronicles 32:30, into the great pool which he had made to receive it: and possibly this wall was built to secure the free use of it to the citizens, when they should be distressed or besieged by an enemy. 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.Rather, "he built the outer wall of the city of David on the west of Gihon-in-the-valley." The wall intended seems to have been that toward the northeast, which ran from the vicinity of the modern Damascus gate across the valley of Gihon, to the "fish-gate" at the northeast corner of the "city of David."

We may gather from this verse that, late in his reign, Manasseh revolted from the Assyrians, and made preparations to resist them if they should attack him. Assyria began to decline in power about 647 B.C., and from that time her outlying provinces would naturally begin to fall off. Manasseh reigned until 642 B.C.

14. he built a wall without the city … on the west side of Gihon … even to the entering in at the fish gate—"The well-ascertained position of the fish gate, shows that the valley of Gihon could be no other than that leading northwest of Damascus gate, and gently descending southward, uniting with the Tyropœon at the northeast corner of Mount Zion, where the latter turns at right angles and runs towards Siloam. The wall thus built by Manasseh on the west side of the valley of Gihon, would extend from the vicinity of the northeast corner of the wall of Zion in a northerly direction, until it crossed over the valley to form a junction with the outer wall at the trench of Antonia, precisely in the quarter where the temple would be most easily assailed" [Barclay]. He built a wall; he repaired and strengthened that wall which Hezekiah had built, 2 Chronicles 32:5, and which possibly the king of Assyria, when he last took Jerusalem, had caused to be thrown down, either wholly or in part.

On the west side of Gihon; on the west side of the city of David, to which Hezekiah had brought this water-course down, 2 Chronicles 32:30, into the great pool which he had made to receive it; and possibly this wall was built to secure the free use of it to the citizens when they should be distressed or besieged by an enemy.

Compassed about Ophel with a wall. Of Ophel see before, 2 Chronicles 27:3. Now after this he built a wall without the city of David,.... Which perhaps had been broken down by the Assyrian army, when it came and took him; Vitringa (l) thinks this is the wall of the pool of Siloah, Nehemiah 3:15 which seems to be the first and oldest wall, as Josephus (m); for that turning to the north bent towards the pool of Siloam; an Arabic writer (n) calls it the southern wall:

on the west side of Gihon; on the west side of the city, towards Gihon; for that was to the west of it, 2 Chronicles 32:30,

in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate; through which the fish were brought from Joppa, and where, according to the Targum, they were sold:

and compassed about Ophel; the eastern part of Mount Zion; some say it was the holy of holies, 2 Chronicles 27:3,

and raised it up a very great height; built the wall very high there:

and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah; this he did to put his kingdom in a posture of defence, should it be attacked by the Assyrian army again.

(l) Comment. in Jesaiam, c. 22. 9. (m) De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 9. (n) Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. Dyn. 3. p. 67.

Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of {e} Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about {f} Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah.

(e) Read 2Ch 32:30.

(f) Read 2Ch 27:3.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14–17 (not in 2 Kin.). The Later Deeds of Manasseh

14. a wall without the city] R.V. an outer wall to the city.

even to the entering in] Or, “and [on the west] of the entering in.”

and compassed about] R.V. and he compassed about.

Ophel] Cp. 2 Chronicles 27:3 (note).

and put captains of war] R.V. and he put valiant captains.Verse 14. - The wall without; or, Revised Version, the outer wall, is probably one with that of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:5), which now Manasseh repairs, or rebuilds, and perhaps lengthens as well as heightens. The fish gate (Nehemiah 13:16), left on the north of Jerusalem, and opened on the main road for the sea (Conder's 'Handbook,' etc., p. 343). The wall traversed the north and east sides to Ophel, "on the wall" of which, it is said (2 Chronicles 27:3), "Jotham built much." Hezekiah also built much there, and now Manasseh raised it up a very great height. 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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