2 Chronicles 33:17
Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet to the LORD their God only.
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2 Chronicles 33:17. Nevertheless, the people did sacrifice still, &c. — “Rabbi Kimchi observes very well here, that though Manasseh’s repentance might be sincere, yet it was attended with a melancholy circumstance, which ought to sound in the ear of every one invested with power, His example and authority easily seduced his people to idolatry; but his royal mandate was unable to reclaim them.” — Dodd. He could not carry the reformation so far as he had carried the corruption. It is an easy thing to debauch men’s manners; but not so easy to reform them again.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.Compare 2 Kings 21:2, note; 2 Kings 18:4, note. 17. the people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet unto the Lord their God only—Here it appears that the worship on high places, though it originated in a great measure from the practice of heathenism, and too often led to it, did not necessarily imply idolatry. No text from Poole on this verse. Nevertheless, the people did sacrifice still in the high places,.... Not in those that were built for idols, at least did not sacrifice to them; for it follows:

yet unto the Lord their God only; the Targum is,"to the name of the Word of the Lord their God.''

Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet unto the {h} LORD their God only.

(h) Thus by ignorance they were deceived, thinking it nothing to keep the altars, so that they worshipped God: but it is idolatry to worship God any other way than he has appointed.

17. yet … only] R.V. but only.… Cp. 2 Chronicles 32:12, note.Verse 17. - Compare Hezekiah's good work (2 Chronicles 31:1) with his son's bad work (2 Chronicles 33:3); the latter could undo his father's good, but now could not undo his own evil! The illegitimate worshippings and offerings of high places, though they had been "winked at" from time to time by some of even the better of the kings, were of course essentially counter to the one national worship in the one temple, and to the offerings and sacrifices of the one national altar. As Manasseh would not hear the words of the prophets, the Lord brought upon him the captains of the host of the king of Assyria. These "took him with hooks, and bound him with double chains of brass, and brought him to Babylon." בחוחים ילכּדוּ signifies neither, they took him prisoner in thorns (hid in the thorns), nor in a place called Chochim (which is not elsewhere found), but they took him with hooks. חוח denotes the hook or ring which was drawn through the gills of large fish when taken (Job 41:2), and is synonymous with חח (2 Kings 19:28; Ezekiel 19:4), a ring which was passed through the noses of wild beasts to subdue and lead them. The expression is figurative, as in the passages quoted from the prophets. Manasseh is represented as an unmanageable beast, which the Assyrian generals took and subdued by a ring in the nose. The figurative expression is explained by the succeeding clause: they bound him with double chains. נחשׁתּים are double fetters of brass, with which the feet of prisoners were bound (2 Samuel 3:34; Judges 16:21; 2 Chronicles 36:6, etc.).
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