2 Kings 21:16
Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin with which he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood . . .—The narrative is taken up again from 2Kings 21:9. The “innocent blood” shed by Manasseh was that of the prophets of Jehovah and their followers. “As the nation fell back into the grooves of its old existence, ancient customs began to reassert their sway. The worship which the prophets condemned, and which Hezekiah had proscribed, was too deeply interwoven with all parts of life to be uprooted by royal decree, and the old prejudice of the country folk against the capital, so clearly apparent in (the pages of the prophet) Micah, must have co-operated with superstition to bring about the strong revulsion against the new reforms which took place under Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh. A bloody struggle ensued between the conservative party and the followers of the prophets, and the new king was on the side of the reaction (Robertson Smith). Talmudic tradition relates that Isaiah himself was sawn asunder in the trunk of a cedar tree in which he had taken refuge. (Comp. Hebrews 11:37. This is, perhaps, not impossible, but hardly probable. Ewald considers that Jeremiah 2:30, Psalm 141:7, and Isaiah 53, allude to the persecution of the prophets by Manasseh.

2 Kings 21:16. Moreover, Manasseh shed innocent blood — The blood of those prophets, and other righteous men, who either reproved his sinful practices, or refused to comply with his wicked commands. The tradition of the Jews is, that he caused Isaiah, in particular, to be sawn asunder, and that by a wooden saw, to which the author of the epistle to the Hebrews is thought to allude, Hebrews 11:37. Besides his sin, wherewith he made Judah to sin — That is, his idolatry, which is elsewhere called evil and corruption, and here sin, by way of eminency; which is the more remarkable, because it is here compared with horrid cruelty, and implied to be worse than it, and more abominable in God’s sight, because it more directly and immediately struck at the glory and the purity of the Divine Majesty, by respect unto which all sins are to be measured.21:10-18 Here is the doom of Judah and Jerusalem. The words used represent the city emptied and utterly desolate, yet not destroyed thereby, but cleansed, and to be kept for the future dwelling of the Jews: forsaken, yet not finally, and only as to outward privileges, for individual believers were preserved in that visitation. The Lord will cast off any professing people who dishonour him by their crimes, but never will desert his cause on earth. In the book of Chronicles we read of Manasseh's repentance, and acceptance with God; thus we may learn not to despair of the recovery of the greatest sinners. But let none dare to persist in sin, presuming that they may repent and reform when they please. There are a few instances of the conversion of notorious sinners, that none may despair; and but few, that none may presume.Compare Jeremiah 2:30; Hebrews 11:37; Isaiah 57:1-4. According to tradition, Isaiah was among the first to perish. More than a century afterward, the final judgment upon Jerusalem was felt to be in an special way the punishment of Manasseh's bloody persecution of God's people (marginal reference). 16. Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood—Not content with the patronage and the practice of idolatrous abomination, he was a cruel persecutor of all who did not conform. The land was deluged with the blood of good men; among whom it is traditionally said Isaiah suffered a horrid death, by being sawn asunder (see on [352]Heb 11:37). Innocent blood; the blood of those prophets and righteous men who either reproved his sinful practices, or refused to comply with his wicked commands and worship.

Beside his sin, i.e. his idolatry, which is elsewhere called evil, and corruption, and here sin, by way of eminency; which is the more considerable, because it is here compared with horrid cruelty, and implied to be worse than that, and more abominable in God’s sight, because it doth more directly and immediately strike at the glory and purity of the Divine Majesty, by respect unto which all sins are to be measured. And this expression God here useth in opposition to the gross error of most men, who look upon idolatry as a small sin, as a mere mistake of the mind, as the fruit of a good intention, and as an excess proceeding from zeal in religion. Moreover, Manasseh shed innocent blood very much,.... Putting to death the prophets that reproved him and his people for their idolatries, and such who would not comply therewith; and it is commonly said, both by Jewish and Christian writers, that Isaiah was slain, and even sawn asunder by him; see Gill on Hebrews 11:37,

till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; a metaphor taken from filling a vessel brimful:

beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord; the sin of idolatry he drew them into, and even obliged them to commit.

Moreover Manasseh shed {s} innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.

(s) The Hebrews write that he slew Isaiah the prophet, who was his father-in-law.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16–18. Other wickedness of Manasseh. His death (2 Chronicles 33:18-20)

16. Manasseh shed innocent blood very much] This is alluded to again in 2 Kings 24:4 as the cause of God’s continued anger against Judah. It is singular that the Chronicler makes no special mention of this particular offence. Josephus on the contrary (Ant. x. 3, 1) says ‘He did not even spare the prophets, but even of these he slew some daily (καθʼ ἡμέραν) so that Jerusalem ran with blood’. The tradition that Isaiah himself was one of the sufferers in this slaughter was current among early Christian legends, and some have taken the mention of ‘sawing asunder’ (Hebrews 11:37) as an allusion to his fate.

from one end to another] Lit. ‘from mouth to mouth’. See note on 2 Kings 10:21.Verse 16. - Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much. We must not understand this of his own offerings to Moloch, for these have been already put on record against him (ver. 6), and this is something additional (note the strong expression, וְגַם), nor even of the multitudinous sacrifices of the same kind which were the result of his influence on the people. Some culminating horror is required, something not touched upon before, and something specially attaching to the monarch himself. These conditions are answered by supposing a bloody persecution of the faithful to be intended. Josephus declares positively that Manasseh "cruelly put to death all the righteous among the Hebrews, and did not even spare the prophets" ('Ant. Jud.,' 10:3. § 1). A tradition, very widely received, declared Isaiah to have been one of the victims ('Gemara Jebam.,' 4:13; 'Sanhedr.,' f. 103; Tertullian, 'De Patientia,' § 14; Augustine, 'De Cir. Dei,' 18:24, etc.). Stanley says, "A reign of terror commenced against all who ventured to resist the reaction. Day by day a fresh batch of the prophetic order were ordered for execution. It seemed as if a devouring lion were let loose against them. From end to end of Jerusalem were to be seen traces of their blood. The nobles who took their part were thrown headlong from the rocky cliffs of Jerusalem" ('Lectures on the Jewish Church,' pt. 2. p. 492). The persecution has been compared to that of Anglicans under Mary Tudor. Till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another - i.e. "till he had filled it with blood and slaughter" (comp. 2 Kings 24:4) - beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord (see ver. 9). The Lord therefore announced through the prophets, to the rebellious and idolatrous nation, the destruction of Jerusalem and the deliverance of Judah into the hands of its enemies; but, as is added in 2 Chronicles 33:10, they paid no heed to them. The prophets who foretold this terrible judgment are not named. According to 2 Chronicles 33:18, their utterances were entered in the annals of the kings. Habakkuk was probably one of them, since he (Habakkuk 1:5) predicted the Chaldaean judgment as a fact which excited astonishment and appeared incredible. The Amorites are mentioned in 2 Kings 21:11 instar omnium as the supporters of the Canaanitish ungodliness, as in 1 Kings 21:26, etc. - The phrase, "that whosoever heareth it, both his ears may tingle," denotes such a judgment as has never been heard of before, and excites alarm and horror (cf. 1 Samuel 3:11 and Jeremiah 19:3). The Keri שׁמעהּ is a correction, to bring the pronom. suff. into conformity with the noun רעה so far as the gender is concerned, whereas in the Chethb שׁמעיו the masculine suffix is used in the place of the feminine, as is frequently the case.
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