Matthew Poole's Commentary
Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hephzibah.Manasseh’s idolatry, 2 Kings 21:1-9. Judgments prophesied against Judah, 2 Kings 21:10-15. Manasseh shed innocent blood; dieth, 2 Kings 21:16-18. Amon his son succeedeth him; and is slain by his servants; who are slain by the people: Josiah his son is made king, 2 Kings 21:19-26.
Reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem; in which time the years of his imprisonment are comprehended, 2 Chronicles 33:11.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.Did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord; partly by the instigation of the wicked princes of Judah, who in Hezekiah’s time were secret enemies to his reformation, and now, when their fetters were knocked off by Hezekiah’s death, break forth into open hostility against it, and corrupt the king’s tender years with their wicked counsel; and principally by his own vicious inclination.
For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.The host of heaven; the stars, which the Gentiles had transformed into gods. See Poole "Deu 4:19".
And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name.In the house of the Lord, i.e. in the temple itself, in the holy place, because this is distinguished from the courts of the house, 2 Kings 21:5.
In Jerusalem will I put my name; that place I have peculiarly consecrated to my worship and honour; which made it the greater injustice, and impiety, and sacrilege to alienate it from God, and to dedicate it, or any part of it, especially the temple, to the service of idols, whom God abhorreth.
And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.The one of the priests, the other of the people, 1 Kings 6:36.
And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.Made his son pass through the fire; of which See Poole "Leviticus 18:21 2 Kings 16:3".
Observed times, i.e. lucky or unlucky days or seasons for the despatch of businesses, according to the superstitious practice of the heathens. See Esther 3:7: see also Leviticus 19:26 Deu 18:10,11.
And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which the LORD said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:He set a graven image of the grove; either, first, The image of that Baal which was worshipped in the grove. Or, secondly, A representation of the grove, as may seem by comparing 2 Kings 23:6. Or, thirdly, The graven image of Asherah, a god or goddess so called, possibly the same called elsewhere Ashtaroth. See Judges 6:25,28 2 Kings 23:6 2 Chronicles 15:16.
Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.Move any more out of the land; they shall no more be carried captives into a strange land, as it had happened before.
But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel.Partly because they were not contented with those idols which the Canaanites worshipped, but either themselves invented, or they borrowed from other nations, many new idols and kinds of idolatry; and partly because as their light was far more clear, their obligations to God infinitely higher, and their helps and antidotes against idolatry much stronger than the Canaanites had; so their sins, though the same in kind, were unspeakably worse in respect of these dreadful aggravations.
And the LORD spake by his servants the prophets, saying,No text from Poole on this verse.
Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:Above all that the Amorites did, i.e. the Canaanitish nations, all so called from one eminent part of them. See Poole "Genesis 15:16".
Hath made Judah also to sin with his idols; by his example, encouragement, counsel, authority, and command.
Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.By the great commotion which such terrible reports shall cause in the hearts and heads of the hearers. See Poole "1 Samuel 3:11"; See Poole "Jeremiah 19:3".
And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down.Jerusalem shall have the same measure and lot, i.e. the same judgments, which Samaria had. The line is oft put for one’s lot or portion, as Psalm 16:6 2 Corinthians 10:16, because men’s portions or possessions used to be measured by lines, Psalm 78:55 Amos 7:17. Or it is a metaphor from workmen who mark out by lines what part of the building they would have thrown down, and what they would have stand. See Isaiah 34:11 Lamentations 2:8 Amos 7:7,8 Zec 1:16. Or it is an allusion to that fact of David, who destroyed the Moabites by a measuring line, 2 Samuel 8:2.
Wiping it, and turning it upside down, as men do with a dish that hath been used; first wholly empty it of all that is in it, then thoroughly cleanse and wipe it, and lastly turn it upside down, that nothing may remain in it: so will I deal with Jerusalem, thoroughly empty and purge it from all its wicked inhabitants, and that so as to cut off all hopes of restitution.
And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies;The remnant of mine inheritance, i.e. the kingdom of Judah, the only remainder of all the tribes of Israel, which I did once choose for my inheritance, but now, notwithstanding that privilege, will utterly reject and forsake them.
Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day.This sore judgment, though it was chiefly inflicted for the sins of Manasseh and his generation, yet had a respect unto all their former sins, the guilt whereof was upon this occasion revived. See Exodus 32:31.
Moreover Manasseh shed 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.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.
Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?No text from Poole on this verse.
And Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.In the garden of his own house, not in the sepulchre of the kings; either by the people’s designation, who judged him unworthy of that honour; or rather, by his own choice and command, as a lasting testimony of his sincere repentance and abhorrency of himself for his former crimes.
In the garden of Uzza, or, of king Uzziah, who possibly planted or enlarged it.
Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh did.No text from Poole on this verse.
And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them:No text from Poole on this verse.
And he forsook the LORD God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the LORD.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and slew the king in his own house.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.No text from Poole on this verse.
Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?No text from Poole on this verse.
And he was buried in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his stead.No text from Poole on this verse.