2 Kings 21
New English Translation
Manasseh’s Reign over Judah
21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother[a] was Hephzibah. 2 He did evil in the sight of[b] the Lord and committed the same horrible sins practiced by the nations[c] whom the Lord drove out before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he set up altars for Baal and made an Asherah pole just as King Ahab of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky[d] and worshiped[e] them. 4 He built altars in the Lord’s temple, about which the Lord had said, “Jerusalem will be my home.”[f] 5 In the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple he built altars for all the stars in the sky. 6 He passed his son[g] through the fire[h] and practiced divination and omen reading. He set up a ritual pit to conjure up underworld spirits and appointed magicians to supervise it.[i] He did a great amount of evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.[j] 7 He put an idol of Asherah he had made in the temple, about which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, “This temple in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will be my permanent home.[k] 8 I will not make Israel again leave the land I gave to their ancestors,[l] provided that they carefully obey all I commanded them, the whole law my servant Moses ordered them to obey.” 9 But they did not obey,[m] and Manasseh misled them so that they sinned more than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed from before the Israelites.
10 So the Lord announced through[n] his servants the prophets: 11 “King Manasseh of Judah has committed horrible sins.[o] He has sinned more than the Amorites before him and has encouraged Judah to sin by worshiping his disgusting idols.[p] 12 So this is what the Lord God of Israel has said, ‘I am about to bring disaster on Jerusalem and Judah. The news will reverberate in the ears of those who hear about it.[q] 13 I will destroy Jerusalem the same way I did Samaria and the dynasty of Ahab.[r] I will wipe Jerusalem clean, just as one wipes a plate on both sides.[s] 14 I will abandon this last remaining tribe among my people[t] and hand them over to their enemies; they will be plundered and robbed by all their enemies,[u] 15 because they have done evil in my sight[v] and have angered me from the time their ancestors left Egypt right up to this very day!’”
17 The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign and all his accomplishments, as well as the sinful acts he committed, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah.[y] 18 Manasseh passed away[z] and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzzah, and his son Amon replaced him as king.
Amon’s Reign over Judah
19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned for two years in Jerusalem. His mother[aa] was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz, from Jotbah. 20 He did evil in the sight of[ab] the Lord, just as his father Manasseh had done. 21 He followed in the footsteps of his father[ac] and worshiped and bowed down to the disgusting idols[ad] that his father had worshiped.[ae] 22 He abandoned the Lord, God of his ancestors, and did not follow the Lord’s instructions.[af] 23 Amon’s servants conspired against him and killed the king in his palace. 24 The people of the land executed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they[ag] made his son Josiah king in his place.
25 The rest of Amon’s accomplishments are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah.[ah] 26 He was buried[ai] in his tomb in the garden of Uzzah, and his son Josiah replaced him as king.
- 2 Kings 21:1 tn Heb “the name of his mother.”
- 2 Kings 21:2 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
- 2 Kings 21:2 tn Heb “like the abominable practices of the nations.”
- 2 Kings 21:3 sn See the note at 2 Kgs 17:16.
- 2 Kings 21:3 tn Or “served.”
- 2 Kings 21:4 tn Heb “In Jerusalem I will place my name.”
- 2 Kings 21:6 tc The LXX has the plural “his sons” here.
- 2 Kings 21:6 sn See the note at 2 Kgs 16:3.
- 2 Kings 21:6 tn Heb “and he set up a ritual pit, along with conjurers.” The Hebrew אוֹב (ʾov), “ritual pit,” refers to a pit used by a magician to conjure up underworld spirits. In 1 Sam 28:7 the witch of Endor is called a בַעֲלַת אוֹב (baʿalat ʾov), “owner of a ritual pit.” See H. Hoffner, “Second millennium Antecedents to the Hebrew, ʾÔḆ” JBL 86 (1967), 385-401.
- 2 Kings 21:6 tc Heb “and he multiplied doing what is evil in the eyes of the Lord, angering.” The third masculine singular pronominal suffix (“him”) has been accidentally omitted in the MT by haplography (note the vav that immediately follows).
- 2 Kings 21:7 tn Heb “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I chose from all the tribes of Israel, I will place my name perpetually (or perhaps “forever”).”
- 2 Kings 21:8 tn Heb “I will not again make the feet of Israel wander from the land which I gave to their fathers.”
- 2 Kings 21:9 tn Heb “listen.”
- 2 Kings 21:10 tn Heb “spoke by the hand of.”
- 2 Kings 21:11 tn Heb “these horrible sins.”
- 2 Kings 21:11 sn See the note at 1 Kgs 15:12.
- 2 Kings 21:12 tn Heb “so that everyone who hears it, his two ears will quiver.”
- 2 Kings 21:13 tn Heb “I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria, and the plumb line of the house of Ahab.” The measuring line and plumb line are normally used in building a structure, not tearing it down. But here they are used ironically as metaphors of judgment, emphasizing that he will give careful attention to the task of judgment.
- 2 Kings 21:13 tn Heb “just as one wipes a plate, wiping and turning [it] on its face.” The word picture emphasizes how thoroughly the Lord will judge the city.
- 2 Kings 21:14 tn Heb “the remnant of my inheritance.” In this context the Lord’s remnant is the tribe of Judah, which had been preserved when the Assyrians conquered and deported the northern tribes. See 17:18 and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 269.
- 2 Kings 21:14 tn Heb “they will become plunder and spoils of war for all their enemies.”
- 2 Kings 21:15 tn Heb “in my eyes.”
- 2 Kings 21:16 tn Heb “and also Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, until he filled Jerusalem from mouth to mouth.”
- 2 Kings 21:16 tn Heb “apart from his sin which he caused Judah to commit, by doing what is evil in the eyes of the Lord.”
- 2 Kings 21:17 tn Heb “As for the rest of the events of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin which he committed, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Judah?”
- 2 Kings 21:18 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”
- 2 Kings 21:19 tn Heb “the name of his mother.”
- 2 Kings 21:20 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
- 2 Kings 21:21 tn Heb “walked in all the way which his father walked.”
- 2 Kings 21:21 sn See the note at 1 Kgs 15:12.
- 2 Kings 21:21 tn Heb “and he served the disgusting idols which his father served and he bowed down to them.”
- 2 Kings 21:22 tn Heb “and did not walk in the way of the Lord.”
- 2 Kings 21:24 tn Heb “the people of the land.” The pronoun “they” has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons, to avoid the repetition of the phrase “the people of the land” from the beginning of the verse.
- 2 Kings 21:25 tc Heb “As for the rest of the things of Amon which he did, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Judah?” Many Hebrew mss have וְכָל (vekhol), “and all,” before אֲשֶׁר (ʾasher). In this case we can translate, “As for the rest of the events of Amon’s reign, and all his accomplishments,….”
- 2 Kings 21:26 tn Heb “he buried him.” Here “he” probably refers to Amon’s son Josiah.