2 Kings 21 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Manasseh Begins His Evil Rule Over Judah
21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to rule. He ruled 55 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.
2 Manasseh did what the Lord said was wrong. He did the terrible things the other nations did. (And the Lord forced those nations to leave their country when the Israelites came.) 3 Manasseh rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed. He also built altars for Baal and made an Asherah pole, just as King Ahab of Israel had done. Manasseh worshiped and served the stars of heaven. 4 He built altars to honor false gods in the Lord’s Temple. (This is the place the Lord was talking about when he said, “I will put my name in Jerusalem.”) 5 Manasseh built altars for the stars of heaven in the two courtyards of the Lord’s Temple. 6 He sacrificed his own son and burned him on the altar.[a] He used different ways of trying to know the future. He visited mediums and wizards.
Manasseh did more and more things that the Lord saw as evil, which made the Lord angry. 7 Manasseh made a carved statue of Asherah. He put this statue in the Temple. The Lord had said to David and to David’s son Solomon about this Temple: “I have chosen Jerusalem from all the cities in Israel. I will put my name in the Temple in Jerusalem forever. 8 I will not cause the Israelites to leave the land that I gave to their ancestors. I will let the people stay in their land if they obey everything I commanded them and all the teachings that my servant Moses gave them.” 9 But the people did not listen to God. Manasseh did more evil things than all the nations that lived in Canaan before Israel came. And the Lord destroyed those nations when the Israelites came to take their land.
10 The Lord used his servants the prophets to say this: 11 “King Manasseh of Judah has done these hated things and has done more evil than the Amorites before him. He also has caused Judah to sin because of his idols. 12 So the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘Look! I will bring so much trouble against Jerusalem and Judah that anyone who hears about it will be shocked.[b] 13 I will stretch the measuring line of Samaria[c] and the plumb line[d] of Ahab’s family over Jerusalem. A man wipes a dish, and then he turns it upside down. I will do that to Jerusalem. 14 There will still be a few of my people left, but I will leave them. I will give them to their enemies. Their enemies will take them as prisoners—they will be like the valuable things soldiers take in war. 15 This is because my people did what I said was wrong. They have made me angry with them since the day their ancestors came up out of Egypt. 16 And Manasseh killed many innocent people. He filled Jerusalem from one end to another with blood. And all these sins are in addition to the sins that caused Judah to sin. Manasseh caused Judah to do what the Lord said was wrong.’”
17 All the things that Manasseh did, including the sins that he committed, are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah. 18 Manasseh died and was buried with his ancestors. He was buried in the garden at his house. It was called the “Garden of Uzza.” His son Amon became the new king after him.
Amon’s Short Rule
19 Amon was 22 years old when he began to rule. He ruled two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz from Jotbah.
20 Amon did what the Lord said was wrong, just as his father Manasseh had done. 21 Amon lived just as his father had lived. He worshiped and served the same idols his father had worshiped. 22 Amon left the Lord, the God of his ancestors, and did not live the way the Lord wanted.
23 Amon’s servants made plans against him and killed him in his palace. 24 The common people killed all the officers who made plans against King Amon. Then the people made Amon’s son Josiah the new king after him.
25 The other things that Amon did are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah. 26 Amon was buried in his grave at the Garden of Uzza. His son Josiah became the new king.