21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled fifty-five years from Jerusalem. His mother was Hephzibah. 2 Manasseh disobeyed the Lord by following the disgusting customs of the nations that the Lord had forced out of Israel. 3 He rebuilt the local shrines that his father Hezekiah had torn down. He built altars for the god Baal and set up a sacred pole for worshiping the goddess Asherah, just as King Ahab of Israel had done. And he faithfully worshiped the stars in heaven.
4 In the temple, where only the Lord was supposed to be worshiped, Manasseh built altars for pagan gods 5 and for the stars. He placed these altars in both courts of the temple, 6-7 and even set up the pole for Asherah there. Manasseh practiced magic and witchcraft; he asked fortunetellers for advice and sacrificed his own son. He did many sinful things and made the Lord very angry.
Years ago the Lord had told David and his son Solomon:
Jerusalem is the place I prefer above all others in Israel. It belongs to me, and there I will be worshiped forever. 8 If my people will faithfully obey all the commands in the Law of my servant Moses, I will never make them leave the land I gave to their ancestors.
9 But the people of Judah disobeyed the Lord. They listened to Manasseh and did even more sinful things than the nations the Lord had wiped out.
10 One day the Lord said to some of his prophets:
11 King Manasseh has done more disgusting things than the Amorites,[a] and he has led my people to sin by forcing them to worship his idols. 12 Now I, the Lord God of Israel, will destroy both Jerusalem and Judah! People will hear about it but won’t believe it. 13 Jerusalem is as sinful as Ahab and the people of Samaria were. So I will wipe out Jerusalem and be done with it, just as someone wipes water off a plate and turns it over to dry.
14 I will even get rid of my people who survive. They will be defeated and robbed by their enemies. 15 My people have done what I hate and have not stopped making me angry since their ancestors left Egypt.
16 Manasseh was guilty of causing the people of Judah to sin and disobey the Lord. He also refused to protect innocent people—he even let so many of them be killed[b] that their blood filled the streets of Jerusalem.
17 Everything else Manasseh did while he was king, including his terrible sins, is written in The History of the Kings of Judah. 18 He died and was buried in Uzza Garden near his palace, and his son Amon became king.
King Amon of Judah
19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem for two years. His mother Meshullemeth was the daughter of Haruz from Jotbah. 20 Amon disobeyed the Lord, just as his father Manasseh had done. 21 Amon worshiped the idols Manasseh had made and 22 refused to be faithful to the Lord, the God his ancestors had worshiped.
23 Some of Amon’s officials plotted against him and killed him in his palace. 24-26 He was buried in Uzza Garden. Soon after that, the people of Judah killed the murderers of Amon, then they made his son Josiah king.
Everything else Amon did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah.
21.11Amorites: Here used in the general sense of nations that lived in Canaan before the Israelites.
21.16He also refused. . . killed: Or “He killed so many innocent people.”
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