2 Kings 21:1-26 NIV
Manasseh King of Judah
1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2He did evil in the Eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.
3He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. 4He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My Name.” 5In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. 6He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the Eyes of the Lord, arousing His Anger.
7He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon,
“In this Temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My Name forever. 8I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I gave their ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that My servant Moses gave them.”
9But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.
10The Lord said through His servants the prophets: 11“Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols.
12Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says:
I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14I will forsake the remnant of My Inheritance and give them into the hands of enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their enemies;15they have done evil in My Eyes and have aroused My Anger from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until this day.”
16Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end—besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the Eyes of the Lord.
17As for the other events of Manasseh’s reign, and all he did, including the sin he committed, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 18Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzza. And Amon his son succeeded him as king.
Amon King of Judah
19Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz; she was from Jotbah. 20He did evil in the Eyes of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. 21He followed completely the ways of his father, worshiping the idols his father had worshiped, and bowing down to them. 22He forsook the Lord, the God of his ancestors, and did not walk in obedience to Him.
23Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated the king in his palace. 24Then the people of the land killed all who had plotted against King Amon, and they made Josiah his son king in his place.
25As for the other events of Amon’s reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 26He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. And Josiah his son succeeded him as king.
Manasseh's Wicked Reign and Great Idolatry
Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign—He must have been born three years after his father's recovery; and his minority, spent under the influence of guardians who were hostile to the religious principles and reforming policy of his father, may account in part for the anti-theocratic principles of his reign. The work of religious reformation which Hezekiah had zealously carried on was but partially accomplished. There was little appearance of its influence on the heart and manners of the people at large.
On the contrary, the true fear of God had vanished from the mass of the people; corruption and vice increased, and were openly practiced (Isaiah 28:7) by the degenerate leaders, who, having got the young prince Manasseh into their power, directed his education, trained him up in their views, and seduced him into the open patronage of idolatry.
Hence, when he became sovereign, he introduced the worship of idols, the restoration of high places, and the erection of altars or pillars to Baal, and the placing, in the temple of God Himself, a graven image of Asherah, the sacred or symbolic tree, which represented "all the host of heaven." This was not idolatry, but pure star-worship, of Babylonian and Assyrian origin. The sun, as among the Persians, had chariots and horses consecrated to it (2 Kingd 23:11); and incense was offered to the stars on the housetops (2Kings 23:12; 2 Chronicles 33:5; Jeremiah 19:13; Zephaniah 1:5), and in the temple area with the face turned toward the sunrise (Ezekiel 8:16).