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Icons of the Bible: King Manasseh - The King that Forgot The Lord

Updated: Sep 3, 2023


Icons of the Bible: King Manasseh - The King that Forgot The Lord
Icons of the Bible: King Manasseh - The King that Forgot The Lord

Icons of the Bible

Who was King Manasseh in the Bible?

"The story of King Manasseh is told in 2 Kings 21:1–18 and 2 Chronicles 32:33–33:20, and he is also mentioned briefly in Jeremiah 15:4. Manasseh was king of the southern kingdom of Judah and the son of the godly king Hezekiah. Hezekiah had undertaken reforms in Judah to rid the land of idolatry. Manasseh, a wicked king, reversed these reforms and did much worse. The first five verses of 2 Kings 21 are a frank and stunning account of Manasseh’s apostasy:

“Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. . . . He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He 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. He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, ‘In Jerusalem I will put my Name.’ In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He 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.” Although we are not given the specifics, Manasseh was also a treacherous king, killing innocent people: “Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end” (2 Kings 21:16). He was pronounced by God to be more wicked than the Amorites who had lived in Canaan before they were displaced by Israel in an act of God’s judgment (2 Kings 21:11; see also 2 Chronicles 33:9).

Not only did Manasseh sin personally, but as king he led Judah in forsaking the LORD and worshiping idols. Such was the extent of their sin that God declared He would wipe out Jerusalem as He had the northern kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 21:13–15). Jeremiah 15:4 notes that it was the sin of Judah, initiated by Manasseh, that brought the judgment that Jeremiah proclaimed (the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple and the exile of the people). According to Jewish tradition, it was King Manasseh who murdered the prophet Isaiah.." from the article: Who was King Manasseh in the Bible?


King Manasseh: An Archaeological Biography


King Manasseh: An Archaeological Biography
King Manasseh: An Archaeological Biography

"In our bioarchaeographies of the Hebrew kings, we’ve seen how archaeology helps us tell the story of their lives. Numerous archaeological discoveries have affirmed biblical details about the reigns of kings like Uzziah, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. Archaeology has also illuminated Scripture, filling in the wider historical context duing which these kings reigned. The subject of our next bioarchaeography, King Manasseh, is known for his long and wicked reign, but also for his repentance and restoration.

Manasseh reigned for 55 years (2 Ki 21:1), from approximately 696-642 BC, although the first 11 years were likely a co-regency with his father, Hezekiah.1 He seemed to revel all manner of evil, including various forms of idolatry, witchcraft, and even child-sacrifice. (2 Ki 21:3-9;2 Ch 33:3-7). Scripture records that Manasseh led the people of God astray and did “more evil than the nations had done whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel.” (2 Ki 21:9)

Manasseh is named in several archaeological artifacts which attest to his historicity and help us understand the world at the time he reigned.." from the article: King Manasseh: An Archaeological Biography


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