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II Chronicles 32:23-33:25 Listen
23 And many brought gifts unto the LORD to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.
24 In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign.
25 But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.
26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.
27 And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels;
28 Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks.
29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much.
30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.
31 Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.
32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the chiefest of the sepulchres of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.
These 11 verses serve as a glowing endorsement of Hezekiah's life and accomplishments. The only comment about his shortcomings in this passage is to be found in verse 25 where it is said, "...there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem." Take a look at II Kings 20-21 to see the details of Hezekiah's pride and subsequent prayer for the lengthening of his life (Remember the sundial incident?). God prospered Hezekiah, and he reserved Judah's fall until after his death. Then Judah's fall was not to the Assyrians, but to the Babylonians.
One notable and archaeologically validated accomplishment of Hezekiah is seen in verse 30, "And Hezekiah himself hath stopped the upper source of the waters of Gihon, and directeth them beneath to the west of the city of David, and Hezekiah prospereth in all his work." This verse adds detail to II Chronicles 32:2-4 (see notes).
And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him. So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?"
II Chronicles 32:2-4
This tunnel of 1,750 feet supplied the Pool of Siloam inside Jerusalem (a walled city) with fresh water from the Spring of Gihon outside the city. In 1880 an inscription was discovered by a boy who was bathing in the waters of the Gihon Spring. After studying the inscription, it was determined that it had been carved in stone there by Hezekiah's workers to chronicle their success. The tunnel had been hewn from stone coming from two directions - from within the city at the Pool of Siloam and from without the city at the Spring of Gihon. The workers, according to the inscription, met in the middle. The tunnel supplied fresh water to the inhabitants of Jerusalem during the siege of the Assyrians in 701 B.C. Because of the availability of fresh water to Jerusalem coupled with the lack of water outside of Jerusalem (because of the water diversion), the Jews were able to outlast the Assyrians in the attempted, but unsuccessful, takeover.
The water diversion was just part of Hezekiah's preparation for battle against the Assyrians, as seen in II Chronicles 32:1-8 (see notes).
Evil King Manasseh reigns (II Chronicles 33:1-9)
Click here to see the notes on the compatible passage in II Kings 21:1-18
II Chronicles 33
II Kings 21
|1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem:
2 But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.
4 Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.
5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
7 And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:
8 Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land which I have appointed for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.
9 So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel.
| 1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah.
2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
3 For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.
4 And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name.
5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
7 And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which the LORD said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:
8 Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.
9 But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel.
10 And the LORD spake by his servants the prophets, saying,
11 Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols:
12 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.
13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down.
14 And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies;
15 Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day.
16 Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.
17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
18 And Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.
II Kings 21:1-18 gives the details of Manasseh's rotten life also. He was evil. We see in verse 6 the details of Manasseh's wickedness, "And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger." Verse 9 sums it up, "So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel." He built altars to nearly all the false gods - the ones his Dad had torn down. He burned his own kids in sacrifice and erected pagan idols right in the temple.
10 And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken.
11 Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.
12 And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,
13 And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.
14 Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah.
15 And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city.
16 And he repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.
17 Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet unto the LORD their God only.
18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel.
19 His prayer also, and how God was intreated of him, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings of the seers.
20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.
In these 11 verses, Ezra, writing for the returning exiles, shows a side of Manasseh that was not told in II Kings; Manasseh gets a second chance. The Assyrians capture evil Manasseh; then he repents. God honors this prayer of repentance and restores him as King of Judah. We don't know the details of how this jail break took place. Manasseh then tries to undo that which characterized him in the early part of his reign; he tries to return Judah to God. His efforts were a little on the slight side, however. Notice what verse 17 tells us after Manasseh got rid of the idols in the temple, "Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet unto the LORD their God only." Let's get the picture clearly here: They did not tear down those disgusting abominations known as "high places." They compromised! These pagan altars had been built to the custom specifications of the pagan gods to whom they were dedicated. Instead of tearing them down (as they should have), they simply specified that the offerings they made on those altars were made to God rather than those pagan deities - same place, same ritual, same sacrifice - different words. The Law of Moses specifically required that all sacrifices be made on the altar of God.
The evil King Amon just gets 5 verses (II Chronicles 33:21-25)
Click here to see the notes on the compatible passage in II Kings 21:19-26.
II Chronicles 33
II Kings 21
|21 Amon was two and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned two years in Jerusalem.
22 But he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as did Manasseh his father: for Amon sacrificed unto all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them;
23 And humbled not himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more.
24 And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house.
25 But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.
|19 Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.
20 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh did.
21 And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them:
22 And he forsook the LORD God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the LORD.
23 And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and slew the king in his own house.
24 And the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.
25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
26 And he was buried in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his stead.
Amon only gets five verses here in II Chronicles 33 and only eight verses in II Kings 21:19-26 (see notes). Like father; like son. He followed the pattern of his father's early reign - false gods, etc. Since after Manasseh's return to God he didn't actually get rid of the high places, Amon strikes back up worship to false gods there. That's what happens when people compromise with evil rather than eliminate it. He was killed by his own servants who were subsequently killed by the people, and his son 8-year-old Josiah becomes king.
Bless ye the LORD (Psalm 135)
1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.
2 Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God,
3 Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.
4 For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
5 For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
7 He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.
8 Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.
9 Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants.
10 Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings;
11 Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan:
12 And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people.
13 Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.
14 For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants.
15 The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
16 They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;
17 They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.
18 They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.
19 Bless the LORD, O house of Israel: bless the LORD, O house of Aaron:
20 Bless the LORD, O house of Levi: ye that fear the LORD, bless the LORD.
21 Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.
The authorship of this Psalm is unknown; likewise, the date of this writing is not apparent. This Psalm is written like a recitation for a pep rally in honor of God's power and faithfulness. It is typical in the Psalms and Prophets to cite reminders for God's people of His faithfulness to them in times past.
Following are the specific instances of God's faithfulness recounted by this Psalmist:
Perhaps this is yet another of those crisis situations, and this Psalm is reminding the people that God can do it again. He, indeed, was with Israel in conquering the lands with the false gods as stated. If this was written during the Assyrian siege on Jerusalem, these words take on deep meaning to the inhabitants of that city.