2 Chronicles 33

Manasseh rules Judah as king

1 Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king. He ruled as king in Jerusalem for 55 years. 2 Manasseh did things that the Lord said were evil. He did the same terrible sins that the other nations in Canaan had done. Those were the nations that the Lord had chased out so that the Israelites could live there. 3 Manasseh built again the altars on the hills that his father Hezekiah had knocked down. He built altars for people to worship idols of Baal. He also made Asherah poles. He bent down low to worship all the stars in the sky. 4 He built altars in the Lord's temple. The Lord had said about his temple, ‘That is my home in Jerusalem where people will worship me for ever.’ 5 Manasseh built altars to give honour to the stars in both yards of the Lord's temple. 6 He burnt his own sons with fire as a sacrifice in Ben Hinnom valley. He used magic and false gods to find out what would happen in the future. He took advice from magicians and people who talked to the spirits of dead people. He did many things that the Lord said were very evil. This made the Lord very angry.

33:4These were altars to give honour to false gods, not to the Lord.

7 Manasseh made an image of a false god. He put this idol in God's temple. God had said this about his temple to King David and to his son King Solomon: ‘My people will worship me in my temple here in Jerusalem. That is the place that I have chosen to be my home for ever. I have chosen it from among all the tribes of Israel. 8 I will never cause the Israelite people to leave this land that I gave to their ancestors. But they must be careful to obey all my commands, my laws and the rules that I gave to my servant Moses for them.’

9 But Manasseh caused Judah's people and the people of Jerusalem to turn away from God. So they did more evil things than the people who lived in Canaan before them. The Lord had destroyed those nations so that the Israelites could live there.

The Lord punishes Manasseh

10 The Lord warned Manasseh and his people. But they would not listen to him. 11 So the Lord brought the officers of the king of Assyria's army to attack them. They took hold of Manasseh. They put metal hooks in his nose and they tied bronze chains around him. Then they took him away to Babylon. 12 This gave Manasseh a lot of pain. He asked the Lord his God to be kind to him. He made himself humble and he prayed for help to the Lord, the God of his ancestors.

13 When Manasseh prayed to the Lord, the Lord answered him. He was kind to Manasseh, as Manasseh had asked him to be. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem again, to rule there as king. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is the true God.

14 After that, Manasseh repaired the outside wall of the City of David. He built it higher, from the west side of Gihon stream, as far as the Fish Gate. Then he continued around Ophel hill. He built the wall up higher than it had been. He also put army officers with their soldiers in all the strong cities of Judah.

15 Manasseh removed from the Lord's temple the foreign gods and the idol that he had put there. He also removed the altars that he had built on the hill of the temple and in other places in Jerusalem. He threw them away, outside the city. 16 Then he repaired the Lord's altar in the temple. He brought friendship offerings and thank offerings as sacrifices on the altar. He told Judah's people to worship the Lord, Israel's God. 17 The people still offered sacrifices at the other altars in the country. But they only offered those sacrifices to the Lord their God.

Manasseh dies

18 The other things that happened while Manasseh was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The history of Israel's kings’. It includes Manasseh's prayer to God. It also includes the messages that the Lord, Israel's God, told his prophets to speak to Manasseh. 19 The book of the prophets' messages also includes Manasseh's prayer and how God answered him. It tells about all Manasseh's sins and how he turned away from God. It includes a list of all the places where he built altars and where he put Asherah poles and idols. He did those things before he made himself humble and he turned back to God.

20 Manasseh died and his people buried him in his palace. His son Amon became king after him.

Amon rules Judah as king

21 Amon was 22 years old when he became king. He ruled as king in Jerusalem for two years. 22 Amon did things that the Lord said were evil, as his father Manasseh had done. He offered sacrifices to all the idols that his father Manasseh had made. He worshipped those idols. 23 But he did not make himself humble and turn back to the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. Instead, Amon became guilty of even more sins.

33:21Amon was king for only two years from about 642 to 640 BC.

Amon dies

24 Amon's own officers decided to kill him. They killed him in his palace. 25 Then the people of Judah punished all Amon's murderers with death. They chose his son Josiah to be king after him.