2 Kings 21

Manasseh becomes the king of Judah

1 Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 55 years. His mother's name was Hephzibah. 2 The LORD saw that Manasseh did very bad things. He did all the bad things that the people before him in Canaan had done. The LORD had sent those people away before Israel's people had come into the country. 3 He built again the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed. He made altars for the false god Baal. And he made an Asherah pole, as King Ahab of Israel had done. He went down on his knees in front of all the stars and he worshipped them. 4 He built altars in the house of the LORD. But the LORD had said about his house, ‘I will put my Name in Jerusalem.’ 5 He built altars to all the stars in both courts which were outside the house of the LORD. 6 He burnt his own son in a fire for one of the false gods. He used bad spirits to do strange things. He used false gods to try to discover what would happen. He visited bad people to talk to dead people. He visited bad people who used magic. The LORD saw that he did very, very bad things. This made the LORD very, very angry. 7 He had cut a piece of wood into an Asherah pole. He put it in the house of the LORD. But the LORD had said to David and to his son, Solomon, ‘I have chosen Jerusalem out of all the tribes of Israel. I will put my Name in this house for all time. 8 I will never cause the feet of the people in Israel go away from this country again. I gave this country to their ancestors. But they must do everything that I asked them to do. They must obey all the Law that my servant Moses gave to them.’ 9 But the people did not listen to the LORD. Manasseh caused them not to obey the Law. Then, the people in Israel did more bad things than the people that the LORD had killed before them.

10 So the LORD said by his servants who were prophets, 11 ‘Manasseh, the king of Judah, has done really bad sins. He has done more bad things than the people called Amorites. They lived in Canaan before him. His false gods have caused the people in Judah to do many sins. 12 So the LORD, the God of Israel, says, “I will cause very, very bad things to happen to Jerusalem and to Judah. Those things will be a bad surprise to everybody who hears about them! 13 I will put a line that measures over Jerusalem. It is the line that I used against Samaria. And it is the plumbline that I used against Ahab's family. I will clean Jerusalem as someone washes a dish. I will clean it and turn it. It will be standing on its top.

14 I will leave the remnant of my people and I will give them to their enemies. All their enemies will rob them, 15 because I have seen that they have done very bad things. They have made me very, very angry. They have done that since their ancestors came out from Egypt until today.” ’

16 Also, Manasseh poured out so much blood that he filled Jerusalem from one end to the other with blood. The blood was from people who had not done anything wrong. And there were the sins that he had caused the people in Judah to do. The LORD saw that they did very bad things.

17 All the other events while Manasseh ruled are in a book. It is called ‘the reports about the kings of Judah’. It contains everything that he did. And it includes all his sins. 18 So Manasseh died like his ancestors. People buried him in the garden of the palace. It is called the garden of Uzza. And Amon, his son, became king after him.

Amon becomes the king of Judah

19 Amon was 22 years old when he became king. And he ruled in Jerusalem for two years. His mother's name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz. Haruz was from Jotbah. 20 The LORD saw that Amon did very bad things, as his father Manasseh had done. 21 He did all the bad things that his father had done. He worshipped the false gods that his father had worshipped. He went down on his knees to them. 22 He left the LORD, the God of his ancestors. He did not do the things that the LORD wanted him to do. 23 Amon's officers had some bad ideas against him. Then they killed him in his palace. 24 Then the people who lived in the country of Judah killed them. They killed all Amon's killers. They made Josiah, Amon's son, king instead. 25 The other events while Amon was king are in a book. It is called ‘the reports about the kings of Judah’. Everything that he did is in that book. 26 People buried him in his grave in the garden of Uzza. Josiah, his son, became king after him.

21:26Verses 4 and 7 Name has a capital N because it means God! God meant that they should not worship any other god in his house.
21:26Verse 13 These are tools that a builder uses. The line measures if a wall is flat. Also, it measures how long it is. The metal is on the end of a line. It measures whether a wall is straight up. A builder measures his building. So God measures what his people have done. Read Amos 7:7-8 and Isaiah 28:17.
21:26Verse 14 The word for ‘people’ really means ‘inheritance’. This means a man's gift to his children when he dies.