2 Kings 21:1-18

Manasseh becomes the king of Judah

1 Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king. He ruled as king in Jerusalem for 55 years. His mother's name was Hephzibah. 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 destroyed. He built altars for people to worship Baal. He also made an Asherah pole, as King Ahab of Israel had done. 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.’

21:4These were altars to give honour to false gods, not to the Lord.

5 Manasseh built altars to give honour to the stars, in both yards of the Lord's temple. 6 He burnt his own son with fire as a sacrifice. 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.

7 Manasseh used wood to make an image of the false god, Asherah. He put this idol in the Lord's temple. The Lord 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 and all my Law that my servant Moses gave to them.’

9 But the people did not obey the Lord. Manasseh caused them to turn away from God. The Israelites 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.

10 So the Lord used his servants, the prophets, to say this: 11 ‘Manasseh, the king of Judah, has done terrible sins. He has done more evil things than the Amorites did, who lived in Canaan before him. He has caused the people of Judah to do wrong things as they worship his idols. 12 So the Lord, Israel's God, says this: “I will cause great trouble to happen in Jerusalem and in all the kingdom of Judah. Everyone who hears the news about it will be very surprised. 13 I will judge Jerusalem and I will punish the people, as I punished Samaria and the family of King Ahab. I will remove the people from Jerusalem, like someone who washes the dirt from both sides of a plate.

21:13God judges his people, like a builder measures a wall to see if it is straight. See Amos 7:7-8 and Isaiah 28:17.

14 I will no longer help those of my own people who still remain. I will put them under the power of their enemies. All their enemies will rob them. They will take all their valuable things for themselves. 15 My people have done things that I say are evil. They have made me very angry. They have continued to do that since their ancestors came out from Egypt, until today.” ’

16 Also, Manasseh murdered many people who had not done anything wrong. Their blood was in all the streets of Jerusalem! He caused the people in Judah to do bad things too. He caused them to do things that the Lord said were evil.

17 The other things that happened while Manasseh was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The history of Judah's kings’. It tells about the things that Manasseh did, including all his terrible sins. 18 Manasseh died and they buried him in the garden of his palace. It is called Uzza's garden. His son Amon became king after him.