Melachim 2/Kings 2-Chapter 21: The reign of Manashe and Amon

1.      The reign of Manasheh:

  • The age at which he became king: Manasheh was twelve years old when he became king.
  • The years of his reign: Manasheh reigned in Jerusalem for a period of fifty-five years.
  • His mother’s name: His mother’s name was Cheftzibah.

2.      The evil deeds of Manasheh:

  • Manasheh did evil in the eyes of Hashem and performed the abominations of the Gentile nations that Hashem had driven out of the land of Israel.
  • Rebuilding the Bamos and altars of idolatry: He rebuilt the Bamos that Chizkiyah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for the idolatry of the Baal, and he made an Asherah tree for idolatry as Achav the previous king of Israel had made.
  • Worshiping the heavens: Manasheh prostrated himself and worshipped the legions of the heavens.
  • Building altars for idolatry in the temple: He even built altars for idolatry in the temple of God, where God had promised to dwell his presence. He built altars for worshiping all the legions of the heavens, and placed them in the two courtyards of the temple [i.e. Ezras Yisrael and Ezras Kohanim[1]].
  • The idolatry of Molech: He performed the idolatry of Molech and passed his son through fire.
  • Practicing sorcery and Ov Viyidoni: He practiced sorcery and divination, and he performed the sorcery of Ov and Yidony.
  • Performing evil simply to provoke God: He performed evil simply to provoke Hashem. He placed the Asherah idolatry in the Temple. Manasheh also led the rest of the Jewish people astray to follow the evil acts of the Gentile nations.

3.      A prophecy of doom of the Jewish people

  • Hashem sent His prophets [i.e. Nachum and Chabakuk[2]] to tell the Jewish people the following prophecy: “Manasheh has committed these abominations, and has done things even more wicked than all the Amorites who were there before him, and he caused Yehuda to sin with his idols. Therefore, I will bring such destruction and calamity to the Jewish people, that the two ears of people who hear of it will be unable to conceive it. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one who wipes a dish and turns it upside down. I will hand over the rest of the people to their enemies and they will be of disdain to all their captors, being that they have done evil in My eyes, and have constantly provoked Me since the day that their ancestors were redeemed from Egypt.”
  • He was a murderer: Minasheh shed a lot of innocent blood [of those who refused to bow to idolatry[3]], until he filled Jerusalem from one end to the other with corpses

4.      Manasheh’s legacy:

  • The remaining events of Minasheh and all that he did and his sins are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Yehuda.
  • His death: Minasheh passed away and was buried with his ancestors in his garden which was called the garden of Uzza.
  • His successor: Amon, the son of Manasheh, reigned in his stead.

5.      The reign and legacy of Amon

  • His age at the time of his reign: Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king.
  • The number of years of his reign: Amon reigned for two years in Jerusalem.
  • His mother’s name: His mother’s name was Meshullemes the daughter of Charutz from the city of Yatvasa.
  • His evil deeds: Amon performed that which was evil in the eyes of Hashem, just as Minasheh his father had done. He followed in all the ways of his father and he worshipped pagan deities that his father had worshipped, and he prostrated himself to them. He forsook the God of his ancestors and did not follow in His path.
  • Amon is assassinated by his servants: Amon’s servants conspired against him and assassinated the king in his palace.
  • Amon’s assassins are killed by the people and Amon’s son is coronated king: The people killed all of the conspirators against King Amon, and they then appointed his son Yoshiyahu in his stead.
  • His chronicles: The remaining deeds of Amon are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Yehuda.
  • His burial: Amon was buried him in his designated grave in the garden of Uzza.
  • His successor: Yoshiyahu, the son of Amon, reigned in his stead.

[1] Metzudos Dovid 21:5

[2] Rashi 21:10

[3] Ralbag 21:16

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