The reign and evil deeds of Manashe

Melachim 2 Chapter 21    

  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

[1] Metzudos Dovid 21:5

[2] Rashi 21:10

[3] Ralbag 21:16

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