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Bible Commentaries

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Kings 21

 

 

Verse 1

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hephzibah.

Reigned — In which time the years of his imprisonment are comprehended.


Verse 3

For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.

He built, … — Trampling on the dust and affronting the memory of his worthy father.

All the host of heaven — The sun, moon and stars.


Verse 6

And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

Through the fire — Between two fires, by which he dedicated him to Molock, in contempt of the seal of circumcision by which he had been dedicated to God.

Times — Lucky, or unlucky days according to the superstitious practice of the heathens.


Verse 7

And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which the LORD said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:

An image — The image of that Baal which was worshipped in the grove.


Verse 9

But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel.

More evil — Partly, because they were not contented with those idols which the Canaanites worshipped, but either invented, or borrowed from other nations many new idols, and partly, because as their light was far more clear, their obligations to God infinitely higher, and their helps against idolatry much stronger than the Canaanites had; so their sins, though the same in kind, were unspeakably worse in respect of these dreadful aggravations.


Verse 13

And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down.

The line — She shall have the same measure, the same judgments which Samaria had. The line is often put for one's lot or portion, because mens portions or possessions used to be measured by lines.

A dish — As men do with a dish that hath been used, first wholly empty it of all that is in it, then throughly cleanse and wipe it; and lastly, turn it upside down, that nothing may remain in it; so will I deal with Jerusalem, throughly empty and purge it from all its wicked inhabitants. Yet the comparison intimates, that this should be in order to the purifying, not the final destruction of Jerusalem. The dish shall not be broken in pieces, or wholly cast away, but only wiped.


Verse 15

Because they have done that which was evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day.

Since, … — This forejudgment, though it was chiefly inflicted for the sins of Manasseh and his generation, yet had a respect unto all their former sins.


Verse 16

Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.

Blood — The blood of those prophets and righteous men who either reproved his sinful practices, or refused to comply with his wicked commands.

His sin — His idolatry, which is called sin, by way of eminency. The tradition of the Jews is, that he caused Isaiah in particular to be sawn asunder.


Verse 18

And Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.

Garden — Not in the sepulchre of the kings; probably, by his own choice and command, as a lasting testimony of his sincere repentance and abhorrence of himself for his former crime.


Verse 21

And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them:

He walked, … — He revived that idolatry which Manasseh in the latter end of his reign had put down. Those who set bad examples, if they repent themselves, cannot be sure that they whom their example has drawn into sin will repent. It is often otherwise.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 21:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-21.html. 1765.

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