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Manasseh's Repentance (2 Chronicles 33)

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CHAPTER 33 Nov.4 
Manasseh’s Great Wickedness
Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, after the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel. 3For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; and he reared up altars for the Baals, and made Asheroth, and worshipped all the army of the sky, and served them. 4He built altars in the house of Yahweh, of which Yahweh said, My name shall be in Jerusalem forever. 5He built altars for all the army of the sky in the two courts of the house of Yahweh. 6He also made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom; and he practised sorcery and used enchantments, and practised witchcraft and dealt with those who had familiar spirits, and with wizards. He worked much evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke Him to anger. 7He set the engraved image of the idol, which he had made, in God’s house, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put My name forever: 8neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from off the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them, even all the law and the statutes and the ordinances given by Moses. 9Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did more evil than the nations did whom Yahweh had destroyed before the children of Israel. 10Yahweh spoke to Manasseh, and to his people; but they gave no heed. 11Therefore Yahweh brought on them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. 
Manasseh’s Repentance
12When he was in distress, he begged Yahweh his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13He prayed to Him; and He was entreated by him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that Yahweh was God. 14Now after this he built an outer wall to the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance at the fish gate; and he encircled Ophel with it, and raised it up to a very great height; and he put valiant captains in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15He took away the foreign gods, and the idol out of the house of Yahweh, and all the altars that he had built in the mountain of the house of Yahweh, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. 16He built up the altar of Yahweh, and offered thereon sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving, and commanded Judah to serve Yahweh, the God of Israel. 17Nevertheless the people sacrificed still in the high places, but only to Yahweh their God. 18Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel, behold, they are written among the acts of the kings of Israel. 19His prayer also, and how God was entreated of him, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places in which he built high places, and set up the Asherim and the engraved images, before he humbled himself: they are written in the history of Hozai. 20So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house; and Amon his son reigned in his place. 
Amon’s Wicked Reign
21Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as did Manasseh his father; and Amon sacrificed to all the engraved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them. 23He didn’t humble himself before Yahweh, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but this same Amon trespassed more and more. 24His servants conspired against him, and put him to death in his own house. 25But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.


33:2 Manasseh’s father Hezekiah was a righteous man; his grandfather Ahaz a very wicked man. This just shows that spirituality isn’t totally the result of our upbringing and background. We each stand as individuals before God and can overcome the influence of where we came from; and on the other hand, faithful parents are no guarantee of personal spirituality. It could be that Hezekiah in the last 15 years of his life was somewhat switched off from devotion to God, resting on his laurels and enjoying the good life in retirement. Whilst he didn’t himself turn to other gods, this laid back attitude to the true God meant that his son turned away from Him.
33:12 Yahweh his God- God was still his God even in those years of revolt against Him; God never gives up with us so long as we live on this earth. Although Yahweh was hisGod, only on repentance years later did “Manasseh [know] that Yahweh was God” (:13), and we read of Yahweh as “his God” (:18). Thus in repentance, a man makes Yahweh’s knowledge of him mutual; and in that meeting of God and man in repentance there is a huge synergy. Hence all the Angels of God rejoice when one person repents (Lk. 15:10). Hence the huge, cosmic joy at each repentant baptism into Christ.
Humbled himself- This shows that no matter how wicked a person is, there is always a way back to God; but the supreme requirement is of humility. We should therefore never give up on people as too far gone. Self humbling is spoken of in :19 as he same as repentance; this is what repentance is all about, not a passing recognition on a mental level of a small slip, but a deep humbling of self.
33:22 The consequence of sin, even if we ourselves repent of it, is in the bad pattern it sets to others. Our examples are more powerful than we think; sin is largely sin because of the effect it has upon others.