And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. So I will forsake the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become victims of plunder to all their enemies, because they have done evil in My sight, and have provoked Me to anger since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.’ ” 2 Kings 21:13-15
2 Kings 21:1-18 / 2 Chronicles 33:1-20. Manasseh of Judah (697-642 B.C.)
Manasseh succeeds his father, Hezekiah, and rules for 55 years. The first 11 years are as co-regent with his
father. He is one of Israel’s most evil kings. He practiced sorcery and witchcraft, burns his sons in idol worship, and brings idols within the Jerusalem temple itself. And he leads his people into practices more evil than the Canaanites God’s people replaced! It is probable that Isaiah is one of the prophets killed at his order.
2 And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 4 He also built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My name.” 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6 Also he made his son pass through the fire, practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft, and consulted spiritists and mediums. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. … 16 Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin by which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
The whole people’s eager plunge into evil brings judgment. All of Judah will soon be led captive, as was Israel. As for Manasseh, he is taken captive by the Assyrians. The OT describes his humiliation. He is chained, and a metal hook set in his lips, by which he is led away. This practices is shown in Assyrian inscriptions.
7 He even set a carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the Lord had 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, I will put My name forever; 8 and I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers–only if they are careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.” 9 But they paid no attention, and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel.
10 And the Lord spoke by His servants the prophets, saying, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations (he has acted more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols), 12 therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle. 13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab; I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 So I will forsake the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become victims of plunder to all their enemies, 15 because they have done evil in My sight, and have provoked Me to anger since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.’ “
–> Unlike the lifeless idols, God is a great communicator. He states the reasons for His judgments. The reasons given are simple and easy to understand. His pronouncement of judgment is an invitation for those who would listen and turn around.
The Assyrian ruler of that time is unnamed, but is probably Esarhaddon. Chronicles says Manasseh was taken into Babylon, and Esarhaddon rebuilt that city after its destruction by his father.
Chronicles tells us of Manasseh’s repentance and his conversion while in captivity. He is released and returns too Judah. There he spends the final four or five years of his rule attempting to recall Judah to serve the Lord (33:15-17). But he cannot undo the impact of 45 years of evil example.
2 Kings 21:19-26 / Chronicles 33:21-25. Amon of Judah (642-640 B.C.)
Amon is not touched by his father’s experience. He does evil and is assassinated by his own officials in his second year.
20 And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. 21 So he walked in all the ways that his father had walked; and he served the idols that his father had served, and worshiped them. 22 He forsook the Lord God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. 23 Then the servants of Amon conspired against him, and killed the king in his own house.