Manasseh King of Judah
1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he was king for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2He did what the Lord said was wrong. He did the hateful things the nations had done—the nations that the Lord had forced out of the land ahead of the Israelites. 3Manasseh’s father, Hezekiah, had torn down the places where gods were worshiped, but Manasseh rebuilt them. He also built altars for the Baal gods, and he made Asherah idols and worshiped all the stars of the sky and served them. 4The Lord had said about the Temple, “I will be worshiped in Jerusalem forever,” but Manasseh built altars in the Temple of the Lord. 5He built altars to worship the stars in the two courtyards of the Temple of the Lord. 6He made his children pass through fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. He practiced magic and witchcraft and told the future by explaining signs and dreams. He got advice from mediums and fortune-tellers. He did many things the Lord said were wrong, which made the Lord angry.
7Manasseh carved an idol and put it in the Temple of God. God had said to David and his son Solomon about the Temple, “I will be worshiped forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel. 8I will never again make the Israelites leave the land I gave to their ancestors. But they must obey everything I have commanded them in all the teachings, rules, and commands I gave them through Moses.” 9But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do wrong. They did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed ahead of the Israelites.
10The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they did not listen. 11So the Lord brought the king of Assyria’s army commanders to attack Judah. They captured Manasseh, put hooks in him, placed bronze chains on his hands, and took him to Babylon. 12As Manasseh suffered, he begged the Lord his God for help and humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 13When Manasseh prayed, the Lord heard him and had pity on him. So the Lord let him return to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is the true God.
14After that happened, Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of Jerusalem and made it higher. It was in the valley on the west side of the Gihon spring and went to the entrance of the Fish Gate and around the hill of Ophel. Then he put commanders in all the strong, walled cities in Judah.
15Manasseh removed the idols of other nations, including the idol in the Temple of the Lord. He removed all the altars he had built on the Temple hill and in Jerusalem and threw them out of the city. 16Then he set up the Lord’s altar and sacrificed on it fellowship offerings and offerings to show thanks to God. Manasseh commanded all the people of Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. 17The people continued to offer sacrifices at the places of worship, but their sacrifices were only to the Lord their God. 18The other things Manasseh did as king, his prayer to his God, and what the seers said to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel—all are recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. 19Manasseh’s prayer and God’s pity for him, his sins, his unfaithfulness, the places he built for worshiping gods and the Asherah idols before he humbled himself—all are written in the book of the seers. 20Manasseh died and was buried in his palace. Then Manasseh’s son Amon became king in his place.
Amon King of Judah
21Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he was king for two years in Jerusalem. 22He did what the Lord said was wrong, as his father Manasseh had done. Amon worshiped and offered sacrifices to all the carved idols Manasseh had made. 23Amon did not humble himself before the Lord as his father Manasseh had done. Instead, Amon sinned even more.
24King Amon’s officers made plans against him and killed him in his palace. 25Then the people of the land killed all those who had made plans to kill King Amon, and they made his son Josiah king in his place.