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2 Chronicles 33:1-9

Context
Manasseh’s Reign

33:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 1  33:2 He did evil in the sight of 2  the Lord and committed the same horrible sins practiced by the nations 3  whom the Lord drove out ahead of the Israelites. 33:3 He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he set up altars for the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky 4  and worshiped 5  them. 33:4 He built altars in the Lord’s temple, about which the Lord had said, “Jerusalem will be my permanent home.” 6  33:5 In the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple he built altars for all the stars in the sky. 33:6 He passed his sons through the fire 7  in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom and practiced divination, omen reading, and sorcery. He set up a ritual pit to conjure up underworld spirits and appointed magicians to supervise it. 8  He did a great amount of evil in the sight of the Lord and angered him. 9  33:7 He put an idolatrous image he had made in God’s temple, about which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “This temple in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will be my permanent home. 10  33:8 I will not make Israel again leave the land I gave to their ancestors, 11  provided that they carefully obey all I commanded them, the whole law, the rules and regulations given to Moses.” 33:9 But Manasseh misled the people of 12  Judah and the residents of Jerusalem so that they sinned more than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed ahead of the Israelites.

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

3 tn Heb “like the abominable practices of the nations.”

4 tn The phrase כָל צְבָא הֲַשָּׁמַיִם (khol tsÿvahashamayim), traditionally translated “all the host of heaven,” refers to the heavenly lights, including stars and planets. In 1 Kgs 22:19 these heavenly bodies are pictured as members of the Lord’s royal court or assembly, but many other texts view them as the illegitimate objects of pagan and Israelite worship.

5 tn Or “served.”

6 tn Heb “In Jerusalem my name will be permanently.”

7 tn Or “he sacrificed his sons in the fire.” This may refer to child sacrifice, though some interpret it as a less drastic cultic practice (NEB, NASV “made his sons pass through the fire”; NIV “sacrificed his sons in the fire”; NRSV “made his sons pass through fire”). For discussion see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 266-67.

8 tn Heb “and he set up a ritual pit, along with a conjurer.” Hebrew אוֹב (’ov, “ritual pit”) refers to a pit used by a magician to conjure up underworld spirits. In 1 Sam 28:7 the witch of Endor is called a בַּעֲלַת אוֹב (baalatov, “owner of a ritual pit”). See H. Hoffner, “Second Millennium Antecedents to the Hebrew ’OñBù,” JBL 86 (1967): 385-401.

9 tn Heb “and he multiplied doing what is evil in the eyes of the Lord, angering him.”

10 tn Heb “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I chose from all the tribes of Israel, I will place my name permanently” (or perhaps “forever”).

11 tn Heb “I will not again make the feet of Israel wander from the land which I established for their fathers.”

12 tn Heb “misled Judah.” The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” here by metonymy for the people of Judah.



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