21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 1 His mother 2 was Hephzibah. 21:2 He did evil in the sight of 3 the Lord and committed the same horrible sins practiced by the nations 4 whom the Lord drove out from before the Israelites. 21:3 He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he set up altars for Baal and made an Asherah pole just like King Ahab of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky 5 and worshiped 6 them. 21:4 He built altars in the Lord’s temple, about which the Lord had said, “Jerusalem will be my home.” 7 21:5 In the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple he built altars for all the stars in the sky. 21:6 He passed his son 8 through the fire 9 and practiced divination and omen reading. He set up a ritual pit to conjure up underworld spirits, and appointed magicians to supervise it. 10 He did a great amount of evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 11 21:7 He put an idol of Asherah he had made in the temple, about which the Lord 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. 12
2 tn Heb “the name of his mother.”
3 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
4 tn Heb “like the abominable practices of the nations.”
6 tn Or “served.”
7 tn Heb “In Jerusalem I will place my name.”
8 tc The LXX has the plural “his sons” here.
10 tn Heb “and he set up a ritual pit, along with conjurers.” The 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 בַעֲלַת אוֹב (ba’alat ’ov), “owner of a ritual pit.” See H. Hoffner, “Second millennium Antecedents to the Hebrew ’OñBù,” JBL 86 (1967), 385-401.
11 tc Heb “and he multiplied doing what is evil in the eyes of the
12 tn Heb “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I chose from all the tribes of Israel, I will place my name perpetually (or perhaps “forever”).”