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2 Kings 21:1-7

Context
Manasseh’s Reign over Judah

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 

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 “the name of his mother.”

3 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”

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

5 sn See the note at 2 Kgs 17:16.

6 tn Or “served.”

7 tn Heb “In Jerusalem I will place my name.”

8 tc The LXX has the plural “his sons” here.

9 sn See the note at 2 Kgs 16:3.

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 (baalatov), “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 Lord, angering.” The third masculine singular pronominal suffix (“him”) has been accidentally omitted in the MT by haplography (note the vav that immediately follows).

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”).”



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