2 Chronicles 33
Manasseh turned away from his father’s zeal for God and again turned to idols. Idolatry is a recurring theme in Israel and Judah as it is in today’s spiritual Ekklesia.
2 Chronicles 33:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem: 33:2 But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. 33:3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves [groves are phallic symbols like the Xmas tree and obelisks], and worshipped all the host of heaven [astrology which is satanic], and served them.
Manasseh went so far as to build pagan altars inside the Temple of God, bringing in paganism into the very house of God; just as the Ekklesia do spiritually today, by teaching the idolizing of men to the spiritual Temple.
33:4 Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. 33:5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
Manasseh was terribly wicked to depart from the Word of God; just like the called out do today by exalting their idols of men above the whole Word of God.
33:7 And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever: 33:8 Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land which I have appointed for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.
33:9 So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel.
Then the one who later became flesh as Jesus Christ warned the people by his prophets
33:10 And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken.
Then Manasseh was corrected by God through the hand of the Assyrians.
33:11 Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh [from hiding] among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.
Then Manasseh repented of his evil and turned to the Eternal God of Moses.
Brethren, Manasseh is a warning and prophecy for today’s spiritual Ekklesia. This is exactly what is happening to today’s Ekklesia; we are full of pride and idolatry today and we will be rejected by Christ to be cast into great tribulation; until we have been humbled and many sincerely repent and turn to the Eternal God with true passionate wholehearted zeal.
33:12 And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, 33:13 And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.
33:14 Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah.
33:15 And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. 33:16 And he repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.
33:17 Nevertheless the people did sacrifice still in the high places [instead of going to Jerusalem to sacrifice at the temple, yet unto the LORD their God only.
33:18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel. 33:19 His prayer also, and how God was intreated of him, and all his sins, and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up groves and graven images, before he was humbled: behold, they are written among the sayings of the seers.
33:20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.
Then king Amon did evil in Judah.
33:21 Amon was two and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned two years in Jerusalem. 33:22 But he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as did Manasseh his father: for Amon sacrificed unto all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them; 33:23 And humbled not himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more.
Amon was killed by his servants and the people made Josiah king of Judah.
33:24 And his servants conspired against him, and slew him in his own house.
33:25 But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.
2 Chronicles 34
Josiah the good king of Judah
2 Chronicles 34:1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years. 34:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.
34:3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young [16 years old], he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year [when he was 20 years old] he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images. 34:4 And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.
34:5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
Josiah invaded the land of Israel, destroying idols as he went
34:6 And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about.
Then Josiah returned to Jerusalem to repair the temple.
34:7 And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem. 34:8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God.
Money was given to the high priest for the repair and cleansing of the temple.
34:9 And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin; and they returned to Jerusalem. 34:10 And they put it in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the LORD, and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the LORD, to repair and amend the house: 34:11 Even to the artificers and builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed.
34:12 And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and other of the Levites, all that could skill of instruments of musick.
34:13 Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and were overseers of all that wrought the work in any manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters.
The long neglected Word of God is discovered in the temple.
34:14 And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses. 34:15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan.
A progress report was made to Josiah and the Word of God was delivered to him.
34:16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they do it. 34:17 And they have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the LORD, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and to the hand of the workmen.
Then the Word of God was read to Josiah.
34:18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 34:19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.
34:20 And the king commanded Hilkiah [the high priest] , and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king’s, saying,
Josiah immediately humbles himself before God and asks the high priest to inquire of God as to what they should do.
34:21 Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book.
The high priest then went to Hulda the prophetess to inquire of God. How many brethren today would go to a woman to inquire of the LORD?
34:22 And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that effect.
She told them the will of God
34:23 And she answered them,
Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me, 34:24 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah: 34:25 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.
34:26 And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel concerning the words which thou hast heard; 34:27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.
34:28 Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same.
So they brought the king word again.
Then Josiah read the Word of God to all the people
34:29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 34:30 And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD.
Then the king of Judah, Josiah, made a public covenant to keep the whole Word of God and made the people do so as well.
34:31 And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. 34:32 And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
34:33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.
The history of Judah was an ongoing process of learning, repentance, regular falling away and revivals; as the various kings good and bad led the people.
This is an example for us, that we should be zealous for our God and keep his Word wholeheartedly at all times; not turning to idols and our own ways as we have done today!
Our fierce correction is even at the door; will we not return to the LORD with a whole heart as Josiah did? Josiah loved the Eternal and humbled himself to submit to and live by every Word of God; let us do so as well.