The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Fourth Book of Kings
Manasses was twelve years old when he came to the throne, and his reign at Jerusalem lasted fifty-five years; his mother’s name was Haphsiba.
This Manasses defied the Lord’s will, by courting the false gods of those nations which the Lord destroyed to make room for the sons of Israel.
He restored once again the hill-shrines which his father Ezechias had overthrown; he raised altars to Baal, and set up sacred trees, like Achab king of Israel, and gave to all the host of heaven worship and observance.
Nay, he must set up these altars of his in the Lord’s own house, the chosen shrine of his name;
altars there must be for all the host of heaven in the two temple courts.
He consecrated his own son by passing him through the fire; there was watching for auguries and taking of omens, there was divination, and sorcerers abounded, until this defiance of his provoked the Lord’s anger.
He made an idol, too, after the fashion of the sacred trees, and set it up there in the Lord’s temple. And this was at Jerusalem, the Lord’s choice among all the cities of Israel; this was in the temple that was to be the everlasting shrine of his name; so he had promised David and Solomon,
Nevermore will I let the sons of Israel be dislodged from the land I gave their fathers, if only they will be true to all the observances I have enjoined, all the commands which my servant Moses taught them.
That warning went unheeded; the very nations which the Lord destroyed to make room for the sons of Israel were guilty of less wrong than they themselves did, when they were led astray by the example of Manasses.
Thereupon word came from the Lord through his servants the prophets:
King Manasses of Juda shall not go unpunished for these deeds of his, more detestable yet than any the Amorrhites did before him; by which foul example Juda has become no less guilty than Israel.
This warning, then, the Lord God of Israel sends him: I mean to bring such calamity upon Jerusalem and Juda as shall ring in the ears of all who hear it.
Level with Samaria shall Jerusalem lie, lean in ruin as the house of Achab leans; I mean to efface Jerusalem as a wax tablet is effaced, scraping it over and over with pen downwards turned.✻
I mean to abandon this poor remnant of the people that once was mine, and let them fall into the hands of their enemies, so that every rival of theirs can lay their land waste and plunder it;
since the day when their race left Egypt, they have never ceased defying me and provoking my anger.
And Manasses, not content with leading Juda into all these sins of disobedience, took innocent lives without number, till all Jerusalem was brimming with blood.
What else Manasses did, his history, and the record of his crimes, is to be found in the Annals of the kings of Juda.
So Manasses was laid to rest with his fathers, within the domains of his own palace, in Oza’s garden, and the kingdom passed to his son Amon.
Amon was twenty-two years old when he came to the throne, and his reign at Jerusalem lasted two years; his mother’s name was Messalemeth, daughter of Harus of Jeteba.
He disobeyed the Lord’s will, like his father Manasses before him;
never a path his father had marked out but he must follow it, never a shameful cult his father had honoured but he must be its slave;
but the Lord, the God his ancestors had worshipped, he forsook utterly, and followed his bidding never.
Then there was a conspiracy among the courtiers, and the king was slain in his own palace;
but these conspirators were overthrown by a rising of the common people, who crowned Amon’s son Josias to succeed him.
What else Amon did, is to be found in the Annals of the kings of Juda.
So they buried him in the tomb he had made for himself, in Oza’s garden, and his son Josias came to the throne.
The Holy Bible