The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Paralipomena
This Manasses was twelve years old when he came to the throne, and his reign at Jerusalem lasted fifty-five years.
And he 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 the gods of the country-side, and set up sacred trees, and gave to all the host of heaven worship and observance.
Nay, he must set up these altars of his in the temple itself, where the Lord fulfilled his promise that Jerusalem should be the shrine of his name for ever;
altars there must be for all the host of heaven in the two temple courts.
He consecrated his own sons by passing them through the fire in the ravine of Benennom;✻ there was watching for dreams and taking of auguries, there was practising of magical arts; he surrounded himself with diviners and soothsayers, until this defiance of his provoked the Lord’s anger.
He carved an image, too, and cast a sheath for it, and set this up in the Lord’s house. 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 law and observance and decree Moses enjoined on them in my name.
The very nations which the Lord destroyed to make room for the sons of Israel were guilty of less wrong than Juda and Jerusalem did, when they were led astray by the example of Manasses.
Warnings enough the Lord sent to him and to his people, but they went unheeded;
and the next emissaries he sent to them were the captains of the Assyrian army, who made Manasses their prisoner, and carried him away, loaded with chains and fetters, to Babylon.
It was to his own God, the Lord, that he turned in this time of distress; before him, the God of his fathers, he made humble amends,
and sought his favour with earnest prayer. That prayer the Lord answered, and restored him to his throne at Jerusalem. Such good proof had Manasses that the Lord only was God.
It was after this that he built the wall beyond David’s Keep, out in the ravine west of Gihon, all the way round from the Fishmongers’ Gate to Ophel, raising it to a great height; set captains, too, on garrison duty in all the fortified towns of Juda.
Meanwhile, there was an end of the false gods, of the idol that stood in the Lord’s house, of the altars he had set up on the temple hill and all over Jerusalem; he cast them away beyond the city walls.
The Lord’s altar must be restored; to this he brought his victims, his welcome-offerings and thank-offerings, and bade Juda serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
None the less, men still sacrificed at the hill-shrines, but only to the Lord their God.
What else Manasses did, the prayer he offered to his God, and the warnings that were given to him by prophets in the name of the Lord God of Israel, may be found set down in the Record of the Israelite kings.✻
The Chronicle of Hozai, too, tells of his prayer and how his prayer was answered; of his defiance, and of all the places where he set up hill-shrine and forest shrine and image, before the time of his repentance.
So Manasses was laid to rest with his fathers, with his own house for his burying-place, and the throne passed to his son Amon.
This Amon was twenty-two years old when he came to the throne, and his reign at Jerusalem lasted two years;
he defied the Lord like his father Manasses. No idol Manasses had made but Amon must sacrifice and pay worship to it;
nor did he ever imitate his father by making humble amends, rather he outwent him in guilt.
He was slain in his own house, through a conspiracy among his own servants;
but the common folk put them to death, and gave the crown to the son of Amon, that was called Josias.
The Holy Bible