Manasseh: An Evil King Turned Good

From Issue: Discovery 6/1/2005

Manasseh was one of the most wicked kings that Jerusalem had ever seen. His father, Hezekiah, had done many good things during his reign, and had worshiped and served the true God. But Manasseh had not learned from his father’s example.

In fact, Manasseh did so much wickedness that he caused the entire nation to turn away from the true God. Not only did Manasseh turn away from worshiping God, but he also set up idols and altars in order to worship false gods. He even built an idol and placed it in the temple that Solomon had built for the true God. Furthermore, Manasseh was so wicked that he sacrificed his own children by killing them in religious rituals to false idols and gods. The Bible explains that Manasseh caused the land of Judah to be even more wicked than the nations the Lord had destroyed when He brought the Israelites into Canaan.

Because of this wickedness, the Lord sent the Assyrian army against Manasseh and Judah. The Assyrians captured Manasseh, put him in chains and hooks, and dragged him off to Babylon. While in Babylon, Manasseh realized his sin, and the Bible says, “He implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jeru-salem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God” (2 Chronicles 33:12-13).

But Manasseh’s repentance did not stop at his merely being sorry for his sin. When he returned to Jerusalem, the Bible explains that he “took away the foreign gods and the idol from 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 he cast them out of the city. He also repaired the altar of the Lord, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel” (2 Chronicles 33:15-16).

Manasseh was a wicked king who saw the error of his ways and turned to God. We should be thankful that God is so merciful and kind. If, when we are doing something wrong, we will turn from our sin like Manasseh, God will be merciful to forgive us as well.


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