2 Kings, 21
Manasseh King of Judah
1: Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hephzi-bah. 2: And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. 3: For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. 4: And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name. 5: And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. 6: And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. 7: And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which the LORD said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever: 8: Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them. 9: But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel. 10: And the LORD spake by his servants the prophets, saying, 11: Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: 12: Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle. 13: And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down. 14: And I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies; 15: Because they have done that which was evil in my sight,and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day. 16: Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; beside his sin wherewith he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. 17: Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 18: And Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza: and Amon his son reigned in his stead.
Amon King of Judah
19: Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20: And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his father Manasseh did. 21: And he walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them: 22: And he forsook the LORD God of his fathers, and walked not in the way of the LORD. 23: And the servants of Amon conspired against him, and slew the king in his own house. 24: And 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. 25: Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 26: And he was buried in his sepulchre in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his stead.
2 Kings, 22
Josiah King of Judah
1: Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. 2: And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.
A scroll of the Law is found
3: And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying, 4: Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: 5: And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house, 6: Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house. 7: Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully. 8: And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9: And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD. 10: And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 11: And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. 12: And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king's, saying, 13: Go ye, inquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us. 14: So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her. 15: And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me, 16: Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: 17: 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 kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. 18: But to the king of Judah which sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; 19: Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. 20: Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.
In today’s reading we find Manasseh the evil king of Judah Amon his son and Josiah Then we read of the reforms of Josiah and of his conversion and the promise of deliverance. Manasseh was only 12 yrs when he came to the throne of Judah and he reigned for 55 yrs. His mother had the beautiful name Hephzi-bah (The daughter that l delight in) But Manasseh was a thoroughly bad king in every way. He did evil in Gods sight like the heathen nations all around. Then the scribe lists his abominations.
He built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed
He reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel
He worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.
He built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name.
He built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
He made his son pass through the fire, and observed times,
He used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards:
He wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
PS He set a graven image of the grove in the house of the LORD.
This was a man inspired of the evil one to lead Judah into horrendous abominations. They committed more evil that the nations that Judah had come to bring the judgment of God in the beginning. The Lord sent prophets to warn them of their evils saying that he would destroy them like a man wiping a dish with a dishcloth. Manasseh also killed innocent people filling Jerusalem with state sponsored murder. Manasseh died and his son Amon took the throne. He was 22 yrs old when he became king and reigned for just 2 years. He was bad like his father and was murdered by his own servants. Next we come to Josiah who began when he was 8 yrs old and reigned for 31 yrs. He was a good king – he lived as David did serving the Lord with a good heart. After ruling for 8yrs (he was only 16 yrs old) he sent his scribe to the house of the Lord to count the money and put the house in a good state of repair. He hired workmen with money in hand and repaired the temple. During the building work the scribe found a copy of the Torah and brought it to Josiah. The book was taken and read before the people but when Josiah heard the word of the LORD he was struck by it and fell into conviction of sin. He tore his clothes in distress and wept before the Lord. Then they sought for a prophet and found a prophetess who told then the word of the Lord. The message of the LORD was that he was going to bring evil on Judah but because Josiah had repented and feared the Lord and wept and humbled himself before the LORD then these things would not happen until after he died.