"Who makes to forget." The only son and successor of Hezekiah on the throne of Judah. He was twelve years old when he began to reign.1 Though he reigned so long, yet comparatively little is known of this king. His reign was a continuation of that of Ahaz, both in religion and national polity. Idolatry was again established to such an extent that every faith was tolerated but the old faith of Israel,2 showing that the reformation under his father had been to a large extent only superficial. Several prophets lifted up their voice in reproof and in warning,3 but they were persecuted and put to the sword,4 and Manasseh filled Jerusalem with innocent blood.5 There is an old Jewish tradition that Isaiah was put to death at this time, having been sawn asunder in the trunk of a tree.
Esarhaddon, Sennacherib's successor on the Assyrian throne, who had his residence in Babylon for thirteen years (the only Assyrian monarch who ever reigned in Babylon), took Manasseh prisoner to Babylon. Such captive kings were usually treated with great cruelty. They were brought before the conqueror with a hook or ring passed through their lips or their jaws, having a cord attached to it, by which they were led. This is referred to in 2 Chr. 33:11, where the Authorized Version reads that Esarhaddon "took Manasseh among the thorns;" while the Revised Version renders the words, "took Manasseh in chains;" or literally, as in the margin, "with hooks."6 The severity of Manasseh's imprisonment brought him to repentance. God heard his cry, and he was restored to his kingdom.7 He abandoned his idolatrous ways, and enjoined the people to worship Yahweh; but there was no thorough reformation.8
After a lengthened reign extending through fifty-five years, the longest in the history of Judah, he died, and was buried in the garden of Uzza, the "garden of his own house,"9 and not in the city of David, among his ancestors. He was succeeded by Amon (2), his son by Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.
- Easton, M.G. (1897). Easton's Bible Dictionary. New York: Harper & Brothers.
This article incorporates text from Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) by M.G. Easton, which is in the public domain.