by Clarence E. Macartney

This content is part of a series.

"Manasseh and John Mark"
Parallel Lives of the Old and New Testaments
Part 10 of 12
Clarence E. Macartney


Manasseh is the prodigal son of the Old Testament. He
had a great and godly father, and very likely a pious
mother. He went into the far country and sinned and
rebelled against God. There, like the prodigal, when
he had suffered much he came to himself and said: "I
have sinned against heaven and in thy sight." Having
repented, he was forgiven and restored to his kingdom.

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign,
and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem, the
longest and the worst in the annals of the kingdom. In
contrast with his great and noble father, Hezekiah,
Manasseh did that which was evil in the sight of the
Lord. The high places which his father had broken down
he built again and reared altars for Baal worship and
worshiped the host of heaven and served him. His own
children he caused to pass through the fire in the
valley of Hinnom. He consulted witches and dealt with
familiar spirits and them that peep and mutter. All
this infamy he crowned by setting up a carved image in
the temple, the House of God, "of which," says the
chronicler in his horror, God had said to David, "In
this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out
of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name forever."

Manasseh succeeded in making Israel worse than the
heathen. Warnings which came to him fell on deaf ears.
At length, when his cup of iniquity was full, God
punished him by bringing upon him the Assyrians, who
bound him with fetters and carried him into Babylon.
There Manasseh repented of his sins and besought the
Lord and humbled himself greatly before the God of his
fathers. God heard his prayers, accepted his
repentance, and restored him to his kingdom. In the
years that remained to him, Manasseh did all that he
could to make amends for the great evil which he had
done. Id ...

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