2 Chronicles 33:18 MEANING

2 Chronicles 33:18
CONCLUSION OF THE REIGN (2 Chronicles 33:18-20).

(18) His prayer unto his God.--This prayer may or may not have been the basis of the Apocryphal Prayer of Manasses, preserved in the LXX.

The words of the seers that spake to him.--See Note on 2 Chronicles 33:10, supr. These "words of the seers" were incorporated in the great history of the kings, which is mentioned at the end of the verse, and which was one of the chronicler's principal authorities.

Written.--This word, though wanting in our present Hebrew text, is read in some MSS., and in the Syriac, Targum, and Arabic.

The book.--The history, literally, words. 2 Kings 21:17 refers, as usual, to the "Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah."

Verse 18. - The parallel again obtains (2 Kings 21:17, 18), but in shorter form. His prayer. This is for the present, at any rate, lost, the apocryphal and the Septuagint manuscript version of it alike not genuine. The words of the seers. So again our compiler shows undesigned correspondence with the writer of the parallel, as above quoted (2 Kings 21:10-15). As to the original authorities quoted here, book of the kings, etc., and next verse, "the sayings of the seers," see Introduction, vol. 1. § 5.

33:1-20 We have seen Manasseh's wickedness; here we have his repentance, and a memorable instance it is of the riches of God's pardoning mercy, and the power of his renewing grace. Deprived of his liberty, separated from his evil counsellors and companions, without any prospect but of ending his days in a wretched prison, Manasseh thought upon what had passed; he began to cry for mercy and deliverance. He confessed his sins, condemned himself, was humbled before God, loathing himself as a monster of impiety and wickedness. Yet he hoped to be pardoned through the abundant mercy of the Lord. Then Manasseh knew that Jehovah was God, able to deliver. He knew him as a God of salvation; he learned to fear, trust in, love, and obey him. From this time he bore a new character, and walked in newness of life. Who can tell what tortures of conscience, what pangs of grief, what fears of wrath, what agonizing remorse he endured, when he looked back on his many years of apostacy and rebellion against God; on his having led thousands into sin and perdition; and on his blood-guiltiness in the persecution of a number of God's children? And who can complain that the way of heaven is blocked up, when he sees such a sinner enter? Say the worst against thyself, here is one as bad who finds the way to repentance. Deny not to thyself that which God hath not denied to thee; it is not thy sin, but thy impenitence, that bars heaven against thee.Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh,.... Good and bad, what were done by him both before and after his conversion:

and his prayer unto his God; which it seems was taken and recorded, but now lost; for as for that which is among the apocryphal writings, there is no reason to believe it to be his, though it is thought to be so by many (o):

and the words of the seers; or the prophets, as the Targum; and the prophets in his days, according to the Jewish chronology (p), were Joel, Nahum, and Habakkuk:

that spake to him in the name of the Lord God of Israel; words of admonition and reproof before his humiliation, and words of comfort, advice, and instruction, after it; the Targum is,"that spake to him in the name of the Word of the Lord God of Israel:"

behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel; not in the canonical book so called, where none of the above things, namely, his prayer, and the speeches of the prophets, are to be found, at least not all; but in the annals of the kings of Israel, now lost.

(o) Vid. Fabritii Bibliothec. Graec. l. 3. c. 31. p. 738, 739. (p) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 20.

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