2 Chronicles 33:18
Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers that spoke to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
CONCLUSION OF THE REIGN (2Chronicles 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 2Chronicles 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. 2Kings 21:17 refers, as usual, to the “Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah.”

2 Chronicles 33:18. The words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the Lord — The reproofs they gave him for his sin, and their exhortations to repentance. Let sinners consider, that how little notice soever they take of them, an account is kept of the words of the seers, that speak to them from God, to admonish them of their sins, and warn them of their danger, and call them to their duty, which words will be produced against them in the great day. They are written in the books of the kings of Israel — Of Judah, often called Israel. He speaks not of the books of Kings, for these things are not mentioned there, but of their public records, whence the most important things were taken by the prophets, and put into those canonical books.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.The "prayer of Manasseh," preserved to us in some manuscripts of the Septuagint, has no claim to be considered the genuine utterance of the Jewish king. It is the composition of a Hellenistic Jew, well acquainted with the Septuagint, writing at a time probably not much anterior to the Christian era.

The words of the seers that spake to him - See 2 Kings 21:11-15.

In the book of the kings of Israel - The writer of Chronicles usually speaks of "the book of the kings of, Judah and Israel" (or "Israel and Judah"). Here be designates the same compilation by a more compendious title, without (apparently) any special reason for the change. Compare 2 Chronicles 20:34.

17. the people did sacrifice still in the high places, yet unto the Lord their God only—Here it appears that the worship on high places, though it originated in a great measure from the practice of heathenism, and too often led to it, did not necessarily imply idolatry. i.e. Of Judah, oft called Israel, as hath been noted before. He speaks not of that part of the canon, called the

Book of Kings, for these things are not mentioned there; but of their public records, where all things were particularly mentioned, and whence the most important things were taken by the prophets, and put into those canonical books 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.

Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his {i} prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel.

(i) Which although it is not contained in the Hebrew, yet because it is here mentioned and is written in the Greek, we have placed it in the end of this book.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18–20 (cp. 2 Kings 21:17-18). The Epilogue of Manasseh’s Reign

18. his prayer] A Prayer of Manasses is given in a collection of hymns appended to the Psalter in the Alexandrine MS. (A) of the LXX.; it is also found in the Latin Vulgate, though the translation is not by Jerome. In the English editions of the Apocrypha it occurs just before 1 Maccabees. Though widely current, it has no claim to be considered authentic, but it is worth reading. Our present Greek text seems to be an original work, and not a translation from the Hebrew (cp. Westcott in Smith’s Dict. of the Bible, s.v. Manasses).

in the book of the kings] R.V. among the acts of the kings.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. לו וּכהצר equals לו הצר וּבעת, 2 Chronicles 28:22. In this his affliction he bowed himself before the Lord God of his fathers, and besought Him; and the Lord was entreated of him, and brought him again to Jerusalem, into his kingdom. The prayer which Manasseh prayed in his need was contained, according to 2 Chronicles 33:18., in the histories of the kings of Israel, and in the sayings of the prophet Hozai, but has not come down to our day. The "prayer of Manasseh" given by the lxx is an apocryphal production, composed in Greek; cf. my Introduction to the Old Testament, 247.
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