2 Kings 21:15
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) Have provoked me.Have been provoking; i.e., continually.

Their fathers came forth.—The LXX. has probably preserved the original reading: I brought forth their fathers.

21:10-18 Here is the doom of Judah and Jerusalem. The words used represent the city emptied and utterly desolate, yet not destroyed thereby, but cleansed, and to be kept for the future dwelling of the Jews: forsaken, yet not finally, and only as to outward privileges, for individual believers were preserved in that visitation. The Lord will cast off any professing people who dishonour him by their crimes, but never will desert his cause on earth. In the book of Chronicles we read of Manasseh's repentance, and acceptance with God; thus we may learn not to despair of the recovery of the greatest sinners. But let none dare to persist in sin, presuming that they may repent and reform when they please. There are a few instances of the conversion of notorious sinners, that none may despair; and but few, that none may presume.The general meaning is plain, but the exact force of the metaphor used is not so clear. If the "line" and the "plummet" be "symbols of rule" or law, the meaning will be - "I will apply exactly the same measure and rule to Jerusalem as to Samaria - I will treat both alike with strict and even justice." 14. I will forsake the remnant of mine inheritance—The people of Judah, who of all the chosen people alone remained. The consequence of the Lord's forsaking them would be their fall into the power of their enemies. This sore judgment, though it was chiefly inflicted for the sins of Manasseh and his generation, yet had a respect unto all their former sins, the guilt whereof was upon this occasion revived. See Exodus 32:31.

Because they have done that which was evil in my sight,.... Committed idolatry:

and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even to this day; being always prone to idolatry, so provoking to God, and which they were guilty of quickly after they came out of Egypt, in the worship of the golden calf, and had ever since at times been criminal this way; and now the measure of their iniquity being almost up, would be reckoned for together.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. that which was [R.V. is] evil] As the words are God’s the present is the more appropriate tense.

Verse 15. - Because they have done that which was evil in my sight. The chief sins of the people were the following: Altars for the worship of the host of heaven were erected upon almost every roof (Jeremiah 19:13; Zephaniah 1:5); offerings of cakes were made in the very streets to Astarte (Jeremiah 7:18); the fire of Tophet - a huge furnace in the valley of Hinnom - was kept constantly burning, and the sacrifice of innocent children to the bloody sun-god, Moloch, was perpetual (Jeremiah 7:31; Ezekiel 23:37); it was as common to swear by the name of Moloch as by that of Jehovah (Zephaniah 1:5). Lascivious rites were practiced. Close by the temple the unchaste priestesses of Venus had their habitations, and their wretched male attendants, the Galli of the classical writers, plied their trade (2 Kings 23:7). Cruelty and oppression increased among the upper classes (Zephaniah 3:1-3); the prophets were "light and treacherous persons;" the priests "polluted the sanctuary, and did violence to the Law" (Zephaniah 2:1-3). "Spoiling and violence," "strife and contention;" were rife throughout the city (Habakkuk 1:3). Ewald sums up the state of things as follows: "The atmosphere of the age was poisoned from above; and the leaders of the people of every class, whose moral decline had already become a subject of lament in the preceding century, sank into an almost incredible degeneracy. The prophets, who ought to have been ever the most loyal guardians of the truth, were for the most part like dumb and greedy dogs; many of the priests allowed themselves to be seduced into offering heathen sacrifices; the judges and nobles paid little heed to the eternal right. Equivocation and hypocrisy spread among those who ought to have ministered most austerely to public truthfulness of life; while those who were engaged in commerce and trade sank into the harshest indifference to every higher aim, and thought only of the acquisition and enjoyment of wealth. So terrible was the demoralization which set in under Manasseh, that those who remained faithful to the ancient religion were either scoffed at as fools, or allowed to perish in cold contempt without any effort being made to save them, and were even derided after their death." And have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day. The moral and spiritual depravity of Judah, though it only came to a head in the time of Manasseh, had its roots in a long-distant past. As St. Stephen pointed out to the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:39-43), it began in the wilderness with the worship of the golden calf, and went on to the worship of the host of heaven, of Moloch, and of Remphan; it was shown markedly in the terrible sin of Peer (Numbers 25:1-3); it stinted God's hand when the nations had to be driven out from Canaan (Judges 2:1-5); it provoked God's anger greatly during the whole period of the Judges (Judges 2:11-19); checked under David and Solomon, it broke out afresh on the accession of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:22-24), and showed itself, more or less, under every subsequent king, culminating at last in that fearful condition of things which has been described above (see the comment on the first clause of this verse). 2 Kings 21:15With the destruction of Jerusalem the Lord forsakes the people of His possession, and give it up to its enemies for a prey and spoil. נחלתי שׁארית: Judah is called the remnant of the people of God's inheritance with a reference to the rejection and leading away of the ten tribes, which have already taken place. On וּמשׁסּה בּז see Isaiah 42:22; Jeremiah 30:16.

To this announcement of the judgment there is appended in 2 Chronicles 33:11. the statement, that Jehovah caused Manasseh the king to be taken prisoner by the generals of the king of Assyria and led away to Babylon in chains; and that when he humbled himself before God there, and made supplication to Him, He brought him back to Jerusalem and placed him upon his throne again; whereupon Manasseh fortified the walls of Jerusalem still further, placed garrisons in the fortified cities, removed the idol from the temple, abolished from the city the idolatrous altars erected in Jerusalem and upon the temple-mountain, restored the altar of Jehovah, and commanded the people to offer sacrifice upon it. - This incident is omitted in our book, because the conversion of Manasseh was not followed by any lasting results so far as the kingdom was concerned; the abolition of outward idolatry in Jerusalem did not lead to the conversion of the people, and after the death of Manasseh even the idolatrous abominations that had been abolished were restored by Amon.

(Note: The historical truth of these accounts, which Rosenmller, Winer, and Hitzig called in question after the example of Gramberg, has been defended by Ewald, Bertheau, and even by Thenius; and the latest attack which has been made upon it by Graf in the theol. Studien u. Krit. 1859, iii., has been met by E. Gerlach in the same magazine of 1861. For further remarks see the Commentary on the Chronicles.)

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