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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



4 KINGS 21

 

CHAPTER XXI.

 

Ver. 1.  Twelve.  Being born three years after his father's recovery. --- Fifty.  Including the years of captivity.

 

Ver. 2.  Idols.  Heb. "abominations," (C.) as their worship was attended with the greatest infamy and dissolution, and was in itself the source of God's chastisements.  H.

 

Ver. 3.  Groves.  Heb. Ashera, "the grove," or the idol of Astarte, (C.) as both were worshipped.  H. --- Achab, whom he imitated also in spilling the blood of the saints.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  Altars, in honour of the sun, moon, and stars, (H.) in the courts of the priests and of the people.  2 Par. xxxiii. 4.

 

Ver. 6.  Fire, for purification, or as a holocaust to Moloch.  See C. xvi. 3. --- Divination, or, "he observed times," Arab. Mont. --- Omens.  Prot. "used enchantments," (H.) by means of brass or of serpents, &c.  C. --- Sept. agrees with the Vulg. "he took  notice of birds."  H. --- Pythons.  That is, diviners by spirits (Ch). particularly by Apollo.  He authorized and encouraged such ventriloquists, &c.  Lev. xix. 31. --- Soothsayers, who inspected the entrails of victims, to foretell future things.  C. --- Prot. "He dealt with familiar spirits and wizards."  H.

 

Ver. 7.  Of the grove.  Heb. "a graven thing of Ashera," the grove or Astarte, (H.) v. 3.  This was an engraving in sculpture of a sacred grove.  Sa.  C. xxiii. 6.  T. --- My name.  I alone will be adored, and there allow an altar to be erected.  H.

 

Ver. 9.  More, because they had received more favours and instructions from above.  W.

 

Ver. 10.  Prophets, Joel, Osee, Amos, Nahum, Jonas, Abdias, Micheas, and particularly by Isaias, who was related to the king.  T. --- Tradition informs us, that Manasses was so irritated, that he ordered Isaias to be slain with a wooden saw, (S. Aug. de C. D. xviii. 24.) for greater torment; (C.) and his companions were daily executed, Joseph. x. 3. --- Isaias (xxii. 13.) seems to pronounce his sin irremissible, (C.) or that he should not, at least, escape the punishment of it, as  long as he lived.  But we are assured that the eyes of Manasses were at last opened by adversity, and that he performed many  laudable things after his return from captivity; (2 Par. xxxiii.) so that the latter part of his reign resembled that of his father; though the beginning had been like that of the impious Achab.  His coming to the throne so soon, before his pious father could have time to impress upon his mind the truths of salvation, had nearly proved his ruin.  The sins of my youth, and my ignorances, remember not, O Lord, Ps. xxiv. 7.  H.

 

Ver. 11.  Doings.  Heb. "idols," v. 2.  See C. xvii. 12.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Tingle, through astonishment, as if he had been stunned with too loud a sound.  1 K. iii. 11.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  The line, or rope, to pull down the walls, Lament. ii. 8. (C.)  2 K. xvii. 13.  Jerusalem, which has  imitated Samaria in sinning, shall experience the same fate; the same weight of punishment shall fall upon the royal family, as upon the house of Achab.  H. --- The prophets frequently entitle their menaces a weight, or burden.  Isai. xiii. 1.  M. --- Sept. have, "the balance of the house, &c." as if God had weighed all the good and evil, and would now reward the people accordingly, (H.) with judgment.  D. --- Table, or board, covered with wax.  The ancients were accustomed to write in this manner with a style which was sharp at one end and blunt at the other.  Altera pars revocat quicquid pars altera fecit.  ├ćnig. Symponii.  When the wax was rendered smooth, no vestige of the former writing could appear, and God threatened to destroy Jerusalem, in like manner.  Heb. is variously translated.  C. --- Sept. "I will wipe out Jerusalem as an alabaster vase is wiped, and turned downwards."  Prot. "as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down."  H. --- Often. 1. Under Manasses; 2. under Josias and Joachaz; 3. under the last kings of Juda.  2 Par. xxiii. &c.  T.

 

Ver. 14.  Leave.  Sept. "with horror," apeasomai (H.)  "I will cast off."  So Chal. Syr. &c. --- Remnants.  Juda, &c. who shall be treated like the ten tribes.  C. --- All shared in the punishment, though some preserved the true religion.  Ps. lxxxviii. 35.  W.

 

Ver. 16.  Mouth.  Chal. "extremity."  All was full of blood, and impure idols, v. 11. --- Besides, (absque) "without" mentioning his other scandalous sins of idolatry.

 

Ver. 17.  Sinned.  It is rather wonderful that his repentance is not here noticed; but we find it mentioned 2 Par. xxxiii. 12.  H. --- He was probably taken prisoner by Thartan, general of Sargon, or Asarhaddon, who had reunited the two kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon.  Isai. xx. 1.  In prison Manasses composed a penitential prayer, which is not absolutely rejected by the Church, but left in the rank of Apocryphal writings; (C.) the authority of which is not clearly ascertained.  H. --- The Greek church admits this prayer into her Euchologium, (C.) or Office-book.  H. --- Being liberated, probably by Saosduchin, Manasses did all things well, only he left the high places, where the people had been accustomed to sacrifice to the Lord.  Hozai wrote his history.  2 Par. xxxiii. 19.

 

Ver. 18.  Oza, a private man, to whom it had belonged; (M.) or the place where the Levite had been punished for touching the ark; (1 K. vi. 8.) or, in fine, the garden to which king Ozias had retired after he became a leper.  C. --- It is said, that Manasses chose this place for his tomb out of humility.  Grotius.

 

Ver. 20.  Done, in his youth, flattering himself that he should also repent, when he had gratified his passions (Glycas) but God presently chastised this presumption, after suffering him to reign only two years.  T.

 

 








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