XXI The wicked reign of Manasseh, ver. 1-9. Judgment denounced against him and Jerusalem, ver. 10-16. His death, ver. 17, 18. The wicked reign of Amon, ver. 19-22. He is slain, and succeeded by Josiah, ver. 23-26.
Verse 1. Reigned - In which time the years of his imprisonment are comprehended.
Verse 3. He built, &c. - Trampling on the dust and affronting the memory of his worthy father. All the host of heaven - The sun, moon and stars.
Verse 6. Through the fire - Between two fires, by which he dedicated him to Molock, in contempt of the seal of circumcision by which he had been dedicated to God. Times - Lucky, or unlucky days according to the superstitious practice of the heathens.
Verse 7. An image - The image of that Baal which was worshipped in the grove.
Verse 9. More evil - Partly, because they were not contented with those idols which the Canaanites worshipped, but either invented, or borrowed from other nations many new idols, and partly, because as their light was far more clear, their obligations to God infinitely higher, and their helps against idolatry much stronger than the Canaanites had; so their sins, though the same in kind, were unspeakably worse in respect of these dreadful aggravations.
Verse 13. The line - She shall have the same measure, the same judgments which Samaria had. The line is often put for one's lot or portion, because mens portions or possessions used to be measured by lines. A dish - As men do with a dish that hath been used, first wholly empty it of all that is in it, then throughly cleanse and wipe it; and lastly, turn it upside down, that nothing may remain in it; so will I deal with Jerusalem, throughly empty and purge it from all its wicked inhabitants. Yet the comparison intimates, that this should be in order to the purifying, not the final destruction of Jerusalem. The dish shall not be broken in pieces, or wholly cast away, but only wiped.
Verse 15. Since, &c. - This forejudgment, though it was chiefly inflicted for the sins of Manasseh and his generation, yet had a respect unto all their former sins.
Verse 16. Blood - The blood of those prophets and righteous men who either reproved his sinful practices, or refused to comply with his wicked commands. His sin - His idolatry, which is called sin, by way of eminency. The tradition of the Jews is, that he caused Isaiah in particular to be sawn asunder.
Verse 18. Garden - Not in the sepulchre of the kings; probably, by his own choice and command, as a lasting testimony of his sincere repentance and abhorrence of himself for his former crime.
Verse 21. He walked, &c. - He revived that idolatry which Manasseh in the latter end of his reign had put down. Those who set bad examples, if they repent themselves, cannot be sure that they whom their example has drawn into sin will repent. It is often otherwise.