The Story of the Apocrypha

By Edgar J. Goodspeed | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
THE PRAYER OF MANASSEH

The Prayer of Azariah was not the only great prayer of the Maccabean age. Another Jew of that period, probably out in the Greek world, in Egypt, gave moving expression to the same sense of guilt and penitence, in what is known as the Prayer of Manasseh.

Of all the kings of Judah, Manasseh had the longest reign. For fifty-five years, the writers of Kings and Chronicles agree (II Kings 21:1; II Chron. 33:1), he reigned in Jerusalem. This was much longer than the reign of either David or Solomon. It was also a very wicked reign. He rebuilt the high places, erected altars for Baal, worshiped all the host of heaven, caused his son to pass through the fire -- that is, sacrificed him -- practiced augury and witchcraft and appointed necromancers and wizards. He also shed much innocent blood in Jerusalem. The prophets declared that he had been more wicked even than the Amorites that went before him, and that God would cast his people off and wipe Jerusalem as clean as a dish (II Kings 21:11-15) because of him.

To the writer of Chronicles it seemed impossible

-52-

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