“Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of His sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon” (II Kings 24:3,4).
Foremost among the atrocities practiced by some of the kings of Judah were those of Manasseh. He seemed to have done about everything wrong that could be done: He built high places, put up altars to Baal, made a grove, worshipped all the host of Heaven, built altars in the house of the Lord, made his sons pass through the fire, observed times, used enchantments, dealt with familiar spirits and wizards, and set a graven image in the grove of the house of the Lord.
Evidently the most serious crime of all was that he shed much innocent blood. Even if the Lord could have forgiven many of his other crimes, He couldn’t pardon the bloody atrocities which Manasseh had committed. For all this wickedness, the Lord finally permitted Judah’s enemies to destroy her political existence and take her captive.
The Lord had said: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed” (Genesis 9:6). However, in grace He also provided a way of escape (Deuteronomy 19:9,10) for those who had killed someone accidentally, to prevent further shedding of innocent blood. The cities of refuge were for people who committed crimes by accident rather than by deliberate intent, but there was no such provision for those who knowingly shed innocent blood.
But when Jesus came, He brought forgiveness and salvation for all, even for those who had shed innocent blood, if they would truly repent and believe on His name. This He accomplished through the sacrificial shedding of His own innocent blood (Matthew 27:4). KBC