New Defender's Study Bible Notes
33:1 Manasseh. The long and wicked reign of Manasseh is also discussed in II Kings 21. The first twelve years of his life had seen many evidences of God’s blessing and miraculous power—probably including the destruction of the Assyrian army. He was quite young, however, and evidently received little instruction from his father. Evidently subversive teachers had exerted more influence on his early training. Nothing is known about his mother Hephzi-bah (II Kings 21:1), except that her name seems to mean “My Delight.” In any case, whatever godly teachings he may have received from his parents, he rebelled against them in his teen-age years when he had become king.
33:2 did that which was evil. Much of the narrative in II Chronicles 33:1-9 was evidently taken from the same source as II Kings 21:1-9. However, only the Chronicler gives the account of Manasseh’s eventual return to the faith of his father (II Chronicles 33:12-18).
33:6 the son of Hinnom. This valley had been so identified since at least the time of Joshua (Joshua 15:8), and it is probable that the original “son of Hinnom” was a Jebusite who offered his valley for the pagan sacrificial rituals of the Canaanites. See note on II Chronicles 28:3.
33:6 wrought much evil. Manasseh departed so far from the godly practices of his father, entering so deeply into every form of Satanic doctrine and practice and leading his people to participate in them (even “worse than the heathen”—II Chronicles 33:9), that the only divine remedy was eventual judgment and exile (II Kings 21:12-16).
33:11 Manasseh. Manasseh’s name has been found by archaeologists as listed among the kings who had been placed in servitude to the king of Assyria.
33:11 bound him with fetters. The word “fetters” is actually the word for “brass” or “bronze.” Whether Manasseh’s brass fetters consisted of chains or hooks is not known. Engravings found by archaeologists show that one of the practices of the cruel Assyrians was to lead captives leaders by means of hooks in their noses. Compare II Kings 19:28, where the Assyrian king himself is threatened with divine judgment analogous to this despicable practice of theirs.
33:12 humbled himself greatly. Manasseh’s repentance and attempted restoration of true religion, while it may have resulted in his own personal salvation, was too little and too late as far as the people as a whole were concerned. His son Amon led them right back into paganism again and not even the later revivals sponsored by Josiah could permanently bring the people back to God.
33:18 book of the kings of Israel. The account of Manasseh in the canonical book of Kings does not mention such a prayer (see II Kings 21:1-18), so the nature of this apparently lost book of the kings of Israel is not known. An apocryphal book known as “The Prayer of Manasseh” may reflect the material in this missing book to some degree.