but solely to their God (of course).
What was it that bothered the Chronicler and others about sacrificing to Yahweh on the high places? Maybe it was that the violence of purity motivated them. Motivated whom? Which purist gets the most points for violence today?
Manasseh repentant, Amon impeached, and Josiah elected 'by the people'. Can the people be sensible and unleash some temporary respite from evil.
A new friend asked me at lunch at the hospital whether I could tell him of anything good that had come to my attention in the last 24 hours. That's not a bad question. I was unable to answer outside of the pleasure I had in the first episode of the scenery in The Shetlands, Series 2 episode 1 that I discovered I could watch online. (If you note anything odd about Genesis 9, it may be because I was distracted by the mystery - but translation slows down a little when I am watching TV. - just kidding.) But I find myself wondering about what is this knowledge of Good and evil that we have. Or are we to distinguish only between evil and evil?
One advantage of these historical chronicles is that they don't use the language of religion and philosophy as much as the everyday written language of their time. That teaches us about the language in the other books and stories and poetry - and maybe not to search to excessive abstraction.
Aside: I have not been careful in the observation of the final P's and S's. If this rendering ever gets into print, that will be an editorial decision to be made at the time along with many others.
|2 Chronicles 33|
|בֶּן־שְׁתֵּ֥ים עֶשְׂרֵ֛ה שָׁנָ֖ה מְנַשֶּׁ֣ה בְמָלְכ֑וֹ |
וַחֲמִשִּׁ֤ים וְחָמֵשׁ֙ שָׁנָ֔ה מָלַ֖ךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִָֽם
|1||A child of twelve years, Manasseh began to reign, |
and fifty five years he reigned in Jerusalem. S
|וַיַּ֥עַשׂ הָרַ֖ע בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה |
כְּתֽוֹעֲבוֹת֙ הַגּוֹיִ֔ם אֲשֶׁר֙ הוֹרִ֣ישׁ יְהוָ֔ה מִפְּנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
|2||And he did evil in the eyes of Yahweh, |
according to the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh had dispossessed before the face of the children of Israel.
|וַיָּ֗שָׁב וַיִּ֙בֶן֙ אֶת־הַבָּמ֔וֹת אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִתַּ֖ץ יְחִזְקִיָּ֣הוּ אָבִ֑יו |
וַיָּ֨קֶם מִזְבְּח֤וֹת לַבְּעָלִים֙ וַיַּ֣עַשׂ אֲשֵׁר֔וֹת וַיִּשְׁתַּ֙חוּ֙ לְכָל־צְבָ֣א הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וַֽיַּעֲבֹ֖ד אֹתָֽם
|3||And he turned and built the high places that Hezekiah his father had broken, |
and he raised up altars to the Baals, and he made fetishes, and he worshiped all the host of the heavens and served them.
|וּבָנָ֥ה מִזְבְּח֖וֹת בְּבֵ֣ית יְהוָ֑ה |
אֲשֶׁר֙ אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה בִּירוּשָׁלִַ֥ם יִֽהְיֶה־שְּׁמִ֖י לְעוֹלָֽם
|4||And he built altars in the house of Yahweh, |
of which Yahweh had said, In Jerusalem will be my name forever.
|וַיִּ֥בֶן מִזְבְּח֖וֹת לְכָל־צְבָ֣א הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם |
בִּשְׁתֵּ֖י חַצְר֥וֹת בֵּית־יְהוָֽה
|5||And he built altars for all the host of the heavens, |
in the two courts of the house of Yahweh.
|וְהוּא֩ הֶעֱבִ֨יר אֶת־בָּנָ֤יו בָּאֵשׁ֙ בְּגֵ֣י בֶן־הִנֹּ֔ם וְעוֹנֵ֤ן וְנִחֵשׁ֙ וְֽכִשֵּׁ֔ף וְעָ֥שָׂה א֖וֹב וְיִדְּעוֹנִ֑י |
הִרְבָּ֗ה לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת הָרַ֛ע בְּעֵינֵ֥י יְהוָ֖ה לְהַכְעִיסֽוֹ
|6||And himself he made his children pass through in the fire in the gorge of the child of Hinnom, and used fortunetellers and augury and sorcery and dealt with necromancy and wizards. |
He did much evil in the eyes of Yahweh to grieve him.
|וַיָּ֕שֶׂם אֶת־פֶּ֥סֶל הַסֶּ֖מֶל אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֑ה |
בְּבֵ֣ית הָאֱלֹהִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָמַ֤ר אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶל־דָּוִיד֙ וְאֶל־שְׁלֹמֹ֣ה בְנ֔וֹ בַּבַּ֨יִת הַזֶּ֜ה וּבִֽירוּשָׁלִַ֗ם אֲשֶׁ֤ר בָּחַ֙רְתִּי֙ מִכֹּל֙ שִׁבְטֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אָשִׂ֥ים אֶת־שְׁמִ֖י לְעֵילֽוֹם
|7||And he set up a graven image of a statue that he made, in the house of this God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house and in Jerusalem that I have chosen from all the sceptres of Israel, I will set my name everlastingly.||13|
|וְלֹ֣א אוֹסִ֗יף לְהָסִיר֙ אֶת־רֶ֣גֶל יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל מֵעַל֙ הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֶֽעֱמַ֖דְתִּי לַאֲבֹֽתֵיכֶ֑ם |
רַ֣ק ׀ אִם־יִשְׁמְר֣וּ לַעֲשׂ֗וֹת אֵ֚ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוִּיתִ֔ים לְכָל־הַתּוֹרָ֛ה וְהַֽחֻקִּ֥ים וְהַמִּשְׁפָּטִ֖ים בְּיַד־מֹשֶֽׁה
|8||And I will not again turn aside the foot of Israel from the ground on which I made your ancestors stand, |
solely if they will keep and do all that I have commanded them, all instruction and the statutes and the judgments by the hand of Moses.
|וַיֶּ֣תַע מְנַשֶּׁ֔ה אֶת־יְהוּדָ֖ה וְיֹשְׁבֵ֣י יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם |
לַעֲשׂ֣וֹת רָ֔ע מִן־הַ֨גּוֹיִ֔ם אֲשֶׁר֙ הִשְׁמִ֣יד יְהוָ֔ה מִפְּנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
|9||And Manasseh made Judah to wander and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, |
to do more evil than the nations whom Yahweh exterminated before the face of the children of Israel.
|וַיְדַבֵּ֧ר יְהוָ֛ה אֶל־מְנַשֶּׁ֥ה וְאֶל־עַמּ֖וֹ וְלֹ֥א הִקְשִֽׁיבוּ||10||And Yahweh spoke to Manasseh and to his people and they did not attend.||18|
|וַיָּבֵ֨א יְהוָ֜ה עֲלֵיהֶ֗ם אֶת־שָׂרֵ֤י הַצָּבָא֙ אֲשֶׁר֙ לְמֶ֣לֶךְ אַשּׁ֔וּר וַיִּלְכְּד֥וּ אֶת־מְנַשֶּׁ֖ה בַּחֹחִ֑ים |
וַיַּֽאַסְרֻ֙הוּ֙ בַּֽנְחֻשְׁתַּ֔יִם וַיּוֹלִיכֻ֖הוּ בָּבֶֽלָה
|11||And Yahweh brought on them the chiefs of the host of the king of Ashur and they caught Manasseh among thorns, |
and bound him with brass chains and led him into Babel.
|וּכְהָצֵ֣ר ל֔וֹ חִלָּ֕ה אֶת־פְּנֵ֖י יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֑יו |
וַיִּכָּנַ֣ע מְאֹ֔ד מִלִּפְנֵ֖י אֱלֹהֵ֥י אֲבֹתָֽיו
|12||And in his trouble, he entreated before Yahweh his God, |
and much subdued himself before the God of his ancestors.
|וַיִּתְפַּלֵּ֣ל אֵלָ֗יו וַיֵּעָ֤תֶר לוֹ֙ וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע תְּחִנָּת֔וֹ וַיְשִׁיבֵ֥הוּ יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם לְמַלְכוּת֑וֹ |
וַיֵּ֣דַע מְנַשֶּׁ֔ה כִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה ה֥וּא הָֽאֱלֹהִֽים
|13||And he prayed to him and he was petitioned by him and heeded his supplication and he returned him to Jerusalem to his kingdom, |
so Manasseh knew that Yahweh, he is the God.
|וְאַחֲרֵי־כֵ֡ן בָּנָ֣ה חוֹמָ֣ה חִֽיצוֹנָ֣ה ׀ לְעִיר־דָּוִ֡יד מַעְרָבָה֩ לְגִיח֨וֹן בַּנַּ֜חַל וְלָב֨וֹא בְשַׁ֤עַר הַדָּגִים֙ וְסָבַ֣ב לָעֹ֔פֶל וַיַּגְבִּיהֶ֖הָ מְאֹ֑ד |
וַיָּ֧שֶׂם שָֽׂרֵי־חַ֛יִל בְּכָל־הֶעָרִ֥ים הַבְּצֻר֖וֹת בִּיהוּדָֽה
|14||And after such, he built a wall outside of the city of David from the westward to the Gihon in the wadi, and to the entrance at the fish gate and he circled to the promontory, very high and lofty, |
and he set up chiefs of ability in all the enclosed cities in Judah.
|וַ֠יָּסַר אֶת־אֱלֹהֵ֨י הַנֵּכָ֤ר וְאֶת־הַסֶּ֙מֶל֙ מִבֵּ֣ית יְהוָ֔ה וְכָל־הַֽמִּזְבְּח֗וֹת אֲשֶׁ֥ר בָּנָ֛ה בְּהַ֥ר בֵּית־יְהוָ֖ה וּבִירוּשָׁלִָ֑ם |
וַיַּשְׁלֵ֖ךְ ח֥וּצָה לָעִֽיר
|15||And he put aside the alien Gods and the statues from the house of Yahweh, and all the altars that he had built on the hill of the house of Yahweh and in Jerusalem, |
and cast them outside of the city.
|וַיִּ֙בֶן֙ אֶת־מִזְבַּ֣ח יְהוָ֔ה וַיִּזְבַּ֣ח עָלָ֔יו זִבְחֵ֥י שְׁלָמִ֖ים וְתוֹדָ֑ה |
וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ לִֽיהוּדָ֔ה לַעֲב֕וֹד אֶת־יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
|16||And built the altar of Yahweh and offered on it offerings of peace offerings and thanksgiving, |
and said of Judah to serve Yahweh the God of Israel.
|אֲבָל֙ ע֣וֹד הָעָ֔ם זֹבְחִ֖ים בַּבָּמ֑וֹת |
רַ֖ק לַיהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיהֶֽם
|17||Lamentably, still the people offered on the high places, |
solely to Yahweh their God.
|וְיֶ֨תֶר דִּבְרֵ֣י מְנַשֶּׁה֮ וּתְפִלָּת֣וֹ אֶל־אֱלֹהָיו֒ וְדִבְרֵי֙ הַֽחֹזִ֔ים הַֽמְדַבְּרִ֣ים אֵלָ֔יו בְּשֵׁ֥ם יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל |
הִנָּ֕ם עַל־דִּבְרֵ֖י מַלְכֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
|18||And the remaining words of Manasseh and his prayer to his God and the words of the visionaries, the ones speaking to him in the name of Yahweh the God of Israel, |
note them well in the annals of the kings of Israel.
|וּתְפִלָּת֣וֹ וְהֵֽעָתֶר־לוֹ֮ וְכָל־חַטָּאת֣וֹ וּמַעְלוֹ֒ וְהַמְּקֹמ֗וֹת אֲשֶׁר֩ בָּנָ֨ה בָהֶ֤ם בָּמוֹת֙ וְהֶעֱמִיד֙ הָאֲשֵׁרִ֣ים וְהַפְּסִלִ֔ים לִפְנֵ֖י הִכָּנְע֑וֹ |
הִנָּ֣ם כְּתוּבִ֔ים עַ֖ל דִּבְרֵ֥י חוֹזָֽי
|19||And his prayer, and his petition, and all his sin, and his trespass, and the places where he built high places, and the standing fetishes and the graven images before he subdued himself. |
Behold them written in the annals of the visionaries.
|וַיִּשְׁכַּ֤ב מְנַשֶּׁה֙ עִם־אֲבֹתָ֔יו וַֽיִּקְבְּרֻ֖הוּ בֵּית֑וֹ |
וַיִּמְלֹ֛ךְ אָמ֥וֹן בְּנ֖וֹ תַּחְתָּֽיו
|20||And Manasseh was laid out with his ancestors, and they entombed him in his house, |
and Amon his son reigned in his stead.
|בֶּן־עֶשְׂרִ֧ים וּשְׁתַּ֛יִם שָׁנָ֖ה אָמ֣וֹן בְּמָלְכ֑וֹ |
וּשְׁתַּ֣יִם שָׁנִ֔ים מָלַ֖ךְ בִּֽירוּשָׁלִָֽם
|21||A child of twenty two years was Amon when he began to reign, |
and two years he reigned in Jerusalem.
|וַיַּ֤עַשׂ הָרַע֙ בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה מְנַשֶּׁ֣ה אָבִ֑יו |
וּֽלְכָל־הַפְּסִילִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֤ר עָשָׂה֙ מְנַשֶּׁ֣ה אָבִ֔יו זִבַּ֥ח אָמ֖וֹן וַיַּֽעַבְדֵֽם
|22||And he did evil in the eyes of Yahweh as Manasseh his father had done |
and to all the graven images that Manasseh his father made, Amon offered, and he served them.
|וְלֹ֤א נִכְנַע֙ מִלִּפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה כְּהִכָּנַ֖ע מְנַשֶּׁ֣ה אָבִ֑יו |
כִּ֛י ה֥וּא אָמ֖וֹן הִרְבָּ֥ה אַשְׁמָֽה
|23||And he did not subdue himself before Yahweh as Manasseh his father had subdued himself, |
for Amon himself offended to excess.
|וַיִּקְשְׁר֤וּ עָלָיו֙ עֲבָדָ֔יו וַיְמִיתֻ֖הוּ בְּבֵיתֽוֹ||24||And his servants colluded against him and put him to death in his house.||16|
|וַיַּכּוּ֙ עַם־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֵ֥ת כָּל־הַקֹּֽשְׁרִ֖ים עַל־הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אָמ֑וֹן |
וַיַּמְלִ֧יכוּ עַם־הָאָ֛רֶץ אֶת־יֹאשִׁיָּ֥הוּ בְנ֖וֹ תַּחְתָּֽיו
|25||And the people of the land struck all that had colluded against king Amon, |
and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead.