“Those who lived long ago in your holy land,
You hated for their detestable practices.
They had their works of sorcery.
They had their unholy rites.
They had their merciless slaughter of children.
They had their sacrificial feasting of human flesh.
They had their sacrificial feasting of human blood.
These were initiates from the midst of a heathen cult.
These were parents who murdered helpless lives.
You willed to destroy them
By the hands of our ancestors.
Thus the land is the most precious of all to you.
Thus you might receive a worthy colony
Of the children of God.”
Now this author turns to God’s holy land (τῆς ἁγίας σου γῆς) of Canaan and its former inhabitants who lived there long ago. They had detestable practices of sorcery. They had rites of sacrificial children with feasting on human flesh and blood. These heathen cults had parents kill their helpless children. God wanted to destroy all of them because the land was so precious. Thus there he created a colony for the children of God (Θεοῦ παίδων).
“King Manasseh built altars in the house of Yahweh. Yahweh had said. ‘In Jerusalem shall my name be forever.’ He built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of Yahweh. He made his son pass through fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom. He practiced soothsaying, augury, and sorcery. He dealt with mediums and wizards. He did much evil in the sight of Yahweh, provoking him to anger. He set in the house of God the carved image of an idol that he had made. God had said to King David and to his son King Solomon. ‘In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. I will never again remove the feet of Israel from the land that I appointed for your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do all that I have commanded them, all the law the statutes, and the ordinances given through Moses.’ King Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Judah, so that they did more evil than the nations whom Yahweh had destroyed before the people of Israel.”
This section is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 21, with only a few minor changes. Here in Jerusalem, King Manasseh built altars to other gods in the very court yards of the Temple itself, the house of Yahweh. He offered his son as an offering in fire in the valley of Hinnom. He was a soothsayer, dealing with mediums and wizards. He really made Yahweh angry. He set a carved image of his idol god and put it in the Temple. The name of the god Asherah was not mentioned here as in 2 Kings. Yahweh had commanded King David and King Solomon to keep the Mosaic commandments and worship his name in Jerusalem, the place that Yahweh had chosen. However, the people of Jerusalem were misled by King Manasseh. They did not listen to Moses. They had become worse that the nations that were destroyed before the people of Israel came to the Promised Land. The house of Yahweh, the Temple, was desecrated with all these other images of foreign gods. All of the good of King Hezekiah was wiped away as the Temple of Yahweh became a pantheon of various gods.