It seems that King Manasseh should have known what was coming!
He had sinned against God for years. To the point of unashamedly placing heathen idols around the City of Jerusalem, even in the House of the Lord.
So, 2nd Chronicles 33:11 relates: “Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.”
By “them” the Holy Spirit simply means both the King (Manasseh) and his people. Yes, generally … “As goes a leader, so goes his constituency.”
The Text does not say the Assyrians “attacked” Israel, Judah. But rather, the “Lord” authored the whole invasion! “The Lord brought the enemy upon them!”
So … “This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.” Psalm 118:23
The verb “brought” is spelled “bo” in Hebrew, using 3 consonants and a single vowel. It means (both) “to come” and “to go,” depending on the context in which it is located. And in this setting God Himself “causes” the Assyrians to fall upon the Jews, again because of their sin!
It actually sounds like the Lord did the “coming,” just with an enemy army in tow! I believe that picture is validated by the grammar here, too!
The “captains” of the Assyrian host involve their chief military “brass” anyway. The noun “sar” means (in the Old Testament) “prince” (208 times), “chief” (33 times), “ruler” (33 more times), “governor” (6 times), “general” (1 time only), plus a few miscellaneous parallel terms.
The noun “host” (spelled “tzsaba”) implies the whole “army.” Yes, when God is said to be the “Lord of Hosts” … He is the Commander in Chief of Heaven’s ARMIES!
And the Assyrians did what to King Manasseh?
They “took” him, “lakad.” It means “to capture, to seize.”
They deported the King, under arrest!
The noun “thorns” means ” that which pierces.” This may mean … they put a “hook” in his nose! Actually, literally chaining him to an ox-cart or a military escort, making him walk (perhaps humiliatingly naked) all the way to Babylon! A distance of a little over 500 miles, by the way!
“Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.”
Being “bound with fetters,” means “leg shackles” likely. “Fetters” is the literal Hebrew word for “steel, brass,” and is even translated “chain” 3 times.
The verb “carried” means “to make walk!”
No chariot ride!
I would have suspected “Nineveh!”
Yet the Bible must stand as correct, in every single circumstance.
This suggests that the attacking army may have ben a coalition of Babylonian-Assyrian fighters. (Remember Daniel chapter 2 and the “world rulers” depicted there. The Babylonians were at the top! Right after the not-mentioned Egyptians who indeed preceded the Assyrians.)
The first “deportation” of Jews to Babylon (for the “70 years” of captivity) occurred in 606 BC, if you need a time frame. Manasseh’s dates are just a few decades prior to the first “official” harvesting of Jews to that foreign Country.
Yes, sin has consequences.
Ask the shackled Manasseh today.
Sin is still “binding” people, I might add.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell