Things have gone from “bad” to “worse!”
King Manasseh ruled Judah for 55 years, most of that time as a “sycophant” of the great Assyrian Empire. Merely a “figurehead,” Manasseh, son of the great Hezekiah, Grandfather of the great Josiah!
Now I realize Manasseh was under “pressure.” To “conform” to Assyrian whims. Or he could lose his whole Kingdom, you know! He just had to (he felt) change the old-fashioned ways of Judaism, trading them for the more contemporary ways of Heathenism.
Political expedience, they still call it.
And the Assyrians were BIG on worship of the stars.
Thus we read in today’s Verse: “And he (Manasseh) built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.” 2nd Chronicles 33:5
The expression “host of heaven” means all the gods and goddesses represented by the various stars, comets, constellations, and other “signs” of the skies.
An “altar” is a place (generally) where “sacrifices” are made (blood literally shed) in the name of and for the honor of some (so-called) god. The Hebrew “root” word for “altar” means “to kill, slaughter.”
Bad enough to place these things in Monotheistic Israel (worshippers of One God) … in violation of everything the Old Testament has taught … BUT TO PUT THEM IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD … was absolutely blasphemous!
“Altars” … plural do notice … placed in both the outer court and the inner court of the Temple! Solomon’s great edifice constructed for the Glory of Jehovah God!
I am not saying that Manasseh outlawed worship of Almighty God. I am saying he “mixed” such worship with that of many other gods and goddesses. Blended many “faiths,” a sort of modern day “pluralism!”
Oh, how that sin continues in our time!
Paul was still warning us of this malady in 2nd Corinthians, centuries after Manasseh’s debacle. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
And: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
Readers here today, STAY TRUE TO GOD!
TO HIM ALONE.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell