2 Chronicles 33:10–17—Why is the repentance of Manasseh recorded here, but no mention is made of it in 2 Kings?
Problem: According to this text, upon his return, Manasseh repented of his earlier sin and reinstituted the worship of the Lord in Judah. However, the record of the career of Manasseh as found in 2 Kings 21 does not mention this glorious repentance. Why?
Solution: Apparently the author of 2 Kings did not record the repentance of Manasseh because of the lack of influence it had upon the steady decline of the nation. The Book of 2 Kings concentrates primarily upon the actions of the covenant people of God as a whole. The repentance and reforms of Manasseh did relatively little to turn the nation around from its path to judgment, while his sinful leadership early in his reign did much more damage to the nation. Even in the 2 Chronicles passage we find this statement: “Nevertheless the people still sacrificed on the high places, but only to the Lord their God” (2 Chron. 33:17). Even though the people dedicated their sacrifices to the Lord, they were still committing sin, because sacrifices were to be made at the temple, not upon high places which were originally altars to false gods. Despite the efforts of Manasseh, the people would not totally dedicate themselves to the Lord.
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.