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October 17

2 Kings 21, 2 Chronicles 33, Habakkuk 1; 1 Thessalonians 5

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

Second Chronicles 33:13-16 tells of King Manasseh's repentance and dedication to God after his release from captivity in Babylon (cf. v. 11). In despair Manasseh cast himself on the mercy of the God he had hated and mocked during the decades of his wicked reign…. But why was this final conversion of that wicked king not mentioned at all in the account in 2 Kings 21?…

It seems a bit strange that such an important development as the latter-day repentance of this long-reigning king receives no mention whatever in 2 Kings 21. But the reason seems to lie in the different focus of interest that guided the author of Kings. He was not quite so concerned with the personal relationship of individual leader to the Lord as he was with the response of the nation as a whole to its responsibilities under the covenant. From the stand point of lasting results, Manasseh's reign added up to a severe spiritual setback for Judah; and even his personal reform and restoration to fellowship with God came as too little and too late, so far as influencing the nation was concerned…

The author of Chronicles, however, takes more of a personal interest in the relationship each leader or king maintained toward God…. Thus we can discern a pattern of selection as between the two historians. First and Second Kings focused on the overall results of each king's reign, in light of his faithfulness to the covenant. But the Chronicler was interested in recording great moments of faith, even when no lasting consequences ensued for the nation as a whole.

Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publications, 1982), pp. 227-28.

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