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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter II

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Text Commentary

1And after Hezekiah died and Manasseh became king, he did not remember his father Hezekiah's commands, but forgot them; and Sammael made his abode in Manasseh and clung fast to him. 2And Manasseh abandoned the service of his father's God and served Satan and his angels and his hosts. 3And he turned away his father Hezekiah's household from the pursuit of wisdom 1 Lit. ‘And he turned away the house of his father which had been before the face of Hezekiah 〈from〉 the words of wisdom’. and from the service of God. 4And Manasseh turned away his own heart to serve Beliar – for the angel of lawlessness, who is the ruler of this world, is Beliar, whose name is Matanbukus. And he delighted in Jerusalem because of Manasseh and supported him in his leading Judah astray, and in the lawlessness prevalent in Jerusalem. 5Magic and sorcery and divination and augury and fornication and adultery 2 Gk. om. ‘and adultery’. increased, as also the persecution of the righteous by Manasseh and Balchira 3 Gk. om. ‘and Balchira’. and Tobiah the Canaanite and John of Anathoth, and by Zadok 4 So Gk. only: Eth. has no name. the chief of the works. 6And the rest of what happened is recorded in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.

7And when Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw the lawlessness that was common practice in Jerusalem, and the worship of Satan and his wantonness, he left Jerusalem and settled in Bethlehem of Judah. 8And there too there was much lawlessness, so that he left Bethlehem and settled on a mountain in a desert place. 9And Micaiah the prophet, and the aged Ananias, and Joel, and Habakkuk, and his son Josab, and many of the faithful who believed in the ascension into heaven, also left where they were and settled on the mountain. 10They were all clothed with garments of hair, 5 They … hair: B om. (perhaps because of the succeeding statement that they were naked). and they were all of them prophets: they had nothing with them, but were naked; and they all lamented with a great lamentation because of the apostasy of Israel. 11And they had nothing to eat but only the wild herbs that they gathered on the mountains; and they cooked them and lived on them together with the prophet Isaiah. And they remained on the mountains and on the hills for two years.

12And after this, while they were in the desert, there was in Samaria a certain man named Balchira, 6 So BC here: A ‘Belchira’; Gk. ‘Belicheiar’. There is considerable variation between the authorities at other occurrences of the name. We print regularly ‘Balchira’. of the family of Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, the false prophet, whose home was in Bethlehem. (Now Zedekiah, 7 So Gk.: Eth. ‘Hezekiah’. the son of Chenaanah, was Balchira's 8 Lit. ‘his’. father's brother, and in the days of Ahab king of Israel he had been the master of the four hundred prophets of Baal, and had himself hit Micaiah, the son of Amada, the prophet, and abused him. 13And Micaiah had also been abused by Ahab and put in prison with the prophet Zedekiah. They were with Ahaziah, son of Ahab, king of Samaria. 9 Charles's restoration of a text which is a jumble, both in Eth. and Gk. 14And Elijah the prophet from Thebon 10 So A: BC ‘Zebon’. in Gilead was reproving Ahaziah and Samaria; and he prophesied about Ahaziah that he would die upon a bed of sickness, and that Samaria would be delivered into the hands of Shalmaneser, 11 Eth. ‘Leba Nasr’; Gk. ‘Alnasar’. because he had slaughtered the prophets of God. 15And when the false prophets who were with Ahaziah, the son of Ahab, and their master Jalerjas of mount Ephraim 12 So L1: Eth. ‘Joel’ or ‘I joel’; Gk. ‘Islal’ (corrupt for ‘Israel’?). – he 13 So L1: Eth. ‘Ibchira’; Gk. ‘Becheira’. was Zedekiah's brother – heard it, they persuaded Ahaziah, king of Gomorrah, 14 So Gk. and L1: Eth. ‘Aguaron’. Gomorrah is a contemptuous reference to Samaria (cp. Isa. i. 10; Jer. xxiii. 13–14 ). and he killed 15 So L1: Gk. ‘they killed’; Eth. om. Micaiah).

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘And he turned away the house of his father which had been before the face of Hezekiah 〈from〉 the words of wisdom’.

2 Gk. om. ‘and adultery’.

3 Gk. om. ‘and Balchira’.

4 So Gk. only: Eth. has no name.

5 They … hair: B om. (perhaps because of the succeeding statement that they were naked).

6 So BC here: A ‘Belchira’; Gk. ‘Belicheiar’. There is considerable variation between the authorities at other occurrences of the name. We print regularly ‘Balchira’.

7 So Gk.: Eth. ‘Hezekiah’.

8 Lit. ‘his’.

9 Charles's restoration of a text which is a jumble, both in Eth. and Gk.

10 So A: BC ‘Zebon’.

11 Eth. ‘Leba Nasr’; Gk. ‘Alnasar’.

12 So L1: Eth. ‘Joel’ or ‘I joel’; Gk. ‘Islal’ (corrupt for ‘Israel’?).

13 So L1: Eth. ‘Ibchira’; Gk. ‘Becheira’.

14 So Gk. and L1: Eth. ‘Aguaron’. Gomorrah is a contemptuous reference to Samaria (cp. Isa. i. 10; Jer. xxiii. 13–14 ).

15 So L1: Gk. ‘they killed’; Eth. om.

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