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The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies Provides a comprehensive survey of Biblical scholarship in a variety of disciplines.

Prayer of Manasseh

Manasseh is known from 2 Kgs. 21: 1–17 and 2 Chr. 33 as one of the most ungodly of the kings of Judah, who shed innocent blood, followed all kinds of idolatrous practices, and led the nation astray as well. However, while the account in 2 Kings ends with his death in a presumably unrepentant state, 2 Chr. 33: 10–13 tells how Manasseh was taken captive by the Assyrians and taken to Babylon, where he humbled himself before the Lord and prayed. God therefore restored him to his royal position in Jerusalem: ‘Then Manasseh knew that the Lord indeed was God.’ 2 Chr. 33: 18–19 also mentions that his prayer was written in the annals of the kings of Israel. This earlier Hebrew form has not survived, if indeed it ever existed, but a Prayer of Manasseh is known in both Greek and Syriac, and was translated into other languages used by Christians. The Prayer continues to be used in several churches as a canticle. The only specific allusion to Manasseh as he appears in the text of Chronicles occurs in the Prayer of Manasseh v. 10, which refers to his fettered state and his idolatry.

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