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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

Commentary on Prayer of Manasseh

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1.1–15 .

1 :

The phrase, God of our ancestors, recalls 2 Chr 33.12 , which inspired the prayer.

2–3 :

God is addressed as creator (Ps 115.15; 121.2 ). Verse 3 recalls Gen 1.1–2 , as well as other texts that suggest God has controlled the chaotic waters (Job 38.8–11; Ps 74.13 ).

4–5a :

Shudder and tremble are the language of theophany, * descriptions of God's appearing in the natural order (Ps 18.7–15; 97.3–5 ).

5b–6 :

The presence of God calls sinners to account, yet God has promised mercy. The tension between wrath and mercy characterizes the whole Bible (see Ex 34.6–7 ).

7 :

What Manasseh needed and counted upon was mercy, which is provided with several synonyms for emphasis. The prayer begins to recall Psalm 51 at this point (see also Ps 103.8–14 , which recalls Ex 34.6–7 ).

8–13d :

While the righteous do not need to repent, Manasseh does (see Lk 5.32 ), as vv. 9–10, 12 make clear (see 2 Kings 21.1–9; 2 Chr 33.1–9 ). The confession is accompanied by an appeal to God's kindness (v. 11, see Ps 51.1 ) and petitions God to forgive (v. 13; see Ps 51.2 ).

13e–15 :

Returning the focus to God's mercy, the prayer concludes with the promise to praise, an act of submission to God and God's purposes (see Ps 51.15–17 ).

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