The Human Truth Foundation

Prayer of Manasseh

By Vexen Crabtree 2012


Included as holy:

Eastern Orthodox Bibles
Title: Prayer of Manasseh
Section: Wisdom

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Rejected by:
Jewish Tanakh
Protestant Bibles
Catholic Bible

Chapters in Prayer of Manasseh:
Total verses: 15

Jewish in origin, this purports to be the prayer of Judah's king, Manasseh, whilst he was in captivity1, although exactly how it came to be in this written form is unreported, and there is no history of this prayer in Judaism2; in some versions of the Bible based on the Septuagint, it is appended to the end of Psalms whereas in others it comes at the end of 2 Chronicles2. Most traditions do not accept this text as a legitimate part of the Bible2. The content of the prayer is, "most probably, the attempt of some pious Jew of later times to reproduce it"2

Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, ruled Judah, and this reign is described in 2 Chronicles 13. "He was a worshipper of Baal and other idols, and heavily involved in occult practices. He was captured by the Assyrians and in his affliction prayed to the God of his fathers for release. God heard him and Manasseh was released, subsequently restoring the worship of God to Judah"1.

1. The text contents of Prayer of Manasseh (15 verses)

1O Lord, Almighty God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of their righteous seed;
2who hast made heaven and earth, with all the ornament thereof;
3who hast bound the sea by the word of thy commandment; who hast shut up the deep, and sealed it by thy terrible and glorious name;
4whom all men fear, and tremble before thy power;
5for the majesty of thy glory cannot be borne, and thine angry threatening toward sinners is importable:
6but thy merciful promise is unmeasurable and unsearchable;
7for thou art the most high Lord, of great compassion, longsuffering, very merciful, and repentest of the evils of men. Thou, O Lord, according to thy great goodness hast promised repentance and forgiveness to them that have sinned against thee: and of thine infinite mercies hast appointed repentance unto sinners, that they may be saved.
8Thou therefore, O Lord, that art the God of the just, hast not appointed repentance to the just, as to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, which have not sinned against thee; but thou hast appointed repentance unto me that am a sinner:
9for I have sinned above the number of the sands of the sea. My transgressions, O Lord, are multiplied: my transgressions are multiplied, and I am not worthy to behold and see the height of heaven for the multitude of mine iniquities.
10I am bowed down with many iron bands, that I cannot lift up mine head, neither have any release: for I have provoked thy wrath, and done evil before thee: I did not thy will, neither kept I thy commandments: I have set up abominations, and have multiplied offences.
11Now therefore I bow the knee of mine heart, beseeching thee of grace.
12I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge mine iniquities:
13wherefore, I humbly beseech thee, forgive me, O Lord, forgive me, and destroy me not with mine iniquities. Be not angry with me for ever, by reserving evil for me; neither condemn me to the lower parts of the earth. For thou art the God, even the God of them that repent;
14and in me thou wilt shew all thy goodness: for thou wilt save me, that am unworthy, according to thy great mercy.
15Therefore I will praise thee for ever all the days of my life: for all the powers of the heavens do praise thee, and thine is the glory for ever and ever. Amen.