Today we look at Hephzibah, another wife of a king and mother of a king. She’s mentioned in only one verse, 2 Kings 21:1.
We’re told, “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah.”
So, do you want to take a guess at what the next verse says?
Verse 2 says, “And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.”
Like Maachah and her son Abijah, it would appear that Hephzibah had a negative influence on her son Manassah. But what’s sad is that her husband, King Hezekiah, was a godly king. He was the son of a weak and idolatrous king, but In his reign, King Hezekiah accomplished great and mighty things for the Lord. He cleansed out the temple and worked to abolish idol worship. He built water conduits to fortify Jerusalem.
2 Kings 18:5 tells us, Hezekiah trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that there were none like him among all the kings of Judah, not before nor after.
And yet, his son Manassah was said to be as evil as his father was good.
It could not have been easy for Manasseh to be twelve-years-old when his father died. To have that kind of responsibility to rule a country when you are having a hard enough time taking care of yourself. But his mother was there by his side, and all we’re told is that he did evil. I feel confident had she tried, the author would have included a note. Instead, all we’re told is his mother’s name was Hephzibah, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.
What a sad commentary! He had the example of a godly father, but not a godly mother to keep him on the right track. How different things might have been had she led him to follow in his father’s footsteps.
Oh, Lord God, be with the mothers today. Be with those who are struggling to figure out how best to raise their children. Give them insight and wisdom. Give them the strength to do right even when it’s hard. Lord, remind them of the importance of leading by deed and not just word. Forgive us all when we fall short, especially when we lead others away from You. Take our shortcomings and turn them into strengths. Use them for Your glory. We love You! In Christ’s name. Amen.