MANASSEH, PRAYER OF

MANASSEH, PRAYER OF, brief penitential psalm incorporated among the books of the apocrypha . According to II Chronicles 33:11ff. Manasseh, king of Judah, repented his sins when he was taken to Babylonia in fetters (cf. also II Baruch 64:8). Shortly before the beginning of the Christian Era, an unknown author drew up a prayer appropriate for the occasion. Its style is comparatively simple and clear, concise and expressive, breathing throughout a spirit of deep and genuine religious piety. Its contents may be summarized as follows: O, God whose might and mercy are immeasurable (verses 3–7a), Thou hast promised forgiveness not for the righteous but for sinners (verses 7b–8). I have committed many iniquities and am now weighed down with sin. Therefore I confess my transgressions, and implore forgiveness (verses 11–13). Thou wilt save me in Thy mercy, and I will praise thee continually. For all the host of heaven sings thy praise, and thine is the glory for ever. Amen (verses 14–25). It is disputed whether the prayer was composed in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek. The theology and literary style of the prayer appear to be more in accord with the teachings of Palestinian than of Hellenistic Judaism. The two main ideas that permeate the prayer are the infinite mercy of God, and the efficacy of true repentance. The position of this ancient prayer in biblical texts varies considerably. Its first appearance in literary history is in the Didascalia Apostolorum. In several Greek manuscripts (including codex B, 5th century C.E.) it is included among the 14 odes appended to the Psalter. In medieval manuscripts of the Vulgate it often follows II Chronicles. Several Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopic, and Old Slavonic manuscripts have the prayer, some at the close of the Psalter, some at the end of II Chronicles. Among printed Bibles its position varies. In   editions of the Vulgate printed before the Council of Trent, the prayer stands after II Chronicles; in official printings of the Vulgate after the Council, it is placed in an appendix after the New Testament. In Luther's German Bible it stands at the close of the Apocrypha. Among English versions it usually stands among the Apocrypha before I Maccabees, although in the Geneva Bible (1560), widely used by the Puritans, it is included among the canonical books, following II Chronicles. The Roman Catholic Douai Bible of 1609–10 places it in an appendix after II Maccabees. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Schuerer, Gesch, 3 (19094), 458–60; Ryle, in: Charles, Apocrypha, 1 (1913), 612–24; R.H. Pfeiffer, History of New Testament Times (1949), 457–60; B.M. Metzger, Introduction to the Apocrypha (1957), 123–8. (Bruce M. Metzger)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Manasseh, Prayer of — ▪ apocryphal work       apocryphal work (noncanonical for Jews and Protestants), one of a collection of songs appended to the Old Testament book of Psalms in several manuscripts of the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible). The… …   Universalium

  • Manasseh, Prayer of — A non canonical work inserted towards the end of the Apocrypha. Manasseh reigned as king of Judah from 698 to 642 BCE and was totally condemned by the Deuteronomic author of 2 Kgs. 24:3 and held responsible for God s punishing the people by the… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • PRAYER — PRAYER, the offering of petition, confession, adoration or thanksgiving to God. In the Bible The concept of prayer is based on the conviction that God exists, hears, and answers (Ps. 65:3; cf. 115:3–7) – that He is a personal deity. In a sense it …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Manasseh — [mə nas′ə] n. [Heb měnaṣṣeh, lit., causing to forget] 1. Bible the elder son of Joseph: Gen. 41:52 2. the tribe of Israel descended from him: Num. 1:34 3. a king of Judah in the 7th cent. B.C. 2 Kings 21:1 18 4. PRAYER OF MANASSES …   English World dictionary

  • Prayer of Manasses — [mə nas′əs] n. a book of the Old Testament Apocrypha attributed to MANASSEH, King of Judah: abbrev. Pr of Man …   English World dictionary

  • Prayer of Manasseh — The Prayer of Manasseh is a short work of 15 verses of the penitential prayer of the Judean king Manasseh. Manasseh is recorded in the Bible as one of the most idolatrous (2 Kings 21:1 18); however, after having been taken captive by the… …   Wikipedia

  • Manasseh of Judah — For other people of the same name, see Manasseh (disambiguation). Manasseh (Menasheh ben Hizqiyah) King of Judah (Melekh Yehudah) Reign coregency 697 687 BC …   Wikipedia

  • Prayer of Manasseh — noun A book of the Apocrypha of the Bible. See Also: Pr. of Man …   Wiktionary

  • ELIEZER BEN MANASSEH BEN BARUCH — (mid 18th century), preacher in western Russia and author of an ethical work. In his youth, Eliezer spent some time studying in Berlin. It is not known who his teachers were or what he studied there. After some years of traveling, he was… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • biblical literature — Introduction       four bodies of written works: the Old Testament writings according to the Hebrew canon; intertestamental works, including the Old Testament Apocrypha; the New Testament writings; and the New Testament Apocrypha.       The Old… …   Universalium

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