After Judah’s great king, Hezekiah, died his young son became king over the small nation. At such a young age he had to have counselors. What direction might they have guided him? It’s not long before we know. So evil did Manasseh become that he replaced Jeroboam as a standard of evil – only he did it in Jerusalem. He reigned a long time, and by the Lord’s mercy only was he a saved man (21:1-18). Since the apple does not fall far from the tree, the route traveled by Manasseh, his son followed also (21:19-26).
Application: How could such a righteous king as Hezekiah have come from his loins a son so evil like Manasseh? Perhaps many things could be said about how this might have happened. At the very least, I think, we can say this: Manasseh arrived at a point in in life where he willfully chose to go one direction and not another. Whatever influence might have corrupted him at a young age, he still had his father’s example and to that he could have turned – but he did not (until late in life).