This excerpt “Manasseh’s Unknown Plea” is a literal translation of the “Prayer of Manasseh”, an example of a beautiful and poetic Jewish liturgy authored between first century BCE and first century CE. The original language of the prayer was probably Hebrew or Aramaic, though only the Greek text survived to our day. Note the way this writer asks God for forgiveness. He knows that the LORD’s forgiveness comes only through mercy and grace and not through sacrifice. He does not rely on anything but God’s merciful character for salvation.

1* O Lord, God of our fathers,
God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, and of their righteous offspring;
2* He who made the heaven and the earth
with all their embellishment…
7a* Because you are the Lord,
long-suffering, and merciful, and greatly compassionate;
and you feel sorry over the evils of men.
7b* You, O Lord, according to the sweetness of your grace,
promised forgiveness to those who repent of their sins,
and in the multitude of your mercies
appointed repentance as the salvation for sinners.
8 You, therefore, O Lord, God of the righteous ones,
did not appoint grace for the righteous ones,
such as Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob,
those who did not sin against you;
but you appointed grace for me, (I) who am a sinner.

9a Because my sins multiplied in number more than the sand of the sea,
and on account of the multitude of my iniquities,
I have no strength so that I can lift up my eyes.
9b* And now, O Lord, I am justly afflicted,
and as I deserve I am harassed;
for already I am ensnared…
11* And now behold I am bending the knees of my heart before you;
and I am beseeching your kindness.
12* I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned;
and certainly, I know my sins.
13* I make supplication before you;
forgive me, O Lord, forgive me!
and do not destroy me with my transgressions;
and do not be angry against me forever;
and do not remember my evils;
and do not condemn me and banish me to the depths of the earth!
For you are God of the repenters.
14 And in me you will manifest all your grace;
and although I am not worthy,
you will save me according to the multitude of your mercies.
15* Because of this (salvation) 3 I shall praise you continually
through all the days of my life;
because all the hosts of heaven praise you,
and sing to you forever and ever. (Prayer of Manasseh)



  1. Many thanks to your team! I am fed spiritually and beyond my expectations. Adaptation or contextualization of such a model of prayer will surely makeone’s own prayer richer and more powerful!
    Many thanks for your spiritual leadership
    Koffi Aziza

  2. Thank you Prof. Shir for bringing out this beautiful work of literature that is available for me to have a stronger grip on Scriptures through this extra biblical text.

  3. ” He knows that the LORD’s forgiveness comes only through mercy not through sacrifice”. Why then Jesus must be sacrificed? He is wrong.

    • Well’s that’s my comment, actually. So I will answer… Sacrifices do have deep meaning, but only as expressions of a much bigger idea. Jesus’ sacrifice does absolutely nothing for those who do not embrace it. So is it the sacrifice that redeems or faith? God is under no obligation to accept any sacrifices offered to him. The fact that he accepts a substitution (death of another) is mercy and grace already. God can demand the death of the guilty party, but he chooses not to do so.

  4. Thank You! I have people with whom I wish to share this.
    Any idea who Manasseh is?
    Also, what is the ‘3’ near the end?

  5. Is this your own translation? I can not find this particular reading anywhere online (so far), but I’d like to.

    • The author is unknown, though he presents himself as biblical Manasseh, the son of King Hezekiah. This is either a tradition passed down orally or more likely a prayer composed projecting that Manasseh would say something like that.

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  6. Prof, in reading the prayer I saw it as I am praying to God for the forgiveness of my own sins.

    I like to pray the Word of God knowing very well that God is bound by his word. I will add to my sample prayers.

  7. Abram believed and it was accounted to him as righteousness. He knew grace, that is how and why he strives to live it. When Abraham is seen in the salvation he accepted he is seen as “by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves: because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statues, and my laws.” Gen 26:5 We see God through the eyes of Yeshua, and God sees us through the eyes of Yeshua. When YeHoVah said let us make man in our image he spoke to the one who never broke a commandment , Yeshua, and all he calls are accounted righteous. I would definitely see this as after ‘CE’ ‘AD’ by some one who was mixed up. Job who was considered righteous said I have heard of the by the hearing of the ears, now I see you and repent in dust and ashes. from Job 42:5 Job went from sacrificing to speaking directly to the creator. All I can say Bro is all is not lost, cheer up

  8. It nearly sounds like my prayer every morning, this is awesome, I keep reminding myself of that I am a little worm like David said.

  9. ZA
    John Dyer. Out of my League finacially, but thanks anyway!!! Thanks for the Spiritual Quotes, Prof. It was AWESOME! !!!!

    Thanks Prof. For the Spiritual quotes!


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