A colleague asked me this question recently during a heated discussion. “They both ruled over the nation longer than any of their contemporary national leaders,” was the answer. Well, that’s not exactly true. Netanyahu will only be the modern State of Israel’s longestserving prime minister if he remains in office beyond July 2019, when he will finally surpass David Ben-Gurion. That is, if he can win reelection. And if he does, what should we take from this comparison?
King Manasseh is described in the Bible as the most sinful king of Israel. And yet, he ruled longer than all other kings of his era, 55 years to be precise. That was 15 years longer than David and Solomon. “And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel” (2 Kings 21).
He brought back all the foreign gods and cults that his father King Hezekiah had expelled from the land. He even allowed his son to pass through the fire, and practiced all manner of things that...
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