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Manasseh

In Bible versions:

Manasseh: NET AVS NIV NRSV NASB TEV
Manassehites: NET
Manassite: AVS NRSV TEV
Manassites: AVS NIV NRSV NASB TEV
the tribe of Manasseh: NIV
the half-tribe of Manasseh: NIV
the son of who succeeded King Hezekiah; the father of Amon; an ancestor of Jesus
a tribe of Israel
son of Joseph; founder of the tribe of Manasseh
the tribe of Manasseh in Israel
"half-tribe of Manasseh"
the territory of the tribe of Manasseh
son and successor of Hezekiah king of Judah
a layman of the Pahath-Moab Clan who put away his heathen wife
a layman of the Hashum Clan who put away his heathen wife
member of the tribe of Manasseh
the tribe of Manasseh.

forgetfulness; he that is forgotten
Arts:
Arts Topics: King Manasseh; Manasseh, King of Judah, in Various Compositions; Other Portraits of Manasseh, King of Judah

Greek

Strongs #3128: Manasshv Manasses

Manasseh = "forgetting"

1) the first born son of Joseph
2) the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah

3128 Manasses man-as-sace'

of Hebrew origin (4519); Mannasses (i.e. Menashsheh), an
Israelite:-Manasses.
see HEBREW for 04519

Hebrew

Strongs #04519: hvnm M@nashsheh

Manasseh = "causing to forget"

1) the eldest son of Joseph and progenitor of the tribe of Manasseh
1a) the tribe descended from Manasseh
1b) the territory occupied by the tribe of Manasseh
2) son of king Hezekiah of Judah and himself king of Judah; he was
the immediate and direct cause for the exile
3) a descendant of Pahath-moab who put away a foreign wife in the time
of Ezra
4) a descendant of Hashum who put away a foreign wife in the time of Ezra

4519 Mnashsheh men-ash-sheh'

from 5382; causing to forget; Menashsheh, a grandson of
Jacob, also the tribe descended from him, and its
territory:-Manasseh.
see HEBREW for 05382

Strongs #04520: yvnm M@nashshiy

Manassites = Manasseh "causing to forget"

1) descendants of Manasseh, son of Joseph and grandson of Jacob
1a) specifically used only of that half that lived east of the Jordan

4520 Mnashshiy men-ash-shee'

from 4519; a Menashshite or descendant of Menashsheh:-of
Manasseh, Manassites.
see HEBREW for 04519

Manasseh [NAVE]

MANASSEH
1. Son of Joseph and Asenath, Gen. 41:50, 51; 46:20; adopted by Jacob on his deathbed, Gen. 48:1, 5-20.
Called Manasses, Rev. 7:6.
2. Tribe of. Descendants of Joseph. The two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, were reckoned among the primogenitors of the twelve tribes, taking the places of Joseph and Levi.
Adopted by Jacob, Gen. 48:5.
Prophecy concerning, Gen. 49:25, 26.
Enumeration of, Num. 1:34, 35; 26:29-34.
Place of, in camp and march, Num. 2:18, 20; 10:22, 23.
Blessing of Moses on, Deut. 33:13-17.
Inheritance of one-half of tribe east of Jordan, Num. 32:33, 39-42.
One-half of tribe west of Jordan, Josh. 16:9; 17:5-11.
The eastern half assist in the conquest of the country west of the Jordan, Deut. 3:18-20; Josh. 1:12-15; 4:12, 13.
Join the other eastern tribes in erecting a monument to testify to the unity of all Israel; misunderstood; make satisfactory explanation, Josh. 22.
Join Gideon in war with the Midianites, Judg. 6:7.
Malcontents of, join David, 1 Chr. 12:19, 31.
Killed by Hazael, 2 Kin. 10:33.
Return from captivity, 1 Chr. 9:3.
Reallotment of territory to, by Ezekiel, Ezek. 48:4.
Affiliate with the Jews in the reign of Hezekiah, 2 Chr. 30.
Incorporated into kingdom of Judah, 2 Chr. 15:9; 34:6, 7.
See: Israel, Tribes of.
3. Father of Gershom, Judg. 18:30.
4. King of Judah. History of, 2 Kin. 21:1-18; 2 Chr. 33:1-20.
5. Two Jews who put away their Gentile wives after the captivity, Ezra 10:30, 33.

MANASSEH [SMITH]

(forgetting), the eldest son of Joseph, (Genesis 41:51; 46:20) born 1715-10 B.C. Both he and Ephraim were born before the commencement of the famine. He was placed after his younger brother, Ephraim, by his grandfather Jacob, when he adopted them into his own family, and made them heads of tribes. Whether the elder of the two sons was inferior in form or promise to the younger, or whether there was any external reason to justify the preference of Jacob, we are not told. In the division of the promised land half of the tribe of Manasseh settled east of the Jordan in the district embracing the hills of Gilead with their inaccessible heights and impassable ravines, and the almost impregnable tract of Argob. (Joshua 13:29-33) Here they throve exceedingly, pushing their way northward over the rich plains of Jaulan and Jedur to the foot of Mount Hermon. (1 Chronicles 5:23) But they gradually assimilated themselves with the old inhabitants of the country, and on them descended the punishment which was ordained to he the inevitable consequence of such misdoing. They, first of all Israel, were carried away by Pul and Tiglath-pileser, and settled in the Assyrian territories. (1 Chronicles 5:25,26) The other half tribe settled to the west of the Jordan, north of Ephraim. (Joshua 17:1) ... For further particulars see EPHRAIM, EPHRAIM.

MANASSEH [SMITH]

(forgetting).
  1. The thirteenth king of Judah, son of Hezekiah, (2 Kings 21:1) ascended the throne at the age of twelve, and reigned 55 years, from B.C. 608 to 642. His accession was the signal for an entire change in the religious administration of the kingdom. Idolatry was again established to such an extent that every faith was tolerated but the old faith of Israel. The Babylonian alliance which the king formed against Assyria resulted in his being made prisoner and carried off to Babylon in the twenty-second year of his reign, according to a Jewish tradition. There his eyes were opened and he repented, and his prayer was heard and the Lord delivered him, (2 Chronicles 33:12,13) and he returned after some uncertain interval of time to Jerusalem. The altar of the Lord was again restored, and peace offerings and thank offerings were sacrificed to Jehovah. (2 Chronicles 38:15,16) But beyond this the reformation did not go. On his death, B.C. 642, he was buried as Ahaz had been, not with the burial of a king, in the sepulchres of the house of David, but in the garden of Uzza, (2 Kings 21:26) and long afterward, in suite of his repentance, the Jews held his name in abhorrence.
  2. One of the descendants of Pahathmoab, who in the days of Ezra had married a foreign wife. (Ezra 10:30)
  3. One of the laymen, of the family of Hashum who put away his foreign wife at Ezra command. (Ezra 10:33)

MANASSEH (1) [ISBE]

MANASSEH (1) - ma-nas'-e (menashsheh, "causing to forget"; compare Gen 41:51; Man(n)asse):

(1) The firstborn of Joseph by Asenath, daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On. See next article.

(2) The tribe named from Manasseh, half of which, with Gad and Reuben, occupied the East of Jordan (Nu 27:1, etc.). See next article.

(3) The "Manasseh" of Jdg 18:30,31 the King James Version is really an intentional mistake for the name Moses. A small nun ("n"), a Hebrew letter, has been inserted over and between the first and second Hebrew letters in the word Moses, thus maNesheh for mosheh. The reason for this is that the individual in question is mentioned as priest of a brazen image at Dan. His proper name was Moses. It was felt to be a disgrace that such a one bearing that honored name should keep it intact. The insertion of the nun hides the disgrace and, moreover, gives to the person a name already too familiar with idolatrous practices; for King Manasseh's 55 years of sovereignty were thus disgraced.

(4) King of Judah. See separate article.

(5) Son of PAHATH-MOAB (which see), who had married a foreign wife (Ezr 10:30). Manaseas in 1 Esdras 9:31.

(6) The Manasses of 1 Esdras 9:33. A layman of the family of Hashum, who put away his foreign wife at Ezra's order (Ezr 10:33).

In the Revised Version (British and American) of Mt 1:10 and Rev 7:6 the spelling "Manasseh" is given for the King James Version "Manasses." The latter is the spelling of the husband of Judith (Judith 8:2,7; 10:3; 16:22,23,24); of a person named in the last words of Tobit and otherwise unknown (Tobit 14:10), and also the name given to a remarkable prayer probably referred to in 2 Ch 33:18, which Manasseh (4) is said to have uttered at the end of his long, unsatisfactory life. See MANASSES, THE PRAYER OF. In Jdg 12:4, the Revised Version (British and American) reads "Manasseh" for the King James Version "Manassites."

Henry Wallace

MANASSEH (2) [ISBE]

MANASSEH (2) - 1. Son of Joseph:

Following the Biblical account of Manasseh (patriarch, tribe, and territory) we find that he was the eider of Joseph's two sons by Asenath, the daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On (Gen 41:51). The birth of a son marked the climax of Joseph's happiness after the long bitterness of his experience. In the joy of the moment, the dark years past could be forgotten; therefore he called the name of the firstborn Manasseh ("causing to forget"), for, said he, God hath made me to forget all my toil. When Jacob was near his end, Joseph brought his two sons to his father who blessed them. Himself the younger son who had received the blessing of the firstborn, Jacob preferred Ephraim, the second son of Joseph, to Manasseh his elder brother, thus indicating the relative positions of their descendants (Gen 48). Before Joseph died he saw the children of Machir the son of Manasseh (Gen 50:23). Machir was born to Manasseh by his concubine, an Aramitess (1 Ch 7:14). Whether he married Maacah before leaving for Egypt is not said. She was the sister of Huppim and Shuppim. Of Manasseh's personal life no details are recorded in Scripture. Acccording to Jewish tradition he became steward of his father's house, and acted as interpreter between Joseph and his brethren.

2. The Tribes in the Wilderness and Portion in Palestine:

At the beginning of the desert march the number of Manasseh's men of war is given at 32,200 (Nu 1:34 f). At the 2nd census they had increased to 52,700 (Nu 26:34). Their position in the wilderness was with the tribe of Benjamin, by the standard of the tribe of Ephraim, on the West of the tabernacle. According to Targum Pseudojon, the standard was the figure of a boy, with the inscription "The cloud of Yahweh rested on them until they went forth out of the camp." At Sinai the prince of the tribe was Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur (Nu 2:20). The tribe was represented among the spies by Gaddi, son of Susi (Nu 13:11, where the name "tribe of Joseph" seems to be used as an alternative). At the census in the plains of Moab, Manasseh is named before Ephraim, and appears as much the stronger tribe (Nu 26:28 ff). The main military exploits in the conquest of Eastern Palestine were performed by Manassites. Machir, son of Manasseh, conquered the Amorites and Gilead (Nu 32:39). Jair, son of Manasseh, took all the region of Argob, containing three score cities; these he called by his own name, "Havvoth-jair" (Nu 32:41; Dt 3:4,14). Nobah captured Kenath and the villages thereof (Nu 32:42; Josh 17:1,5). Land for half the tribe was thus provided, their territory stretching from the northern boundary of Gad to an undetermined frontier in the North, marching with Geshur and Maacah on the West, and with the desert on the East. The warriors of this half-tribe passed over with those of Reuben and Gad before the host of Israel, and took their share in the conquest of Western Palestine (Josh 22). They helped to raise the great altar in the Jordan valley, which so nearly led to disastrous consequences (Josh 22:10 ff). Golan, the city of refuge, lay within their territory.

The possession of Ephraim and Manasseh West of the Jordan appears to have been undivided at first (Josh 17:16 ff). The portion which ultimately fell to Manasseh marched with Ephraim on the South, with Asher and Issachar on the North, running out to the sea on the West, and falling into the Jordan valley on the East (Josh 17:7 ff). The long dwindling slopes to westward and the fiat reaches of the plain included much excellent soil. Within the territory of Issachar and Asher, Beth-shean, Ibleam, Dor, Endor, Taanach and Megiddo, with their villages, were assigned to Manasseh. Perhaps the men of the West lacked the energy and enterprise of their eastern brethren. They failed, in any case, to expel the Canaanites from these cities, and for long this grim chain of fortresses seemed to mock the strength of Israel (Josh 17:11 ff)

Ten cities West of the Jordan, in the portion of Manasseh, were given to the Levites, and 13 in the eastern portion (Josh 21:5,6).

Manasseh took part in the glorious conflict with the host of Sisera (Jdg 5:14). Two famous judges, Gideon and Jephthah, belonged to this tribe. The men of the half-tribe East of Jordan were noted for skill and valor as warriors (1 Ch 5:18,23 f). Some men of Manasseh had joined David before the battle of Gilboa (1 Ch 12:19).

3. Its Place in Later History:

Others, all mighty men of valor, and captains in the host, fell to him on the way to Ziklag, and helped him against the band of rovers (1 Ch 12:20 ff). From the half-tribe West of the Jordan 18,000 men, expressed by name, came to David at Hebron to make him king (1 Ch 12:31); while those who came from the East numbered, along with the men of Reuben and Gad, 120,000 (1 Ch 12:37). David organized the eastern tribes under 2,700 overseers for every matter pertaining to God and for the affairs of the king (1 Ch 26:32). The rulers of Manasseh were, in the West, Joel, son of Pedaiah, and in the East, Iddo, son of Zechariah (1 Ch 27:20,21). Divers of Manasseh humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem at the invitation of Hezekiah to celebrate the Passover (2 Ch 30:11). Although not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary, they ate the Passover. Pardon was successfully sought for them by the king, because they set their hearts to seek God (2 Ch 30:18 ff).

Of the eastern half-tribe it is said that they went a-whoring after the gods of the land, and in consequence they were overwhelmed and expatriated by Pul and Tiglath-pileser, kings of Assyria (1 Ch 5:25 f). Reference to the idolatries of the western half-tribe are also found in 2 Ch 31:1; 34:6.

There is a portion for Manasseh in Ezekiel's ideal picture (Ezek 48:4), and the tribe appears in the list in Rev (7:6).

The genealogies in Josh 17:1 ff; Nu 26:28-34; 1 Ch 2:21-23; 7:14-19 have fallen into confusion. As they stand, they are mutually contradictory, and it is impossible to harmonize them.

The theories of certain modern scholars who reject the Biblical account are themselves beset with difficulties: e.g. the name is derived from the Arabic, nasa, "to injure a tendon of the leg." Manasseh, the Piel part., would thus be the name of a supernatural being, of whom the infliction of such an injury was characteristic. It is not clear which of the wrestlers at the Jabbok suffered the injury. As Jacob is said to have prevailed with gods and men, the suggestion is that it was his antagonist who was lamed. "It would appear therefore that in the original story the epithet Manasseh was a fitting title of Jacob himself, which might be borne by his worshippers, as in the case of Gad" (EB, under the word, par. 4).

It is assumed that the mention of Machir in Jdg 5:14 definitely locates the Manassites at that time on the West of the Jordan. The raids by members of the tribe on Eastern Palestine must therefore have taken place long after the days of Moses. The reasoning is precarious. After the mention of Reuben (5:15,16), Gilead (5:17) may refer to Gad. It would be strange if this warlike tribe were passed over (Guthe). Machir, then probably the strongest clan, stands for the whole tribe, and may be supposed to indicate particularly the noted fighters of the eastern half.

In dealing with the genealogies, "the difficult name" Zelophehad must be got rid of. Among the suggestions made is one by Dr. Cheyne, which first supposes the existence of a name Salhad, and then makes Zelophehad a corruption of this.

The genealogies certainly present difficulties, but otherwise the narrative is intelligible and self-consistent without resort to such questionable expedients as those referred to above.

W. Ewing

MANASSEH (3) [ISBE]

MANASSEH (3) - A king of Judah, son and successor of Hezekiah; reigned 55 years (2 Ki 21:1; 2 Ch 33:1), from circa 685 onward. His was one of the few royal names not compounded with the name of Yahweh (his son Amon's was the only other if, as an Assyrian inscription gives it, the full name of Ahaz was Jehoahaz or Ahaziah); but it was no heathen name like Amon, but identical with that of the elder son of Joseph. Born within Hezekiah's added 15 years, years of trembling faith and tender hope (compare Isa 38:15 f), his name may perhaps memorialize the father's sacred feelings; the name of his mother Hephzibah too was used long afterward as the symbol of the happy union of the land with its loyal sons (Isa 62:4). All this, however, was long forgotten in the memory of Manasseh's apostate career.

I. Sources of His Life.

The history (2 Ki 1 through 18) refers for "the rest of his acts" to "the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah," but the body of the account, instead of reading like state annals, is almost entirely a censure of his idolatrous reign in the spirit of the prophets and of the Deuteronomic strain of literature. The parallel history (2 Ch 33:1-20) puts "the rest of his acts" "among the acts of the kings of Israel," and mentions his prayer (a prayer ascribed to him is in the Apocrypha) and "the words of the seers that spoke to him in the name of Yahweh." This history of Chronicles mentions his captive journey to Babylon and his repentance (2 Ch 33:10-13), also his building operations in Jerusalem and his resumption of Yahweh-worship (2 Ch 33:14-17), which the earlier source lacks. From these sources, which it is not the business of this article either to verify or question, the estimate of his reign is to be deduced.

II. Character of His Reign.

1. Political Situation:

During his reign, Assyria, principally under Esar-haddon and Assur-banipal, was at the height of its arrogance and power; and his long reign was the peaceful and uneventful life of a willing vassal, contented to count as tributary king in an illustrious world-empire, hospitable to all its religious and cultural ideas, and ready to take his part in its military and other enterprises. The two mentions of his name in Assyrian inscriptions (see G.A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 182) both represent him in this tributary light. His journey to Babylon mentioned in 2 Ch 33:11 need not have been the penalty of rebellion; more likely it was such an enforced act of allegiance as was perhaps imposed on all provincial rulers who had incurred or would avert suspicion of disloyalty. Nor was his fortification of Jerusalem after his return less necessary against domestic than foreign aggression; the more so, indeed, as in so long and undisturbed a reign his capital, which was now practically synonymous with his realm (Esar-haddon calls him "king of the city of Judah"), became increasingly an important center of wealth and commercial prosperity. Of the specific events of his reign, however, other than religious, less is known than of almost any other.

2. Reactionary Idolatry:

That the wholesale idolatry by which his reign is mainly distinguished was of a reactionary and indeed conservative nature may be understood alike from what it sought to maintain and from what it had to react against. On the one side was the tremendous wave of ritual and mechanical heathen cults which, proceeding from the world-centers of culture and civilization (compare Isa 2:6-8), was drawing all the tributary lands, Judah with the rest, into its almost irresistible sweep. Manasseh, it would seem, met this not in the temper of an amateur, as had his grandfather Ahaz, but in the temper of a fanatic. Everything old and new that came to his purview was of momentous religious value--except only the simple and austere demands of prophetic insight. He restored the debasing cults of the aboriginal Nature-worship which his father had suppressed, thus making Judah revert to the sterile Baal-cults of Ahab; but his blind credence in the black arts so prevalent in all the surrounding nations, imported the elaborate worship of the heavenly bodies from Babylon, invading even the temple-courts with its numerous rites and altars; even went to the horrid extreme of human sacrifice, making an institution of what Ahaz had tried as a desperate expedient. All this, which to the matured prophetic sense was headlong wickedness, was the mark of a desperately earnest soul, seeking blindly in this wholesale way to propitiate the mysterious Divine powers, his nation's God among them, who seemed so to have the world's affairs in their inscrutable control. On the other side, there confronted him the prophetic voice of a religion which decried all insincere ritual (`wickedness and worship,' Isa 1:13), made straight demands on heart and conscience, and had already vindicated itself in the faith which had wrought the deliverance of 701. It was the fight of the decadent formal against the uprising spiritual; and, as in all such struggles, it would grasp at any expedient save the one plain duty of yielding the heart to repentance and trust.

3. Persecution:

Meanwhile, the saving intelligence and integrity of Israel, though still the secret of the lowly, was making itself felt in the spiritual movement that Isaiah had labored to promote; through the permeating influence of literature and education the "remnant" was becoming a power to be reckoned with. It is in the nature of things that such an innovating movement must encounter persecution; the significant thing is that already there was so much to persecute. Persecution is as truly the offspring of fear as of fanaticism. Manasseh's persecution of the prophets and their adherents (tradition has it that the aged Isaiah was one of his victims) was from their point of view an enormity of wickedness. To us the analysis is not quite so simple; it looks also like the antipathy of an inveterate formal order to a vital movement that it cannot understand. The vested interests of almost universal heathenism must needs die hard, and "much innocent blood" was its desperate price before it would yield the upper hand. To say this of Manasseh's murderous zeal is not to justify it; it is merely to concede its sadly mistaken sincerity. It may well have seemed to him that a nation's piety was at stake, as if a world's religious culture were in peril.

4. Return to Better Mind:

The Chronicler, less austere in tone than the earlier historian, preserves for us the story that, like Saul of Tarsus after him, Manasseh got his eyes open to the truer meaning of things; that after his humiliation and repentance in Babylon he "knew that Yahweh he was God" (2 Ch 33:10-13). He had the opportunity to see a despotic idolatry, its evils with its splendors, in its own home; a first-fruit of the thing that the Hebrew exiles were afterward to realize. On his return, accordingly, he removed the altars that had encroached upon the sacred precincts of the temple, and restored the ritual of the Yahweh-service, without, however, removing the high places. It would seem to have been merely the concession of Yahweh's right to a specific cult of His own, with perhaps a mitigation of the more offensive extremes of exotic worship, while the toleration of the various fashionable forms remained much as before. But this in itself was something, was much; it gave Yahweh His chance, so to say, among rivals; and the growing spiritual fiber of the heart of Israel could be trusted to do the rest. It helps us also the better to understand the situation when, only two years after Manasseh's death, Josiah came to the throne, and to understand why he and his people were so ready to accept the religious sanity of the Deuteronomic law. He did not succeed, after all, in committing his nation to the wholesale sway of heathenism. Manasseh's reactionary reign was indeed not without its good fruits; the crisis of religious syncretism and externalism was met and passed.

John Franklin Genung

MANASSITES [ISBE]

MANASSITES - ma-nas'-its (menashshi; ho Manasse): Members of the tribe of Manasseh (Dt 4:43; Jdg 12:4 the King James Version; 2 Ki 10:33).




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