Who is…

Hebrew: מְנַשֶּׁה —transliteration: Menashsheh —meaning: who makes to forget or “causing to forget” or “God hath made me forget”

Genesis 41:51

This was the name of 2 important biblical men and a tribe of Israel and its territory.

  1. Manasseh, the elder of the 2 sons of Joseph, son of Jacob

    He and his brother Ephraim were afterwards adopted by Jacob as his own sons (Genesis 48:1).

    There is an account of his marriage to a Syrian (1 Chronicles 7:14); and the only thing afterwards recorded of him is, that his grandchildren were “brought up upon Joseph’s knees” (Genesis 50:23; Revised King James Version, “born upon Joseph’s knees”) i.e., were from their birth adopted by Joseph as his own children.

    Relatives of Manasseh, son of Joseph

  2. Tribe of Manasseh

    This tribe consists of the descendants of the man Manasseh (mentioned above). Its people are called Manassites.

    It was associated with the Tribe of Ephraim and Benjamin during the wanderings in the wilderness. They encamped on the west side of the Holy Tabernacle.

    According to the census taken at Sinai, this tribe then numbered 32,200 (Numbers 1:10; 1:35; 2:20-21). Forty years afterwards its numbers had increased to 52,700 (Numbers 26:34; 26:37), and it was at this time the most distinguished of all the tribes.

    Territory of the Tribe of Manasseh

    The half of this tribe, along with Reuben and Gad, had their territory assigned them by Moses on the east of the Jordan (Joshua 13:7-14); but it was left for Joshua to define the limits of each tribe.

    Map of the ancient Israelite tribal territories in the Promised Land. CC BY-SA 3.0
    Manasseh is shaded in olive green.

    This map shows the approximate location and boundaries of the 12 Israelite tribes, based on records in the Book of Joshua. This, and more, was The Promised Land given by God to the descendants of Israel, the grandson of Abraham. The full extent of the Canaanite land promised was never acquired, due to the repeated disobedience of the Israelites during the their commanded conquest of this very idolatrous, heathen land, after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt and the following 40 years of Divine punishment wandering in the wilderness, before Joshua and the living descendants were allowed to enter the land, following the death of Moses.

    This territory on the east of Jordan was more valuable and of larger extent than all that was allotted to the nine and a half tribes in the land of Canaan. It is sometimes called “the land of Gilead,” and is also spoken of as “on the other side of Jordan.” The portion given to the half tribe of Manasseh was the largest on the east of Jordan. It embraced the whole of Bashan. It was bounded on the south by Mahanaim, and extended north to the foot of Lebanon. Argob, with its 60 cities, that “ocean of basaltic rocks and boulders tossed about in the wildest confusion,” lay in the midst of this territory.

    The whole “land of Gilead” having been conquered, the two and a half tribes left their wives and families in the fortified cities there, and accompanied the other tribes across the Jordan, and took part with them in the wars of conquest. The allotment of the land having been completed, Joshua dismissed the two and a half tribes, commending them for their heroic service (Joshua 22:1-34). Thus dismissed, they returned over Jordan to their own inheritance. (See ED.)

    On the west of Jordan the other half of the tribe of Manasseh was associated with Ephraim, and they had their portion in the very center of Israel, an area of about 1,300 square miles, the most valuable part of the whole country, abounding in springs of water. Manasseh’s portion was immediately to the north of that of Ephraim (Joshua 16). Thus the western Manasseh defended the passes of Esdraelon as the eastern kept the passes of the Hauran.

    Prophecy in the book of Revelation

    Revelation 7:4–8 mentions that people from the 12 tribes of Israel will be sealed by an angel of God. Godly descendants of Manasseh will be a part of the 144-thousand Israelite evangelists for Christ during The Great Tribulation.

    And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

    of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
    of tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

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  3. King Manasseh

    also known as: Manasses (Matt. 1:10)

    He is the only son and successor of King Hezekiah on the throne of the Kingdom of Judah. His mother is Hephzibah.

    A record of his life is found in 2 Kings 21:1-18 and 2 Chronicles 32:33-33:20.

    He was 12 years old when he began to reign (2 Kings 21:1), and he reigned 55 years (698-643 B.C.).

    Though he reigned so long, yet comparatively little is known of this king. His reign was a continuation of that of Ahaz, both in religion and national polity.

    He quickly fell under the influence of the heathen court circle, and his reign was characterized by a sad relapse into idolatry with all its vices, showing that the reformation under his father had been to a large extent only superficial (Isaiah 7:10; 2 Kings 21:10-15).

    A systematic and persistent attempt was made, and all too successfully, to banish the worship of Jehovah out of the land.

    Amid this wide-spread idolatry there were not wanting, however, faithful prophets (Isaiah, Micah) who lifted up their voice in reproof and in warning. But their fidelity only aroused bitter hatred, and a period of cruel persecution against all the friends of the old religion began.

    “The days of Alva in Holland, of Charles IX in France, or of the Covenanters under Charles II in Scotland, were anticipated in the Jewish capital. The streets were red with blood.”

    There is an old Jewish tradition that Isaiah was put to death at this time (2 Kings 21:16; 24:3-4; Jeremiah 2:30), having been sawn asunder in the trunk of a tree. Psalm 49, 73, 77, 140, and 141 seem to express the feelings of the pious amid the fiery trials of this great persecution. Manasseh has been called the “Nero of Palestine.”

    Esarhaddon, Sennacherib’s successor on the Assyrian throne, who had his residence in Babylon for 13 years (the only Assyrian monarch who ever reigned in Babylon), took Manasseh prisoner (681 B.C.) to Babylon.

    Such captive kings were usually treated with great cruelty. They were brought before the conqueror with a hook or ring passed through their lips or their jaws, having a cord attached to it, by which they were led. This is referred to in 2 Chronicles 33:11, where the King James Version reads that Esarhaddon “took Manasseh among the thorns;” while the Revised King James Version renders the words, “took Manasseh in chains;” or literally, as in the margin, “with hooks.” (Compare 2 Kings 19:28.)

    The severity of Manasseh’s imprisonment brought him to repentance. God heard his cry, and he was restored to his kingdom (2 Chronicles 33:11-13). He abandoned his idolatrous ways, and enjoined the people to worship Jehovah; but there was no thorough reformation.

    After a lengthened reign extending through 55 years, the longest in the history of Judah, he died, and was buried in the garden of Uzza, the “garden of his own house” (2 Kings 21:17-18; 2 Chronicles 33:20), and not in the city of David, among his ancestors. He was succeeded by his son Amon.

    In Judges 18:30 KJV the correct reading is “Moses,” and not “Manasseh.” The name “Manasseh” is supposed to have been introduced by some transcriber to avoid the scandal of naming the grandson of Moses the great lawgiver as the founder of an idolatrous religion.

    Relatives of King Manasseh

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Article Version: May 12, 2022