6 occurrences in 6 dictionaries

Reference: Manasseh


1. The eldest son of Joseph, born in Egypt. His descendants constituted a full tribe. This was divided in the promised land: one part having settled east of the Jordan, in the country of Bashan, from the river Jabbok northwards; and the other west of the Jordan, between Ephraim and Issachar, extending from the Jordan to the Mediterranean. It was far inferior to Ephraim in wealth and power, according to the prediction of Jacob, Ge 41:50-51; 48; Jos 16:10.

2. The son and impious successor of the good Hezekiah, king of Judah. He began to reign at twelve years old, B. C. 698, and reigned fifty-five years. For his shocking idolatries, tyranny, and cruelties, God suffered him to be carried as a prisoner to Babylon in the twenty-second year of his reign, probably by Esarhaddon king of Assyria. Here, however, he so humbled himself that God moved the Assyrians to restore him to his throne, as a tributary; and thenceforth he set himself to undo the evil he had done. He abolished the idols he had worshipped and the diviners he had consulted; accomplished many reforms for the spiritual and material good of his kingdom; repaired the defenses of Jerusalem, enclosing with Ophel on the southeast; and strengthened the walled cities of Judah. After a reign longer than that of any other king of Judah, he died in peace and was buried in Jerusalem, 2Ki 21; 2Ch 33:24.

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who makes to forget. "God hath made me forget" (Heb nashshani), Ge 41:51. (1.) The elder of the two sons of Joseph. He and his brother Ephraim were afterwards adopted by Jacob as his own sons (Ge 48:1). There is an account of his marriage to a Syrian (1Ch 7:14); and the only thing afterwards recorded of him is, that his grandchildren were "brought up upon Joseph's knees" (Ge 50:23; R.V., "born upon Joseph's knees") i.e., were from their birth adopted by Joseph as his own children.

The tribe of Manasseh was associated with that of Ephraim and Benjamin during the wanderings in the wilderness. They encamped on the west side of the tabernacle. According to the census taken at Sinai, this tribe then numbered 32,200 (Nu 1:10,35; 2:20-21). Forty years afterwards its numbers had increased to 52,700 (Nu 26:34,37), and it was at this time the most distinguished of all the tribes.

The half of this tribe, along with Reuben and Gad, had their territory assigned them by Moses on the east of the Jordan (Jos 13:7-14); but it was left for Joshua to define the limits of each tribe. 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 Palestine. 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 sixty 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 (Jos 22). 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 centre of Palestine, 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 (Jos 16). Thus the western Manasseh defended the passes of Esdraelon as the eastern kept the passes of the Hauran.

(2.) The only son and successor of Hezekiah on the throne of Judah. He was twelve years old when he began to reign (2Ki 21:1), and he reigned fifty-five years (B.C. 698-643). 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 early 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 (Isa 7:10; 2Ki 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 (2Ki 21:16; 24:3-4; Jer 2:30), having been sawn asunder in the trunk of a tree. Psalms 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 thirteen years (the only Assyrian monarch who ever reigned in Babylon), took Manasseh prisoner (B.C. 681) 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 2Ch 33:11, where the Authorized Version reads that Esarhaddon "took Manasseh among the thorns;" while the Revised Version renders the words, "took Manasseh in chains;" or literally, as in the margin, "with hooks." (Comp. 2Ki 19:28.)

The severity of Manasseh's imprisonment brought him to repentance. God heard his cry, and he was restored to his kingdom (2Ch 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 fifty-five years, the longest in the history of Judah, he died, and was buried in the garden of Uzza, the "garden of his own house" (2Ki 21:17-18; 2Ch 33:20), and not in the city of David, among his ancestors. He was succeeded by his son Amon.

In Jg 18:30 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.

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1. In Massoretic Text and AV of Jg 18:30 Manasseh is a scribal change for dogmatic purposes, the original being Moses (see Gershom, 1). 2. A son of Pahath-moab (Ezr 10:30 [1Es 9:31 Manasseas]). 3. Son of Hashum (Ezr 10:33). 4. 5. See next two articles.


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1. Eldest son of Joseph and Asenath, and head of one of the tribes of Israel. When Jacob blessed the two sons of Joseph he crossed his hands so that Ephraim the younger son should have the chief blessing. And when Moses blessed the twelve tribes he spoke of the ten thousands of Ephraim, but the thousands of Manasseh. Nothing personally is recorded of Manasseh. Ge 41:51: Ge 48:1-20; 50:23.

The tribe numbered at the first census 32,200 and forty years later they were 52,700. Being a numerous tribe they had a large possession in the north on the east of the upper Jordan and of the Sea of Galilee. They conquered the mountaineers of Gilead, Bashan, and Argob; but with the Reubenites and Gadites were the first to be carried away captive by Pul and Tiglath-pileser. 1Ch 5:18-26. Those on the east of the Jordan are often called the half-tribe of Manasseh; the other half were on the west of the Jordan, about the centre of the land, between Ephraim and Issachar.

When Hezekiah invited the twelve tribes to join him in keeping a passover to Jehovah, certain of the tribe of Manasseh humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem. 2Ch 30:11. In Ps 80:2 we read, "Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us," in allusion to these three being the tribes that immediately followed the ark of God in the wilderness. Nu 2:17-22. The tribe is called MANASSES in Re 7:6.

2. King of Judah: he was son of Hezekiah and father of Amon. He began to reign when twelve years of age, and reigned 55 years: B.C. 698-643. The records concerning him are few, but very sad. He worshipped the host of heaven and built altars for them in the courts of the house of the Lord. He made his son to pass through the fire, and dealt with familiar spirits. Of him it is said that he exceeded the heathen in wickedness! and shed much innocent blood. He was warned by God's prophets, but ceased not to do evil. As he began to reign when young, it is probable that he had not been under good instructors.

God brought the king of Assyria against Manasseh, who took him 'among the thorns,' or 'bound him with chains of brass,' and carried him to Babylon. There Manasseh, in his affliction, greatly humbled himself, and prayed to the Lord his God. His prayer was heard, and he was restored to Jerusalem. Then he knew that Jehovah was God. He removed the idols, repaired the altar of the Lord, and sacrificed to Him. He commanded Judah to serve Jehovah the God of Israel. Thus God gave repentance to this wicked king, for His mercy endureth for ever. He is often held up as a trophy of God's marvellous grace in Old Testament times, as Saul of Tarsus and the thief on the cross are given under the New Testament dispensation. 2-Kings/20/21'>2Ki 20:21; 2-Kings/21/1'>21:1-20; 2-Kings/23/12'>23:12,2-Kings/26'>26; 2 Chr. 33; Jer 15:4. He is called MANASSES in Mt 1:10.

3. Father of Gershom, the father of Jonathan, the idolatrous priest in the tribe of Dan. Jg 18:30. Jerome, the Vulgate, three Hebrew MSS, and two or three ancient copies of the LXX read Moses instead of Manasseh. In many Hebrew MSS the letter nun (N) is written over or between the letters mem (M) and shin (S), so as to alter the name of Moses to Manasseh. The reason alleged by the Rabbis for the supposed correction is that the copyists desired to clear the name of Moses from the obloquy of having a descendant among idolaters in Israel. We have no other trace of a Gershom being the son of Manasseh; but there was one well known as the son of Moses. Doubtless Moses should be read instead of Manasseh.

4, 5. Two who had married strange wives. Ezr 10:30,33.

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(forgetting), the eldest son of Joseph,

Ge 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.

Jos 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.

1Ch 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.

1Ch 5:25-26

The other half tribe settled to the west of the Jordan, north of Ephraim.

Jos 17:1

... For further particulars see EPHRAIM.

See Ephraim

See Ephraim (2)

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MANASSEH, the eldest son of Joseph, and grandson of the patriarch Jacob, Ge 41:50, was born, A.M. 2290, B.C. 1714. The name Manasseh signifies forgetfulness, because Joseph said, "God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house." When Jacob was going to die, Joseph brought his two sons to him, that his father might give them his last blessing, Genesis 48. Jacob, having seen them, adopted them. The tribe of Manasseh came out of Egypt in number thirty-two thousand two hundred men, upward of twenty years old, under the conduct of Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur, Nu 2:20-21. This tribe was divided in the land of promise. One half tribe of Manasseh settled beyond the river Jordan, and possessed the country of Bashan, from the river Jabbok, to Mount Libanus; and the other half tribe of Manasseh settled on this side Jordan, and possessed the country between the tribe of Ephraim south, and the tribe of Issachar north, having the river Jordan east, and the Mediterranean Sea west, Joshua xvi; 17.

2. MANASSEH, the fifteenth king of Judah, and son and successor of Hezekiah, was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty- five years, 2Ki 20:21; 21:1-2; 2Ch 33:1-2, &c. His mother's name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the sight of the Lord; worshipped the idols of the land of Canaan; rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; set up altars to Baal; and planted groves to false gods. He raised altars to the whole host of heaven, in the courts of God's house; made his son pass through the fire in honour of Moloch; was addicted to magic, divinations, auguries, and other superstitions; set up the idol Astarte in the house of God; finally, he involved his people in all the abomination of the idolatrous nations to that degree, that Israel committed more wickedness than the Canaanites, whom the Lord had driven out before them. To all these crimes Manasseh added cruelty; and he shed rivers of innocent blood in Jerusalem. The Lord being provoked by so many crimes, threatened him by his prophets, "I will blot out Jerusalem as a writing is blotted out of a writing tablet." The calamities which God had threatened began toward the twenty-second year of this impious prince. The king of Assyria sent his army against him, who, seizing him among the briers and brambles where he was hid, fettered his hands and feet, and carried him to Babylon, 2Ch 33:11-12, &c. It was probably Sargon or Esar-haddon, king of Assyria, who sent Tartan into Palestine, and who taking Azoth, attacked Manasseh, put him in irons, and led him away, not to Nineveh, but to Babylon, of which Esar-haddon had become master, and had reunited the empires of the Assyrians and the Chaldeans. Manasseh, in bonds at Babylon, humbled himself before God, who heard his prayers, and brought him back to Jerusalem; and Manasseh acknowledged the hand of the Lord. Manasseh was probably delivered out of prison by Saosduchin, the successor of Esar-haddon, 2Ch 33:13-14, &c. Being returned to Jerusalem, he restored the worship of the Lord; broke down the altars of the false gods; abolished all traces of their idolatrous worship; but he did not destroy the high places: which is the only thing Scripture reproaches him with, after his return from Babylon. He caused Jerusalem to be fortified; and he inclosed with a wall another city, which in his time was erected west of Jerusalem, and which went by the name of the second city, 2Ch 33:14. He put garrisons into all the strong places of Judah. Manasseh died at Jerusalem, and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza, 2Ki 21:18. He was succeeded by his son Amon.

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