Manasseh

   Who makes to forget. "God hath made me forget" (Heb. nashshani), Gen. 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 (48:1). There is an account of his marriage to a Syrian (1 Chr. 7:14); and the only thing afterwards recorded of him is, that his grandchildren were "brought up upon Joseph's knees" (Gen. 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 (Num. 1:10, 35; 2:20, 21). Forty years afterwards its numbers had increased to 52,700 (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 (Josh. 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 (Josh. 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 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 (Josh. 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 (2 Kings 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; 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; 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 2 Chr. 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. 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 Chr. 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" (2 Kings 21:17, 18; 2 Chr. 33:20), and not in the city of David, among his ancestors. He was succeeded by his son Amon.
   In Judg. 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.

Easton's Bible Dictionary. . 1897.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MANASSEH — (Heb. מְנַשֶּׁה), elder son of joseph and the name of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Manasseh was born to Joseph in Egypt by asenath , daughter of Poti Phera (Gen. 41:50–51). The name is said to be symbolic of Joseph s turn of fortune. Manasseh… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • MANASSEH — (Heb. מְנַשֶּׁה; perhaps one who causes (an earlier deceased, child) to be forgotten ), king of Judah (698–643 B.C.E.), son of hezekiah . Manasseh ascended the throne at the age of 12 and reigned for 55 years (II Kings 21:1). In those years… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Manasseh — (מְנַשֵּׁה, Menashé ) is an ancient Hebrew male name, meaning causing to forget .[1] Manasseh may refer to: Contents 1 People 1.1 Given name 1.2 Surname …   Wikipedia

  • Manasseh — [mə nas′ə] n. [Heb měnaṣṣeh, lit., causing to forget] 1. Bible the elder son of Joseph: Gen. 41:52 2. the tribe of Israel descended from him: Num. 1:34 3. a king of Judah in the 7th cent. B.C. 2 Kings 21:1 18 4. PRAYER OF MANASSES …   English World dictionary

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  • Manasseh — /meuh nas euh/, n. 1. the first son of Joseph. Gen. 41:51. 2. the tribe of Israel traditionally descended from him. Gen. 48:14 19. 3. a king of Judah of the 7th century B.C. II Kings 21. * * * ▪ Hebrew tribe       one of the 12 tribes of Israel… …   Universalium

  • Manasseh — noun Etymology: Hebrew Mĕnashsheh Date: 1578 1. a son of Joseph and the traditional eponymous ancestor of one of the tribes of Israel 2. a king of Judah reigning in the seventh century B.C. and noted for his attempt to establish polytheism …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Manasseh I — Menasseh ben Hezekiah was a Turkic Jewish ruler of the Khazars mentioned in the Khazar Correspondence. He probably reigned in the mid to late ninth century CE. He was the son of Hezekiah, the son of Obadiah. Little is known about his reign. As… …   Wikipedia

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  • Manasseh —    1) (fl. ?19th 16th cent BCE)    Israelite, first son of Joseph and Asenath (Genesis 41:50 51). One of the 12 tribes was named after him.    2) (fl. 7th cent BCE)    King of Judah (698 643 BCE), son of Hezekiah. He ascended to the throne at the …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

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