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Morrish Bible Dictionary

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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. Genesis 41:51 : Genesis 48:1-20; Genesis 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. 1 Chronicles 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. 2 Chronicles 30:11 . In Psalm 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. Numbers 2:17-22 . The tribe is called MANASSES in Revelation 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; 2 Kings 21:1-20; 2 Kings 23:12,26; 2 Chronicles 33; Jeremiah 15:4 . He is called MANASSES in Matthew 1:10 .

3. Father of Gershom, the father of Jonathan, the idolatrous priest in the tribe of Dan. Judges 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. Ezra 10:30,33 .

Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Manasseh'. Morrish Bible Dictionary.​dictionaries/​eng/​mbd/​m/manasseh.html. 1897.