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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Manasseh

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Manasseh (ma-năs'seh), forgetting. 1. The first-born of Joseph. When he and his brother Ephraim were boys, and Jacob, their grandfather, was about to die, Joseph took them into the patriarch's presence to receive his blessing. Genesis 48:5-20. Nothing further is known of the personal history of Manasseh. The eastern part of the tribe of Manasseh prospered much and spread to Mount Hermon, but they finally mixed with the Canaanites, adopted their idolatry, became scattered as Bedouins in the desert, and were the first to be carried away into captivity by the kings of Assyria. 1 Chronicles 5:25. The western Manasseh, of which only a few glimpses are visible in the later history of Israel, always showed itself on the right side; as, for instance, in the cases of Asa, 2 Chronicles 15:9; Hezekiah, 2 Chronicles 30:1; 2 Chronicles 30:11; 2 Chronicles 30:18, and Josiah, 2 Chronicles 34:6; 2 Chronicles 9:2. Son and successor of Hezekiah, king of Judah, ascended the throne at the age of twelve years, b.c. 696. The earlier part of his reign was distinguished for acts of impiety and cruelty, 2 Kings 21:1-26, and he succeeded in drawing his subjects away from the Lord to such an extent that the only kind of worship which was not allowed in Judah was that of Jehovah. 2 Kings 21:2-9. Having supported the Babylonian viceroy in his revolt against Assyria, he was at last taken captive by the Assyrian king and ignominiously transported to Babylon. Upon his repentance, however, he was liberated, and returned to his capital, where he died b.c. 641, after having done much to repair the evils of bis former life. 2 Chronicles 33:1-20.

3. The territory of Manasseh occupied by a tribe descended from Joseph, and divided into two portions—one east of the Jordan, and the other west of it 1. East of the Jordan.— The country of Manasseh east of the Jordan included half of Gilead, the Hauran, Bashan, and Argob. 1 Chronicles 5:18-23. The extensive pastures of Gilead and Bashan gave the best scope for the half-nomad and herdsman's life led by this portion of the tribe. Psalms 68:15. The people were powerful and brave, taking a leading part in the wars of Gideon, of Jephthah, and of David. See also Gilead and Bashan. 2. West of the Jordan.— The portion of the half-tribe of Manasseh on the west of the Jordan extended from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, and lay between Asher and Issachar on the north and Ephraim on the south. Joshua 17:7-10. They also gained some towns in Carmel within the bounds of Issachar, probably by capturing them from the ancient Canaanites. Joshua 17:11-18. The dominant position of Ephraim seems to have obscured the power of Manasseh, and this portion of their country is frequently joined with Ephraim in the biblical allusions.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Manasseh'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/m/manasseh.html. 1893.

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