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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. hakir', מָכַיר, sold; Sept. Μαχείρ and Μαχίρ ), the name of two men.

1. The oldest son of Manasseh (Joshua 17:1), who even had children born to him during the lifetime of Joseph (Genesis 1, 23). B.C. 1802. His descendants were called MACHIRITES (מָכַירי, Sept. Μαχειρί, Numbers 26:29), being the offspring of Gilead (1 Chronicles 7:17), whose posterity settled in the land taken from the Amorites (Numbers 32:39-40; Deuteronomy 3:15; Joshua 13:31; 1 Chronicles 2:23), but required a special enactment as to their inheritance, owing to the fact that the grandson Zelophehad had only daughters (Numbers 27:1; Numbers 36:1; Joshua 17:3). Once the name of Machir is put poetically as a representative of the tribe of Manasseh east (Judges 5:14). His daughter became the mother of Segub by Hezron in his old age (1 Chronicles 2:21). The mother of Machir was an Aramitess, and his wife was Maachah, the granddaughter of Benjamin, by whom he had several sons (1 Chronicles 7:14-16). "The family of Machir come forward prominently in the history of the conquest of the trans-Jordanic portion of the Promised Land. In the joint expedition of Israel and Ammon, their warlike prowess expelled the Amoritish inhabitants from the rugged and difficult range of Gilead, and their bravery was rewarded by Moses by the assignment to them of a large portion of the district, half Gilead' (Joshua 13:31), with its rich mountain pastures, and the towns of Ashtaroth and Edrei, the capitals of Og's kingdom (Numbers 32:39-40; Deuteronomy 3:15; Joshua 13:31; Joshua 17:1). The warlike renown of the family of Machir is given as the reason for this grant (Joshua 17:1), and we can see the sound policy of assigning a frontier land of so much importance to the safety of the whole country, exposed at the same time to the first brunt of the Syrian and Assyrian invasions, and to the never-ceasing predatory inroads of the wild desert tribes, to a clan whose prowess and skill in battle had been full proved in the subjugation of so difficult a tract (Stanley, S. and Pal. p. 327)." "The connection with Benjamin may perhaps have led to the selection by Abner of Maahanaim, which lay on the boundary between Gad and Mansasseh, as the residence of Ishbosheth (2 Samuel 2:8); and that with Judah may have also influenced David to go so far north when driven out of his kingdom."

2. A descendant of the preceding, son of Ammiel, residing at Lo-debar, who maintained the lame son of Jonathan until provision was made for him by David's care (2 Samuel 9:4-5), and afterwards extended his hospitality to the fugitive monarch himself (2 Samuel 17:27). B.C. 1037-1023. Josephus calls him the chief of the country of Gilead (Ant. 7:9, 8). (See DAVID).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Machir'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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