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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Manasseh

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(Heb. Menahssheh', מְנִשֶּׁה , who makes to forget; see Genesis 41:51; Sept., Josephus, and N.T. Μανασσῆς; "Manasses" in Matthew 1:10; Revelation 7:6), the name of four men and of a tribe descended from one of them; also of another man mentioned by Josephus.

1. The elder of the two sons of Joseph, born in Egypt (Genesis 41:51; Genesis 46:20) of Asenath, the priest's daughter of Heliopolis. B.C. 1882. He was afterwards, together with his brother, adopted by Jacob as his own (Genesis 48:1), by which act each became the head of a tribe in Israel. B.C. 1856. (See JACOB).

The act of adoption was, however, accompanied by a clear intimation from Jacob that the descendants of Manasseh, although the elder, would be far less numerous and powerful than those of the younger Ephraim. The result corresponded remarkably with this intimation. (See EPHRAIM).

He married a Syrian concubine, by whom he had several children (1 Chronicles 7:14). (See MACHIR). The only thing subsequently recorded of him personally is that his grandchildren were "brought up on Joseph's knees" (Genesis 1:23). "The ancient Jewish traditions are, however, less reticent. According to them Manasseh was the steward of Joseph's house, and the interpreter who intervened between Joseph and his brethren at their interview; and the extraordinary strength which he displayed in the struggle with and binding of Simeon first caused Judah to suspect that the apparent Egyptians were really his own flesh and blood (see Targums Jerusalem and Pseudojon. on Genesis 42:23; Genesis 43:15; also the quotations in Weil's Bibl. Legends, p. 88, note).'

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Manasseh'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/m/manasseh.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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