elder son of Joseph. he was born in Egypt, by the A.V., about 1712
B.C., his mother being Asenath, the daughter of Poti-pherah, priest of
On. In race, therefore, he, like his brother Ephraim, was
half-Jew, half-Egyptian. In giving him his name Manasseh, Joseph
said, "God hath made me forget all my toil and my father's
house" (see etym.) (Gen. xli. 50, 51; cf. xlvi. 20).
When Jacob desired to bless the two boys, Joseph took Ephraim in his
right hand, towards Jacob's left, and Manasseh in his left towards
Jacob's right; but the dying patriarch crossed his arms, so as to lay
his right hand on Ephraim's head and his left on that of Manasseh.
Joseph, remonstrating, was told that it was no inadvertence, but was
designed to intimate prophetically that while both sons should become
the ancestors of great peoples, Ephraim should do so to a greater extent
than his elder brother (xlviii. 8-21). Quite in keeping with this
prediction, Moses, just before his death, spoke of the ten thousands of
Ephraim and the thousands of Manasseh (Deut. xxxiii. 17). [No. 2.]
(2) The father of a certain Gershom, and grandfather
of the Levite Jonathan whom the Danites took away from Micah's house (Judg.
xviii. 30—A.V.). But the R.V., following another and, it is
believed, a better reading, substitutes "Moses" for
(3) The son and successor of good king
Hezekiah. He ascended the throne, by the A.V., about the year 698
B.C. Though only twelve years of age, he seems to have considered
himself wiser than his father, and at once addressed himself to undo the
work of reformation which had been carried out in the former
reign. His father had destroyed the "high places"; he
set them up again. He, moreover, built an altar to Baal, reared an
"Ashera," and made altars for the worship of the host of
heaven within the two courts of the temple. Prophets were sent to
warn him, but he paid no attention to their threatenings. Instead
of listening, he shed very much innocent blood throughout every part of
Jerusalem. Who the victims were is unknown; tradition makes Isaiah
one, which is doubtful. But the conjecture cannot be far wrong
that they were chiefly those who, retaining their fidelity to Jehovah,
opposed Manasseh's reactionary religious measures (2 Kings xxi.
1-16). As a penalty, the Assyrian king was permitted to take him
prisoner and carry him to Babylon, which was then the residence of the
Ninevite monarchs during the winter months of the year. He
repented, and was after a time restored to his kingdom. He put
away the idols which had been his ruin, and restored the worship of
Jehovah. He also added to the fortifications of Jerusalem (2 Chron.
xxxiii. 11-19). After a "reign" of fifty-five years, the
longest which any king of Judah had enjoyed, he died, by the A.V., about
the year 643 B.C., leaving his son Amon to ascend the throne (2 Kings
xxi. 17, 18; 2 Chron. xxxiii. 20). A cylinder of Esarhaddon's
mentions "Minasse" (Manasseh) king of Judah as one of many
kings who assembled at his call.
(4) A son of Pahath-Moab. He was induced by
Ezra to put away his foreign wife (Ezra x. 30).
(5) A son of Hashum. He also was induced to do
so (Ezra x. 33). (The Sunday School Teacher's Bible Manual,