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2 definitions found

From: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

 Manasseh
    who makes to forget. "God hath made me forget" (Heb. nashshani),
    Gen. 41:51. (1.) The elder of the two sons of Joseph. He and his
    brother Ephraim were afterwards adopted by Jacob as his own sons
    (48:1). There is an account of his marriage to a Syrian (1 Chr.
    7:14); and the only thing afterwards recorded of him is, that
    his grandchildren were "brought up upon Joseph's knees" (Gen.
    50:23; R.V., "born upon Joseph's knees") i.e., were from their
    birth adopted by Joseph as his own children.
      The tribe of Manasseh was associated with that of Ephraim and
    Benjamin during the wanderings in the wilderness. They encamped
    on the west side of the tabernacle. According to the census
    taken at Sinai, this tribe then numbered 32,200 (Num. 1:10, 35;
    2:20, 21). Forty years afterwards its numbers had increased to
    52,700 (26:34, 37), and it was at this time the most
    distinguished of all the tribes.
      The half of this tribe, along with Reuben and Gad, had their
    territory assigned them by Moses on the east of the Jordan
    (Josh. 13:7-14); but it was left for Joshua to define the limits
    of each tribe. This territory on the east of Jordan was more
    valuable and of larger extent than all that was allotted to the
    nine and a half tribes in the land of Palestine. It is sometimes
    called "the land of Gilead," and is also spoken of as "on the
    other side of Jordan." The portion given to the half tribe of
    Manasseh was the largest on the east of Jordan. It embraced the
    whole of Bashan. It was bounded on the south by Mahanaim, and
    extended north to the foot of Lebanon. Argob, with its sixty
    cities, that "ocean of basaltic rocks and boulders tossed about
    in the wildest confusion," lay in the midst of this territory.
      The whole "land of Gilead" having been conquered, the two and
    a half tribes left their wives and families in the fortified
    cities there, and accompanied the other tribes across the
    Jordan, and took part with them in the wars of conquest. The
    allotment of the land having been completed, Joshua dismissed
    the two and a half tribes, commending them for their heroic
    service (Josh. 22:1-34). Thus dismissed, they returned over
    Jordan to their own inheritance. (See ED.)
      On the west of Jordan the other half of the tribe of Manasseh
    was associated with Ephraim, and they had their portion in the
    very centre of Palestine, an area of about 1,300 square miles,
    the most valuable part of the whole country, abounding in
    springs of water. Manasseh's portion was immediately to the
    north of that of Ephraim (Josh. 16). Thus the western Manasseh
    defended the passes of Esdraelon as the eastern kept the passes
    of the Hauran.
      (2.) The only son and successor of Hezekiah on the throne of
    Judah. He was twelve years old when he began to reign (2 Kings
    21:1), and he reigned fifty-five years (B.C. 698-643). Though he
    reigned so long, yet comparatively little is known of this king.
    His reign was a continuation of that of Ahaz, both in religion
    and national polity. He early fell under the influence of the
    heathen court circle, and his reign was characterized by a sad
    relapse into idolatry with all its vices, showing that the
    reformation under his father had been to a large extent only
    superficial (Isa. 7:10; 2 Kings 21:10-15). A systematic and
    persistent attempt was made, and all too successfully, to banish
    the worship of Jehovah out of the land. Amid this wide-spread
    idolatry there were not wanting, however, faithful prophets
    (Isaiah, Micah) who lifted up their voice in reproof and in
    warning. But their fidelity only aroused bitter hatred, and a
    period of cruel persecution against all the friends of the old
    religion began. "The days of Alva in Holland, of Charles IX. in
    France, or of the Covenanters under Charles II. in Scotland,
    were anticipated in the Jewish capital. The streets were red
    with blood." There is an old Jewish tradition that Isaiah was
    put to death at this time (2 Kings 21:16; 24:3, 4; Jer. 2:30),
    having been sawn asunder in the trunk of a tree. Psalms 49, 73,
    77, 140, and 141 seem to express the feelings of the pious amid
    the fiery trials of this great persecution. Manasseh has been
    called the "Nero of Palestine."
      Esarhaddon, Sennacherib's successor on the Assyrian throne,
    who had his residence in Babylon for thirteen years (the only
    Assyrian monarch who ever reigned in Babylon), took Manasseh
    prisoner (B.C. 681) to Babylon. Such captive kings were usually
    treated with great cruelty. They were brought before the
    conqueror with a hook or ring passed through their lips or their
    jaws, having a cord attached to it, by which they were led. This
    is referred to in 2 Chr. 33:11, where the Authorized Version
    reads that Esarhaddon "took Manasseh among the thorns;" while
    the Revised Version renders the words, "took Manasseh in
    chains;" or literally, as in the margin, "with hooks." (Comp. 2
    Kings 19:28.)
      The severity of Manasseh's imprisonment brought him to
    repentance. God heard his cry, and he was restored to his
    kingdom (2 Chr. 33:11-13). He abandoned his idolatrous ways, and
    enjoined the people to worship Jehovah; but there was no
    thorough reformation. After a lengthened reign extending through
    fifty-five years, the longest in the history of Judah, he died,
    and was buried in the garden of Uzza, the "garden of his own
    house" (2 Kings 21:17, 18; 2 Chr. 33:20), and not in the city of
    David, among his ancestors. He was succeeded by his son Amon.
      In Judg. 18:30 the correct reading is "Moses," and not
    "Manasseh." The name "Manasseh" is supposed to have been
    introduced by some transcriber to avoid the scandal of naming
    the grandson of Moses the great lawgiver as the founder of an
    idolatrous religion.

From: Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary (late 1800's)

 Manasseh, forgetfulness; he that is forgotten