Manasses or Manasseh (//; Hebrew: מְנַשֵּׁה "Mnaše") is a Biblical Hebrew name for men meaning "causing to forget". It is the given name of seven people of the Bible, the name of a tribe of Israel, and the name of one of the apocryphal writings. It is also the name of several more modern people.
Son of Joseph
Manasses (Hebrew: מנשה; Septuagint: Manassê; c. 2nd millennium BC) was the eldest son of Joseph and the Egyptian Aseneth (Genesis 41:50-51; 46:20). The name means "he that causes to forget"; Joseph assigned the reason for its bestowal: "God hath made me to forget all my toils, and my father's house" (Genesis 41:51). Jacob blessed Manasses (Genesis 48); but gave preference to the younger son Ephraim, despite the father's protestations in favour of Manasses. By this blessing, Jacob put Manasses and Ephraim in the same class with Ruben and Simeon (verses 3-5), and gave foundation for the admission of the tribes of Manasses and Ephraim.
Husband of Judith
Story of Ahikar
Manasses was a character in the Story of Ahikar (not in Vulgata, but in Septuagint) told by Tobias on the point of death. The Vatican Manuscript mentions Manasses (Manassês) as one "who gave alms and escaped the snare of death". The Sinaitic Manuscript mentions no one, but clearly refers the almsgiving and escape to Achiacharus (Ahikar). The reading of the Vatican Manuscript may be an error.
Sons of Ezra's companions
Another Manasses was the son of Hasom, another of the same companions of Esdras (Ezra 10:33).
Ancestor of Jonathan
Manasses (according to k’thibh of Massoretic Text and Septuagint) was ancestor of Jonathan, a priest of the tribe of Dan (Judges 18:30). The Vulgate and k’ri of the Massoretic Text give Moses, the correct reading.
King of Judah
Manasseh was the thirteenth King of Judah (692–638 B.C.) and son and successor to Ezechias (2 Kings 20:21 sq.). The historian of 4 Kings tells us much about the evil of his reign (21:2-10), and the punishment thereof foretold by the Prophets (verses 10- 15), but practically nothing about the rest of the doings of Manasses. He brought back the abominations of Achaz; imported the adoration of "all the host of heaven", seemingly the astral, solar and lunar myths of Assyria; introduced the other enormities mentioned in the Sacred text; and "made his son pass through fire" (verse 6) in the worship of Moloch.
It was probably in this frenzy of his varied forms of idolatry that "Manasses shed also very much innocent blood, till he filled Jerusalem up to the mouth" (verse 16). The historian of 2 Paralipomena tells much the same story, and adds that, in punishment, the Lord brought the Assyrians upon Juda. They carried Manasses to Babylon. God heard his prayer for forgiveness and deliverance, and brought him again to Jerusalem, where Manasses did his part in stemming the tide of idolatry that he had formerly forced upon Juda (33:11-20).
At one time, doubt was cast on the historicity of this narrative of 2 Paralipomena, because IV Kings omits the captivity of Manasses. Schrader gives cuneiform records of twenty-two kings that submitted to Assurhaddon during his expedition against Egypt; second on the list is Minasii sar ir Yaudi (Manasses, king of the city of Juda). Schrader also gives the list of twenty-two kings who are recorded on a cuneiform tablet as tributaries to Asurbanipal in the land of Hatti; second on this list is Miinsii sar mat Yaudi (Manasses, king of the land of Juda). Since a Babylonian brick confirms the record of the historian of II Par., his reputation is made a little more secure in rationalistic circles. Winckler and Zimmern admit the presence of Manasses in Babylon (see their revision of Schrader's "Keilinschr. und das A. T.", I, Berlin, 1902, 274). Conjectures of the Pan-Babylonian School as to the causes that led to the return of Manasses, the groundwork of the narrative in IV Kings, etc., do not militate against the historical worth of the scriptural account.
Other notable people
- Manasseh (High Priest), Jewish High Priest, c. 245–240 BC
- Manasseh was the regnal name of two Khazar rulers of the Bulanids:
- Manasses de Ramerupt (died after 1031), French noble
- Manasses II, Count of Rethel (died 1032), French noble
- Manasses, Count of Dammartin (died 1037), French noble
- Manasses III, Count of Rethel (1022–1065), French noble
- Manasses I (archbishop of Reims) (fl. 1069–1080), French archbishop
- Manasses II (archbishop of Reims) (died 1106), French archbishop, 1096–1106
- Manasses of Hierges (fl. 1140–1152), French crusader and constable of the Kingdom of Jerusalem
- Constantine Manasses (c.1130–c.1187), Byzantine historian
- Manassès II de Pougy (c.1130–1190), French bishop of Troyes, 1181–1190
- Manasses IV, Count of Rethel (died 1199), French noble
- Manasses V, Count of Rethel (died 1272), French noble
- Isaac Manasses de Pas, Marquis de Feuquieres (1590–1640), French soldier
- Menasseh Ben Israel (1604–1657), Portuguese Rabbi and publisher
- Manasseh Cutler (representative) (1742–1823), American clergyman and politician
- Manasseh Dawes (died 1829), English barrister and writer
- Manasseh Masseh Lopes (1755–1831), British politician
- 'Manasse ǃNoreseb (1840–1905), tribal chief in Namibia
- Manasseh Meyer (1843–1930), British businessman and philanthropist
- Menashe Skulnik (1890–1970), Jewish American actor
- Aaron Manasses McMillan (1895–1980), American doctor and politician
- Menassa Youhanna (1899–1930), Egyptian Coptic priest and historian
- Menashe Oppenheim (1905–73), Polish Jewish singer, composer, and songwriter
- Manasse Herbst (1913–1997), Hungarian German-speaking actor and singer
- Menashe Klein (1924–2011), Czech-American Hasidic Rebbe and posek
- Manasses Kuria (1929–2005), Kenyan Anglican Archbishop
- Menashe Kadishman (1932–2015), Israeli sculptor and painter
- Menashe Amir (born 1940), Iranian broadcaster and Israel expert
- Manasseh Sogavare (born 1955), Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands
- Manassé Nzobonimpa (born 1957), Burundian politician
- Manasseh Maelanga (born 1970), Solomon Islander politician
- Menashe Mashiah (born 1973), Israeli football referee
- Menashe Miller (born 1974), American politician
- Manasseh Ishiaku (born 1983), Nigerian footballer
- Manassé Enza-Yamissi (born 1989), Central African football player
- Menasheh Idafar (born 1991), British and Bahraini racing driver
- Manasseh Garner (born 1992), American football player
- Manasseh Lomole Waya, South Sudanese politician
- Manasse Mbonye, Rwandan astrophysicist
- Walter Drum (1913). "Manasses". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
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