Manasseh was the oldest son of Joseph, son of Jacob (Israel), his younger brother being Ephraim. His name means to make Forgetfulness. He was born in about 1700 B.C. or a little later where he is listed on the Bible Timeline Chart.
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His mother was Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, an Egyptian priest of the sun god. The Pharaoh had given her to Joseph as his wife. From Manasseh, the Jewish tribe of Manasseh was descended. In 1 Chronicles 7:14, Manasseh had a son Machir, by his Aramean concubine and he was the grandfather of Gilead. Both Matthew and Luke include his uncle Judah in the lists of Jesus’ ancestors.( Matthew 1 v 3 and Luke 3 verse 33.) Genesis 41 v 50-52 tells how he was born in Egypt before the arrival of his Canaanite family.
In Gen 37:5 the Bible tells how Joseph had a dream in which he and his brothers were binding sheaves and how all their sheaves bowed down to his. It was dreams such as these that caused the enmity between Joseph and his siblings. The obvious s interpretation would have been that Joseph and his offspring would be the inheritors of God’s earlier promise to Jacob.
Genesis 48 v 5 has the story of how Jacob adopted the two brothers so that Joseph’s sons would be able to share in the inheritance due to all his sons. Although he is the older Jacob set him as second to his brother Ephraim.( Genesis 48 v 14 -21.)
World History together with Biblical history
- At about this time, the north of Europe was entering the Bronze Age.
- In the Middle East meanwhile Assyria was climbing to a place as an important world power.
- In some parts of the world, more and more nomads were becoming instead full-time agriculturalists. The Minoans on the other hand traded throughout the Mediterranean in a highly organized, often in tin. Which was then combined with the copper which gave Cyprus its name, into the main metal of the time – bronze, used by the Greeks for armor, swords and spears, though India was already using smelting and using iron and in Central America the Mayans were settled.. The language the Minoans used was written down in what is referred to as Linear A, which has not yet been deciphered, but it is thought it may represent an early type of Phoenician.
- There was already an established Semitic alphabet, but most stories were still being transmitted orally. Laws though were written down the code of Hammurabi.
- In Egypt, the Hykos invaders had arrived and taken over.
- In 1720, the Euphrates had changed its course considerably, which led to the demise of some ancient cities
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