Manas'seh (Heb. Menahssheh', מנִשֶּׁה, who makes to forget; see Ge 41:51; Sept., Josephus, and N.T. Μανασσῆς; "Manasses" in Mt 1:10; Re 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 (Ge 41:51; Ge 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 (Ge 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 (1Ch 7:14). SEE MACHIR. The only thing subsequently recorded of him personally is that his grandchildren were "brought up on Joseph's knees" (Ge 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 Ge 42:23; Ge 43:15; also the quotations in Weil's Bibl. Legends, p. 88, note).'