Manasseh By Signs

This article explores how to identify the lost tribe of Manasseh using various signs. The primary way is through physical abundance.

Jacob's Prophecies

Jacob's prophecy about Manasseh:

17When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim's head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18Joseph said to him, "No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head." Genesis 48:17-1819But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations." 20He blessed them that day and said, "In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing: `May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.'" So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. Genesis 48:19-20 (Genesis 48:17-20 NIV)

The blessing given to Ephraim and Manasseh upset their father Joseph because Jacob appeared to be changing the natural birthright promises.

The passage suggests that Manasseh would inherit Abraham's Great Nation promise while Ephraim would become a community of nations.

So we are looking for a sign nation that is paired to a group or community of nations.

This split is known in the modern world as the United States as the Great Nation and the Unite Kingdom, or British Commonwealth, as the community of nations.

The United States on one side, and then Britain and all her former colonies on the other. This includes Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and many other countries.

The United States was the first, having separated in the 1770s. That caused the UK to be more careful and prevent further departures.

So the United States is the lost tribe of Manasseh.

Samaria: Capital of Ancient Israel

There are numerous places in the prophetic passages of the Bible where the ancient names map directly to modern names. The capital of the Northern Kingdom was Samaria. A name that maps to the modern name America quite closely, a nick name for the USA.

At the end of the civil war in Israel the northern kingdom headed by Jeroboam withdrew from Jerusalem. The capital for that northern kingdom was at first Tirzah but later moved to Samaria.

23In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. 24He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver and built a city on the hill, calling it Samaria, after Shemer, the name of the former owner of the hill. 1 Kings 16:23-24 (1 Kings 16:23-24 NIV)

There are many places in the Bible's prophetic stories where the name of the ancient people or place often matches a name in the modern world. Here is an example. The slang name for the United States of America is simply America. This is essentially the same name as Samaria, missing only a hard ending.

Capital of Ivory

Reinforcing this identification is the type of house built on the hill at Samaria. It was an Ivory house, or as we would say today a White House.

39As for the other events of Ahab's reign, including all he did, the palace he built and inlaid with ivory, and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel? 1 Kings 22:39-40 (1 Kings 22:39 NIV)

Russia also has a "White House" as the picture of Yeltsin on the Tank in 1991 shows. It was taken in front of Russia's white house. The Russian version is not the home of the President, nor of the Duma, but is a government administration building. The point here is the link with Manasseh through Joseph, the tribe that ruled the North Kingdom of ancient Israel.

The location of Samaria was on a hill. The expression "hill" is still used today to describe the Congress and the place it meets. This is also a weak link, but another one like we see across these national stories.

Manasseh Means Forget

The name Manasseh means forget, as his father Joseph was forgetting his trouble in Egypt at the birth of this son. Americans, unlike nearly every other nation on earth, have no memory of their own history. This is why.

At the birth of Manasseh his father named him to mark the fact that the joy of having a son was causing him to forget his troubles in Egypt.

51Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, "It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household." (Genesis 41:51 NIV)

The expression house when used in the personal sense means literally family. Joseph was missing his family and the birth of this son was comforting him. In a national sense the word house implies nation. Americans are particularly inept at remembering their roots in other countries. Some families take special care to maintain contacts with family members in the "old country" but for most the focus is simply on the present state of the country.

There was a widespread attempt to disconnect families from roots in other countries. This happened even with the changes in the spelling of names and because of the great distances back to home nations across the oceans.

When I first share this material with groups I often get the objection that the nation has no history before the 1770s and cannot be a people group that is any older. This objection is yet another reflection of this false American belief about not having any roots anywhere earlier in history. God is in the business of raising the dead and he did so with this very ancient tribe, as old as any of the others recorded in the Bible.

Forehead: The place of forgetting

The name "Forget" which is what Manasseh means has several specific uses that matter to tracking references to Manasseh in scripture. The best is an important reference that warns that when wealth accumulates we as people will forget what God has done.

6These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. 10When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you -- a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant -- then when you eat and are satisfied, 12be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (Deuteronomy 6:6-12 NIV)

Double Portion

Manasseh was the only single tribe in ancient Israel that had 2 independent territories. Part of the tribe was west of the Jordan, part of the tribe was east.

The following quote shows Manasseh with territory east of the Jordan river. Manasseh is referred to as a half tribe, because half of the tribe is given land there.

13Moses commanded the Israelites: "Assign this land by lot as an inheritance. The LORD has ordered that it be given to the nine and a half tribes, 14because the families of the tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance. 15These two and a half tribes have received their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan of Jericho, toward the sunrise." Numbers 34:13-15 (Numbers 34:13-15 NIV)

Then there is the story of dividing land west of the Jordan river. Here Manasseh is referenced again because land is being distributed to the other half of Manasseh.

16The LORD said to Moses, 17"These are the names of the men who are to assign the land for you as an inheritance: Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun. 18And appoint one leader from each tribe to help assign the land. 19These are their names: Caleb son of Jephunneh, from the tribe of Judah; 20Shemuel son of Ammihud, from the tribe of Simeon; 21Elidad son of Kislon, from the tribe of Benjamin; 22Bukki son of Jogli, the leader from the tribe of Dan; 23Hanniel son of Ephod, the leader from the tribe of Manasseh son of Joseph; 24Kemuel son of Shiphtan, the leader from the tribe of Ephraim son of Joseph; 25Elizaphan son of Parnach, the leader from the tribe of Zebulun; 26Paltiel son of Azzan, the leader from the tribe of Issachar; 27Ahihud son of Shelomi, the leader from the tribe of Asher; 28Pedahel son of Ammihud, the leader from the tribe of Naphtali." Numbers 34:16-28 (Numbers 34:16-28 NIV)

The leaders chosen to distribute land west of the Jordan...

Rights of Women

The United States, more perhaps that any other place has been concerned about the rights of women. The suffragette movement, for example, dealt with developing the right of women to vote. This is a marker for other things, like the right of inheritance.

This is seen as an issue unique to Manasseh in Numbers 36.