in Rabbinical Sources
by Yair Davidiy
- A National Character Appraisal
based on Rabbinical Sources.
b. The Message Received.
(1) A Nation of Immigrants who through newly found Prosperity forget the "Old Country"
(2) Messiah Son of Joseph and Manasseh
(3) Presidents and Not Kings
Kings of Israel from Menasseh were more like "Princes" or "Presidents" when compared with the monarchs from Ephraim.
Partial List Only, More to be added:
Menasseh to contain a good portion of Simeon [i.e. Welsh and Irish according to Brit-Am] both in the physical sense and in the sense of Tribal attributes.
Manasseh was the Tribe MOST dedicated to settling the Land of Israel.
Manasseh first deliberately forgets Moses and the Law he represents but later has the
quality of returning to "Moses" due to an inner drive within the essence of Manasseh.
The name Manasseh [MNSH] in Hebrew is spelt the same as Moses [MSH] but with an extra letter "N" in Manasseh representing the quality of forgetting. Nevertheless Moses is still within Manasseh. This quality is especially brought out through the attachment of Manasseh to the Land of Israel.
Feminine aspect more significant in Manasseh.
Menasseh to always be materially important but to acheive predominance later than Ephraim.
Menasseh to be involved with building of the Third Temple.
The renewal of Israel will begin in the territory of Menasseh.
The Redemption and Return of the Lost Ten Tribes will begin with elements within Manasseh.
a. The Sources.
The following article is based on a School of Jewish Rabbinical Exegesis known as "Derash" connoting "search, inquire". It largely involves a close examination of the meaning of Hebrew Names and secondary applications of Biblical Verses, i.e. of matters hinted at (sometimes quite strongly) rather than according to the initial simple literal meaning.
Very often through "Derash" a truer deeper understanding in accordance with the apparent initial intention may be arrived at. Nevertheless, this method is not suited for everyone and not everyone appreciates it. We ourselves seldom rely wholly on this method but rather use it (or refer to the use of it by others) to confirm or illustrate conclusions reached by more straight-forward means of inquiry.
We are also only noting translated excerpts from much longer essays in which each idea is linked to the previous one, every point embedded in the other, and a great many more examples and additional considerations are given apart from the few we quote here.
Even so we have endeavored to summarize major points when quoting other sources and to faithfully show the proofs and reasoning that lead to them.
It also remains to be said that the message below is that of BRIT-AM and for which Brit-Am only is responsible. Other sources are used as supportive evidence but this does not necessarily mean that the authors concerned would agree in all cases with our conclusions.
b. The Message Received
Brit-Am on the whole identifies the USA with Manasseh and Britain and her daughters with Ephraim though we admit to an overlap in population and sometimes in aspects of identity.
At all events with these general identifications in mind consider the following mainly Rabbinical sources concerning Manasseh that in effect describe the USA in our time.
(1) A Nation of Immigrants who through Prosperity forget the "Old Country"
[Genesis 41:50] AND UNTO JOSEPH WERE BORN TWO SONS BEFORE THE YEARS OF FAMINE CAME, WHICH ASENATH THE DAUGHTER OF POTIPHERAH PRIEST OF ON BARE UNTO HIM.
[Genesis 41:51] AND JOSEPH CALLED THE NAME OF THE FIRSTBORN MANASSEH: FOR GOD, SAID HE, HATH MADE ME FORGET ALL MY TOIL, AND ALL MY FATHER'S HOUSE.
[Genesis 41:52] AND THE NAME OF THE SECOND CALLED HE EPHRAIM: FOR GOD HATH CAUSED ME TO BE FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF MY AFFLICTION.
The name Ephraim can connote "fruitfulness" (Hebrew, "PRI", fruit).
The name Manasseh is derived from the root "Nosheh" (forget). Joseph was saying that due to the bounty he had merited his previous troubles had been forgotten.
The context also connotes "fruitfulness through forgetting".
Manassh from the root
"NoSheh" also connotes "moving from one place to another", as explained below.
America is a nation of immigrants who often moved there to "forget" the oppressions and trouble they had experienced in the "Old Country" and indeed were so blessed and did manage so to forget. "Forgetting" in this case also implies not to be impeded by, to put the past aside.
[Genesis 41:51] AND JOSEPH CALLED THE NAME OF THE FIRSTBORN MANASSEH: FOR GOD, SAID HE, HATH MADE ME FORGET ALL MY TOIL, AND ALL MY FATHER'S HOUSE.
"Manasseh" from the root "NoSheH" meaning "forget" but derived from a root connoting to move as we find in "Gid HaNOSheH" which is the Hebrew name for the Sciatic Nerve in the thigh,
[Genesis 32:32] THEREFORE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL EAT NOT OF THE SINEW WHICH SHRANK [Hebrew: "GID HANOSHEH"], WHICH IS UPON THE HOLLOW OF THE THIGH, UNTO THIS DAY: BECAUSE HE TOUCHED THE HOLLOW OF JACOB'S THIGH IN THE SINEW THAT SHRANK.
The word haNoSheH is translated as WHICH SHRANK in Hebrew, "Gid [sinew] HaNOSheH [" WHICH SHRANK"] but more correctly means "moved out of its place" and also connotes "forgetting", as we say when we forget something that it
"slipped our mind".
We spoke about the meaning of the name Manasseh in several articles on our web-site:
Is the USA Ephraim or Manasseh?
Great Britain as Ephraim
NAMES LINKED WITH THE SONS OF JOSEPH
MACHIR AND AMERICA
The "Ephraim or Manasseh?" Controversy
and at length in our book,
"Joseph. The Israelite destiny of America".
The name Manasseh is derived from the root "NoSheH" meaning "to move out of place yet retaining connection". From this we have the word NoSheH meaning "creditor" i.e. someone who has given something of his over to another but retains a claim on its value;
"NaShiM" meaning "women" in the plural, who give over their rights to the menfolk but retain a claim to be adequately represented by their men;
and we have the name "Manasseh" which in the light of Rabbi S.R. Hirsch can be explained to mean "responsible Representation".
Another aspect of Manasseh is the physical act of moving or migrating and forgetting. Joseph gave Manasseh his name because the benefits he received had caused him to forget " ALL MY TOIL, AND ALL MY FATHER'S HOUSE ".
The USA is a nation of immigrants of people who moved away and forgot the "Old Country" and the toil and oppression they had frequently experienced. They underwent the experience represented by the name Manasseh.
<<It would seem that when Joseph says, "FOR GOD, SAID HE, HATH MADE ME FORGET" that the meaning is that God is the ONE who causes the forgetting and by this he is certain that the Almighty removes from him all those impediments to achieving his perfection in order to build him anew in a more perfect form>>.
[SN 1 ].
Future redemption is also based on the principle of forgetting:
[Isaiah 65:16] THAT HE WHO BLESSETH HIMSELF IN THE EARTH SHALL BLESS HIMSELF IN THE GOD OF TRUTH; AND HE THAT SWEARETH IN THE EARTH SHALL SWEAR BY THE GOD OF TRUTH; BECAUSE THE FORMER TROUBLES ARE FORGOTTEN, AND BECAUSE THEY ARE HID FROM MINE EYES.
[Isaiah 65:17] FOR, BEHOLD, I CREATE NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH: AND THE FORMER SHALL NOT BE REMEMBERED, NOR COME INTO MIND.
<<In the same way as the process of growth [of a plant] requires first of all the removal of the husk of the seed and then after that it can grow to its perfection, so too Joseph [applied the same principle] in naming his sons. At first, "GOD HATH MADE ME FORGET ALL MY TOIL", and then as a result, "GOD HATH CAUSED ME TO BE FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF MY AFFLICTION" [Genesis 41:51-52].>>
[SN 2 ].
The Personal Level of Forgetting
A lot of us suffer from complexes we acquired as children or later in life. Our parents did not treat us as they should have, in school we suffered from our classmates, your first spouse was a louse, and your second beau just for show, and you have suffered ever since, etc. Our past bad experiences in many cases hold us back and prevent us from getting ahead properly with our lives. The principle of Manasseh is to forget the past and start anew.
The National Applications
The idealized Image of the USA in its own eyes and in that of others may not be correct but it says something about the national character and certain ideals that have become national goals.
The USA has the concept of equality of opportunity without the impediments of the past being given undue significance. In the USA it is accepted that a person should be able to apply all he has to fulfil his economic and other goals without regard as to how he may have been considered by others around him. This is regarded as axiomatic, as an inbred right that nobody has any second thoughts about. It was not however always like that and it is not like that everywhere else in the world. It is basically an Israelite Principle but one that is epitomized by the USA more than by anyone else. It is a principle of Manasseh.
It will be noticed in the Blessing of Joseph that he gives his two sons different names with different applications but as applying to himself. They complement each other and aspects of the one will be found in the other.
We identify the USA with Manasseh and the USA applies the principle of equality with the American Dream emphasizing individual ability to get ahead. The ethos of the USA emphasizes the here and now and the opportunities of the present meeting the talents and exertions that can be utilized. Forget the Old Country and past hang-ups and impediments but do what you can with what you have now.
Britain and the offshoots of Britain are dominated by Ephraim. This is the masculine element in Hebrew "ZaCaR" which is spelt with the same letters and pronounced quite similarly to"ZeCeR" meaning "remembrance". My parents migrated from Britain to Australia. The country of Australia though still part of Ephraim has many aspects of Manasseh and culturally in many ways is close to the USA. My father told me that one of the reasons they left Britain was to get away from the class system prevalent there that inhibited opportunity and self-expression. This system is based on heredity or past merit and is based more on what is "deserved" through remembrance of the past. In practice it may not be so black and white. In the USA one may find a lot of snobbery and class consciousness and in Britain much de facto egalitarianism. Nevertheless the two distinctions accord with popular perceptions and must have some truth in them.
The connotations in Hebrew of the name "Manasseh" include the idea of moving, or migrating, and of forgetting the past in order to make a new start. This indeed is one of the characteristics of the USA and social historians emphasize its role in forming the national character of the USA.
(2) Messiah Son of Joseph and Manasseh
The Messiah Son of Joseph will be descended from Ephraim or from Manasseh?
We have discussed the Messiah son of Joseph in our book "Joseph" and in the article MOSHIACH BEN YOSEPH.
[The end "ch" in "Moshia-ch" is pronounced similarly to "h"].
The majority opinion amongst the Classical Commentators appears to be that the Messiah son of Joseph will come from the Tribe of Ephraim.
Other opinions however exist or at the least appear to qualify the preference in this regard of Ephraim over Manasseh.
Manasseh and the Messiah Son of Joseph
The Messiah son of Joseph represents several different but related phenomenon in the End Times and the period leading up to it.
In Modern Jewish National Religious writings it is customary to consider MBJ ("Messiah ben [son of] Joseph") as the Zionist Movement that prepares the physical infrastructure in the Land of Israel and the social conditioning amongst the Jewish people to prepare them for a spiritual awakening that will culminate with the appearance of the Messiah son of David.
The Messiah son of Joseph (Moshiah ben Yosef) also represents what was apparently his original designation as being a leader of the Ten Tribes. This leader will deliver the Ten Tribes from troubles and oppression and bring them back to the Land of Israel and a re-union with Judah OR at the least he will prepare the way for such events.
In addition to Messiah ben David, and Messiah ben Yosef, other leading figues in the End Times are predicted to appear. These include the Prophet Elijah, and the Annointed Leader for War. Elijah prepares the way and arouses the hearts of Israel to retun to their heavenly Father and Israelite Tribal roots. Elijah turns the heart of the sons unto their fathers.
The concept of the Annointed Leader for War is taken from the figure of the Annointed Priest (who was not the High Priest but another functionary of almost equal importance) who would encourage the Israelite warriors to have courage when going out to battle.
[Deuteronomy 20:1] WHEN THOU GOEST OUT TO BATTLE AGAINST THINE ENEMIES, AND SEEST HORSES, AND CHARIOTS, AND A PEOPLE MORE THAN THOU, BE NOT AFRAID OF THEM: FOR THE LORD THY GOD IS WITH THEE, WHICH BROUGHT THEE UP OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT.
[Deuteronomy 20:2] AND IT SHALL BE, WHEN YE ARE COME NIGH UNTO THE BATTLE, THAT THE PRIEST SHALL APPROACH AND SPEAK UNTO THE PEOPLE,
[Deuteronomy 20:3] AND SHALL SAY UNTO THEM, HEAR, O ISRAEL, YE APPROACH THIS DAY UNTO BATTLE AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES: LET NOT YOUR HEARTS FAINT, FEAR NOT, AND DO NOT TREMBLE, NEITHER BE YE TERRIFIED BECAUSE OF THEM;
[Deuteronomy 20:4] FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS HE THAT GOETH WITH YOU, TO FIGHT FOR YOU AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES, TO SAVE YOU.
Most sources say that the Messiah son of Joseph will come from the Tribe of Ephraim.
There exists however an opinion that MBJ will come from Manasseh while the future
Annointed Leader for War will be of Ephraim.
In this case we may suppose from the context that Annointed Leader for War does not just mean someone who provides moral inspiration but an actual military leader.
See the Midrash on the verse in Psalm 60:7 and repeated in 108:7:
[Psalms 60:7] GILEAD IS MINE, AND MANASSEH IS MINE; EPHRAIM ALSO IS THE STRENGTH OF MINE HEAD; JUDAH IS MY LAWGIVER;
Midrash Numbers Rabah 14;2: << "GILEAD IS MINE: - This is Elijah who was an inhabitant of Gilead.
"MANASSEH IS MINE":- This is that Messiah who will arise from the descendants of Manasseh, as it says, "BEFORE EPHRAIM AND BENJAMIN AND MANASSEH STIR UP THY STRENGTH" [Psalms 80:2].
"EPHRAIM ALSO IS THE STRENGTH OF MINE HEAD":- This is the Annointed Leader for War who will come from Ephraim, as it says, "HIS GLORY IS LIKE THE FIRSTLING OF HIS BULLOCK" [Deuteronomy 33:17].
"JUDAH IS MY LAWGIVER":- This is the Ultimate Redeemer who is a descendants from the sons of David.>>
R.M. Shlanger in the book "Shiftei Nachalatecha" ("The Tribes of Your Heritage") discusses the relative merits of rulers (including MBJ) from Manasseh as compared to those from Ephraim.
After the separation of the Northern Tribes of "Israel" from Judah the first kings were from Ephraim, then came rulers from Manasseh. The Kings of Manasseh, according R.M. Shlanger, were more like "Princes" or "Presidents" appointed for clearly defined purposes. On the other hand the kings from Ephraim had the status of Regal Heads of State in the Classical sense.
This will be discussed at greater length later.
According to R.M. Shlanger:
<<They [the Sages in the Midrash] said that the Messiah [son of Joseph] will come from the descendants of Manasseh since if he would come from the descendants of Ephraim he would be liable to seize the Complete Rulership over Israel. The basic essence of the Messiah is that he be a descendant of David. For this reason the Midrash calls Kings from the Tribe of Ephraim by the title "Annointed Leader for War " since indeed they are anointed [in Hebrew "Messiah" ("Moshiach") means "Anointed"] but their anointing is at a lower level than the anointing of David and his seed. In the same way as the [Priestly] "Annointed Leader for War" is not the same as the High Priest and is anointed only in order to speak in the ears of the people at time of war, so too the kingship of the Tribe of Ephraim is only for the purpose of [waging] the Wars of Israel. It does not comprise a perfect leadership.>>
[SN 3 ].
We understand the above opinion not to be judgmental but rather a consideration of Tribal Character. The future Messiah Son of Joseph is meant to fulfill a role in saving Joseph, aiding Judah, and laying the foundations for the future re-union of Judah and Joseph under the rulership of a monarch from the House of David. The aim of the Messiah Son of Joseph will be to fulfil a specific series of tasks rather than embody a Principle of Monarchy.
The above Midrash speaks of a Messiah son of Joseph from Manasseh AS WELL AS an Annointed Leader of War from Ephraim. Other sources in effect identify the Annointed Leader of War with the Messiah son of Joseph. This does not necessarily mean that a contradiction exists. It may be that two leaders will indeed arise (one from Manasseh, the other from Ephraim) both of whom will act as a team and together fulfill the function of Messiah son of Joseph as it is usually understood to be.
[Ezekiel 37:22] AND I WILL MAKE THEM ONE NATION IN THE LAND UPON THE MOUNTAINS OF ISRAEL; AND ONE KING SHALL BE KING TO THEM ALL: AND THEY SHALL BE NO MORE TWO NATIONS, NEITHER SHALL THEY BE DIVIDED INTO TWO KINGDOMS ANY MORE AT ALL.
[Ezekiel 37:23] NEITHER SHALL THEY DEFILE THEMSELVES ANY MORE WITH THEIR IDOLS, NOR WITH THEIR DETESTABLE THINGS, NOR WITH ANY OF THEIR TRANSGRESSIONS: BUT I WILL SAVE THEM OUT OF ALL THEIR DWELLINGPLACES, WHEREIN THEY HAVE SINNED, AND WILL CLEANSE THEM: SO SHALL THEY BE MY PEOPLE, AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD.
[Ezekiel 37:24] AND DAVID MY SERVANT SHALL BE KING OVER THEM; AND THEY ALL SHALL HAVE ONE SHEPHERD: THEY SHALL ALSO WALK IN MY JUDGMENTS, AND OBSERVE MY STATUTES, AND DO THEM.
[Ezekiel 37:25] AND THEY SHALL DWELL IN THE LAND THAT I HAVE GIVEN UNTO JACOB MY SERVANT, WHEREIN YOUR FATHERS HAVE DWELT; AND THEY SHALL DWELL THEREIN, EVEN THEY, AND THEIR CHILDREN, AND THEIR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN FOR EVER: AND MY SERVANT DAVID SHALL BE THEIR PRINCE FOR EVER.
(3) Presidents and Not Kings
Kings of Israel from Menasseh were more like "Princes" or "Presidents" when compared with the monarchs from Ephraim.
The name Manasseh in Hebrew means Responsible Representation and as such epitomises the ideals of the USA which was founded by descendants of Manasseh and in most major aspects has its national character still determined by Manasseh.
THE NAME "MENASSEH" IN HEBREW ENCAPSULATES THE MEANING OF NORTH AMERICAN DEMOCRACY!
See our article:
"NAMES LINKED WITH THE SONS OF JOSEPH".
In addtion to the different principles of Aristocracy (pertinent to Ephraim) and the Responsible Representation of Manasseh another aspect of the differences in government involves the style of leadership.
Before his death, Moses blessed Ephraim and Manasseh:
[Deuteronomy 33:17] HIS GLORY IS LIKE THE FIRSTLING OF HIS BULLOCK, AND HIS HORNS ARE LIKE THE HORNS OF UNICORNS: WITH THEM HE SHALL PUSH THEPEOPLE TOGETHER TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: AND THEY ARE THE TEN THOUSANDS OF EPHRAIM, AND THEY ARE THE THOUSANDS OF MANASSEH.
i.e. they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, that are multiplied a thousands times over together with those of Manasseh.
The simple meaning of the expression "THE TEN THOUSANDS OF EPHRAIM, AND THEY ARE THE THOUSANDS OF MANASSEH" is that the population of Ephraim will be ten times that of Manasseh. This is our opinion and we feel that in some way it will be literally fulfilled. Nevertheless the Sages and Classical Commentators had other opinions that we have discussed in our books "Joseph" and "Ephraim", in articles on the subject and in our Biblical Commentary to Deuteronomy together with valuable input and insights from Brit-Am sympathizers. All of these different viewpoints actually reflect aspects of reality. They are all in way or another pertinent.
R.M. Shlanger raises the possibility that the two terms "Thousands" (in Hebrew "Eleph" = Thousand, and "Revavah"= Ten Thousand) do not refer to different absolute multitudes. [In reality Manasseh had the greater population throughout the Biblical Period. If we identify Manasseh with the USA and Ephraim with Britain and offshoots of Britain and subtract probable non-Israelite elements from the population of the USA we reach an approximately equal number for the two tribes with the advantage in favor of Manasseh]. R.M. Shlanger suggests that the two terms "eleph" and "revavah" refer to unitary measures that reflect different social-political attitudes. A "Thousand" according to this concept is a limited unit over which the leader had limited control within clearly defined parameters. This indeed was the case. There were leaders of tens, of hundreds, and of thousands. "Ten Thousand" on the other hand was not clearly defined and suggests a greater degree of possible autocracy. Saul became jealous of David when the women ascribed "ten thousands" to David and only "thousands" to Saul. According to this explanation the reason for the jealousy of Saul was the greater potential control they were predicting would accrue to David.
[1-Samuel 18:7] AND THE WOMEN ANSWERED ONE ANOTHER AS THEY PLAYED, AND SAID, SAUL HATH SLAIN HIS THOUSANDS, AND DAVID HIS TEN THOUSANDS.
In the Hebrew this can mean as rendered by the King James that Saul killed thousands and David ten thousands. The Hebrew does not say "slain" but rather "Hica" (meaning "struck") which in effect in the context does means "killed" but also connotes vigorous action. The expression could alternately be interpreted (Targum Yehonatan) as saying that Saul killed so many Philistines as if there were thousands with him while David killed so many as if he had ten thousands with him. The Commentary of the Radak (Kimchi) mentions both possibilities.
[1-Samuel 18:8] AND SAUL WAS VERY WROTH, AND THE SAYING DISPLEASED HIM; AND HE SAID, THEY HAVE ASCRIBED UNTO DAVID TEN THOUSANDS, AND TO ME THEY HAVE ASCRIBED BUT THOUSANDS: AND WHAT CAN HE HAVE MORE BUT THE KINGDOM?
Alternately the difference does not lay in the quanities concerned but in the style of leadership the unitary units of quantity represent as Shlanger opines, i.e. that Saul ruled with the style of leadership associated with a captain of thousands while David ruled or would rule with the unlimited control implied by "revavot" or tens of thousands.
<<The Ten Thousand [Revavah] is the style of management of the monarch as Saul said, THEY HAVE ASCRIBED UNTO DAVID TEN THOUSANDS [Revavot] WHAT CAN HE HAVE MORE BUT THE KINGDOM (1-Samuel 18:8). The increase [Hebrew, increase "Ribui" from the same root "Revavah" -ten thousand] does not accrue to the king in a formal manner. It is rather that the honor [of leading a "revavah" and more] emanates from the population masses [i.e. the mass (rov) of people empower the king] as it says,
IN THE MULTITUDE [Hebrew: "Rov" also from the same root as "revavah"] OF PEOPLE IS THE KING'S HONOUR [Proverbs 14:28]. The monarchy has the power to join together an entire people in such a way that even they who do not belong to the social order as defined by the Princes may be attached [to the community] via the prestige of the Kingship.>>
[SN 4 ].
<<We have explained that the princes were appointed over the Thousands ["Eleph" -Thousand] whereas the Monarchy is a "Revavah" [ten thousand]. On this point we may discern the difference between Ephraim and Manasseh. Ephraim received his name from the principle of increase ["ribui-revavah"], EPHRAIM: FOR GOD HATH CAUSED ME TO BE FRUITFUL (Genesis 41:52). The power of Ephraim is to direct a "MULTITUDE [Hebrew: "Rov" associated with "revavah"] OF PEOPLE" (Proverbs 14:28) like a King. Thus Joshua from the Tribe of Ephraim continues the power of the Kingdom established by Moses over all Israel, as it says: WHOSOEVER HE BE THAT DOTH REBEL AGAINST THY COMMANDMENT, AND WILL NOT HEARKEN UNTO THY WORDS IN ALL THAT THOU COMMANDEST HIM, HE SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH [Joshua 1:18].
<<So too the Kingdom of Israel that separated itself from the Kingdom of Judah was first ruled by Jeroboam from the Tribe of Ephraim (1-Kings 11:26 12:25), and all the kings who ruled after him in Samaria belonged to Ephraim.>>
<<Manasseh however received his name based on the principle of constriction that enables him to cast aside impediments that perturb and to forget them so that there remained only the unadulterated central issue [that needs to be acted upon]. Thus, "GOD, SAID HE, HATH MADE ME FORGET ALL MY TOIL, AND ALL MY FATHER'S HOUSE" (Genesis 41:51). These matters [that needed to be forgotten and set aside] were preventing Joseph from the clarification of his independent essence [of self-realization]. This special quality [represented by Manasseh] is therefore that of a "Prince" associated with a limited community that unites for a common purpose through him, until they be considered as one.>>.
[SN 5 ].
<<So too concerning the Tribe of Manasseh we find amongst the Judges of Israel, Gideon and Jephtah both of whom ruled as "Princes" and did not occupy themselves with matters of monarchy. They were rather concerned with the guidance of those who attached themselves to them. As Gideon said, AND GIDEON SAID UNTO THEM, I WILL NOT RULE OVER YOU, NEITHER SHALL MY SON RULE OVER YOU: THE LORD SHALL RULE OVER YOU [Judges 8:23]. Regarding Jephthah Scriptures says, THE PEOPLE MADE HIM HEAD AND CAPTAIN OVER THEM [Judges 11:11].>>
<<Kings from Manasseh such as JEHU THE SON OF NIMSHI (1-Kings 19:16) were appointed for a specific purpose. Jehu, for instance, was appointed in order to purge the people of idolatry. The very name NIMSHI in Hebrew contains the letters of Manasseh.
<<The very act of transferring the Monarchy from Ephraim to Manasseh involved a reduction from a Monarchy of Israel to a Rule of Princes [in the sense of the Prince representing the people and being appointed for a limited purpose]. For this reason Jehu was addressed as "Prince" [in Hebrew "Sar" meaning "prince" but translated in the KJ as "Captain"] at the time of his anointing as it says,
<<AND HE SAID, I HAVE AN ERRAND TO THEE, O CAPTAIN. AND JEHU SAID, UNTO WHICH OF ALL US? AND HE SAID, TO THEE, O CAPTAIN [2-Kings 9:5]. Jehu himself was not distinguished by royal demeanor as it says, THE DRIVING IS LIKE THE DRIVING OF JEHU THE SON OF NIMSHI; FOR HE DRIVETH FURIOUSLY [Hebrew, "be-Shigayon", literally "with madness"] (2-Kings 9:20).
[SN 6 ].
Manasseh is characterized by the Presidential-Princely Type of Leadership and Ephraim by the Monarchical
[Deuteronomy 33:17] HIS GLORY IS LIKE THE FIRSTLING OF HIS BULLOCK, AND HIS HORNS ARE LIKE THE HORNS OF UNICORNS: WITH THEM HE SHALL PUSH THE PEOPLE TOGETHER TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: AND THEY ARE THE TEN THOUSANDS OF EPHRAIM, AND THEY ARE THE THOUSANDS OF MANASSEH.
From this blessing to the Tribes of Joseph we see Ephraim associated with "TEN THOUSANDS" (in Hebrew "revavah") and Manasseh with THOUSANDS which in Hebrew is "Aleph".
Israelite society (like that of the Anglo-Saxons at a later date) was divided into units of tens, hundreds, and thousands (Exodus 18:21).
The term "Eleph" meaning "thousand" became synonymous with family or rather familial clan. The Hebrew for thousand as a kind of Tribal Unit is translated as "family" in the King James.
Gideon (from Manasseh) said,
"MY FAMILY [alfi] IS POOR IN MANASSEH" [Judges 6:15].Where the word translated as "FAMILY" is "Alphi" meaning literally "my thousand".
The word for "TEN THOUSANDS" in Hebrew is "revavah" from the root "RaV" connoting increase and growth. On the one hand revavah is ten of a thousand. On the other hand "revavah" is not limited. It can be more than ten thousand. It can be ten thousand and upwards and increasing. "Eleph" (thousand) was a statutory unit but "revavah" was not. Revavah has an unlimited aspect about it. It is the highest unit used by the Bible and represents a continued expansion. It is linked to Monarchy as we saw above in the case of Saul becoming jealous of David.
<<So we find in the Wilderness were they had "RULERS OF THOUSANDS, AND RULERS OF HUNDREDS, RULERS OF FIFTIES, AND RULERS OF TENS" (Exodus 18:21). They did not however have rulers of "Revavah" [Ten Thousands]. The task of a Prince is to take consideration of the situation and functioning of each individual. He has to attach each individual of his community to the right path so that they become one community going in one path. This is pertinent to the number "one thousand". So too, the Princes were called "Aluphim" [i.e. leaders of "eleph" of a thousand] and we find "Aluphi Edom" (Genesis 36:19 translated as "Dukes") and "Aluphi Yehudah" (Zechariah 12:5 translated as "Governors") whose task it was to make of their group one body.>>
[SN 7 ].
[Genesis 36:15] THESE WERE DUKES OF THE SONS OF ESAU [Alufi Edom] ...
[Genesis 36:19] THESE ARE THE SONS OF ESAU, WHO IS EDOM, AND THESE ARE THEIR DUKES.
[Zechariah 12:5] AND THE GOVERNORS [Alufi] OF JUDAH SHALL SAY IN THEIR HEART, THE INHABITANTS OF JERUSALEM SHALL BE MY STRENGTH IN THE LORD OF HOSTS THEIR GOD.
The word for leader of a thousand is "Aluph". It also connotes in Hebrew "leader" and is linked to the root "eleph" meaning "train, teach, control". It is used most often in the sense of "training" an animal. It may however also be applied to humans and have given rise to the English word "help". "Eleph" (thousand) has numerical connotations of a unit, e.g. "Aleph" (equivalent of the Letter "A") is the first letter of the Hebrew Alphabet and stands for the number ONE. "Eleph" (using the same letters as "Aleph") is one thousand and is like an expansion of the "Aleph" number one. This is the principle that R.M. Shlanger is emphasizing that the word for "thousand" "eleph" connotes both leadership and limitation. R.M. Shlanger equates "Eleph" with "Prince" which is acceptable. "Eleph" in the KJ has been translated as "Duke", "Prince", and "Governor".
<<From a thousand [eleph] and upwards begins the quorum of ten thousands which is an uncontrolled increase. The number "revavah" [ReBaBaH] is taken from the root "Ribui" [RiBui] meaning increase. A group of ten thousand is not considered an entire unity comprising one body. Scripture says, "I HAVE CAUSED THEE TO MULTIPLY AS THE BUD OF THE FIELD" (Ezekiel 16:7) [where the expression translated as "TO MULTIPLY" is "Revavah" meaning literally to be like a "revavah", like ten thousand, i.e. to be multitudinous]. The growth of the field increases and multiplies without any fixed predefined order..>>
[SN 8 ].
R.M. Shlanger mentions that the very word "revavah" is built from a three-letter root "RBB" in which the doubling of the two last letters indicates a spontaneous self-sustained increase and expansion.
The implication that "revavah" implies limitless increase seems to have been recognized by the authors of the King James Translation of the Bible. They translated as "revavot" as "millions" instead of "tens of thousands", i.e.
[Genesis 24:60] AND THEY BLESSED REBEKAH, AND SAID UNTO HER, THOU ART OUR SISTER, BE THOU THE MOTHER OF THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS, AND LET THY SEED POSSESS THE GATE OF THOSE WHICH HATE THEM.
As we noticed in the Brit-Am Commentary to Genesis:
"THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS": In Hebrew "alfei revavah" or thousands of ten thousands i.e. tens of millions according to the simple understanding of the language as now employed BUT it could also be construed as meaning many many more as the KJ has done.
We have seen our own analysis of the Names of Ephraim and Manasseh alongside that of S.R. Hirsch. Manassseh represented Responsible Representation whereas Ephraim that of Aristocracy. The above points by R.M. Shlanger also complete the previous findings. They indicate that Manasseh was characterized by the appointment of a Prince with wide spreading power that nevertheless was limited and predetermined in purpose and scope by the will of they who initiated the appointment. The Prince in the terminology of R. M. Shlanger closely parallels the Presidency as practiced in the USA.
Ephraim on the other hand was known for having Kings who exercised the prerogatives of Royalty as a value in its own right. It is true that for quite some time the monarchs of Britain have been little more than figure-heads. This was not always so and even today in principle the Government of Britain is that of the Monarch even though the actual decisions and execution are carried out by elected representatives. The Executive Authorities of Britain still consider themselves representatives of the Monarch and use terminology reflecting this attitude, e.g. Her Majesty's Government has decided, The Royal Air Force, etc.
1. [SN] "Shiftei Nachalatecha" ("The Tribes of Your Heritage"), by R.M. Shlanger, Jerusalem, 5766 (2006), p.61.
2. SN [ibid] p.103.
3. SN [ibid] p.108.
4. SN [ibid] p. 106.
5. SN [ibid] p. 108.
6. SN [ibid] p. 107.
7. SN [ibid] p. 105.
8. SN [ibid] p. 105.
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