Manasseh was one of Joseph's sons born to him while he worked for Pharaoh in Egypt. After the reunion between Joseph and his brothers who sold him into slavery, Jacob and the other wives and children came to Egypt and lived there. When Jacob lay dying he decided to make Joseph's sons his sons. Yep, you read that right. People smarter than me could tell you why and I'm not going to dissect it here.
Manasseh and his descendants were then considered the children of Israel and became known as one of the twelve tribes, along with his brother Ephraim. Joseph would not be called a tribe. He would not have a desert order, a gate named after him, nor a duty for the tabernacle care. So although Joseph was the eleventh son of Jacob, born to Rachel from her body, he did not have a similar role as did the other tribes.
Manassah, however, was eighth in line when the Israelites wandered in the desert. Although older than his brother Ephraim, history repeated itself when Manasseh, though second born, received the blessing of the first child from their grandfather Jacob. (Jacob had received the blessing of the first child through deceit, when his twin brother Esau was the firstborn son of Isaac and Rebekah).
The most significant story about a descendant of Manasseh is the story of Gideon.
Gideon lived at a time when the Bible says, "Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD."
There was trouble with a group of people called the Midianites who were mean to Jacob's grandchildren. Just plain and ugly mean.
As some naughty children often do when their naughtiness gets them in trouble, they call out to their daddy to help them. That's what Jacob's kids did when the Midianites oppressed them. And God sent Gideon, from the "weakest clan in Manasseh...and the least in my family."
Gideon felt pretty small because he didn't know how big his God really was.
But the Bible says that "the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon." Gideon got clothed with the garment of God almighty himself.
Gideon came from the tribe of Manasseh. Manasseh was Joseph's son, Jacob's grandson, whose mother was an Egyptian. Perhaps her descendants were the slave drivers over Joseph's descendants. We may never know, but even those not one hundred percent Hebrew flesh and blood were used by God to bring freedom.
And again we do evil in the eyes of the LORD.
And again, God patiently waits for our call for rescue.
For some reason, God likes to be asked for help, the hardest thing to ask for with these stubborn hearts of ours.
But like he told Manasseh's great great grandfather, "I am your shield, your very great reward." That promise to Abraham was for everyone of Abraham's descendants, whether by flesh and blood or spirit and truth. It's God's promise to you too.
Call for help.
Genesis 27; Genesis 48-29