Thursday, July 6, 2017
Block 73 Manasseh
Click HERE: Go to Stitchintree.com to download the draft pattern for this block.
So if Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son, then why was he the only son who was left out of his father’s deathbed gifts of inheritance? Typically, the eldest son received his father’s blessing and a double portion of the inheritance. But sometimes, fathers justified deviating from the norm. That’s exactly what happened in Joseph’s case. Because he was Jacob’s favorite (but not firstborn) son, Jacob wanted to give him the double portion, but knew that this could prove to be problematic with the other brothers. So Jacob devised a way around the expectation. Before he died, Jacob adopted Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and gave them each a portion of the inheritance —essentially dividing Joseph’s double portion between the two.
Manasseh was born in Egypt to Joseph while Joseph was estranged from his family. The name Manasseh means “makes to forget,” and it is believed that Joseph chose the name because he hoped that Manasseh would help him forget all of his troubles that he had endured at the hands of his brothers. Even though Manasseh was Joseph’s first born, he did not receive Jacob’s right hand and blessing. That was given to his brother (see Block 74 Ephraim). Manasseh was given land that was split by the Jordan river. The two sides were almost completely disconnected and difficult to lead. Both sides had great natural water resources, so both sides were very valuable to the northern kingdom. Both sides also controlled and defended mountain passes that were important for trade routes. The land west of the Jordan was Canaan. Manasseh was expected to conquer the Canaanites, but he was hesitant to go into battle, because he was afraid of defeat. Although God was disappointed in Manasseh, he did not punish him. Several generations later, when Manasseh’s last surviving great-great grandson (Zelophedad) died in the desert before entering the Promised Land, Manasseh’s great-great-great granddaughters petitioned Moses to inherit their deceased father’s land. Moses conferred with God and developed rules that would allow the property to remain in the family. What nerve these girls had! These great-great-great granddaughters were perfect examples of women who stood up for what is right and were rewarded for their efforts.
I chose the Fair and Square block to represent Manasseh, whose female descendants were treated fairly by God (through Moses).