Question: My wife is Native American. Being of Manasseh, she would like to know something about Manasseh & Ephraim and what they were promised as blessings? And what are the titles of books we could read about them? Thank you.
Answer: In Jacob’s birthright blessing of Ephraim in Genesis 48:19, Jacob mentions that Ephraim (or his end-time descendants) will become “the fulness of the Gentiles” (Hebrew melo’ haggoyim), which designation has special significance as it is through Ephraim’s fulfilling his birthright role that the other tribes of Israel will ultimately come to the knowledge of the gospel and be gathered to Zion (cf. Romans 11:25-26; 1 Nephi 15:13-14; 3 Nephi 16:4-7). Jacob predicts that Manasseh (or his end-time descendants) will also be great, adding that the people of Israel will bless one another, saying, “God make you as Ephraim and Manasseh!” (Genesis 48:20). The Plates of Laban, which were in Reformed Egyptian, were doubtless kept from the time of Joseph in Egypt by the eldest sons of Joseph through Manasseh, thus accounting for their being in the possession of Laban, who, like Lehi, was of the same tribe. The Plates of Laban would therefore originally have gone to the Northern Kingdom of Israel with an ancestor of Laban when the tribes settled there. Prophets such as Zenos and Zenock, who are identified as the Nephites’ ancestors (3 Nephi 10:16), would have been Manassite prophets whose prophecies weren’t recorded in the Jewish records for that reason. When Israel split into two nations and Jeroboam set up idols in the Northern Kingdom, the Levites and many righteous Israelites from the northern tribes migrated to the Southern Kingdom of Judah, where the true worship of Israel’s God Jehovah was maintained. No doubt, that is how Lehi and Ishmael came to live in the Jerusalem area. Yet were known as Jew because they were residents of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. While not much is known about Manasseh from Isaiah—except that Ephraim and Manasseh will sometimes be at odds (Isaiah 9:21)—a lot more is known about Ephraim, as detailed in the book Endtime Prophecy.