INDIA - 550 Bnei Manashe Jews Arrive in Israel

Arno Froese

With tears in their eyes, 550 immigrants from the Bnei Menashe community who recently immigrated to Israel and now live in the Galilee, came to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount for the first time in their lives together with the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau. The immigrants lifted up prayers for the speedy immigration to the Land of the 5,000 members of the community still remaining in northeastern India.

Shmuel Manlon, 40, one of the immigrants who arrived at the Western Wall, said: “It was like a dream come true for me, and I could not stop the tears. It feels like we are part of the fulfillment of redemption.”

According to the tradition passed down through the generations, members of the Bnei Menashe community in India consider themselves descendants of the Tribe of Manasseh—one of the ten tribes exiled from Israel at the end of the First Temple period, more than 2,700 years ago by the king of Assyria. Their number is currently estimated at about 10,500 people. To date, about 5,200 Bnei Menashe have immigrated to Israel thanks to the Shavei Israel organization, and about 5,000 are still waiting in India for the opportunity., 17 March 2022

Arno's Commentary

The meaning of Menashe is literally “children of Manasseh.”

Who is Manasseh in our Bible? “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 41:51). Manasseh can also be translated as “forgetting.”

Manasseh was born in Egypt of an Egyptian mother, Asenath.

Reading Genesis 48, we notice that Israel (Jacob) blessed the two sons of Joseph: Manasseh and Ephraim. However, Israel placed his right hand upon the head of Ephraim and his left hand upon Manasseh. Joseph protested, but “…his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations” (verse 19).

When reading the Minor Prophets, we know that the name Ephraim represents the ten-tribe kingdom. But in the end, they were rejected, and the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel ceased to exist as an independent nation separate from Judah. Yet, Manasseh is mentioned in Revelation 7:6 as one of the sealed tribes.

Later in history, we hear the prophet Jeremiah pray, “O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel” (Jeremiah 31:7b). Today, we see the remnant of the people of Israel returning to the land of their fathers.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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