In Bere’shiyt (Genesis) 48, we have the prophetic story of Ya'aqov's (Jacob) blessing of his two grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh. It is the results of this blessing that fulfill, at least from God's point of view, the destiny of the firstborn son of Joseph according to the flesh. The first mention of Manasseh in Bere’shiyt 41:51, contains the meaning of his name and his prophetic future in the eyes of God.

Bere’shiyt 41:51And Yoseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.

The name Manasseh comes from the Hebrew root nasah (נשה) which means to lose something, but is usually translated as to forget. Here are a few examples of this word.

Yiremeyahu (Jeremiah) 23:39Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:

Mizemor (Psalm) 88:12Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

In the consistent patterns that are given in Scripture, those who simply exist and even become great in number, but do not receive by faith the seed of the woman, have a lost and forgotten future. It is no coincidence that the same thing that was said of Ishmael rings true of the physical son of Yoseph, but not the spiritual one. This is another example of the frequently told tale of two men.

Bere’shiyt 17:20-21And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. BUT my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.

Bere’shiyt 48:19And 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.

Shalom Alecheim!