An interesting observation about the genealogies of Manasseh is the includes the lineage from both sides of the river. You might remember that ½ of the tribe settled east of the Jordan river while the other have settled west of the river. This opened to door to conflict on several occasions in the Old Testament.  The tribes took on different religious practices, they adopted different cultural identities, yet the Chronicler deliberately includes both lines to insure that unity between the families was maintained.

It’s interesting how sometimes we would draw lines around those like us. They serve to keep our identity secure but also serve to keep others out. Christian denominations are often like that. Ogilvie tells us about Anthony Norris Groves, “a nineteenth-century Christian who was for many years a missionary in Persia and India, after receiving adult baptism, was informed by a Baptist minister, ‘Of course, you must be a Baptist now that you are baptized.’ He replied, ‘No, I desire to follow all in those things in which they follow Christ; but I would not by joining one party cut myself off from others.'”

That seems to be what happens whenever we take a name that distinguishes us from others.  Ogilvie goes on to observe “The Chronicler’s concern is, I believe, translatable into multidenominational awareness, whereby the Methodist makes opportunity—formal as well as informal—for fellowship with the Baptist, the Baptist with the Presbyterian, and the Presbyterian with the Pentecostals. The Chronicler was aghast at the iron curtain which had fallen between members of God’s people. Have we in turn built walls of partition to cut us off from our fellow-Christians?”

He then quotes Edwin Markham’s poem:

He drew a circle that shut me out—
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

“Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (NLT)