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MAKIR (mā'kĭr, Heb. mākhîr, sold)

The oldest son of Manasseh, son of Joseph. He married and had a family before the Israelites left Egypt (Gen.50.23). By the time of the dividing up of the Promised Land, his descendants, the Makirites, were numerous and powerful. They conquered Gilead and settled there (Num.32.39-Num.32.40), except the family of Hepher, who settled in Canaan (Josh.17.3). So Makir is called the father of Gilead several times, and he is even said to have begotten Gilead (Num.26.29). In Judg.5.14 Makir stands for Manasseh.The son of Ammiel. David took Mephibosheth out of his house (2Sam.9.4-2Sam.9.5). This Makir was one of the men who brought refreshments to David as he fled from Absalom (2Sam.17.27).

MACHIR mă’ kĭr (מָכִיר, LXX Μαχαὶρ, meaning uncertain, perhaps means valuable). Name of the eldest son of Manasseh and of the son of Ammiel.

1. The son of Manasseh: while Joseph was still alive in Egypt, his older son Manasseh’s eldest son Machir brought his children to the patriarch (Gen 50:23). Machir again was at the head of the list of the sons of Manasseh (Num 26:29); he was the father of Gilead who gave his name or was named for the area in Trans-Jordan that this family of the tribe of Manasseh inhabited (Num 32:39, 40). The text says, “And Moses gave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he settled in it” (v. 40). Bashan, with Gilead, was also allotted to Machir “because he was a man of war” (Josh 17:1).

Numbers (chs. 27 and 31) tell of the great-great-granddaughters of Machir, the daughters of Zelophehad whose case Moses brought before the Lord that they might be able to share in the inheritance with their father’s brothers since there were no sons in the family.

Further light is thrown on the exact situation regarding the Machirites and their inheritance in Joshua 13:29-31. This passage gives an insight into the method by which the tribe of Manasseh was divided; half the family of Machir moved into Trans-Jordan, the other half went with the other half of the tribe of Manasseh into Pal. (v. 31).

2. The son of Ammiel: identified as the one in whose house Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan stayed (2 Sam 9:4, 5). He was of the same Manassite family as above, and helped David when he was in exile (2 Sam 17:27-29).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(makhir; Macheir), ma’-kir-it:

(2) Son of Ammiel, dwelling in Lo-debar (2Sa 9:4,5), a wealthy landowner who protected Mephibosheth (Meribbaal), son of Jonathan, until assured of the friendly intentions of David (compare Ant, VII, ix, 8). Afterward, during the rebellion of Absalom, Machir with others came to David’s assistance at Mahanaim, bringing supplies for the king and his men (2Sa 17:27 ).

John A. Lees