Ephraim

Ephraim [N] [H] [S]

double fruitfulness ("for God had made him fruitful in the land of his affliction"). The second son of Joseph, born in Egypt ( Genesis 41:52 ; 46:20 ). The first incident recorded regarding him is his being placed, along with his brother Manasseh, before their grandfather, Jacob, that he might bless them ( 48:10 ; Compare 27:1 ). The intention of Joseph was that the right hand of the aged patriarch should be placed on the head of the elder of the two; but Jacob set Ephraim the younger before his brother, "guiding his hands wittingly." Before Joseph's death, Ephraim's family had reached the third generation ( Genesis 50:23 ).

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[H] indicates this entry was also found in Hitchcock's Bible Names
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Ephraim". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

Ephraim [N] [E] [S]

fruitful; increasing
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names. Public Domain. Copy freely.

[N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary

Bibliography Information

Hitchcock, Roswell D. "Entry for 'Ephraim'". "An Interpreting Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names". . New York, N.Y., 1869.

EPHRAIM (1)

e'-fra-im, e'-fra-im ('ephrayim, "double fruit"):

\1. The Patriarch:

The younger of the two sons of Joseph and Asenath, born in Egypt. He and his brother Manasseh were adopted by Jacob, and ranked as his own sons, each becoming the ancestor of a tribe in Israel. In blessing his grandchildren, despite their father's protest, Jacob preferred the younger, foreshadowing the future eminence of his descendants (Genesis 41:50; 48:20). In the Blessing of Jacob however, the two are included under the name of Joseph (Genesis 49:22).

\2. The Tribe:

At the first census on leaving Egypt, Ephraim's men of war numbered 40,500; and at the second census they are given as 32,500 (Numbers 1:33; 26:37). See, however, article NUMBERS. The head of the tribe at the Exodus was Elishama, son of Ammihud (Numbers 1:10). With the standard of the tribe of Ephraim on the West of the tabernacle in the desert march were Manasseh and Benjamin (Numbers 2:18). The Ephraimite among the spies was Hoshea (i.e. Joshua), the son of Nun (Numbers 13:8). At the division of the land Ephraim was represented by prince Kemuel, son of Shiphtan (Numbers 34:24). The future power of this tribe is again foreshadowed in the Blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:17). When Moses died, a member of the tribe, Joshua, whose faith and courage had distinguished him among the spies, succeeded to the chief place in Israel. It was natural that the scene of national assemblies, and the center of the nation's worship, should be chosen within the land occupied by the children of Joseph, at Shechem and Shiloh respectively. The leadership of Ephraim was further emphasized by the rule of Samuel. From the beginning of life in Palestine they enjoyed a certain prestige, and were very sensitive on the point of honor (Judges 7:24; 8:1; 12:1). Their acceptance of and loyalty to Saul, the first king chosen over Israel, may be explained by his belonging to a Rachel tribe, and by the close and tender relations existing between Joseph and Benjamin. But they were never reconciled to the passing of the scepter to Judah in the person of David (2 Samuel 2:8). That Israel would have submitted to the sovereignty of Absalom, any more than to that of David, is not to be believed; but his revolt furnished an opportunity to deal a shrewd blow at the power of the southern tribe (2 Samuel 15:13). Solomon's lack of wisdom and the crass folly of Rehoboam in the management of the northern tribes fanned the smoldering discontent into a fierce flame. This made easy the work of the rebel Jeroboam; and from the day of the disruption till the fall of the Northern Kingdom there was none to dispute the supremacy of Ephraim, the names Ephraim and Israel being synonymous. The most distinguished of Ephraim's sons were Joshua, Samuel and Jeroboam I.

\3. The Territory:

The central part of Western Palestine fell to the children of Joseph; and, while the boundaries of the territory allotted to Ephraim and Manasseh respectively are given in Joshua 16; 17:1, it seems to have been held by them in common for some time (17:14). The Canaanites in certain cities of both divisions were not driven out. It was probably thought more profitable to enslave them (16:10; 17:13). The boundaries of Ephraim cannot be followed with accuracy, but roughly, they were as follows:

The southern boundary, agreeing with the northern border of Benjamin, started from Bethel, and passed down westward by nether Beth-horon and Gezer toward the sea (16:3; in verse 5 it stops at upper Beth-horon); it turned northward to the southern bank of the brook Kanah (Wady Kanah) along which it ran eastward (17:10) to Michmethath (the plain of Mukhneh); thence it went northward along the western edge of the plain to Shechem. It then bent eastward and southward past Taanath-shiloh (Ta`ana), Janoah (Yankun) to Ataroth and Naarah (unidentified) and the Jordan (16:7). From Ataroth, which probably corresponds to Ataroth-addar (16:5), possibly identical with the modern et-Truneh, the southern border passed up to Bethel. Along the eastern front of the land thus defined there is a steep descent into the Jordan valley. It is torn by many gorges, and is rocky and unfruitful. The long slopes to the westward, however, furnish much of the finest land in Palestine. Well watered as it is, the valleys are beautiful in season with cornfields, vineyards, olives and other fruit trees. The uplands are accessible at many points from the maritime plain; but the great avenue of entrance to the country runs up Wady esh-Sha`ir to Nablus, whence, threading the pass between Gerizim and Ebal, it descends to the Jordan valley. In this favored region the people must have lived in the main a prosperous and happy life. How appropriate are the prophetic allusions to these conditions in the days of Ephraim's moral decay (Isaiah 28:1,4; Jeremiah 31:18; Hosea 9:13; 10:11, etc.)!

W. Ewing


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'EPHRAIM (1)'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.  

EPHRAIM (2)

(1) A position apparently of some importance, since the position of Baal-hazor (probably = Tell `Asur) where Abraham's sheep- farm was located, is determined by relation to it (2 Samuel 13:23). That it lay North of Jerusalem seems to be indicated in 2 Samuel 13:34. It may be identical with the Ephraim of Eusebius, Onomasticon, 20 Roman miles North of Jerusalem, and therefore to be sought somewhere in the neighborhood of Sinjil and el- Lubban. Connected with this may have been the name Aphaerema, a district in Samaria mentioned in 1 Macc 11:34; Ant, XIII, iv, 9.

(2) The town near the wilderness to which Jesus retired after the raising of Lazarus (John 11:54). This probably corresponds to Ephrem of Eusebius, Onomasticon (s .v. "Afra") 5 Roman miles East of Bethel. This may be the place named along with Bethel by Josephus (BJ, IV, ix, 9). It probably answers to eT-Taiyebeh, a large village about 4 miles North of Beitin. The antiquity of the site is attested by the cisterns and rock tombs. It stands on a high hill with a wide outlook including the plains of Jericho and the Dead Sea.

See EPHRON.

W. Ewing


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'EPHRAIM (2)'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.