(Hebrews Ephra'yim, אֶפרִיַם, a dual form; Gesenius suggests=twin-land; Fürst derives from a sing. אֵפרִי=פּרִי, fruitful; Sept. Ε᾿φραϊvμ), the name of a man (including the tribe and tract named from him, with other kindred objects), and of one or two other places of doubtful authenticity and certainly of much less note.
1. (Josephus Graecizes Ε᾿φραϊvμης, Ant. 2:7, 4.) The second son of Joseph by Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah (Ge 46:20), born during the seven years of plenteousness (B.C. cir. 1878), and an allusion to this is possibly latent in the name, though it may also allude to Joseph's increasing family: "The name of the second he called Ephraim (i.e., double fruitfulness), for God hath caused me to be fruitful (הַפרִנַי, hiphrani) in the land of my affliction" (Ge 41:52). Josephus (Ant. 2:6, 1) gives the derivation of the name somewhat differently —"Restorer, because he was restored to the freedom of his forefathers" (ἀποδιδούς ... διὰ τὸ ἀποδοθῆναι). The first incident in his history, as well as that of his elder brother Manasseh, is the blessing of the grandchildren by Jacob, "Genesis 48 — a passage on the age and genuineness of which the severest criticism has cast no doubt (Tuch, Genesis, page 548; Ewald, Gesch. Isr. 1:534, note). Like his own father, on an occasion not dissimilar, Jacob's eyes were dim so that he could not see (48:10; comp. 27:1). The intention of Joseph was evidently that the right hand of Jacob should convey its ampler blessing to the head of Manasseh, his first-born, and he had so arranged the young men. But the result was otherwise ordained. Jacob had been himself a younger brother, and his words show plainly that he had not forgotten this, and that his sympathies were still with the younger of his two grand- children. He recalls the time when he was flying with the birthright from the vengeance of Esau; the day when, still a wanderer, God Almighty had appeared to him at "Luz in the land of Canaan," and blessed him in words which foreshadowed the name of Ephraim ("I will make thee fruitful," מִפרךָ, maphreka, Ge 48:4; "Be thou fruitful," פּרֵה, pereh, 35:11; both from the same root as the name Ephraim); the still later day when the name of Ephrath (comp. Ewald, Gesch. 1:493, n.) became bound up with the sorest trial of his life (48:7; 35:16). SEE EPHRAIMITE. Thus, notwithstanding the prearrangement and the remonstrance of Joseph, for the second time in that family, the younger brother was made greater than the elder — Ephraim was set before Manasseh (48:19, 20). Ephraim would appear at that time to have been about twenty-one years old (comp. Ge 47:28). Before Joseph's death Ephraim's family had reached the third generation (Ge 1:23), and it may have been about this time that the affray mentioned in 1Ch 7:21, occurred, when some of the sons were killed on a plundering expedition along the sea-coast to rob the cattle of the men of Gath, and when Ephraim named a son Beriah, to perpetuate the memory of the disaster which had fallen on his house. SEE BERIAH. Obscure as is the interpretation of this fragment, it enables us to catch our last glimpse of the patriarch, mourning inconsolable in the midst of the circle of his brethren, and at last commemorating his loss in the name of the new child, who, unknown to him, was to be the progenitor of the most illustrious of all his descendants — Jehoshua, or Joshua, the son of Nun (1Ch 7:27: see Ewald, 1:491). To this early period, too, has been referred the circumstance alluded to in Ps 78:9, when the "'children of Ephraim, armed bowmen (רוֹמֵי9קֶשֶׁת נוֹשׁקֵי, A. V. "being armed [and] carrying bows," which Gesenius and others support, from the Sept. and Vulg.; although Ewald strikingly renders 'carrying slack bows'), turned back in the day of battle." Others, however, assign this defection to the failure of the tribe (in common with the rest of the Israelites) to expel the Canaanites (Jg 1:29).
1. TRIBE OF EPHRAIM. This tribe, although, in accordance with the ancient laws of primogeniture, inferior, as being the junior, yet received precedence over that descended from the elder Manasseh by virtue of the blessing of Jacob (Ge 41:52; Ge 48:1). That blessing was an adoptive act, whereby Ephraim and his brother Manasseh were counted as sons of Jacob, in the place of their father; the object being to give to Joseph, through his sons, a double portion in the brilliant prospects of his house. Thus the descendants of Joseph formed two of the tribes of Israel, whereas every other of Jacob's sons counted but as one. There were thus, in fact, thirteen tribes of Israel; but the number twelve is usually preserved, either by excluding that of Levi (which had no territory) when Ephraim and Manasseh are separately named, or by counting these two together as the tribe of Joseph when Levi is included in the account. The intentions of Jacob were fulfilled, and Ephraim and Manasseh were counted as tribes of Israel at the departure from Egypt, and, as such, shared in the territorial distribution of the Promised Land (Nu 1:33; Jos 17:14; 1Ch 7:20). The precise position of the immediate descendants of Joseph in Egypt might form an interesting subject for speculation. Being the sons of one in eminent place, and through their mother connected with high families in Egypt, their condition could not at once have been identified with that of the sojourners in Goshen; and perhaps they were not fully amalgamated with the rest of their countrymen until that king arose who knew not Joseph.
The numbers of the tribe did not at all times correspond with the promise of the blessing of Jacob. At the census in the wilderness of Sinai (Nu 1:32-33; Nu 2:19) its numbers were 40,500, placing it at the head of the children of Rachel — Manasseh's number being 32,200, and Benjamin's 35,400. But forty years later, on the eve of the conquest (Nu 26:37), without any apparent cause, while Manasseh had advanced to 52,700, and Benjamin to 45,600, Ephraim had decreased to 32,500, the only smaller number being that of Simeon, 22,200. At this period the families of both the brother tribes are enumerated, and Manasseh has precedence over Ephraim in order of mention. It is very possible that these great fluctuations in number may, in part at least, have been owing to the various standards under which the "mixed multitude" (עֶרֶב), i.e., mongrel population of semi-Hebrew Egyptians that followed the emigrating host (Ex 12:38), ranged itself in its fickleness at different times (Meth. Quart. Rev. April 1863, page 305 sq.). During the march through the wilderness the position of the sons of Joseph and Benjamin was on the west side of the tabernacle (Nu 2:18-24), and the prince of Ephraim was Elishama, the son of Ammihud (Nu 1:10).
It is at the time of the sending of the spies that we are first introduced to the great hero to whom the tribe owed much of its subsequent greatness. The representative of Ephraim on this occasion was "Oshea, the son of Nun," whose name was at the termination of the affair changed by Moses to the more distinguished form in which it is familiar to us. As among the founders of the nation Abram had acquired the name of Abraham, and Jacob of Israel, so Oshea, "help," became Jehoshua or Joshua, "the help of Jehovah" (Ewald, 2:306).
According to the arrangement of the records of the book of Joshua-the " Domesday book of Palestine" — the two great tribes of Judah and Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) first took their inheritance; and after them the seven other tribes entered on theirs (Jos 15; Jos 16; Jos 17; Jos 18:5). The boundaries of the portion of Ephraim are given in 16:1-10, and a part of it apparently in duplicate in verses 5, 7. The south boundary was coincident for part of its length with the north boundary of Benjamin (q.v.), which latter, however, is somewhat more exactly stated in Jos 18:12 sq. SEE TRIBE. Commencing at the Jordan, at the reach opposite Jericho (strictly Jordan of Jericho, יִרדֵּן ירַיחוֹ, an expression that would lead as to locate the boundary at the point nearest that city, did not the necessity of including within Benjamin certain other pretty well identified places compel us to carry it somewhat farther up the river), it ran to the "water of Jericho," probably the vicinity of the Ras el-Ain; thence by one of the ravines, perhaps the wady Samieh, it ascended through the wilderness Xidbar, the uncultivated waste hills-to Mount Bethel and Luz; and thence by Ataroth, "the Japhietite," Bethhoron the lower, and Gezer-places two of which are known-along the northern boundary of Dan (q.v.) to the Mediterranean, probably about Joppa. This agrees with the enumeration in 1 Chronicles 7, in which Bethel is given as the eastern, and Gezer- somewhere east of the present Ramleh-as the western limit. In Jos 16:6,8, we apparently have fragments of the northern boundary (compare 17:10), and as at least three of the points along that line (Asher, Tappuah, and Janohah) are pretty well identified (see each name), we are tolerably safe in fixing the eastern extremity on the Jordan at about the mouth of wady Fasail, and the western, or the torrent Kanah, at the modern Nahr Falaik, north of Apollonia. But it is possible that there never was a very definite subdivision of the territory assigned to the two brother tribes. Such an inference, at least, may be drawn from Jos 17:14-18, in which the two are represented as complaining that only one 'portion had been allotted to them. Among the towns named as Manasseh's were Bethshean in the Jordan valley, Endor on the slopes of the "Little Hermon," Taanach on the north side of Carmel, and Dor on the sea-coast south of the same mountain. Ephraim thus occupied the very center of Palestine, embracing an area about 40 miles in length from E. to W., and from 6 to 25 in breadth from N. to S. It extended from the Mediterranean on the W. to the Jordan on the E. on the N. it had the half-tribe of Manasseh, and on the S. Benjamin and Dan (Jos 16:5 sq.; 17:7 sq.). This fine country included most of what was afterwards called Samaria, as distinguished from Judaea on the one hand, and from Galilee on the other. SEE SAMARIA.
The following is a list of all the Biblical localities within this tribe, with the probable modern sites; those not identified by any modern traveler are enclosed in brackets:
Antipatris. Town. Kefr-Saba. Archi. do. [Kefr-Musr]? Arumah. do. El-Ormah. Ataroth (-addar). do. Atara. Baal-hamon. Vineyard. [S.E. of Jenin]? Baal-shalisha. Town. SEE SHALISHA. Beth-horon. do. Beit-Ur. Bochim. Altar Stone. [Khurbet-Jeradeh]? Ebal. Mount. [Jebel Sitti-Salamiyeh] Gaash. do. [Sepulchral Hill S. of Tibneh]?
Gazer. Town. SEE GEZER. Gerizim. Mount. Jebel et-Tur. Gezer. Town. Abu Shusheh. Gibeah. do. Khurbet-Jibia? Gilgal (2Ki 2:2). do. Jiljilia.
Gilgal (Jos 12:23). do. Jiljuliyeh. Gob do. SEE GEZER. Jacob's Well. Well. Bir-Yakub. Janohah. Town. Yanun. Japhleti. Village. [Beit Unia]? Jeshanah. Town. [Ain-Sinia]? Kanah. Brook. Nahr Fulaik? Lasharon. Plain. SEE SHARON.
Lebonah. Town. Lubbban.
Luz. do. [N. of Beitin]? Michmethah. do. [On Wady Bidan]? Moreh. Hill. [S. spur of Jebel Duhy]? Pirathon. Town. Ferata. Salim. do. Sheikh Salim. Samaria. do. Sebustiyeh. Saron. Region. SEE SHARON. Shalem. Town. Salim. Shalisha. Region. [Khurbet Hatta]. Sharon. do. N. part maritime plain. Shechem. Town. Nablus. Shiloh. do. Seilun. Sychem or Sychar. do. SEE SHECHEM. Tappuah. do. 'Atuf? Thebez. do. Tubas.
Timnath (-heres or} do. Tibneh.
Tiphsah. do. [Asira]? Tirzah. do. Talusa. Uzzen-sherah. do. [Suffa]? Zalmon. Mount. [Jebel Sleiman].
Central Palestine consists of an elevated district which rises from the flat ranges of the wilderness on the south of Judah, and terminates on the north with the slopes which descend into the great plain of Esdraelon. On the west a flat strip separates it from the sea, and on the east another flat strip forms the valley of the Jordan. Of this district the northern half was occupied by the great tribe we are now considering. This was the Haar- Ephraim, or "Mount Ephraim," a district which seems to extend as far south as Ramah and Bethel (1Sa 1:1; 1Sa 7:17; 2Ch 13:4,19, compared with 15:8), places but a few miles north of Jerusalem, and within the limits of Benjamin. (See below.) In structure it is limestone — rounded hills separated by valleys of denudation, but much less regular and monotonous than the part more to the south, about and below Jerusalem; with "wide plains in the heart of the mountains, streams of running water, and continuous tracts of vegetation" (Stanley, Palest. p. 225). All travelers bear testimony to the "general growing richness" and beauty of the country in going northwards from Jerusalem, the "innumerable fountains" and streamlets, the villages more thickly scattered than anywhere in the south, the continuous corn-fields and orchards, the moist, vapory atmosphere (Martineau, pages 516, 521; Van de Velde, 1:386-8). These are the "precious things of the earth, and the fullness thereof," which are invoked on the "ten' thousands of Ephraim" and the "thousands of Manasseh" in the blessing of Moses. These it is which, while Dan, Judah, and Benjamin are personified as lions and wolves, making their lair and tearing their prey among the barren rocks of the south, suggested to the lawgiver, as they had done to the patriarch before him, the patient "bullock" and the "bough by the spring, whose branches ran over the wall" as fitter images for Ephraim (Ge 49:22; De 33:17). And centuries after, when its great disaster had fallen on the kingdom of Israel, the same images recur to the prophets. The "flowers" are still there in the "olive valleys," "faded" though they be (Isa 28:1). The vine is an empty, unprofitable vine, whose very abundance is evil (Ho 10:1); Ephraim is still the "bullock," now "unaccustomed to the yoke," but waiting a restoration to the "pleasant places" of his former "pasture" (Jer 31:18; Ho 9:13; Ho 4:16) — "the heifer that is taught and loveth to tread out the corn," the heifer with the "beautiful neck" (Ho 10:11), or the "kine of Bashan on the mountain of Samaria" (Am 4:1).
The wealth of their possession had not the same immediately enervating effect on this tribe that it had on some of its northern brethren, e.g., Asher (q.v.). Various causes may have helped to avert this evil.
1. The central situation of Ephraim in the highway of all communications from one part of the country to another. From north to south, from Jordan to the Sea — from Galilee, or still more distant Damascus, to Philistia and Egypt — these roads all lay more or less through Ephraim, and the constant traffic along them must have always tended to keep the district from sinking into stagnation.
2. The position of Shechem, the original settlement of Jacob, with his well and his "parcel of ground," with the two sacred mountains of Ebal and Gerizim, the scene of the impressive and significant ceremonial of blessing and cursing; and the tomb and patrimony of Joshua, the great hero not only of Ephraim, but of the nation — the fact that all these localities were deep in the heart of the tribe, must have made it always the resort of large numbers from all parts of the country — of larger numbers than any other place, until the establishment of Jerusalem by David. Moreover, the tabernacle and the ark were deposited within its limits, at Shiloh; and the possession of the sacerdotal establishment, which was a central object of attraction to all the other tribes, must, in no small degree, have enhanced its importance, and increased its wealth and population. It is, perhaps, to this fact that David alludes in Ps 132:6, if by "Ephratah" this tribe is there meant. 3. But there was a spirit about the tribe itself which may have been both a cause and a consequence of these advantages of position. That spirit, early domineering and haughty (Jos 17:14), though sometimes taking the form of noble remonstrance and reparation (2Ch 28:9-15), usually manifested itself in jealous complaint at some enterprise undertaken or advantage gained in which they had not a chief share. To Gideon (Jg 8:1), to Jephthah (Jg 12:1), and to David (2Sa 19:41-43), the cry is still the same in effect — almost the same in words — "Why did ye despise us that our advice should not have been first had?" "Why hast thou served us thus that thou calledst us not?" The unsettled state of the country in general, and of the interior of Ephraim in particular (Judges 9), and the continual incursions of foreigners, prevented the power of the tribe from manifesting itself in a more formidable manner than by these murmurs during the time of the Judges and the first stage of the monarchy. Samuel, though a Levite, was a native of Ramah in Mount Ephraim, and Saul belonged to a tribe closely allied to the family of Joseph, so that during the priesthood of the former and the reign of the latter the supremacy of Ephraim may be said to have been practically maintained. Certainly in neither case had any advantage been gained by their great rival in the south. But when the great tribe of Judah produced a king in the person of David, the pride and jealousy of Ephraim were thoroughly awakened, and it was doubtless chiefly through their means that Abner was enabled for a time to uphold the house of Saul; for there are manifest indications that by, this time Ephraim influenced the views and feelings of all the other tribes. They were at length driven by the force of circumstances to acknowledge David upon conditions; and were probably not without hope that, as the king of the nation at large, he would establish his capital in their central portion of the land. Again, the brilliant successes of David, and his wide influence and religious zeal, kept matters smooth for another period, even in the face of the blow given to both Shechem and Shiloh by the concentration of the civil and ecclesiastical capitals at Jerusalem. Twenty thousand and eight hundred of the choice warriors of the tribe, "men of name throughout the house of their father," went as far as Hebron to make David king over Israel (1Ch 12:30). Among the officers of his court we find more than one Ephraimite (1Ch 27:10,14), and the attachment of the tribe to his person seems to have been great (2Sa 19:41-43). But as he not only established his court at Jerusalem, but proceeded to remove the ark thither, making his native Judah the seat both of the theocratic and civil government, the Ephraimites, as a tribe, became thoroughly alienated, and longed to establish their own ascendency. The building of the temple at Jerusalem, and other measures of Solomon, strengthened this desire; and although the minute organization and vigor of his government prevented any overt acts of rebellion, yet the train was then laid, and the reign of Solomon, splendid in appearance but oppressive to the people, developed both the circumstances of revolt and the leader who was to turn them to account. Solomon saw through the crisis, and if he could have succeeded in killing Jeroboam, as he tried to do (1Ki 11:40), the disruption might have been postponed for another century. As it was, the outbreak was deferred for a time, but the irritation was not allayed, and the insane folly of his son brought the mischief to a head. Rehoboam probably selected Shechem — the old capital of the country — for his coronation, in the hope that his presence and the ceremonial might make a favorable impression, but in this he failed utterly, and the tumult which followed shows how complete was the breach — "To your tents, O Israel! now see to thine own house, David!" Rehoboam was certainly not the last king of Judah whose chariot went as far north as Shechem, but he was the last who visited it as a part of his own dominion, and he was the last who, having come so far, returned unmolested to his own capital. Jehoshaphat escaped, in a manner little short of miraculous, from the risks of the battle of Ramoth-Gilead, and it was the fate of two of his successors, Ahaziah and Josiah — differing in everything else, and agreeing only in this — that they were both carried dead in their chariots from the plain of Esdraelon to Jerusalem.
Thenceforth the rivalry of Ephraim and Judah was merged in that between the two kingdoms; although still the predominance of Ephraim in the kingdom of Israel was so conspicuous as to occasion the whole realm to be called by its name, especially when that rivalry is mentioned. This title is particularly employed in the prophetical books (Isa 9:8; Isa 17:3; Isa 28:3; Ho 4:17; Ho 5:3; Ho 9:3). When the land of Ephraim is meant, the word is fem. in the original (Ho 5:9); when the people, masc. (Isa 7:8). Thus in two senses the history of Ephraim is the history of the kingdom of Israel, since not only did the tribe become a kingdom, but the kingdom embraced little besides the tribe. This is not surprising, and quite susceptible of explanation. North of Ephraim the country appears never to have been really taken possession of by the Israelites. Whether from want of energy on their part, or great stubbornness of resistance on that of the Canaanites, certain it is that of the list of towns from which the original inhabitants were not expelled, the great majority belong to the northern tribes, Manasseh, Asher, Issachar, and Naphtali. In addition to this original defect there is much in the physical formation and circumstances of the upper portion of Palestine to explain why those tribes never took any active part in the kingdom. They were exposed to the inroads and seductions of their surrounding heathen neighbors — on one side the luxurious Phoenicians, on the other the plundering Bedouins of Midian; they were open to the attacks of Syria and Assyria from the north, and Egypt from the south; the great plain of Esdraelon, which communicated more or less with all the northern tribes, was the natural outlet of the no less natural high roads of the maritime plain from Egypt, and the Jordan valley for the tribes of the East, and formed an admirable base of operations for an invading army. But, on the other hand, the position of Ephraim was altogether different. It was one at once of great richness and security. Her fertile plains and well-watered valleys could only be reached by a laborious ascent through steep and narrow ravines, all but impassable for an army. There is no record of any attack on the central kingdom, either from the Jordan valley or the maritime plain. On the north side, from the plain of Esdraelon, it was more accessible, and it was from this side that the final invasion appears to have been made. But even on that side the entrance was so difficult and so easily defensible — as we learn from the description in the book of Judith (4:6, 7) — that, had the kingdom of Samaria been less weakened by internal dissensions, the attacks even of the great Shalmaneser might have been resisted, as at a later date were those of Holofernes. There are few things more mournful in the sacred story than the descent of this haughty and jealous tribe, from the culminating point at which it stood when it entered on the fairest portion of the Land of Promise the chief sanctuary and the chief settlement of the nation within its limits, its leader the leader of the whole people — through the distrust which marked its intercourse with its fellows, while it was a member of the confederacy, and the tumult, dissension, and ungodliness which characterized its independent existence, down to the sudden captivity and total oblivion which closed its career. Judah had her times of revival and of recurring prosperity, but here the course is uniformly downward — a sad picture of opportunities wasted and personal gifts abused. 'When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt... . I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms, but they knew not that I healed them. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love ... but the Assyrian shall be their king, because they refused to return... . How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim?" (Ho 11:1-8). SEE ISRAEL, KINGDOM OF.
2. MOUNT EPHRAIM, a mountain or group of mountains in Central Palestine, in the tribe of the same name, on or towards the borders of Benjamin (Jos 17:15; Jos 19:50; Jos 20:7; Jg 7:24; Jg 17:1; 1Sa 9:4; 1Ki 4:8). From a comparison of these passages it may be collected that the name of "Mount Ephraim" was applied to the whole of the ranges and groups of hills which occupy the central part of the southernmost border of this tribe, and which are prolonged southward into the tribe of Benjamin. (See above.) In the time of Joshua these hills were densely covered with trees (Jos 17:18), which is by no means the case at present. In Jer 1:19, Mount Ephraim is mentioned in apposition with Bashan, on the other side of the Jordan, as a region of rich pastures, suggesting that the valleys among these mountains were well watered and covered with rich herbage, which is true at the present day. Joshua was buried in the border of his own inheritance in Timnath-heres, "in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash" (Jg 2:9).
EPHRAIM, GATE OF
(שִׁעִר אֶפּרִיַם; Sept. πύλη Ε᾿φραϊvμ), one of the gates of the city of Jerusalem (2Ki 14:13; 2Ch 25:23; Ne 8:16; Ne 13:31), doubtless, according to the Oriental practice, on the side looking towards the locality from which it derived its name, and therefore on the north, probably at or near the position of the present "Damascus gate." SEE JERUSALEM.
EPHRAIM, WOOD OF
(יִעִר אֶפרִיַם; Sept. δρυμὰς Ε᾿φραϊvμ), a forest (the word yaar imploring dense growth), in which the fatal battle was fought between the armies of David and of Absalom (2Sa 18:6), and the entanglement in which added greatly to the slaughter of the latter (verse 8). It would be very tempting to believe that the forest derived its name from the place near which Absalom's sheep-farm was situated (2Sa 13:23), and which would have been a natural spot for his headquarters before the battle, especially associated as it was with the murder of Amnon. Moreover, there appears to have been another woodland of Ephraim in the mountains belonging to that tribe in this neighborhood (Jos 17:15-18).
But the statements of Jos 17:18,18, and also the expression of 18:3, "That thou succor us out of the city," i.e., Mahanaim, allow no escape from the conclusion that the locality was on the east side of Jordan, though it is impossible to account satisfactorily for the presence of the name of Ephraim on that side of the river. The suggestion is due to Grotius that the name was derived from the slaughter of Ephraim at the fords of Jordan by the Gileadites under Jephthah (Jg 12:1,4-5); but that occurrence took place at the very brink of the river itself, while the city of Mahanaim and the wooded country must have lain several miles away from the stream, and on the higher ground above the Jordan valley. Is it not at least equally probable that the forest derived its name from this very battle? The great tribe of Ephraim, though not specially mentioned in the transactions of Absalom's revolt, cannot fail to have taken the most conspicuous part in the affair, and the reverse was a more serious one than had overtaken the tribe for a very long time, and possibly combined with other circumstances to retard materially their rising into an independent kingdom. But others suppose that it was because the Ephraimites were in the habit of bringing their flocks into this quarter for pasture; for the Jews allege that the Ephraimites received from Joshua, who was of their tribe, permission to feed their flocks in the woodlands within the territories of any of the tribes of Israel; and that, as this forest lay near their territories on the other side the Jordan, they were wont to drive their flocks over to feed there (see Jarchi, Kimchi, Abarbanel, etc., on 2Sa 18:6). It is probably referred to under the name EPHRATAH SEE EPHRATAH (q.v.) in Ps 132:6, where the other member of the verse has "fields of the wood." Others, however, not unreasonably suppose this to be a different locality. SEE FOREST.
2. In "Baal-hazor, which is 'by' Ephraim," was Absalom's sheep-farm, at which took place the murder of Amnon, one of the earliest precursors of the great revolt (2Sa 13:23). The Hebrew particle עִם, rendered above "by" (A.V. "beside"), always seems to imply actual proximity, and therefore we should conclude that Ephraim was not the tribe of that name, but a town. The cities of Dan and Asher are other instances of localities beyond the tribes, yet bearing their names; and the former suggests that the appellation may in all these cases have arisen by colonization. Ewald conjectures that the place here in question is identical with EPHRAIN, EPHRO, and OPHRAH of the O.T., and also with the EPHRAIM which was for a time the residence of our Lord (Gesch. 3:219, note). But with regard to the first three names there is the difficulty that they are spelt with the guttural letter ayin, and this is very rarely exchanged for the aleph, which commences the name before us. The Sept. makes the following addition to verse 34: "And the watchman went and told the king, and said, I have seen men on the road of the Oronen (τῆς ὠρωνῆν, Alex. τῶν ὀρεωνῆν) by the side of the mountain." Ewald considers this to be a genuine addition, and to refer to Beth-horon, N.W. of Jerusalem, off the Nablus road, but the indication is surely too slight for such an inference. Any force it may have is against the identity of this Ephraim with that in Joh 11:54, which was probably in the direction N.E. of Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the best solution of the question appears to be to identify this place with the one following. SEE BAAL-HAZOR.
3. A city (Ε᾿φραϊvμ λεγομένην πόλιν) "in the district near the wilderness," to which our Lord retired with his disciples when threatened with violence by the priests in consequence of having raised Lazarus from the dead (Joh 11:54). By the "wilderness" (ἔρημος) is probably meant the wild uncultivated hill-country N.E. of Jerusalem, lying between the central towns and the Jordan valley (see Lightfoot, Hor. Hebrews pages 97, 953). In this case the conjecture of Dr. Robinson is very admissible, that OPHRAH SEE OPHRAH (q.v.) of Benjamin (Jos 18:23) and Ephraim are identical, and that their modern representation is et-Taiyibeh, a village on a conspicuous conical hill, commanding a view "over the whole eastern slope, the valley of the Jordan and the Dead Sea" (Researches, 2:121). It is placed by Eusebius (Onomast. s.v. Ε᾿φρών) eight Roman miles north of Jerusalem, while Jerome, with more probability, makes the distance 20 Roman miles. This indication would seem to make it the same with the EPHRAIN or EPHRON which is mentioned in 2Ch 13:19, along with Bethel and Jeshanah, as towns taken from Jeroboam by Abijah. This, again, is doubtless the same which Josephus also names (Ε᾿φραϊvμ) along with Bethel as "two small cities" (πολίχνια), which were taken and garrisoned by Vespasian while reducing the country around Jerusalem (War, 4:9, 9). It is likewise probably identical with the EPHRAIM (see above) near Baal-Hazor (2Sa 13:23). SEE APHAEREMA.