E'pher (Hebrews id. עֵפֶר, the gopher, so called from its gray or ashy color), the name of a tribe (including that of its founder) and of two men.
1. (Sept. Α᾿φείρ v.r. Ο᾿φείρ, in Chron. Ο᾿φέρ, Vulg. Opher and Epher.) The second in order of the sons of Midian (Ge 25:4; 1Ch 1:33), Abraham's son by Keturah. B.C. post 1988. According to Gesenius, the name is equivalent to the Arabic Ghifr, signifying "a calf," and "a certain little animal, or insect, or animalcule." Two tribes bear a similar appellation, Ghifar; but one was a branch of the first Amalek, the other of the Ishmaelite Kinaneh (comp. Caussin, Essai sur l'Hist. des Arabes, 1:20, 297, 298; and Abulfeda, Hist. Anteislamica, edit. Fleischer, page 196): neither is ascribed to Midian. The first settled about Yethrib (El-Medineh); the second in the neighborhood of Mekkeh. SEE MIDIAN.
2. (Sept. Α᾿φέρ v.r. Γαφέρ, Vulg. Epher.) The third son of Ezra, a descendant of the tribe of Judah, and apparently of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (1Ch 4:17). B.C. cir. 1618.
3. (Sept. Ο᾿φέρ, Vulg. Epher.) The head of one of the families of Manasseh cast, who were carried away by Tiglath-Pileser (1Ch 5:24). B.C. ante 740. The name may be compared with that of Ophrah (q.v.), the native place of Gideon, in Manasseh, on the west of Jordan.