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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Ephraim (ç'fra-ĭm), double land, two-fold increase, very fruitful. The second son of Joseph, born in Egypt before the famine, Genesis 41:50-52, and therefore upwards of 20 at Jacob's death. Joseph, when he was apprised of his father's sickness, was anxious to obtain the recognition of his sons Manasseh and Ephraim. Jacob adopted them as patriarchs, or heads of tribes, equally with his own sons. But he placed the younger, Ephraim, before the elder, Manasseh, "guiding his hands wittingly," in spite of Joseph's remonstrance, and prophetically declaring that the posterity of Ephraim should be far greater and more powerful than the posterity of Manasseh. Genesis 48:1-22. The territory of Ephraim lay in the centre of Canaan, south of Manasseh and north of Benjamin and Dan, extending from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. It was about 55 miles long, and about 30 miles in its greatest breadth. It was well watered and fertile, fulfilling the blessing of Moses in Deuteronomy 33:13-16.

Ephraim, Gate of. One of the gates of ancient Jerusalem, 2 Kings 14:13; 2 Chronicles 25:23; Nehemiah 8:16; Nehemiah 12:39; probably on the north side, as the present Damascus gate is.

Ephraim, Mount. A name applied to the hill-country of Ephraim, extending from Bethel to the plain of Jezreel; called also the "mountains of Israel," R. V. "hill country of Israel," Joshua 11:21, and "mountains of Samaria." Jeremiah 31:5-6; Amos 3:9.

Ephraim, Wood of. A forest in which the great battle was fought when Absalom was killed. 2 Samuel 18:6. It lay east of the Jordan, in Gilead, near Mahanaim. Thick woods of oaks and terebinths still exist in that region.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Ephraim'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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