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Bible Dictionaries

Holman Bible Dictionary

Ephah

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(ee' fuh) Personal name meaning, “darkness.” 1. Son of Midian and grandson of Abraham (Genesis 25:4 ). The line came through Abraham's wife Keturah rather than Sarah and did not inherit as did Isaac. Ephah was thus the original ancestor of a clan of Midianites, and the clan name could be used in poetry in parallel with Midian to talk about the Midianites (Isaiah 60:6 ). 2 . Concubine of Caleb and mother of his children (1 Chronicles 2:46 ). 3 . Son of Jahdai and apparently a descendant of Caleb (1 Chronicles 2:47 ).

An entirely different Hebrew word with a different first letter lies behind the English “ephah” as a dry measure of grain. It is one-tenth of a homer and equal to one bath of liquid (Ezekiel 45:11 ). It is also equal to 10 omers (Exodus 16:36 ). Thus it is about 40 liters, though we do not have enough information to make precise estimates. Estimates place it about half a bushel. The vision of Zechariah 5:7 of a woman sitting in an ephah basket contains the imaginative images of visions, for any ephah would be far too small for a woman to sit in. Israel was constantly warned not to have two ephah measures, one to buy by and one to sell with ( Deuteronomy 25:14; Proverbs 20:10 ). Compare Leviticus 19:36; Ezekiel 45:10; Amos 8:5 .

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Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Ephah'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/e/ephah.html. 1991.

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