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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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EPHRAIM.John 11:54 only. After the raising of Lazarus, Jesus departed, in consequence of the plots of the chief priests against Him, ‘unto a country ( Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘into the country’) near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.’

There are scarcely any textual variations. TR spells Ἐφραΐα; Lachmann, Tischendorf, Westcott-Hort spell Ἑφραὶμ; Stephanus, 1550, had on the margin the reading Ἑφρὲμ, which is supported by א L and Latin witnesses, and the name Σαμφουρείμ as to be supplied after χώραν. This is the reading of D, Sapfurim in its Latin part, for which Chase (Syro-Lat. Text of Gospels, 108) and R. Harris (A Study of Codex Bezœ, p. 184) suggested that σαμ might be the Heb. שׁם ‘the name’; but more probable is the identification with Sepphoris, which in Jos. Ant. xiv. 91 is spelt Σατφὁροις (v.ll. Σαμφὸροις and other forms); so Jerome (s.v. ‘Araba’ in OS 17. 13 f.): ‘Diocaesareae, quae olim Safforine dicehatur.’

Eusebius in his Onomasticon says (ad Ephron, Joshua 15:9) καἰ ἔστι νῦν κώμη Ἐφραὶμ μεγίστη περὶ τἀ βόρεια Αἰλίας ὠς ἀπὸ σημείων κ; in the Latin rendering of Jerome: ‘est et villa pergrandis Efrœa nomine contra septentrionem in vicesimo ab aelia miliario’ (ed. Klostermann, p. 86. 1, 90. 18). With this has been identified Afra [=עִפָרָה Joshua 18:23]: ‘in tribu Beniamin; et est hodie vicus Efraim in quinto miliario Bethelis ad orientem respiciens’ (p. 29. 4; the Greek text [28. 4: καὶ νῦν ἔστι κώμη Αἰφρὴλ ἀπό] is here defective); further, 1 Maccabees 11:34 = Jos. Ant. xiii. 127 [ed. Niese]: τοὺς τρεῖς νομοὐς Ἀφαίρεμα (v.l. Ἀφέρεμα) καὶ Αύδδα καὶ Ῥαμαθείν; finally, the notice of Josephus (BJ iv. 551), that Vespasian took Βήθηγά τε (earlier reading Βαιθήλ or Βηθήλ) καὶ Ἐφραὶμ πολίχνια. Since Robinson, the site has been sought at the modern ct-Taiyibeh, 4 miles N.E. from Bethel. Schürer (GJV3 i. 233) quotes Robinson, ii. 332–338; Guérin, Judéc, iii. 45–51; Buhl, GAP p. 177; Heidet, art. ‘Ephrem’ in Vigouroux’s Dict. ii. 1885 ff.; cf., further, art. ‘Ephraim’ by J. H. Kennedy in Hastings’ DB, and by T. K. Cheyne in Encyc. Biblica.* [Note: Schürer (GJV3 ii. 163, n. 435) is certainly right in rejecting the identification of Sapfurim with Sepharvaim (2 Kings 17:24) put forward by Resch (TU x. 4, pp. 141, 204) and approved by Blass (Ev. sec. Joh. 1902, p. xl), and in finding in Sapfurim the name of the town Sepphoris, which covered a very large area. But it is not vet certain whether Codex D has preserved here a correct tradition. Luke 9:16 offers similar variations in the text (τολιν καλουμενην, τότον λεγομενον, τότον ἐ͂ρημον, etc). Ἐφραια might itself be derived from Sepphoris, the first letter being dropped after the ς of εἱς.]

Origen compares, for the retirement of Jesus, Matthew 4:12 f. and then allegorizes: Ephraim, according to Genesis 41:51 f. ‘καρτοφοριαʼ; ἀτῆλθεν ἑκεϊθεν εἰς τὴν χώραντοῦ ἁλου κὀσμου,’ ἐλλὺς τῆς ἐρήμουἐκκλησιαεἰς Ἐφραΐμ τὴνκαρτοφοροῦσανλεγομἑνηντόλιν, etc. (new Berlin edition, pp. 420, 551). About the site he says nothing.

Eb. Nestle.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Ephraim'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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