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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Hebrews Eyphah', עֵיפָה , gloom), the name of a tribe (including that of the founder), also of a woman and of a Prayer of Manasseh 1:1. (Sept. Γεφάρ v.r. in Chron. Γαιφάρ, Isaiah Γαιφά .) The first in order of the five sons of Midian (Genesis 25:4; 1 Chronicles 1:33), B.C. cir. 1988; afterwards mentioned by Isaiah in the following words: "The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify tlhe house of my glory" (Isaiah 60:6-7). This passage clearly connects the descendants of Ephah with the Midianites, the Keturahite Sheba, and the Ishmaelites, both in the position of their settlements and in their wandering habits, and shows that, as usual, they formed a tribe bearing his name. But no satisfactory identification of this tribe has been discovered. The Arabic word Gheyfeh, which has been supposed to be the same as Ephah, is the name of a town, or village, near Pelusium, or Bulbeys (the modern Bilbeys), a place in Egypt, in the province of Sharklyeh, not fai from Cairo; but the tradition that Ephah settled in Africa does not rest on sufficient authority. (See MIDIAN).

2. (Sept. Γαιφά .) A concubine of Caleb, of the tribe of Judah, by whom she had several sons (1 Chronicles 2:46). B.C. post 1856.

3. (Sept. Γαιφά .) A son of Jahdai, who was apparently the grandson of the oldest of the foregoing sons (1 Chronicles 2:47). B.C. long post 1856.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ephah'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Ephah (2)