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Monday, December 17 2012

Mount Ephraim

The King James Version uses the term "Mount Ephraim" for the hill country area in what is today known as Samaria, in central Israel (Judea is to the south, Galilee is to the north). Much of the area was allotted to the tribe of Ephraim, hence its name, however it is also recorded in the KJV as the inclusive "mountains of Israel" (Joshua 11:21) and the "mountains of Samaria" (Jeremiah 31:5-6).

In the time of Joshua, when the Israelites entered the promised land, the area was densely wooded i.e. "the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine."

The Hill Country Of Ephraim

"17:14 And the children of Joseph [see Jacob's Blessing Of Ephraim And Manasseh] spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto?

17:15 And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.

17:16 And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Canaanites?] that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel.

17:17 And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only: 17:18 But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong." (Joshua 17:14-18 KJV)

"Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun" carried on the responsibilities that were first given to Moses and Aaron (see the Fact Finder question below). After everyone else had received their land, Joshua and Eleazar received land for themselves.

"19:49 When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Joshua] among them:

19:50 According to the word of the LORD [see What Does Word of God Mean To You?] they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.

19:51 These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel [see Israel In History and Prophecy: Jacob's Family], divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation [see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Tabernacle; see also Where Is Your Tabernacle?]. So they made an end of dividing the country." (Joshua 19:49-51 KJV)

"Cities of refuge" were established throughout the land of Israel as a place of refuge for an accused person, until their trial was held. West of the Jordan (see also Why East And West Manasseh?), the cities were located in Galilee, in the north, in Samaria, in the central area, and in Judea, in the south. "Shechem in mount Ephraim" was the city of refuge in the center of the country i.e. "Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah."

Tribal Territories

"20:1 The LORD [i.e. Jesus Christ; see The Kingdom Of The LORD God] also spake unto Joshua, saying, 20:2 Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: 20:3 That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.

20:4 And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them. 20:5 And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime. 20:6 And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled.

20:7 And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee [see also The Cities Of Lake Galilee] in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah. 20:8 And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh. 20:9 These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation." (Joshua 20:1-9 KJV)

As the priesthood, the Levites were distributed throughout all of the other tribes during the united kingdom era of Israel (they moved to the south after the division of Israel into "Israel" and "Judah"; see No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?). The Levites of the branch of Kohath resided at "Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim."

"21:1 Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest [see The Origin Of The Levite Priesthood; see also How Did The Messiah's Levite Priesthood Change?], and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel; 21:2 And they spake unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The LORD commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle. 21:3 And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the LORD, these cities and their suburbs." (Joshua 21:1-3 KJV)

"21:20 And the families of the children of Kohath, the Levites which remained of the children of Kohath, even they had the cities of their lot out of the tribe of Ephraim. 21:21 For they gave them Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Gezer with her suburbs, 21:22 And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs; four cities." (Joshua 21:20-22 KJV)

Joshua and Eleazar died of old age after leading Israel together for many years (see the Fact Finder question below). They were both buried in the area of Mount Ephraim, as were the bones of Joseph that had been carried out of Egypt during the Exodus over four centuries earlier (see A Biography Of Jacob: A Coat Of Many Colors).

Joseph's Tomb

"24:28 So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.

24:29 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.

24:30 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.

24:31 And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.

24:32 And the bones of Joseph [see A Biography Of Jacob: A Coat Of Many Colors], which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

24:33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim." (Joshua 24:28-33 KJV)

The era of the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges) lasted for about three centuries, from the time after the death of Joshua to the beginning of the Israelite monarchy with Saul and David (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Saul and David) in the time of Samuel (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Samuel). With its central location, Mount Ephraim (i.e. Samaria) was the scene of many events and battles of that time.

"3:26 And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath. 3:27 And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.

3:28 And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over. 3:29 And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man. 3:30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years." (Judges 3:26-30 KJV)

Deborah is one of the most famous of the Judges. She resided "between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment."

The Hill Of Timnath

"4:1 And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead. 4:2 And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. 4:3 And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.

4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. 4:5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah [see The Palm Tree Of Deborah] between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. 4:6 And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? 4:7 And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand." (Judges 4:1-7 KJV)

Gideon is also one of the most famous of the Judges (see Gideon's Trumpets). "Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan."

"7:19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. 7:20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

7:21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. 7:22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath. 7:23 And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites. 7:24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.

Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. 7:25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan." (Judges 7:19-25 KJV)

Samuel is regarded as the last of the Judges (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Samuel). He was dedicated to the service of the LORD by his mother Hannah, after the LORD answered her prayer to enable her to have children (see Hannah's Dedication).

Shechem

"1:1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: 1:2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children." (1 Samuel 1:1-2 KJV)

"1:17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.

1:18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

1:19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. 1:20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD." (1 Samuel 17-20 KJV)

After the division of Israel into "Israel" and "Judah," the area of Mount Ephraim became the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel. It remained so until they became the "Lost Ten Tribes" because of their idolatry and corruption (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Lost Ten Tribes).

"12:25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim [see Jeroboam Of Israel], and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel.

12:26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: 12:27 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah [see Rehoboam Of Israel And Judah].

12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 12:29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. 12:30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.

12:31 And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. 12:32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 12:33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense." (1 Kings 12:25-33 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why was it necessary for Joshua and Eleazar to succeed Moses and Aaron?
See From Moses And Aaron To Joshua and Eleazar


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This Day In History, December 17

546: The Siege of Rome: The Ostrogoths under king Totila plundered the city.

942: William I of Normandy was assassinated.

1399: Mongols under Tamerlane defeated forces of Mahmud Tughluk, Sultan of Delhi, at the Battle of Panipat.

1538: Pope Paul III excommunicated King Henry VIII after He defied Rome and established himself as head of the Church of England. British monarchs remain as head of the Church of England right to the present day.

1577: Francis Drake sailed from Plymouth, England, to explore the Pacific Coast of America (i.e. the continents of North and South America; "America" is actually a vast area from northern Canada to southern Argentina) for Queen Elizabeth I.

1718: Britain declared war on Spain.

1777: France recognized the independence of the New England colonies after their rebellion of 1776 (at the same time however, France hypocritically didn't tolerate independence efforts by any of its own colonies throughout North America, from Louisiana to eastern Canada).

1830: Simon Bolivar died at age 47. Known as the "Liberator," he freed Columbia in 1819 and was elected its president. He then took Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru from the Spain. Upper Peru was renamed Bolivia after him.

1862: General Ulysses Grant (U.S. President 1869-1877) issued "General Order Number 11" expelling all Jews from Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.

1903: Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first U.S. flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A Frenchman, Clement Ader, had flown 13 years earlier near Paris.

1909: King Leopold II of Belgium died at age 44.

1914: Beha-a-din, the Ottoman governor of Jaffa, ordered the immediate expulsion of the 6,000 Russian Jews living in the city. The same day, the police rounded up 700 of them, loaded them on an Italian steamer, and shipped them to Alexandria, Egypt (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1939: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the German battleship Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by its crew in Montevideo harbor after sustaining damage from British warships off the Rio de la Plata in South America. Its captain, Hans Langsdorff, later committed suicide.

1967: Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt drowned while swimming off Portsea, near Melbourne.

1969: The U.S. Air Force closed Project Blue Book, its study of UFOs, stating that UFO sightings are a result of "a mild form of mass hysteria, individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects."

1971: The India-Pakistan War over East Pakistan (later named Bangladesh) ended when 90,000 Pakistani troops surrendered.

1973: 32 people were killed at the Rome airport when terrorists threw bombs at a Pan Am jet and machine-gunned the terminal building.

1986: The first heart, lung and liver transplant took place, in Cambridge, England.

1991: Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev announced that the Soviet Union would cease to exist, and be replaced by a new commonwealth of independent states.

1997: General Uzi Narkiss died at age 72. Under his command, Israeli troops liberated Jerusalem's Old City during The Six Day War (see A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).

2005: U.S. journalist Jack Anderson died at age 83. In the time before today's "politically correct" tyranny turned "reporters" into obedient parrots for government/political propaganda, corporate sponsors or special-interest "minorities," Washington-based Anderson was best-known for his fearless investigations and exposure of numerous corrupt politicians and government bureaucrats during the Nixon administration.


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