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Monday, December 17 2012
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."
"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?
"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:
"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."
"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.
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)
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).
"24:28 So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.
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.
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."
"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.
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.
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).
"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)
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.
Fact Finder: Why was it necessary for Joshua and Eleazar to succeed Moses and Aaron?
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.