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Tribe of Ephraim

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According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Ephraim (Hebrew: אֶפְרַיִם / אֶפְרָיִם, Efrayim) was one of the Tribes of Israel. The Tribe of Manasseh together with Ephraim also formed the House of Joseph.

So the descendants of Joseph formed two of the tribes of Israel, each of the other sons of Jacob was the founder of only one tribe. Thus there were in reality thirteen tribes; but the number twelve was preserved by excluding that of Levi when Ephraim and Manasseh are mentioned separately. (Numbers 1:32-34 ; Joshua 17:14,17 ; 1Chronicles 7:20 ) From after the conquest of Canaan by Joshua, who himself was a descendent of Ephraim (1Chronicles 7:20-27 ), in 1200 BCE, until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in 1050 BC, the Tribe of Ephraim was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government existed, and in times of crisis the people were led by ad hoc leaders known as Judges. (see the Book of Judges) With the growth of the threat from Philistine incursions, the Israelite tribes decided to form a strong centralised monarchy to meet the challenge, and the Tribe of Ephraim joined the new kingdom with Saul as the first king. After the death of Saul, all the tribes other than Judah remained loyal to the House of Saul, but after the death of Ish-bosheth, Saul's son and successor to the throne of Israel, the Tribe of Ephraim joined the other northern Israelite tribes in making David, who was then the king of Judah, king of a re-united Kingdom of Israel. However, on the accession of Rehoboam, David's grandson, in 930 BC the northern tribes split from the House of David to reform a Kingdom of Israel as the Northern Kingdom. The first king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel was Jeroboam, who came from the Tribe of Ephraim. (1Kings 11:26 ) The accents of the tribes were distinctive enough even at the time of the confederacy so that when the Israelites of Gilead, under the leadership of Jephthah, fought the Tribe of Ephraim, their pronunciation of shibboleth as sibboleth was considered sufficient evidence to single out individuals from Ephraim, so that they could be subjected to immediate death by the Israelites of Gilead. Ephraim was a member of the Northern Kingdom until the kingdom was conquered by Assyria in 723 BC and the population deported. From that time, the Tribe of Ephraim has been counted as one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. However, some see Ezekiel 37:16-19 as prophesying that one day Ephraim (the Lost Tribes) and Judah (the Jewish People) will be made one people again. However, some who also see that before this takes place, Zechariah 11:14 , Zechariah 9:10 , Jeremiah 30:1-5 indicates that Ephraim and Judah will be in conflict with each other, and that Deuteronomy 33:17 also indicates that Ephraim would one day be in a conflict with many nations



Remark: Joshua, son of Nun is named also as Oshea, Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Hoshea, Jeshua, Jesus as on genealogy

Tribal territory

Map of the twelve tribes of Israel, before the move of Dan to the North. The Tribe of Ephraim has its territory surrounded by the territories of Dan, Manasseh and Benjamin