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Ephah (/ˈ.fɑː/,[1] Hebrew: עֵיפָה‘Êp̄āh) was one of Midian's five sons as listed in the Hebrew Bible.[2] The son of Abraham, Midian's five sons were Ephah, Epher, Enoch, Abida,[3] and Eldaah. These five were the progenitors of the Midianites.

Other uses[edit]

Biblical Figure[edit]

The name of three persons in the Old Testament, both masculine and feminine.

(1) The son of Midian, descended from Abraham by his wife Keturah (Genesis 25:4 ; 1 Chronicles 1:33), mentioned again in Isaiah 60:6 as a transporter of gold and frankincense from Sheba, who shall thus bring enlargement to Judah and praise to Yahweh. According to Fried. Delitzsch, Schrader, and Hommel, `Ephah is an abbreviation of `Ayappa, the Kha-yappa Arabs of the time of Tiglath-pileser III and Sargon.

(2) A concubine of Caleb (1 Chronicles 2:46).

(3) The son of Jahdai, a descendant of Judah (1 Chronicles 2:47).[4]


The Book of Isaiah, chapter 60, mentions a land of Ephah whence camels and dromedaries would come to Israel: "A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah". K E Bailey suggests Ephah is a tribal land in northern Arabia.[5]


The Hebrew word "ephah" (איפה) means a particular measure for grain, and "measure" in general.

The measurement for an ephah is about 36.4 litres, or ten omers,.[6] A dry measure of about one bushel capacity. It corresponds to the bath in liquid measure and was the standard for measuring grain and similar articles since it is classed with balances and weights (Leviticus 19:36 ; Amos 8:5) in the injunctions regarding just dealing in trade. In Zechariah 5:6 - 5:10 it is used for the utensil itself.

Regarding the absolute value of the measures of capacity among the Hebrews there is rather more uncertainty than there is concerning those of length and weight, since no examples of the former have come down to us; but their relative value is known. Sir Charles Warren considers them to have been derived from the measures of length by cubing the cubit and its divisions, as also in the case of weight. We learn from Ezekiel 45:11 that the bath and ephah were equivalent, and he (Warren) estimates the capacity of these as that of 1/30 of the cubit cubed, or about 2,333.3 cubic inches, which would correspond to about 9 gallons English measure.).[7]


  1. ^ LDS.org: "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «ē´fä»
  2. ^ Genesis 25:1–4; I Chronicles 1:32–33
  3. ^ R. V. "Abida"
  4. ^ "Bibler.org - Dictionary - Ephah". 2012-05-27. 
  5. ^ K E Bailey, Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes, SPCK London 2008 p. 54
  6. ^ Exodus 16:36
  7. ^ "Bibler.org - Dictionary - Ephah". 2012-05-27.