The name Ephah in the Bible
The name Ephah is applied to both men and women in the Bible:
- A woman named Ephah is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:46. She is a concubine of Caleb (not the famous friend of Joshua but the other Caleb, the son of Hezron) and the mother of Haran, Moza and Gazez.
The male Ephahs are:
- A son of Midian, son of Abraham with Keturah (Genesis 25:4).
- A son of Jahdai, who is mentioned in the genealogy of Judah (1 Chronicles 2:47).
Etymology of the name Ephah
The name Ephah comes from the Hebrew root group עוף ('up I & II):
The name Ephah appears to be identical to the noun עיפה ('epa), used by Isaiah to mean gloom. But the fundamental meaning of this word seems to be covering.
What the original name-giver meant to say with the name Ephah is not clear, but taking into account the full compass of the root, it means both Volant and Darkling, or even more fundamental: Covering. In that sense, the name Ephah reflects somewhat the same idea as the name Lot.
NOBSE Study Bible Name List translates this name with Dark One; Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Darkness.