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1 Nephi 1:1 and Meaning of Ephraim


David Bokovoy

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I recently had a friend ask my feelings about the name Ephraim as a name meaning "twice fruitful." I shared the following response that I hoped might interest a few folks in this forum (I know we have lots and lots of apostates to discuss and condemn, so it's perhaps just wishful thinking on my part).

As I see it, there are two problems with interpreting the name Ephraim as

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Just thinking of some Biblical place names:

Ophrah: aleph + peh + resh

Ephra-thah: aleph + peh + resh

Afula: aleph + peh + lamed (okay, okay . . . it's not an exact match, but l's and r's seem to switch back and forth in a whole lot of languages)

Is Ephraim named for the place (Mount Ephraim) or is the place named for the person?

USU "Thinks Nephi is named for the place mentioned in 2 Maccabbees" 78

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You are on a roll.

I'm amazed at how often the nephilim idea comes up. Its an idea that even my 2nd grade grammar teacher would have nixed!

Puns and wordplay seem to me an integral part of ancient blessings and cursings, in fact of the narrative itself, but I can't think of any concrete examples off the top of my head. Nicknames too were a big part, I mean, what mother would have named her sons Machlon and Chilion? Sickly and Terminal, those have got to be nicknames.

Mind you, linking Ephraim and fruitfulness is logical, because fruitful is what land should be.

Anyway, nice work, I like the connection between blessings and fruitfulness.

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Just thinking of some Biblical place names:

Ophrah: aleph + peh + resh

Ephra-thah: aleph + peh + resh

Afula: aleph + peh + lamed (okay, okay . . . it's not an exact match, but l's and r's seem to switch back and forth in a whole lot of languages)

Is Ephraim named for the place (Mount Ephraim) or is the place named for the person?

USU "Thinks Nephi is named for the place mentioned in 2 Maccabbees" 78

Afula!! That makes me smile. I love the Jezreel Valley, though for some reason my parents dislike Afula with a vengeance.

In the Amarna letters Afula is, I think, Afuru, so your instinct seems to be right.

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You are on a roll.

I'm amazed at how often the nephilim idea comes up. Its an idea that even my 2nd grade grammar teacher would have nixed!

Puns and wordplay seem to me an integral part of ancient blessings and cursings, in fact of the narrative itself, but I can't think of any concrete examples off the top of my head. Nicknames too were a big part, I mean, what mother would have named her sons Machlon and Chilion? Sickly and Terminal, those have got to be nicknames.

Mind you, linking Ephraim and fruitfulness is logical, because fruitful is what land should be.

Anyway, nice work, I like the connection between blessings and fruitfulness.

Thanks so much, Brother. Means a lot coming from you. All credit of course goes to the Book of Mormon which honestly features so many amazing literary and cultural links with the Bible. Whether or not it's claims of ancient authenticity are correct, these insights clearly illustrate in my mind what a profound work it truly is! Personally, I haven't even touched the tip of the ice berg yet in terms of actually writing down the thousands of insights that I've gleaned from its pages. Someday. Honestly, though, what I'm really excited about is seeing more over the years how you're able to use your unique background to help us appreciate this book of scripture as a "Jewish" work. Call me philo-Semitic, but that prospect to me is truly exciting!

Best.

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Thanks so much, Brother. Means a lot coming from you. All credit of course goes to the Book of Mormon which honestly features so many amazing literary and cultural links with the Bible. Whether or not it's claims of ancient authenticity are correct, these insights clearly illustrate in my mind what a profound work it truly is! Personally, I haven't even touched the tip of the ice berg yet in terms of actually writing down the thousands of insights that I've gleaned from its pages. Someday. Honestly, though, what I'm really excited about is seeing more over the years how you're able to use your unique background to help us appreciate this book of scripture as a "Jewish" work. Call me philo-Semitic, but that prospect to me is truly exciting!

Best.

And praise means a lot coming from you. There aren't too many LDS at Brandeis.

The BoM truly is amazing, something the chlorophom-in-print crowd won't see. One of the things I like about MADB is that most here are interested in discussion and debate.

I'm glad that my upbringing has been neither orthodox Jewish nor secular, but more nationalistic, becuase that encouraged me to study HISTORY.

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Afula!! That makes me smile. I love the Jezreel Valley, though for some reason my parents dislike Afula with a vengeance.

In the Amarna letters Afula is, I think, Afuru, so your instinct seems to be right.

What's the name of that Kibbutz near Afula? Met a guy on my mission (about '74) named Ben Bauer in Austria. He haled from there. The address was "Kibbutz ____, near Afula, Israel." We spent about 4 hours discussing Isaiah and the restoration to haEretz on a train and even exchanged some letters. He's no doubt long gone by now, but was a very kind man to teach me, a schlemiel from Utah, like that.

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What's the name of that Kibbutz near Afula? Met a guy on my mission (about '74) named Ben Bauer in Austria. He haled from there. The address was "Kibbutz ____, near Afula, Israel." We spent about 4 hours discussing Isaiah and the restoration to haEretz on a train and even exchanged some letters. He's no doubt long gone by now, but was a very kind man to teach me, a schlemiel from Utah, like that.

There are a lot of kibbutzim near Afula! Maybe he meant Nahalal, which has an interesting concentric layout, one Joseph Smith and Brigham Young could appreciate.

Have you ever read Meir Shalev's novel, I think in English itis called the Blue Mountain, he tells the story of the kibbutzim in that area. A minor classic.

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There are a lot of kibbutzim near Afula! Maybe he meant Nahalal, which has an interesting concentric layout, one Joseph Smith and Brigham Young could appreciate.

Have you ever read Meir Shalev's novel, I think in English itis called the Blue Mountain, he tells the story of the kibbutzim in that area. A minor classic.

I'll look into the book. Hadn't heard of it.

Wasn't Nahalal. It had a short name. Dang! Getting more and more lowly.

BTW: Got invited to a second Hannukah session last night. They let me actually light up. Fun stuff.

I still think the dreidl was loaded, though. Shin 6 times in a row? Puhlease!

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I'll look into the book. Hadn't heard of it.

Wasn't Nahalal. It had a short name. Dang! Getting more and more lowly.

BTW: Got invited to a second Hannukah session last night. They let me actually light up. Fun stuff.

I still think the dreidl was loaded, though. Shin 6 times in a row? Puhlease!

haha you should insist on playing with Israeli dreidls- no shin! Peh instead.

We are sneaky like that.

Maybe it was Mizra, pork capital of Israel.

My hanukia is still in the mail =(

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haha you should insist on playing with Israeli dreidls- no shin! Peh instead.

We are sneaky like that.

Maybe it was Mizra, pork capital of Israel.

My hanukia is still in the mail =(

It'll probably show up in Monday's mail . . . just in time for next Hannukah. What'd you order? Brass? Silver? Aluminum?

Mizra . . . is that something like Mizraim?

It might well have been. It smells right.

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What's the name of that Kibbutz near Afula? Met a guy on my mission (about '74) named Ben Bauer in Austria. He haled from there. The address was "Kibbutz ____, near Afula, Israel." We spent about 4 hours discussing Isaiah and the restoration to haEretz on a train and even exchanged some letters. He's no doubt long gone by now, but was a very kind man to teach me, a schlemiel from Utah, like that.

It is my remembrance that most Israelis and Palestinians were outwardly friendly and gregarious yet somehow reserved. That may not make any sense but that is how they oft times struck me.

There are probably several Kibbutzim from that vicinity but the only one that is memorable for me is Kibbutz Mizra. The reason it is memorable is that during the year I spent in the "Multinational Force and Observers" (MFO) that was where we obtained "non-kosher meat", i.e., pork for the MFO. Kibbutz Mizra near Afula was its address.

I hope this helps.

Edit:

Well it looks like others have beat me to the posting. That'll teach me to start something in the AM, get interrupted by grandchildren and then finish after they left without checking for new posts with the same information.

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I recently had a friend ask my feelings about the name Ephraim as a name meaning "twice fruitful." I shared the following response that I hoped might interest a few folks in this forum (I know we have lots and lots of apostates to discuss and condemn, so it's perhaps just wishful thinking on my part).

As I see it, there are two problems with interpreting the name Ephraim as

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I was taught that Hebrew did have the dual number. It is really only retained in symmetric parts though: eyes, wings, horns, legs, etc.

I could be (and likely am) wrong though.

Those have to be qualified by stating that it is a pair, zug. A pair of eyes, a pair of legs, a pair of horns, otherwise it could be any number of eyes, legs, horns....

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Well, I used to live in New York, so I know a little Yiddish.....

Seriously, thank you guys- good thread.

Boy that Joseph was pretty crafty to work all these little things in wasn't he?? :P

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