In this book, we want to tell the story of Joseph’s younger son, a man by the name of Ephraim (“Eph-rai-eem”). Ironically, while most of them do not know it, many of the Christians descend from Ephraim both spiritually and physically. His descendants are called Ephraimites, and a great many prophecies over Ephraim are being fulfilled today. Once we understand these prophecies, the daily news becomes easier to understand. It also becomes possible to obey the Messiah Yeshua (whom some call Jesus) in a way it is not possible to obey Him, before we realize what the prophecies say.
This book is written as a study. While we will reprint the relevant passages here, we hope you will feel free to check these things in your own Scriptures, as the noble Bereans also did.
Ma’asei (Acts) 17:10-11
10 Then the brethren immediately sent Shaul [Paul] and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
Although Ephraim does not appear until near the end of Genesis, we will start at the beginning, to make the story easier to follow. The entire book of Genesis is also considered prophetic, in that it sets patterns which recur throughout Scripture. One such pattern is that Adam and Havvah (Eve) were allowed to live in the Creator Yahweh’s (Jehovah’s) land as long as they obeyed His commands. However, when they disobeyed His commands, they were driven out.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 3:24
24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Adam and Havvah’s fall from Yahweh’s favor (grace) set a long chain of events in motion, which would eventually lead to salvation being offered to all mankind through Yahweh’s Son, Yeshua. We will see how Ephraim plays a key role in this restorative process, but first we need to know more about the patriarchs.
Noach (Noah) had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Yepheth (Japheth).
B’reisheet (Genesis) 5:32
32 And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah begot Shem, Ham, and Yepheth.
Shem’s descendants filled the Middle East, and they also spread east into Asia, and the Americas. The name Shem is Strong’s OT:8034, meaning name, both in the sense of an appellation (pronunciation), and also in the sense of one’s honor, reputation, or renown.
OT:8034 shem (shame); a primitive word [perhaps rather from OT:7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare OT:8064]; an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character:
Yepheth’s descendants spread northward into Europe. The name Yepheth is Strong’s OT:3315, and it refers to expansion.
OT:3315 Yepheth (yeh’-feth); from OT:6601; expansion; Jepheth, a son of Noah; also his posterity:
Yepheth’s expansive nature helps to explain why the European Christians were imperialistic. As brutal as imperialism is, we will see that Yahweh used Yaphet to spread the Good News of salvation in Yeshua to many other nations (so Yahweh used it for good).
Ham first went south, into Africa. The name Ham (Kham) refers to a hot, tropical climate.
OT:2526 Cham (khawm); the same as OT:2525; hot (from the tropical habitat); Cham, a son of Noah; also (as a patronymic) his descendants or their country:
In one of the farthest-reaching prophecies in all of Scripture, Noach prophesied that the children of Yaphet (Europe) would one day dwell in the tents of Shem (i.e., in the Middle East).
B’reisheet (Genesis) 9:27
27 May Elohim [God] enlarge Yaphet, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant.”
Later we will see that when this takes place, many of the children of Ephraim will return home at the same time, in the great ingathering prophesied by Yeshua Messiah.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 8:11
11 “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Avraham, Yitzhak [Isaac], and Yaakov [Jacob] in the kingdom of heaven.”
While Noach had obeyed Yahweh’s command to build an ark in order to save himself and his family, Avram (later Avraham) was told to leave his home and his father’s house, even though his father was still alive.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 12:1-3
1 Now Yahweh had said to Avram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.
2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
When Yahweh told Avram that “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed,” He meant that every family on earth would eventually inherit some of Avram’s DNA. This can be difficult for people to imagine, but if we pour a bucket of dye into a swimming pool, eventually the dye circulates to all parts of the pool. Later we will see that there have been many such “buckets of dye” in history, with the children of Israel being scattered repeatedly. What this means is that because all of mankind has inherited some of Avraham’s genetics, all mankind is now subject to the promises given to Avraham (and also his grandson Yaakov).
Yahweh told Avram that he would have an heir that came from his own body.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 15:4
4 And behold, the word of Yahweh came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.”
Yet ten years later, when his wife Sarai (Sarah) had not yet conceived, she brought her maidservant Hagar the Egyptian to Avram, to bear a child for her.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 16:3-4
3 Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan.
4 So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes.
That Hagar was an Egyptian tells us that she kept one of the faiths practiced in Egypt at that time. However, in addition to the gods included in the ancient Egyptian pantheon, foreign traders were also allowed to worship their gods (because trade brought revenue to the king). Hindu merchants traveled from Egypt to India along the old Silk Road, and they set up centers of worship in the places their travels took them. Some believe that Hagar may have been a Hindu, as Hindus have no qualms about selling their daughters into slavery. If this was the case it would help to explain a surprising number of similarities between Hindu Shiva Lingham (black stone) worship, and Islam (which also worships a black stone, called the Ka’aba, which is in Mecca).
After Hagar conceived, she despised her mistress Sarai (Sarah), so Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled. Genesis 16:7 tells us a messenger (angel) of Yahweh found Hagar by a spring of water, which is symbolic of the Spirit. The messenger told Hagar to go back and submit to Sarai, who symbolizes Israel. This gives us a hint (Hebrew: remez) that the Muslim people will one day also receive the spirit (through Messiah Yeshua).
B’reisheet (Genesis) 16:6-9
6 So Avram said to Sarai, “Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please.” And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.
7 Now the messenger of Yahweh found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.
8 And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”
9 The messenger of Yahweh said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.”
Hagar would then bear a son, Ishmael. He is the father of those who would later become the Muslim people.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 16:11
11 And the messenger of Yahweh said to her: “Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because Yahweh has heard your affliction.”
Yahweh then changed Avram’s name to Avraham, and told Avraham that He would give the land of Canaan to him and his descendants (including Ishmael).
B’reisheet (Genesis) 17:5-8
5 “No longer shall your name be called Avram, but your name shall be Avraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be Elohim to you and your descendants after you.
8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their Elohim.”
However, while Ishmael would one day receive the Spirit through Messiah Yeshua, the covenant was to come through Sarah’s son Yitzhak (Isaac).
B’reisheet (Genesis) 17:19-21
19 Then Elohim said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Yitzhak; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.
20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.
21 But My covenant I will establish with Yitzhak, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.”
When Yitzhak was weaned, Ishmael scoffed at him. In the context of inheritance and kingship, this could be a precursor to a possible future assassination. Sarah therefore told Avraham to send Ishmael away.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 21:9-10
9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing.
10 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Yitzhak.”
Although Avraham was very displeased, Yahweh said to heed Sarah’s voice, and so he sent Hagar and Ishmael away. However, the name Ishmael means “Elohim shall hear,” and Elohim heard Ishmael’s cry. Elohim then showed Hagar a well of water (also symbolic of the waters of the Spirit).
B’reisheet (Genesis) 21:17-21
17 And Elohim heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of Elohim called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, “What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for Elohim has heard the voice of the lad where he is.
18 Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.”
19 Then Elohim opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink.
20 So Elohim was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.
21 He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Paran is in the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, where Mecca and Medina are located. It is the cradle of Islam.
Sarah’s son Yitzhak later took Rivkah (Rebecca) as a wife. Rivka conceived twins, Esau and Yaakov (Jacob), who struggled together within her.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 25:22-23
22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of Yahweh.
23 And Yahweh said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.”
Because Esau was born first, he inherited the birthright (i.e., the right to lead, as king). However, Esau despised his birthright, and infamously sold it to Yaakov (Jacob) for a bowl of stew.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 25:30-34
30 And Esau said to Yaakov, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.
31 But Yaakov said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.”
32 And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?”
33 Then Yaakov said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Yaakov.
34 And Yaakov gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
The birthright and the blessing go together, because the kingship requires the benefits of the blessing in order to rule. Yaakov therefore tricked Esau out of his blessing (Genesis 27). Because of this, Esau hated Yaakov, and thought to kill him.
41 So Esau hated Yaakov because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Yaakov.”
In Tanach (Old Testament) times, Esau dwelt in the south of Jordan. However, today the spirit of Esau dwells in Rome, in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is a type of fraternal twin for Israel in that both the Catholic Church and Israel claim to descend from the Father in heaven. Rome struggles against Israel, and Israel also struggles with Rome. The reason Esau-Rome shows such favoritism towards Islam is that Esau historically married Ishmael’s daughter Mahalath.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 28:9
9 So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife in addition to the wives he had.
Because Esau plotted to kill him, Yaakov fled to Haran. During a dream Yahweh promised that his descendants would spread to the north, to the south, to the east, and to the west, and that all of the families of the earth would be blessed in him, and in his Seed. Yahweh also said He would not leave him until this had happened.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 28:12-15
12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the messengers [angels] of Elohim were ascending and descending on it.
13 And behold, Yahweh stood above it and said: “I am Yahweh Elohim of Avraham your father and the Elohim of Yitzhak; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.
14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
The Apostle Shaul (Paul) tells us that the Seed refers to Yeshua, the Messiah.
Galatim (Galatians) 3:16
16 Now to Avraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Messiah.
However, this blessing is in two parts. The other part is that Yaakov’s physical children would go to all the four corners of the earth, and intermix with every family on earth, so that every family on earth would one day be heir to the promises of salvation in Messiah Yeshua. Then one day a remnant would return home. As we will see in succeeding chapters, this is the role played by Ephraim.
In the next chapter we will meet Yaakov’s four wives, and their children.
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