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also known as: Ephrath

Meaning: fruitful

This was the name of a biblical woman and an important town of Messianic prophecy.

  1. Ephratah, the 2nd wife of Caleb, the son of Hezron, mother of Hur, and grandmother of Caleb, who was one of those that were sent to spy the land (1 Chronicles 2:19, 50)

  2. Ephratah was the ancient name of BETHLEHEM in Judah (Genesis 35:16, 19; 48:7). Prior to the Israelite conquest of Canaan, it was inhabited by Canaanites. In Ruth 1:2 it is called “Bethlehem-Judah,” but the inhabitants are called “Ephrathites;” in Micah 5:2, “Bethlehem-Ephratah;” in Matthew 2:6, “Bethlehem in the land of Judah.”

    In Psalm 132:6 it is mentioned as the place where David spent his youth, and where he heard much of the ark of the covenant, although he never saw it till he found it long afterwards at Kirjath-jearim; i.e., the “city of the wood,” or the “forest-town” (1 Samuel 7:1; compare 2 Samuel 6:3-4).

    Bethlehem, formerly known as Ephratah/Ephrath, and today a Palestinian town—satellite view