Ephraim (ēˈfrēəm) [key], in the Bible, younger son of Joseph and Asenath and eponymous ancestor of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. His tribe occupied the rugged country around Shiloh that later came to be called Mt. Ephraim. Ephraim was also a name for the Northern Kingdom when Israel was territorially reduced, the land of outlying northern tribes having been conquered (8th cent.) by the Assyrians.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.