We mean not here the land of Ephraim, but a certain town in the confines of that land: of which you read 2 Chronicles 13:19; and of which the Talmudic writers speak: |What is the best flour,| to be offered in the Temple? |Michmas and Mezonechah obtain the first place for fine flour; Ephraim in the valley obtains the next place to them.| These words are not read the same way by all.
Those of the Mishnaioth, in the eighth chapter, read, as we have writ it: the Tosaphtah also reads Michmas: but the Talmud...: the Aruch also hath Michmas: but for Mezonechah, it hath Zanoah...the Talmud Ephoraim: the Gloss saith, |Ephoraim is a city, of which it is thus written in the books of the Chronicles, 'And Abijah took Ephraim.'|
The Gemarists read it after the same manner, Ephraim, this story being added; |Jannes and Mambres said to Moses, Do you bring straw into Ephraim?| Which the Aruch reciting, adds these words; |There was a city in the land of Israel, very fruitful in bread-corn, called Ephraim: when Moses therefore came with his miracles, -- Jannes and Mambres, who were the chief of Pharaoh's magicians, said unto him, This is our business, and we can do thus with our enchantments; you therefore are like one bringing straw into Ephraim, which is the city of bread-corn, and out of which is provision for many places: therefore, how doth any carry in straw thither?| &c.
Josephus, speaking of Vespasian, hath these words; |After he went into the hill country, he took two Toparchies, -- namely, Gophnitica and Acrabatena: and, together with them, Beth-el and Ephraim, two small cities.| Into this Ephraim, we suppose it was that Christ retired, in that story, John 11:54.
Let us also add these things from the places alleged above. R. Josi saith, |They brought also of the wheat of Barchaim, and of Caphar Achum; which were near Jerusalem.|
|For oil, Tekoa deserves the first praise. Aba Saul saith, Ragab, beyond Jordan, obtains the next to it. R. Eliezer Ben Jacob saith, Gush Chalab, in Galilee, obtains the third place.|
Karchiim and Atolin |produce the best wine: Beth Rimmah and Beth Laban, in the hilly country, -- and Caphar Sigana, in the valley, next to them.|
Let us also add these words elsewhere: |He eateth all manner of victuals, and eateth not flesh: the clusters of figs of Keila are brought in. He drinks all manner of drink, but he drinks not wine: honey and milk are brought in.| And elsewhere: |He eateth the clusters of Keila, and drinks honey and milk, and enters into the Temple.|