News

【The Wood of Ephraim】

The ‘Wood of Ephraim’ was mentioned only once in the Bible (2 Samuel 18:6-17).
One may think the ‘Wood of Ephraim’ should be in the land of Ephraim that lies on the west side of the Jordan River. But, according to 2 Samuel 17:24-26, a battle took place in a dense forest called the ‘Wood of Ephraim’ east of the Jordan River and north of the Jabbok River near the city of Mahanaim in Gilead. The exact location of this forest is still unknown.

Absalom, King David’s third son, formed a rebellious uprising coalition against David. He crowned himself as king at Hebron (2 Samuel 15:1-10) and was gaining much power (2 Samuel 15:12).
Before Absalom’s planned attack, King David left Jerusalem with all his household and personal guards (2 Samuel 15:14-16). They moved north-eastward, crossed the Jordan River, and arrived at Mahanaim in Gilead. As soon as David was settled, he found out Absalom and his army also arrived in Gilead (2 Samuel 17:24-26).
The Battle at the Wood of Ephraim was recorded in 2 Samuel 18:6-17. Our filming team found a rugged highland on the north side of Mahanaim. This area is filled with overgrown vegetation and mystic rocks. It is difficult to navigate through even today.

One can imagine the challenges Absalom’s army faced as they fought in such unfamiliar and harsh terrain. Perhaps the soldiers were confused as soon as they entered the forest. The Bible tells us the pursuit through the forest resulted in more deaths than the actual combat did (2 Samuel 18:7-8).

On the other hand, David’s army was united and courageous. While the two armies were fighting furiously, Absalom arrived. Unfortunately, his long hair lock caught onto the branches of an old oak tree and his mule ran ahead. He was left hanging by his hair. Joab, David’s general, disobeyed the explicit order to not harm Absalom and killed Absalom while he was hanging on the tree defenselessly.

…the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands. (1 Samuel 17:47)

References:
聖經地名詞典 白雲曉編著 北京中央編譯出版社 2001.12
聖經地理 馬自毅編著 上海學林出版社 2005.7
簡明聖經史地圖解 梁天樞著 上海人民出版社,
Holy Light Bible Geography: http://biblegeography.holylight.org.tw/