Is There a Hidden Message in the Cities of Ephraim?

I was feeling hungry for the Word this Sabbath. I’ve been in a rhythm where I’ve spent the day listening to Torah portions and streaming teaching videos, but I’ve missed just sitting and reading. So, on Saturday, I opened up my beat-up, written-in Bible and landed on Joshua 17. You should know by now how much I love the number 17.

The chapter describes the allotment of land to Manasseh, which isn’t something I’ve ever paid attention to. You know how it is…there’s a list of cities described and wonder, “What does this have to do with now, today?”

How’s that for hubris? I should have known better.

I’ve done a lot of work on name translation when they’re given in a series. You can read about it in my Summary of Name Translations blog post if you’re interested. Remembering that is was such a list (the genealogy of Jesus Messiah, in particular) that got my attention to this beautiful thread woven through the entire Bible, I thought I might do the same for this list of cities. But because I’ve often heard that Ephraim is representative of the United States, I moved backward in scripture to the end of Joshua 16. Here’s the list of city names that prescribe the boundaries of the land given to Ephraim and the translation compiled from Blue Letter Bible and Abarim Publications.

Ataroth-addar: Crowns of Glory (Gem. 890) In the New Testament, 1Pe 5:4 says “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” That’s a very interesting connection to the cities listed for Ephraim. Proverbs 16:31 also mentions a crown of glory for us oldsters. “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” Hoary means gray hair. I’ve definitely become very hoary headed since 2017. I hope it’s because of the scriptural meaning.

Beth-Horon: House of Kiln or Hollow/House of Freedom (Gem. 682) There are two cities named Beth-Horon (upper and lower) which were built by Sheera, who is either a daughter or grand-daughter of Ephraim. He was, as you know, half gentile, adopted by Israel, though he was begotten of Joseph. An interesting point is that Sheera is from the word sha’ar which means to remain, be a remnant, to be a small but perpetually surviving portion of a much larger original mass that was eliminated.

Michmethath: Hiding Place (Gem. 900, excluding the hey/of at the beginning of the word) One of the codes I found in the Psalms years ago held the phrase “hidden for their protection.” I’ve always thought that the tribes that went missing were hidden by God for their own protection. It could well be that many of them wound up in the US, in addition to other areas of the world.

Taanath-shiloh: Approach or Entrance to Shiloh (Gem. 1186) But alternative definitions based on etymology also lead to the definition serendipitous retreat (as in refuge).

Janoah: Yah+Rests (Gem. 119) This is mentioned twice, as if for emphasis but I only counted it once in the Gematria total.

Ataroth: Crowns (Gem. 685) This is a proper noun.

Naarath: Maiden/Handmaid (Gem. 725) The word Naarah is handmaid or servant in other places in scripture. However, the word has an extra letter in Joshua. The DoItInHebrew translator says it means Daughter, or Her Daughter with the extra letter.

Jericho: Of the Moon (Gem. 234) Jericho is spelled three different ways in scripture. I give the version used in Joshua and 2 Kings. The bride of Christ is often pictured as the moon who reflects the light of the sun.

Jordan: Descending (Gem. 264) The phrase used is “went out at Jordan” which also means exited or departed at Jordan. At no point does the word used mean end, bounded by, or stopped at. Interesting, right? The Jordan is representative of our Baptism and is the river at which Joshua led the people on Nisan 10. It’s around April 12 this year, if you go by the sighting of the crescent moon. That’s a Tuesday, the only day of creation in scripture that has a double “And it was good” from God. The original verb means to go away from a prominent place.

Tappu-ah: Apple City (Gem. 886) Our most-known and most-visited city is The Big Apple, New York City. It was the city in which our founding fathers gathered to organize resistance to the Crown, and served as our nation’s capital and the place of George Washington’s inauguration.

Kanah: Reed. (Gem. 155) This is the same place as Cana, the site of Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding feast. But, Elkanah, Samuel’s father, is a combination of El+Kanah, or God+Redeemed. So it’s possible that Kanah also means Redeemed.

Still with me? Let’s run these definitions all together with some added articles, prepositions, and conjunctions to see what we get.

Place Name


Gematria Value


Crowns of Glory (in the)



House of Freedom, (a)



Hiding Place (of)



Serendipitous Refuge.



Yah Rests, Yah Rests.



(The) Crowns,






(the) moon



departing from (the)



City of Apples,







Total Gematria

6,726 or 6000+726 (harpazo!)

Harpazo plus 6,000 years? That can’t be a coincidence. 

Combine it with the sentence these words imply: “Crowns of glory in the house of freedom, a hiding place of serendipitous refuge. Yah rests, yah rests. The Crowns, handmaidens, the moon, departing from the City of Apples, Redeemed.”

Wow. I’ve certainly missed doing these kinds of studies as they bless me so much. I sincerely hope you enjoy them, as well, and that they give you so much hope that you’re dancing on your tippy-toes just waiting for your redemption. God is so, so good. The Word is absolutely perfect. All glory and credit to God, whose Holy Spirit leads me down these paths of study.

Also, a big shout out to Pastor Sandy Armstrong of Soldiers for Christ in Long Beach, CA. His word studies and deep dives into the Hebrew language have been an inspiration to me. Check out Soldiers for Christ on YouTube if you’re interested in learning more.

Eyes up!