Northern kingdom of Israelites aka Ephraim.


The Kingdom of Israel, also referred to as Ephraim due to the preeminent status of the Tribe of Ephraim within it, was the northernmost of the two kingdoms that comprised the divided Israelite monarchy following Solomon’s reign (1 Kings 12:1-20). This geopolitical entity emerged when the ten tribes seceded from the unified Kingdom of Israel around 931 B.C., rejecting the rule of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. The term “Israel” in the context of the northern kingdom is used distinctively throughout the Book of Mormon, particularly in passages quoted from Isaiah, to denote those tribes separate from the southern Kingdom of Judah.

The capital of the northern kingdom, Samaria, became synonymous with Israel itself, as it was the chief city and center of government and worship contrary to the ordinances of the Lord. Ephraim, along with the associated tribe of Manasseh, often led the northern tribes, and the two together were at times in conflict with the Kingdom of Judah (2 Nephi 19:21). Prophets were sent to Israel to admonish the people to abandon their idolatrous practices; among these were notable figures such as Elijah and Isaiah (2 Nephi 17:17, 19:8-9).

The Northern Kingdom’s existence was marked by periods of enmity and alliances with surrounding nations, sometimes including their southern kinsmen in Judah. This culminated in an ill-fated confederacy with Syria against Judah, a choice that eventually led to the kingdom’s vulnerability and final destruction. The Assyrian Empire, becoming a dominant force in the region, conquered and led much of Israel’s population into captivity, thus dispersing the northern tribes (2 Nephi 17:8, 21:13). The Book of Mormon explains the scattering of Israel as a prelude to a future gathering in the latter days, emphasizing the continuity and prophetic destiny of Jacob’s lineage (2 Nephi 21:13). The Northern Kingdom, Ephraim, and its role in the history and prophecy of the house of Israel, therefore, stand as significant considerations within the scriptural narrative of the Book of Mormon.


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