Notes for Zepho:
His name in Hebrew is: צפו Tsephôw (tsef-o’) Strongs #: 6825; observant.
Only mentioned twice in Gen. 36:11 & 15, he is also known as “Zephi” in I Chron.
1:36, but Jasher goes into a lot more detail about him.
Eliphaz, Zepho’s father was about 39 years old when Zepho was born.
Zepho may have been about 44 when he learned of the death of his great-uncle Jacob,
and that he was to be buried in Canaan, so he went with his father Eliphaz and his
grandfather Esau to mourn for Jacob. However, when Esau found out that Jacob was
to be buried in Machpelah Cave, a battle ensued in which Esau was beheaded by Zepho’s
2nd cousin, Hushim. With Esau dead, the skirmish ended, but another battle ensued
in Hebron, but in this battle Zepho was taken captive by the sons of Jacob as well
as some of the men of the Edomites and were taken to Egypt. (1)
While Zepho was in Egypt, he became a slave to the sons of Jacob, but his father
Eliphaz came to the rescue but ended up being defeated again. (2)
When 33 years past after being captured by the sons of Jacob (Zepho is about 77 at
this time), Zepho’s brethren attempted to try to free Zepho out of Egypt by waging
battle again, but it was a failure as well, but what increased his grief more is
that Joseph added more bonds of iron to him and his brethren. (3)
When Zepho had been a slave to the sons of Jacob for 55 years, (Zepho is about 99),
he finally escaped with his men, and this was immediately after Joseph died. Upon
fleeing Egypt, he went to the land of Dinhabah where King Angeas received him and
his men with great honor, and King Angeas made Zepho a captain of his armies. (4)
Now that Zepho was the captain of the army, Zepho did his best to get King Angeas
to go and fight the Egyptians, but Angeas wouldn’t listen to him. However, Zepho
continued to suggest making war against Egypt, and every time he did, his proposition
was turned down. (5)
Through the three years that Zepho remained the Captain of King Angeas’ armies, Zepho
continued to pester the king about warring against Egypt. Finally, King Angeas consented
to Zepho’s demands of going to war. However, we wanted to make sure he would win,
so he called a fifteen year old soothsayer by the name of Balaam.
Through Balaam’s divinations, King Angeas saw that it would be pointless to war against
the sons of Jacob and the Egyptians. (6)
When Zepho learned of the king reneging on going to war, Zepho left Dinhabah and
went to the land of Chittim where he was hired to fight their battles and Zepho became
extremely rich from the payments he received. (7)
When the people of Chittim saw Zepho’s valor, they made him king of their country,
so Zepho was made king around the age of 103. (8)
In Jasher 62:25, we come across a mathematical error which explains that Zepho’s
30th year of reigning in Chittim was also the 91st year of the Israelites going down
to Egypt. If that was possible, then he would have started reigning 10 years before
Joseph died, which would have been 10 years before Zepho escaped Egypt. In actuality,
Zepho had only been reigning as King of Chittim for 15 years.
After Zepho had reigned over Chittim for 26 years (Zepho is about 129 at this time)
he received word that King Angeas of Dinhabah was coming to do battle against him,
so Zepho smote Angeas’ army until none remained to return home. (9)
When Angeas heard of what Zepho did to his army, Angeas sent a larger army, so Zepho
sent a letter to his Edomite brethren to come to his aid, but Zepho’s request was
denied for the Edomites were in league with King Angeas and could not fight against
him. Now, the only option that Zepho could do was to pray to Yahvah.
Yahvah heard Zepho’s prayer and delivered Angeas’ army into the hands of Chittim
and not one of Zepho’s men was killed. (10)
Through the victory he had over King Angeas, he forgot Yahvah and considered that
it was himself that conquered Angeas. (11)
Now that Zepho had conquered Angeas, he now felt that he was more than able to fulfill
his dream of warring with Egypt and the Children of Israel (since he heard that all
of Jacob’s sons were dead).
He called together his brethren the Edomites to war against Egypt (since they wouldn’t
war against Angeas), he also called the Ishmaelites as well to help in the war. (12)
Needless to say, the battle went very sore against Zepho. He was able to prevail
over the Egyptians, but when the Israelites joined the battle, everything went sour.
After this battle, Zepho reigned an additional 24 years and died around the age of
More about Zepho:
Burial: 1563BC in Nabna, Chittim