EPHRAIM MAḲSHA'AH (="the Objector"):
Scholar of the second century; disciple of R. Meïr. He is known only for several homiletic remarks in the name of his teacher. One accounts for the selection of Obadiah for the mission of evil tidings to the Edomites by asserting that this prophet was himself an Edomite, a proselyte to Judaism: his mission to that people illustrated the proverb, "From the woods themselves something must go into the hatchet [which is to fell the trees]" (Sanh. 39a; compare Yalḳ. to Obad. i. 1, § 545).