Aphek and surrounding area

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Joshua 13:4 on the south; all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, to Aphek, to the border of the Amorites;

Joshua 19:30 Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty-two cities with their villages.


a'-fek ('apheq, "fortress"; Aphek):

(1) In Joshua 12:18 we should probably read with the Septuagint "the king of Aphek in Sharon." This may correspond to Aphek in 1 Samuel 4:1. It was a royal city of the Canaanites whose king was slain by Joshua. Probably it is the Aphek mentioned by Josephus as being near to Antipatris (BJ, II, xix, 1). Kakon, a strong position commanding the main entrance to Samaria might suit; but the name has perished.

(2) (Greek Taphek or Apheka): A city in the lot of Asher (Joshua 13:4). The inhabitants were not ejected by Asher, nor is it said that they became tributary (Judges 1:31). In this passage it is written 'aphiq (Hebrew). It may be represented by 'Afqa on Nahr Ibrahim, although this is probably farther north than we should expect.

(3) To this place the Philistines gathered their hosts, while the Israelites pitched by the fountain which is in Jezreel (1 Samuel 29:1). It has been generally supposed that these two positions were over against each other, and that therefore Aphek must be sought in the plain of Esdraelon. No place answering this description has been found here. Fuqu`ah on Mount Gilboa is plainly impossible. If, however, this was only the rallying point of the Philistines from which they went up to Jezreel (1 Samuel 29:11), it may be identical with the Aphek in the plain of Sharon (compare 1 Samuel 29:1 above).

(4) A city on the plateau east of the Jordan, where disaster befell Benhadad (1 Kings 20:26, 30). The same place may be intended in 2 Kings 13:17. The modern Fiq or Afiq (for both forms are heard) on the brow of the hill beyond Qal`at el-Chucn, east of the Sea of Galilee, probably represents this ancient city.

W. Ewing

A'PHEK, strength � there are five places referred to in Scripture by this name.

1. The site of the most northern is at the village Afha, high up on the Lebanon, almost due w. of Ba'albek 18 ms. and about 13 ms. from the sea. Here there are watertalls, springs and luxuriant foliage, but its famous temple, erected to Venus, was destroyed by order of Constantine because of the impure rites practised therein.

2. Now called Fik, 4 ms.e. of the sea of Galilee, 1140 ft above the Mediterranean and 1767 ft. above the sea of Galilee; it is a great caravan station abounding in water; 1 Kings 20:26-30; 2 Kings 13:17.

3. That of 1 Sam 29:1 is not known.

4. That of 1 Sam. 4.1 is 16 � ms. s.w. of Jerusalem and 3 ms. n.w. of Shocho, and supposed to be at the ruins called Belled el Foka', Foka means the upper.

5. That of Josh. 12:18 is not known. Aphekah and Aphek are probably the same as No. 4, and these names are found in Josh. 15:53; Judg. 1:31.

Strong's Hebrew
H663: Apheq

perhaps "fortress," the name of several places in Palestine

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