The name Aphek refers to either:
- one or several locations mentioned by the Hebrew Bible as the scenes of a number of battles between the Israelites, and the Arameans or Philistines.
- Since the turn of the 20th century the predominant opinion is that the location of all these battles is one and the same, and that the town lay east of the Jordan. Initially it was thought that the name is preserved in the now depopulated village of Fiq near Kibbutz Afik, three miles east of the Sea of Galilee, where an ancient mound, Tell Soreg, had been identified. Excavations by Moshe Kochavi and Pirhiya Beck in 1987-88 have indeed discovered a fortified 9th- and 8th-century BCE settlement, probably Aramean, but Kochavi considered it to be too small to serve the role ascribed to Aphek in the Bible. The site most favoured now by the archaeologists is Tel 'En Gev/Khirbet el-'Asheq, a mound located within Kibbutz Ein Gev.
A more recent theory has focused on regarding this same Aphek also as the scene of the two battles against the Philistines[dubious ] mentioned by the Bible - the supposition being that the Syrians[dubious ] were invading Israel from the western side, which was their most vulnerable.
- A place at which the Bible states that the Philistines had encamped, while the Israelites pitched in Eben-Ezer, before the Battle of Aphek in which the sons of Eli were killed.
- A city of the Tribe of Issachar, near to Jezreel, in the north of the Sharon plain. The scene, according to the Bible (1 Samuel 4:1; 29:1; compare 28:4), of another encampment of the Philistines, which led to the defeat and death of Saul.
- Aphik, a city of the tribe of Asher. Identified as either Tel Afek near Haifa, or Afqa in Lebanon.
- The Golan Heights: A Battlefield of the Ages, LA Times, 11 September 1988
- Shuichi Hasegawa, Aram and Israel during the Jehuite Dynasty, Tel Soreg, p 72
- Avraham Negev, Shimon Gibson (2001). Aphek (c). Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land (New York: Continuum). p. 39. ISBN 0-8264-1316-1.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Aphek". Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.