Aphek (biblical)

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The name Aphek refers to either:

  • Locations mentioned by the Bible as the scenes of a number of battles, which have been thought since the turn of the 20th century to refer to the same location.
    • Most famously, a town near which one or more rulers of Damascus named Benhadad, were defeated by the Israelites (1 Kings 20:26, 30; 2 Kings 13:17). The site is disputed; the common opinion in the early 20th century was that the town lay east of the Jordan and that the name is preserved in the depopulated Fiq (near Kibbutz Afik), three miles east of the Sea of Galilee, where Tell Afik or Tell Soreg has been excavated. Another option in that vain is Tell Ein Gev (near Ein Gev). A later opinion, however, has focused on regarding this Aphek as the same as the scene of two battles against the Philistines mentioned by the Bible - the supposition[citation needed] being that the Syrians were invading Israel from the western side as being the 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 Tel Afek near Haifa or Afqa in Lebanon.

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