1 Kings 15:9-10 and II Chron. 15:16 identify Maacah as the daughter of Absalom. From this, one would presume that Maacah was Asa’s mother and Abijam’s wife, except that I Kings 15:2 records this same Macaah as Abijam’s mother. II Chronicles 11:20-22 elaborates further that Maacah was Rehoboam’s favorite wife and that he passed over other sons to designate her son Abijam as crown prince. Finally, complicating things all the more, II Chron 13:2 records the name of Abijam’s mother as Micaiah daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.
Given all this contradictory information, there are two different possibilities: (1) Micaiah daughter of Urial and Maacah daughter of Absalom were two different people who have been confused. The former was the Rehoboam’s wife; the latter was Abijam’s wife and Asa’s mother. (2) There was only one Micaiah/Maacah. Abijam and Asa were brothers rather than father and son. Micaiah/Maacah was so respected politically that even when her first son, Abijam, dies she was able to secure the throne for her second son, Asa.
In either case, whether she was in fact his mother or grandmother, Maacah served as queen mother to Asa. Her chief function was senior counselor to the king. Maacah took a leadership role in the "Jerusalem cult," which worshiped local, non-Judaic gods, and when Asa reformed it he deposed Maacah for erecting an image for Asherah.
Maacah is also used in the Bible to refer to:
- A child of Abraham's brother Nachor, evidently a boy. (Gen. 22:23,24)
- The wife of Machir, Manasseh's son. (1. Chr. 7:15-16)
- One of the wives of Hezron's son Caleb. (1. Chr 2:48)
- A wife of David, and daughter of Talmai, King of Geshur (ib. iii. 3), a near neighbor of the Maachathites. David begat Absalom and Tamar with her.
- A King of Gath, to whose son, Achish, Shimei's servants fled early in Solomon's reign (1. Kings 2:39). About a half-century earlier than this event, David with 600 men had fled to Achish, son of Maoch, King of Gath (1. Samuel 27:2); but the identification of Maoch is doubtful, though kinship is exceedingly probable.
- The wife of Rehoboam, King of Judah, and mother of Abijam; in 1. Kings 15:2 she is called the daughter (or granddaughter) of Abishalom, but of "Absalom" in 2 Chronicles 11:20, 21. Hence, she was a granddaughter of King David's wife Maacah (above). She was removed from her position as queen mother by her grandson Asa (ib. xv. 16) because she had been involved in idolatry.
- The wife of Jeiel. (1.Chr. 8:29)
- The father of Hanan, who was a man in David's army. (1. Chr. 11:43)
- The father of Shephatiah, who was an office man in David's time. (1. Chr. 27:16)
The name is also used to refer to:
- A small Aramean kingdom east of the Sea of Galilee (I Chronicles 19:6). Its territory was in the region assigned to the half-tribe of Manasseh east of the Jordan. Maacah, its king, became a mercenary of the Ammonites in their war against David (II Samuel 10:6). It is probable that the city Abel of Beth-maachah in Naphtali (ib. xx. 15) derived its name from its relation to this kingdom and people.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Maacah". Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.
- Entry for the kingdom at the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1915
- Entry for the persons at the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, 1915
- Miller, J. Maxwell; Hayes, John H. (1986). A history of ancient Israel and Judah (1st ed. ed.). Philadelphia: Westminster Press. ISBN 066421262X.
- David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, Astrid B. Beck, ed. (2000). Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible ([Nachdr.] ed.). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdman. ISBN 0802824005.