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APHEK:

The name of several places mentioned in the Old Testament, of which the most famous was the scene of a severe defeat of Ben-hadad II. of Damascus by Ahab, king of Israel (I Kings, xx. 29 et seq.). See Aphek, Battle of. The site is disputed. The common opinion is that the town lay east of the Jordan and that the name is preserved in the modern Fek, three miles east of the Sea of Galilee, on the edge of the plain of Jordan. Latterly the opinion has gained credence that it was the same Aphek as that mentioned in Josh. xii. 18 and I Sam. iv. 1, in the north of the plain of Sharon, the supposition being that the Syrians were invading Israel from the western side as being the most vulnerable. In the same place Joash also gained a victory over the Syrians under Ben-hadad III. (II Kings, xiii. 17). See also illustration, p. 664.

Bibliography:
  • Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, index, s.v.;
  • Buhl, Geographie des Alten Palästina, p. 212.
J. F. McC.
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