From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Smith's Bible Dictionary [1]

A'phek. (Strength). The name of several places in Palestine.

1. A royal city of the Canaanites, the king of which was killed by Joshua,  Joshua 12:18, probably the same as Aphekah in  Joshua 15:53.

2. A city, apparently in the extreme north of Asher,  Joshua 19:30, from which the Canaanites were not ejected,  Judges 1:31, though here it is Aphik . This is probably the same place as Aphek ,  Joshua 13:4, on the extreme north "border of the Amorites," identified with the Aphaca of classical times, the modern Afka .

3. A place at which the Philistines encamped while the Israelites pitched in Eben-ezer, before the fatal battle in which the sons of Eli were killed and the Ark was taken.  1 Samuel 4:1. This would be somewhere to the northwest of and at no great distance from Jerusalem.

4. The scene of another encampment of the Philistines, before an encounter not less disastrous than that just named, the defeat and death of Saul.  1 Samuel 29:1. It is possible that it may be the same place as the preceding.

5. A city on the military road from Syria to Israel.  1 Kings 20:26. It is now found in Fik , at the head of the Wady Fik , six miles east of the Sea of Galilee.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [2]

Aphek ( Â'Fek ), Strength. The name of several towns. 1. A royal city of the Canaanites whose king was slain by Joshua.  Joshua 12:18. It was near Hebron, and probably the same as Aphekah.  Joshua 15:53. 2. A city of Asher,  Joshua 19:30, in the north of Palestine, near Sidon,  Joshua 13:4; supposed to be the same as Aphik,  Judges 1:31, and the classical Aphaca, noted in later history for its temple of Venus; now Afka, near Lebanon. 3. A place where the Philistines encamped before the ark was taken,  1 Samuel 4:1, northwest of Jerusalem and near Shocho, now Belled el-Foka. 4. A place near Jezreel, in Issachar, where the Philistines were, before defeating Saul,  1 Samuel 29:1, and cannot be identified with No. 3, as some have suggested. 5. A walled city in the plains of Syria, on the road to Damascus.  1 Kings 20:26;  1 Kings 20:30;  2 Kings 13:17. It was about six miles east of the Sea of Galilee; now called Fik.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

APHEK . 1 . An unidentified city in the plain of Sharon (  Joshua 12:18 ). It may be the same as Aphek of   1 Samuel 4:1 , and of Jos [Note: Josephus.] BJ II. xix. 1. 2 . A city which Asher failed to take (  Joshua 13:4;   Joshua 19:30 ,   Judges 1:31 ). It may be Afqa , on Nahr Ibrahîm . 3 . Some authorities identify this (  1 Samuel 29:1 ) with No. 1 , and make the Philistines advance upon Jezreel from the S.W. But if they approached from Shunem (  1 Samuel 28:4 ), Aphek must have been in Esdraelon in the neighbourhood of el-Fûleh . 4 . The place where Ahab defeated Benhadad (  1 Kings 20:26;   1 Kings 20:30 ), in the Mîshôr , probably the modern Fîq , or Afîq , on the brow of the plateau, overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Possibly Joash smote the Syrians here (  2 Kings 13:17 ff.).

W. Ewing.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [4]


1. Same as Aphekah ( Joshua 15:58). A Canaanite royal city, the king of which was killed by Joshua ( Joshua 12:18).

2. In the extreme N. of Asher ( Joshua 19:30). The Aphik from which the Canaanites were not expelled ( Judges 1:31). Probably too the Aphek on the N." border of the Amorites" ( Joshua 13:4-5), the Aphaca of the classics, famed for Venus' temple, now Afka, on the N.W. slopes of Lebanon; mentioned in company with Baal-Gad, the other northern sanctuary.

3. The place of the Philistines' encampment before the Israelites' defeat in which Eli's sons were killed and the ark was taken (1 Samuel 4); also before the battle in which Saul was slain (1 Samuel 29); on the Philistines' high road to Jezreel.

4. On the road from Syria to Israel ( 1 Kings 20:25-26), in the level plain E. of Jordan; a common field of battles with Syria. ( 2 Kings 13:17). Now Fik; at the head of the wady Fik, six miles E. of the sea of Galilee, still on the great road between Damascus, Nabulus, and Jerusalem.

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]

 Joshua 12:18 1 Samuel 4:1 1 Samuel 29:1

Aphek is located at modern Tell Ras elAin near the source of the Yarkon River in the Sharon plain northeast of Joppa. Egyptian execration texts from about 1900 B.C. apparently refer to Aphek. Aphek became known as Antipatris in the New Testament era. See  Joshua 13:4 ). This may be modern Afqa, fifteen miles east of ancient Byblos and 23 miles north of Beirut, Lebanon. 3. City assigned to Asher ( Joshua 19:30 ) but not conquered ( Judges 1:31 ). This may be modern Tell Kerdanah three miles from Haifa and six miles southeast of Acco. 4. City east of Jordan near the Sea of Galilee where Benhadad led Syria against Israel about 860 but met defeat as a prophet predicted for Israel ( 1 Kings 20:26-30 ). A wall of Aphek fell on 27,000 Syrians ( 1 Kings 20:30 ). Also Elisha promised Joash victory over the Syrians in Aphek ( 2 Kings 13:17 ).

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]

1. Royalcity of the Canaanites, the king of which was killed by Joshua,  Joshua 12:18 : probably the same as APHEKAHin  Joshua 15:53 . Not identified.

2. City in the north border of Asher, from which in the time of Joshua the inhabitants were not expelled.  Joshua 13:4;  Joshua 19:30 : called APHIKin  Judges 1:31 . Identified with Afka at the foot of the Lebanon between Baalbek and Byblus.

3. Place where the Philistines encamped when Israel was defeated.  1 Samuel 4:1 .

4. Where the Philistines encamped when Saul and Jonathan were killed.  1 Samuel 29:1 . Perhaps the same as No. 3.

5. City, the wall of which falling killed 27,000 of the Syrians,  1 Kings 20:26,30;  2 Kings 13:17. It is identified with Fik, 32 47' N, 35 41' E, on the great road between Damascus and Jerusalem.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [7]


1. A city in Lebanon, assigned to the tribe of Asher,  Joshua 13:4;  19:30; but not subdued,  Judges 1:31 . Its site may be still found in Mount Lebanon, called Aphka.

2.A city of the tribe of Issachar, in the valley of Jezreel, noted in the wars with Philistines,  1 Samuel 4:1;  29:1 .

3.A city five miles east of the sea of Galilee, the walls of which fell upon twenty-seven thousand Syrians under Benhadad, after his defeat by the Israelites,  1 Kings 20:26-34 .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

(Heb., Aphek', אֲפֵק , prob. Strength; with ה directive,  Joshua 13:4;  1 Kings 20:26;  1 Samuel 29:1; hence not to be confounded with APHEKAH), the name of at least three cities (Schwarz, Palest. p. 90).

1. (Sept. Ἀφακά and Ἀφηκά .) A city of the tribe of Asher ( Joshua 19:30), apparently near Phoenicia ( Joshua 13:4), doubtless the same with APHIK (See Aphik) (q.v.), which the Israelites were unable to capture from the Canaanites ( Judges 1:31). This has been thought (see J. D. Michaelis, Supplem. p. 114; Rosenmuller, Altherth. II, 2:96; Gesenius, Thes. Heb. 1, 140; Raumer, Palest. p. 120, and others) to be the same place with the Aphaca ( ῎Αφακα ) which Eusebius ( Constant. 3, 55) and Sozomen ( Hist. 2, 5) place in Lebanon, on the river Adonis (Zozim. 1:58), where there was a famous temple of Venus (Theophanes, Chronicles p. 18). A village called Afka is still found in Lebanon, situated at the bottom of a valley, and probably marks the site of this latter place (Burckhardt, p. 25; Richter, p. 107). It is situated in the south-east bank of the great basin of Akurah, where are the sources of the Nahr Ibrahim, the Adonis of the ancients, and in an amphitheatre of verdant beauty. Here a fine fountain bursts forth in cascades from a cavern; and directly in front of these are the shapeless ruins of a large temple that of the Venus of Aphaca, still containing massive columns of syenite granite (Bibliotheca Sacra, 1853, p. 150). (For the history and description of this place, see Robinson's Bibl. Res. new ed. 3, 604 sq.) But Reland (Paloest. p. 572) correctly observes that this place is situated too far north to have been included within the bounds of the twelve tribes (see Keil, Comment. on Joshua 19, 30). It is possible, nevertheless, that the Aphek of  Joshua 13:4, is identical with this Apheca in Lebanon (Schwarz, Palest. p. 63, 90), and this may, perhaps, be the Canaanitish royal city mentioned in  Joshua 12:18; but even this is doubtful, and it cannot have been the city in the tribe of Asher near Rehob ( Joshua 19:30;  Judges 1:31). From this last circumstance Schwarz thinks ( Palest. p. 194) that the Aphek in question may be the En-Fit (which he says is also called En-Fik) three miles south-west of Banias (see Zimmermann's Map); but this is beyond the bounds of Asher, and the Rehob of that tribe is probably different from the Syrian city of the same name. See REHOB. Kiepert (in his last Wsn/karte von Palistinr, 1857) gives this Aphek a conjectural location south-east of Accho, apparently at Tel Kison (Robinson's Researches, new ed. 3, 103). (See Aphaca).

2. (Sept. Ἀφέκ .) A city in the tribe of Issachar, not far from Jezreel, where the Philistines twice encamped before battles with the Israelites ( 1 Samuel 4:1;  1 Samuel 29:1; comp. 28:4). Either this or the preceding, but most probably this, was the Aphek (Sept. Ἀφακά ) mentioned in  Joshua 12:18, as a royal city of the Canaanites. Reland (Palest. p. 572) and others

(e.g. Schwarz, Palest. p. 136) assume that the Aphek of  1 Samuel 4:1, must have been in the tribe of Judah, because presumed to be near Mizpeh (comp.  1 Samuel 7:12); but this is unnecessary. (See Aphekah). Josephus calls it Apheca ( Ἀφεκά , Ant. 5,11, 1; 8:14, 4). Eusebius ( Onomast. ῎Αφερ ) places it in the vicinity of Endor. Schwarz ( Palest. p. 168), confounding this Aphek with that of  1 Kings 20:26, seeks it in the village of Fuknah, two miles east of En-Gannim; but this is beyond the territory of Issachar. Kiepert (Wandkarte von Palast. 1856) locates it between the river Kishon and Shunem, apparently at El-Afuleh, where the Crusaders placed it (Van de Velde, Memoir, p. 286), or, rather, at the neighboring El-Fuleh, a ruined village (Robinson's Researches, 3, 163, 176, 181).

3. (Sept. Ἀφεκά .) A town near which Benhadad was defeated by the Israelites ( 1 Kings 20:26), evidently on the military road between Damascus and Palestine. It was walled ( 1 Kings 20:30), and was apparently a common spot for engagements with Syria ( 2 Kings 13:17). The use of the word הִמַּשׁוֹר (Auth. Vers. "the plain") in  1 Kings 20:25, fixes the situation of Aphek to have been in the level down-country east of the Jordan, (See Mishor), and it seems to correspond to the Apheca of Eusebius ( Onomast. Ἀφεκά ), a large castle situated near Hippo, east of the Sea of Galilee. Josephus also ( Ant. 8, 14, 4) calls it Apheca ( Ἀφεκά ), and it appears to have been in the tower of this place ( Πύργος Ἀφεκοῦ ) that some of the insurgent Galilaeans threw themselves during the war with Cestius Gallus (Joseph. War, 2, 19, 1). The same place is probably mentioned by Burckhardt, Seetzen, and others, under the name of Fik or Afik (see Gesen. in Burckhardt, Reise, 1, 539). It is a village on the top of a mountain, containing about two hundred families, who dwell in huts built out of the ruins of the ancient city, which appears to have been peculiarly situated so as to cause the ruin of the Syrian army by an earthquake (Thomson's Land and Book, 2, 52, 53).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [9]

ā´fek ( אפק , 'ăphēḳ , "fortress"; Ἀφέκ , Aphék ):

(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 Josh. 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 Taphék or Apheká ): 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 'ăphı̄ḳ (Hebrew). It may be represented by 'Afḳa on Nahr Ibrahı̄m , 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. Fuḳū‛āh 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 ,  1 Kings 20:30 ). The same place may be intended in  2 Kings 13:17 . The modern Fı̄ḳ or Afı̄ḳ (for both forms are heard) on the brow of the hill beyond Ḳal‛at el - Ḥuṣn , east of the Sea of Galilee, probably represents this ancient city.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [10]

A´phek: the name signifies strength; hence a citadel or fortified town. There were at least three places so called, viz.:—

Aphek, 1

Aphek, a city in the tribe of Asher ( Joshua 13:4;  Joshua 19:30), called Aphik in  Judges 1:31, where we also learn that the tribe was unable to gain possession of it. A village called Afka is still found in Lebanon, situated at the bottom of a valley, and may possibly mark the site of this Aphek.

Aphek, 2

Aphek, a town near which Benhadad was defeated by the Israelites ( 1 Kings 20:26. sq. which seems to correspond to the Aphaca of Eusebius, situated to the east of the Sea of Galilee, and which is mentioned by Burckhardt, Sectzen, and others under the name of Feik.

Aphek, 3

Aphek, a city in the tribe of Issachar, not far from Jezreel, where the Philistines twice encamped before battles with the Israelites ( 1 Samuel 4:1;  1 Samuel 29:1 comp. 28:4). Either this or the first Aphek, but most probably this, was the Aphek mentioned in  Joshua 12:18, as a royal city of the Canaanites.