Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
("Two camps or hosts".) A place on the Jabbok so-called by Jacob from the two angelic hosts which appeared to him when returning from Padan Aram to Canaan. (See Jacob .) The two may refer to Jacob's own camp and that of the angels, or rather his division of his party into two, corresponding to which were the two angelic companies, one to guard each. The Speaker's Commentary less probably makes it, the angels were on his right and his left. Mahanaim was in Gad; assigned to the Levites ( Joshua 21:38-39). Now Mahneh, on a tributary of the Yabis, which Paine identifies with the Jabbok. The correspondence is striking between the human and the divine, the visible and the invisible agencies in this remarkable history. Jacob's two companies answer to the two heavenly ones, the face of God and the face of Esau; seeing that first prepares Jacob for seeing this; the messengers of God and those of Jacob; and the name Jabbok, i.e. wrestling, marking the scene of the patriarch's wrestling with the Lord.
Here Abner fixed the seat of Ishbosheth's kingdom, being unable to wrest the towns of Ephraim or Benjamin from the Philistines ( 2 Samuel 2:8-9). Here Ishbosheth was murdered ( 2 Samuel 4:5). Here David fled from Absalom, for it was then Walled and large enough to contain David's "hundreds" and "thousands." It had its gates and watchmen ( 2 Samuel 17:24; 2 Samuel 18:1-4; 1 Kings 2:8). One of Solomon's commissariat officers was at Mahanaim ( 1 Kings 4:14.) The Shulamite, i.e. Solomon's bride, the church, is compared to "the company of two armies" (margin, "Mahanaim," Song of Solomon 6:13). Though "one" ( Song of Solomon 6:9) she is nevertheless "two," the family of Jesus Christ in heaven and that on earth, that militant and that triumphant. Her strength, like Jacob's at Mahanaim, is Christ and His hosts enlisted on her side by wrestling prayer.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
MAHANAIM (‘two camps’ or ‘two hosts’ [if the Heb. word is really a dual, which is very doubtful]). An important city E. of Jordan on the frontier of Gad and Manasseh ( Joshua 13:25; Joshua 13:30 ); it was a Levitical city within the territory of Gad ( Joshua 21:38; Joshua 21:40 ). It was clearly N. of the Jabbok, as Jacob travelling S. reached it first ( Genesis 32:2; Genesis 32:22 ). Here Abner made Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, king ( 2 Samuel 2:8 ), and here David took refuge from his rebel son Absalom ( 2 Samuel 17:24-27; 2 Samuel 19:32 ). Solomon put Abinadab in authority in this city ( 1 Kings 4:14 ). There is apparently a reference to Mahanaim in Song of Solomon 6:13 (see RV [Note: Revised Version.] and AVm [Note: Authorized Version margin.] ). The site of Mahanaim is quite uncertain. A trace of the name appears to linger in Mahneh , the name of a mass of ruins in the Jebel AjlÃ»n N.W. of the village AjlÃ»n . Merrill suggests a ruin called Suleikhat in the Wady AjlÃ»n , near its entrance to the Jordan valley; others consider the site of Jerash, which is first mentioned, as Gerasa, in the time of Alexander JannÃ¦us, as a likely spot for so prominent and, apparently, so attractive a city.
B. W. G. Masterman.
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Mahana'im. A town on the east of the Jordan. The name signifies Two Hosts or Two Camps , and was given to it by Jacob, because he there met "the angels of God." Genesis 32:1-2. We next meet with it, in the records of the conquest. Joshua 13:26; Joshua 13:30. It was within the territory of Gad, Joshua 21:38-39, and therefore, on the south side of the torrent Jabbok.
The town with its "suburbs" was allotted to the service of the Merarite Levites. Joshua 21:39; 1 Chronicles 6:80. Mahanaim had become in the time of the monarchy a place of mark. 2 Samuel 2:8; 2 Samuel 2:12. David took refuge there when driven out of the western part of his kingdom by Absalom. 2 Samuel 17:24; 1 Kings 2:8.
Mahanaim was the seat of one of Solomon's commissariat officers, 1 Kings 4:14, and it is alluded to in the song which bears his name. Song of Solomon 6:13. There is a place called Mahneh among the villages of the part of Jordan, through its exact position is not certain.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Mahanaim ( Mâ'Ha-Nâ'Im ), Two Camps. A town east of the Jordan, named by Jacob. Genesis 32:1-2. It was assigned to the Levites, Joshua 13:26; Joshua 13:30; Joshua 21:38; 1 Chronicles 6:80, and lay within the territory of Gad, north of the torrent Jabbok. Mahanaim became in the time of the monarchy a place of mark. 2 Samuel 2:8; 2 Samuel 2:12; 2 Samuel 19:32. Abner fixed Ishbosheth's residence there, and David took refuge in it when driven out of the western part of his kingdom by Absalom. 2 Samuel 17:24; 1 Kings 2:8. Mahanaim was the seat of one of Solomon's commissariat officers, 1 Kings 4:14, and it is alluded to in his Song of Solomon 6:13. Dr. Merrill locates Mahanaim in the Jordan valley, six miles north of the Jabbok, at a ruin called Suleikhat.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
The spot on the east of the Jordan where Jacob met 'the angels of God.' He exclaimed 'This is God's host,' and named the place Mahanaim, 'two hosts or camps.' It is mentioned as on the border of both Gad and Manasseh, which connects it with the brook Jabbok. It fell to the lot of Gad, and a city was built there which was given to the Levites. It was where Ish-bosheth was made king, and where he was murdered. David fled to this city when Absalom revolted, and remained there till his son's death. Genesis 32:2; Joshua 13:26,30; Joshua 21:38; 2 Samuel 2:8,12,29; 2 Samuel 17:24,27; 2 Samuel 19:32; 1 Kings 2:8; 1 Kings 4:14; 1 Chronicles 6:80 . Identified by some with ruins at Mahneh, 32 23' N, 35 42' E; but this is far from the Jabbok, and could scarcely have been in the lot of Gad. In the monument of Shishak at Karnak occurs the name of Ma-ha-n-ma, which is judged to refer to Mahanaim. It is mentioned with Beth-shean, etc.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
a city of the Levites, of the family of Merari, in the tribe of Gad, upon the brook Jabbok, Joshua 21:38; Joshua 13:26 . The name Mahanaim signifies "two hosts," or "two fields." The patriarch gave it this name because in this place he had a vision of angels coming to meet him, Genesis 32:2 . Mahanaim was the seat of the kingdom of Ishbosheth, after the death of Saul, 2 Samuel 2:9; 2 Samuel 2:12 . It was also to this place that David retired during the usurpation of Absalom, 2 Samuel 17:24; and this rebellious son was subdued, and suffered death, not far from this city.
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
It should seem to be a place of some importance when the Israelites were in possession of Canaan, for lsh-Bosheth, Saul's son, made it the metropolis of his kingdom, (see 2 Samuel 2:8-9.) Here David retreated from the rebellion of Absalom, ( 2 Samuel 17:24) Jacob gave the name to this spot, from the angels he met there. (See Genesis 32:2) The margin of the Bible renders it, two hosts or camps.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Genesis 32:2 Joshua 13:26,30 2 Samuel 2:8,12 2 Samuel 4:5-7 2 Samuel 17:24-27
The only other reference to Mahanaim is as a station of one of Solomon's purveyors ( 1 Kings 4:14 ). It has been identified with the modern Mukhumah, a ruin found in a depressed plain called el-Bukie'a, "the little vale," near Penuel, south of the Jabbok, and north-east of es-Salt.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
Two hosts, a place so named because a host of angels here met the host of Jacob, on his return from Padan-aram, Genesis 32:1-2 . It lay north of the Jabbok and near Penuel, and afterwards became a Levitical city in the tribe of Gad, Joshua 21:38 . It was apparently a town of some strength; for Ishbosheth lived there during his short reign, and David took refuge there during Absalom's rebellion, 2 Samuel 2:8 17:24,27 .
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Joshua 13:26 13:30 Joshua 21:38 2 Samuel 2:8-9 2 Samuel 17:24-27 1 Kings 4:14
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
mā - ha - nā´im ( מחנים , maḥănayim ; the Greek is different in every case where the name occurs, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus also giving variant forms; the dual form may be taken as having arisen from an old locative ending, as, e.g. ירוּשׁלים , yerūshāla ( y ) im from an original ירוּשׁלם , yerūshālēm . In Genesis 32:21 maḥăneh is evidently a parallel form and should be rendered as a proper name, Mahaneh, i.e. Mahanaim): The city must have been one of great strength. It lay East of the Jordan, and is first mentioned in the history of Jacob. Here he halted after parting from Laban, before the passage of the Jabbok ( Genesis 31:2 ), "and the angels of God met him." Possibly it was the site of an ancient sanctuary. It is next noticed in defining the boundaries of tribal territory East of the Jordan. It lay on the border of Gad and Manasseh ( Joshua 13:26 , Joshua 13:30 ). It belonged to the lot of Gad, and was assigned along with Ramoth in Gilead to the Merarite Levites ( Joshua 21:38; 1 Chronicles 6:80 - the former of these passages affords no justification to Cheyne in saying ( EB , under the word) that it is mentioned as a "city of refuge"). The strength of the place doubtless attracted Abner, who fixed here the capital of Ishbosheth's kingdom. Saul's chivalrous rescue of Jabesh-gilead was remembered to the credit of his house in these dark days, and the loyalty of Mahanaim could be reckoned on ( 2 Samuel 2:8 , etc.). To this same fortress David fled when endangered by the rebellion of Absalom; and in the "forest" hard by, that prince met his fate ( 2 Samuel 17:24 , etc.). It was made the center of one of Solomon's administrative districts, and here Abinadab the son of Iddo was stationed ( 1 Kings 4:14 ). There seems to be a reference to Mahanaim in Song of Solomon 6:13 the Revised Version (British and American). If this is so, here alone it appears with the article. By emending the text Cheyne would read: "What do you see in the Shulammite? A narcissus of the valleys."
It is quite clear from the narrative that Jacob, going to meet his brother, who was advancing from the South, crossed the Jabbok after leaving Mahanaim. It is therefore vain to search for the site of this city South of the Jabbok, and Conder's suggested identification with some place near el - Buḳei‛a , East of es - Salṭ , must be given up.
On the North of the Jabbok several positions have been thought of. Merrill ( East of the Jordan , 433 ff) argues in favor of Khirbet Saleikhat , a ruined site in the mouth of Wādy Saleikhat , on the northern bank, 3 miles East of Jordan, and 4 miles North of Wādy ‛Ajlūn . From its height, 300 ft. above the plain, it commands a wide view to the West and South. One running "by the way of the Plain" could be seen a great way off ( 2 Samuel 18:23 ). This would place the battle in the hills to the South near the Jordan valley. Ahimaaz then preferred to make a detour, thus securing a level road, while the Cushite took the rough track across the heights. Others, among them Buhl ( GAP , 257), would place Mahanaim at Miḥneh , a partly overgrown ruin 9 miles East of Jordan, and 4 miles North of ‛Ajlūn on the north bank of Wādy Maḥneh . This is the only trace of the ancient name yet found in the district. It may be assumed that Mahanaim is to be sought in this neighborhood. Cheyne would locate it at ‛Ajlūn , near which rises the great fortress Kal‛ater - Rabaḍ . He supposes that the "wood of Mahanaim" extended as far as Miḥneh , and that "the name of Mihneh is really an abbreviation of the ancient phrase." Others would identify Mahanaim with Jerash , where, however, there are no remains older than Greek-Roman times.
Objections to either ‛Ajlūn or Miḥneh are: (1) The reference to this Jordan" in Genesis 32:10 , which seems to show that the city was near the river. It may indeed be said that the great hollow of the Jordan valley seems close at hand for many miles on either side, but this, perhaps, hardly meets the objection. (2) The word kikkār , used for "Plain" in 2 Samuel 18:23 , seems always elsewhere to apply to the "circle" of the Jordan. Buhl, who identifies Mahanaim with Miḥneh , yet cites this verse ( GAP , 112) as a case in which kikkār applies to the plain of the Jordan. He thus prescribes for Ahimaaz a very long race. Cheyne sees the difficulty. The battle was obviously in the vicinity of Mahanaim, and the nearest way from the "wood" was by the כּכּר , kikkār , "or, since no satisfactory explanation of this reading has been offered by the נחל , naḥal , that is to say, the eager Ahimaaz ran along in the wady in which, at some little distance, Mahanaim lay" ( EB , under the word). The site for the present remains in doubt.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Hebrew Machana'yin, מִחֲנִיַם , Two Camps, as often, and explained in Genesis 32:2 as meaning the heavenly Army of God; where the Sept. has Παρεμβολαί ,Vulg. Mahanaim, Id Est Castra; elsewhere Μαανά '''''Þ''''' '''''Μ''''' or Μααναϊ v Μ , once Μαναέμ , sometimes Παρεμβολαί ; Vulg. Manaim, but usually Castra ) , a place beyond the Jordan, north of the river Jabbok, which derived its name from Jacob's having been there met by the angels (Josephus, Θεοῦ Στρατόπεδον , Ant. 1: 20 , 1) on his return from Padan- aram ( Genesis 32:2). (See Jacob).
The name was eventually extended to the town which then existed, or which afterwards arose in the neighborhood. This town was on the confines of the tribes of Gad and Manasseh, as well as on the southern boundary of Bashan ( Joshua 13:26; Joshua 13:30), and was a city of the Levites ( Joshua 21:38; 1 Chronicles 6:80). It was in this city that Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, reigned ( 2 Samuel 2:8; 2 Samuel 2:12) during David's reign at Hebron, and here he was assassinated (ch. 4). The choice of this place was probably because he found the influence of David's name less strong on the east than on the west of the Jordan; at least, it seems to show that Mahanaim was then an important and strong place (comp. 2 Samuel 2:29; 2 Samuel 19:32). Hence, many years after, David himself repaired to Mahanaim, where he was entertained by Barzillai, the aged sheik of that district, when he sought refuge beyond the Jordan from his son Absalom ( 2 Samuel 17:24; 2 Samuel 17:27; 1 Kings 2:8). In this vicinity also appears to have been fought the decisive battle in the wood of Ephraim, between the royal troops and the rebels (2 Samuel 18). (See David).
We only read of Mahanaim again as the station of one of the twelve officers who had charge, in monthly rotation, of raising the provisions for the royal establishment under Solomon ( 1 Kings 4:14). Some find a allusion to the place in Song of Solomon 6:13 ("companies of two armies," lit. dance of Mahanaim), but this is doubtful. "On the monument of Sheshonk (Shishak) at Karnak, in the 22d cartouchone of those which are believed to contain the names of Israelitish cities conquered by that king — a name appears which is read as Ma-ha-n-m -a, that is, Mahanaim. The adjoining cartouches contain names which are read as Bethshean, Shunerm, Megiddo, Beth-boron, Gibeon, and other Israelitish names (Brugsch, Geogr. der nachbarl Ä nder AEgyptens, p. 61). If this interpretation may be relied on, it shows that the invasion of Shishak was more extensive than we should gather from the records of the Bible (2 Chronicles 13), which are occupied mainly with occurrences at the metropolis. Possibly the army entered by the plains of Philistia and Sharon, ravaged Esdraelon and some towns like Mahanaim just beyond Jordan, and then returned, either by the same route of by the Jordan valley, to Jerusalem, attacking it last. This would account for Rehoboam's non- resistance, and also for the fact, of which special mention is made, that many of the chief men of the country had taken refuge in the city. It should, however, be remarked that the names occur in most promiscuous order, and that none has been found resembling Jerusalem." In Dr. Eli Smith's Arabic list of names of places in Jebel Ajlh.n (Robinson's Bib. Researches, 3, Append. p. 166), we find a ruined site under the name of Mahneh, which is probably that of Mahanaim (comp. Schwarz, Palest. p. 231; Keil's Comment. on Joshua 13:26). The same identification was pointed out by the Jewish traveler Hap-Parchi, according to whom it lies about half a day's journey due east of Bethshan (Zunz, in Asher's edit. of Benj. Of Tudela, p. 40), the same direction as in Kiepert's Map, but only half as far. Its distance from the Jabbok is a considerable but not fatal objection. Tristram visited the place which he defends at length as the site of Mahanaim, and describes it as well situated for a large town, with considerable remains and a fine pond ( Land Of Israel, p. 483).
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Mahana´im (two hosts), a place beyond the Jordan, north of the river Jabbok, which derived its name from Jacob's having been there met by the angels on his return from Padanaram . The name was eventually extended to the town which then existed, or which afterwards arose in the neighborhood. This town was in the territory of the tribe of Gad , and was a city of the Levites . It was in this city that Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, reigned , probably because he found the influence of David's name less strong on the east than on the west of the Jordan. The choice, at least, seems to show that Mahanaim was then an important and strong place. Hence, many years after, David himself repaired to Mahanaim when he sought refuge beyond the Jordan from his son Absalom (;; ). We only read of Mahanaim again as the station of one of the twelve officers who had charge, in monthly rotation, of raising the provisions for the royal establishments under Solomon . The site has not yet been identified.
- Mahanaim from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Mahanaim from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Mahanaim from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Mahanaim from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Mahanaim from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Mahanaim from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Mahanaim from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- Mahanaim from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Mahanaim from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Mahanaim from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Mahanaim from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Mahanaim from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Mahanaim from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature