Abelbethmaichah

A'bel-beth-ma'ichah (Heb. Abel' Beyth-Maikah', אָבֵל בֵּיתאּמעֲכָה, Abel of Beth-Maachah; Sept. 'Αβὲλ οἴκου Μαχά in 1Ki 15:20, 'Αβὲλ Βαιθμααχά v. r. Θαμααχά in 2Ki 15:29), a city in the north of Palestine, in the neighborhood of Dan, Kadesh, and Hazor. It seems to have been of considerable strength from its history, and of importance from its being called "a mother in Israel" (2Sa 20:19), i.e., a metropolis; for the same place is doubtless there meant, although peculiarly expressed (ver. 14, וּבֵית מַעֲכָה אָבֵלֵָה, toward Abel and Beth-Maachah, Sept. εἰς Αβὲλ καὶ εἰς Βαιθμαχά, Vulg. in Abelam et BethMaache, Auth. Vers. "unto Abel and to Beth-Maachah;" ver. 15, בּאָבֵלָה בֵּית הִמִּעֲכָה, in Abelch of the house of Maachah, Sept. ἐν Α᾿βὲλ Βαιθμαχά, Vulg. in Abela et in

Beth-maacha, Auth. Vers. "in Abel of Beth-maachah"). SEE BETH- MAACHAH. The same place is likewise once denoted simply by ABEL SEE ABEL (2Sa 20:18); and in the parallel passage (2Ch 16:4), ABEL-MAIM SEE ABEL-MAIM , which indicates the proximity of a fountain or of springs from which the meadow, doubtless, derived its verdure. SEE ABEL-. The addition of "Maachah" marks it as belonging to, or being near to, the region Maachah, which lay eastward of the Jordan under Mount Lebanon. SEE MAACAH. It was besieged by Joab on account of its having sheltered Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite, who had rebelled against David; but was saved from an assault by the prudence of a "wise woman" of the place, who persuaded the men to put the traitor to death, and to throw his head over the wall; upon which the siege was immediately raised (2Sa 20:14-22). At a later date it was taken and sacked by Benhadad, king of Syria; and 200 years subsequently by Tiglath-pileser, who sent away the inhabitants captives into Assyria (2Ki 20:21). The name Belmen (Βελμέν), mentioned in Judith (4:4), has been thought a corruption of Abel-maim; but the place there spoken of appears to have been much more. southward. Josephus (Ant. 7:11, 7) calls it Abelmachea (Α᾿βελμαχέα), or (Ant. 8:12, 4) Abellane (Α᾿βελλάνη); and Theodoret (Quest. 39 in 2 Reg.) says it was still named Abela (Α᾿βελᾶ). Reland (Palest. p. 520) thinks it is the third of the cities called Abela mentioned by Eusebius (Onomast.) as a Phoenician city between Damascus and Paneas; but Gesenius (Thes. Heb. p. 15) objects that it need not be located in Galilee (Harenberg, in the Nov. Miscel. Lips. 4:470), and is, therefore, disposed to locate it farther north. SEE ABILA. Calmet thinks it, in like manner, the same with Abila of Lysanias. But this position is inconsistent with the proximity to Dan and other cities of Naphtali, implied in the Biblical accounts. It was suggested by Dr. Robinson (Researches, 3, Appendix, p. 137) that Abil el-Karub, in the region of the Upper Jordan, is the ancient Abel-Beth-Maachah; this conclusion has recently been confirmed almost to certainty by Mr. Thomson (Bibliotheca Sacra, 1846, p. 202). It is so productive in wheat as to be called likewise Abel el-Kamch (ib. p. 204). This place "is situated on the west side of the valley and stream that descends from Merj-Ayun toward the Huleh, and below the opening into the Merj. It lies on a very distinctly marked tell, consisting of a summit, with a large offset from it on the south" (Reverend E. Smith, ib. p. 214). It is now an inconsiderable village, occupying part of the long oval mound (Thomson, Land and Book, 1:324 sq.). This identification essentially agrees with that of Schwarz

(Palest. p. 65), although he seeks to find in this vicinity three towns of the name of Abel (Palest. p. 203), for the purpose of accommodating certain Rabbinical notices. (See Reineccius, De urbe Abel, Weissenfels, 1725.)

Bible concordance for ABEL-BETH-MAACHAH.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

 
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