Aphaca

Aphaca (τὰ '῎Αφακα, according to the ancients, from the Heb., אָפִק, aphaks, to embrace, with reference to the loves of Venus and Adonis, Etymol. Mag. s.v.; see Movers, Phnm. 1, 192), a town of Coele-Syria, midway between Heliopolis and lyblus (Zosim. Hist. 1, 58), a position, as Reland thinks (Paloest. p. 315), not inconsistent with the other notices of the place as being situated on Lebanon. It was notorious for its temple of Venus, where all the abominations of an impure idolatry were practiced to such a degree that Constantine destroyed it (Euseb. Vit. Const. 3, 55; Sozomen, Hist. Eccl. 1, 5). Near it was a lake celebrated for certain marvellous properties (Seneca, Quest. Nat. 3, 25). It has been regarded as identical with the APHEKI SEE APHEKI (q.v.) of Jos 19:30, and the Aphik of Jg 1:31. Seetzen first observed the probable coincidence of Aphaca with the present A4fka, a village of the region indicated, and containing ruins (Reisen, 1, 245), which have since been described by Thomson (in the Bibliotheca Sacra, 1838, p. 5). The lake has been identified with that now called Limru, three hours distant (Burckhardt, Travels, p. 25), but Robinson thinks it is rather the neighboring spring (new ed. of Researches, 3, 607).

 
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