A'phek (Heb., Aphek', אֲפֵק, prob. strength; with ה directive, Jos 13:4; 1Ki 20:26; 1Sa 29:1; hence not to be confounded with APHEKAH), the name of at least three cities (Schwarz, Palest. p. 90).
1. (Sept. Α᾿φακά and Α᾿φηκά.) A city of the tribe of Asher (Jos 19:30), apparently near Phoenicia (Jos 13:4), doubtless the same with APHIK SEE APHIK (q.v.), which the Israelites were unable to capture from the Canaanites (Jg 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 Jos 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 Jos 12:18; but even this is doubtful, and it cannot have been the city in the tribe of Asher near Rehob (Jos 19:30; Jg 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. Α᾿φέκ.) A city in the tribe of Issachar, not far from Jezreel, where the Philistines twice encamped before battles with the Israelites (1Sa 4:1; 1Sa 29:1; comp. 28:4). Either this or the preceding, but most probably this, was the Aphek (Sept. Α᾿φακά) mentioned in Jos 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 1Sa 4:1, must have been in the tribe of Judah, because presumed to be near Mizpeh (comp. 1Sa 7:12); but this is unnecessary. SEE APHEKAH. Josephus calls it Apheca (Α᾿φεκά, 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 1Ki 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. Α᾿φεκά.) A town near which Benhadad was defeated by the Israelites (1Ki 20:26), evidently on the military road between Damascus and Palestine. It was walled (1Ki 20:30), and was apparently a common spot for engagements with Syria (2Ki 13:17). The use of the word הִמַּשׁוֹר (Auth. Vers. "the plain") in 1Ki 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. Α᾿φεκά), a large castle situated near Hippo, east of the Sea of Galilee. Josephus also (Ant. 8, 14, 4) calls it Apheca (Α᾿φεκά), and it appears to have been in the tower of this place (πύργος Α᾿φεκοῦ) 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).