Mas'pha the name of two places mentioned in the Apocrypha.
1. (Μασσηφάθ v. r. Μασσηφά.) A place opposite to (κατέναντι) Jerusalem, at which Judas Maccabaeus and his followers assembled themselves to bewail the desolation of the city and the sanctuary, and to inflame their resentment before the battle of Emmaus, by the sight not only of the distant city, which was probably visible from the eminence, but also of the book of the law mutilated and profaned, and of other objects of peculiar preciousness and sanctity (1 Maccabees 3:46). As the passage contains an allusion to similar acts of devotion "aforetime in Israel," there is no doubt that it is identical with MIZPEH SEE MIZPEH (q.v.) of Benjamin, the ancient sanctuary at which Samuel had convened the people on an occasion of equal emergency (1Sa 7:5). In fact, Maspha, or, more accurately, Massepha, is merely the form in which the Sept. uniformly renders the Hebrew name Mizpeh, the modern Nebi-Samwil, a high range in the neighborhood of Jerusalem (Robinson, Researches, 2:143).
2. (Μασφά.) One of the cities which were taken from the Ammonites by Judas Maccabaeus in his campaign on the east of Jordan (1 Maccabees 5:35). It is uncertain whether the ancient city of Mizpeh of Gilead (Jg 11:29, etc.) or Mizpeh of Moab (1Sa 22:3) is meant.
The Svriac has the curious variation of Olim, "salt," and one Greek MS. has εἰς ῎Αλεμα, another εἰς Σάλεμα, another εἰς Λέμα: but this seems to be a mere arbitrary correction from ver. 26 by some one who thought that the place mentioned in both verses should be the same. Michaelis, however, would combine both readings, and make the place Mizpeh-Elim. Perhaps Josephus also reads מֶלִח, "salt," as he reads Μάλλη (Ant. 12:8, 3), which Grimm thinks has arisen from transposition of letters (Handb. z. a. Apokr. ad loc.).