Ra'phon ( ῾Ραφειών; Alex. and Josephus ῾Ραφών; Peshito, Raphon), a city of Gilead, under the walls of which Judas Maccabeus defeated Timotheus (1 Maccabees 5:37 only). It appears to have stood on the eastern side of an important wady, and at no great distance from Carnaim — probably Ashteroth-Carnaim. It may have been identical with Raphana, which is mentioned by Pliny (Nat. Hist. v, 16) as one of the cities of the Decapolis, but with no specification of its position. Nor is there anything in the narrative of 1 Maccabees, of 2 Maccabees (ch. xii), or of Josephus (Ant. 12:8, 3) to enable us to decide whether the torrent in question is the Hieromax, the Zerka, or any other. In Kiepert's map, accompanying Wettstein's lauran, etc. (1860), a place named Er-Rafe is marked, on the east of Wady Hrer, one of the branches of the Wady Mandhur, and close to the great road leading to Sanamein, which last has some claims to be identified with Ashteroth-Carnaim. But in our present ignorance of the district this can only be taken as mere conjecture. If Er-Rafe be Raphana, we should expect to find large ruins.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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