APHEK (Heb. אֲפֵק), name of three places mentioned in the Bible and named after nearby riverbeds (Heb. afikim), in which swiftly flowing streams rise after heavy rainfalls.
(1) A Canaanite royal city (Josh. 12:18) east of Jaffa in the Sharon which is possibly referred to in the Egyptian Execration Texts (early 18th century b.c.e.). It appears in the list of cities conquered by Thut-mose iii (c. 1469 b.c.e.; No. 66 between Ono and Socoh) and was the first city captured by his successor, Amenhotep ii, in his second campaign (c. 1430 b.c.e.). Aphek became a stronghold on the Philistines' northern border, serving them as an important base in their campaigns against the Israelites. They camped there before defeating the Israelites and capturing the ark of the covenant in the days of Samuel (i Sam. 4:1) and also before the final battle against Saul (i Sam. 29:1). In 671 b.c.e., King Esarhaddon of Assyria conquered "Aphek in the land of Samaria" on his way to Egypt. The name Aphek was preserved as late as the period of Roman rule in Migdal Aphek (Jos., Wars, 2:1) but from the time of Herod, Aphek itself became known as *Antipatris. It is today Tell Ras el-Ain (Rosh ha-Ayin) at the source of the Yarkon River. Archaeological excavations were conducted at the site between 1975 and 1985 by Tel Aviv University, bringing to light numerous remains from the Early, Middle, and Late Bronze Ages, including fortification walls and palaces, which help support the identification of this site as biblical Aphek. Remnants of a Philistine city were also uncovered, as well as of dwellings from the Iron Age (i.e. from the tenth to eighth centuries b.c.e.
(2) The place mentioned in i Kings 20:26–30 and ii Kings 13:14–17 where Aram defeated the Israelites in the days of Ahab and again in those of Joash. The name has survived in the name of the village Fiq in the Golan, in the region of Susita (Hippos) near the Damascus-Beth-Shean highway east of the Sea of Galilee. A column incised with a menorah and a Jewish-Aramaic inscription were found among the ruins of a settlement there dating from the fourth century; however, so far no older remains have been discovered at the site. At Kibbutz Ein Gev on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, a large fortified city of the tenth to eighth centuries b.c.e. exists (known as Khirbet el-Asheq); its identification with the Aramean Aphek has been suggested since it is only 3½ mi. (6 km.) from Fiq. Excavations that were conducted at this tell in 1961 and again in the early 1990s brought to light Iron Age strata on the lower tell and Iron Age, Persian, and Hellenistic strata on the acropolis. The Iron Age ii strata (tenth-eighth centuries b.c.e.) included the remains of defensive walls, dwellings, public pillared storehouses, and a variety of pottery and small objects, notably a storage jar bearing an inscription lsqy (i.e. "cup-bearer"). The town was apparently destroyed by Tiglath Pileser iii in 732 c.e.
[Michael Avi-Yonah /
Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]
(3) A Canaanite city allotted to the tribe of Asher (Josh. 19:30), which did not, however, succeed in driving out its inhabitants (Judg. 1:31). It is evidently one of the major tells in the Plain of Acre and its most acceptable identification is with Tell Kurdana, at the foot of which rises Nahr Namein (Belus). Pottery and weapons dating from the Middle Bronze to Early Iron Ages have been found at the tell. In Crusader times there were water-mills, known as Recordane, at Khirbet Kurdnana near the tell. In 1939 kibbutz Afek (Aphek), affiliated with Ha-Kibbutz ha-Me'uḥad, was founded in the Plain of Acre. It was one of the "tower and stockade" settlements established in 1939 during the Arab riots of 1936–39. When the original plan of developing sea fishing proved impracticable, the kibbutz moved in 1947 to its present site, south of the former site. Afek's settlers came mostly from Eastern and Central Europe. Its economy was based on intensive farming of irrigated field crops, carp ponds, cattle, and a factory for producing pressure meters and other precision instruments. Mego Afek subsequently grew into an international medical and measuring equipment company featuring the Lympha Press for lymphedema treatment. Kibbutz Afek also owned Asiv Textile Industries, supplying garment manufacturers in Israel and abroad, and Hinanit, a sheltered workshop producing soft toys and children's accessories for the local market. In 2002 the population of Afek was 432
[Efraim Orni /
Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]
(1) Albright, in: jpos, 3 (1923), 50–53; idem, in: basor, 11 (1923), 6; Tolkowsky, in: jpos, 2 (1922), 145–58; Alt, in: pjb, 21 (1925), 50ff.; 28 (1932), 19ff.; Iliffe and Ory, in: qdap, 5 (1936), 111ff.; 6 (1938), 99ff.; Aharoni, Land, index. add. bibliography: M. Kochavi, Aphek-Antipatris: Five Thousand Years of History (1989); Y. Tsafrir, L. Di Segni, and J. Green, Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea – Palaestina. Maps and Gazetteer. (1994), 63. (2) Alt, in: pjb, 24 (1928), 59; 25 (1929), 41; Saarisalo, in: jpos, 9 (1929), 38ff.; Maisler (Mazar), in: bjpes, 6 (1939), 151–5. add. bibliography: M.Kochavi, in: iej, 39 (1989), 1–17; 41 (1991), 180–84; Y. Tsafrir, L. Di Segni, and J. Green, Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea – Palaestina. Maps and Gazetteer. (1994), 64. (3) G. Schumacher, Jaulan (1888), 136ff.; Albright, in: aasor, 2–3 (1923), 29ff.; Mazar et al., in: iej, 14 (1964), 1–49; Aharoni, Land, 304.