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The name Aphek or Aphec refers to one or several locations mentioned by the Hebrew Bible as the scenes of a number of battles between the Israelites and the Arameans or Philistines: Most famously, a town near which one or more rulers of Damascus named Ben-hadad were defeated by the Israelites and in which the Damascene king and his surviving soldiers found a safe place of retreat (1 Kings 20:26-30; 2 Kings 13:17, 24-25). Just before his death, the prophet Elisha predicted: "The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them." A place at which the Bible states that the Philistines had encamped, while the Israelites pitched in Eben-Ezer, before the Battle of Aphek in which the sons of Eli were killed (I Samuel 4:1–ff.) A city of the Tribe of Issachar, near to Jezreel, in the north of the Sharon plain. The scene, according to the Bible; of another encampment of the Philistines, which led to the defeat and death of Saul. Aphik, a city of the tribe of Asher, identified as either Tel Afek near Haifa, or Afqa in Lebanon.
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