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Maacah

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(Heb. Maikah', מִעֲכָה, oppression, Sept. Μααχά, but in Genesis 22:24, Μοχά ; in 1 Chronicles 2:48; 1 Chronicles 3:3. Μωχά ; in 1 Chronicles 7:15-16, Μοοχά ; in 1 Chronicles 9:35, Μοωχά ; in 1 Chronicles 11:43, Μαχά ; Vulg. Maacha; Auth. Vers. "Maacah" only 2 Samuel 3:3; 2 Samuel 10:6; 2 Samuel 10:8), the name of a place and also of nine persons. (See BETH- MAACHAH).

1. A city and region at the foot of Mount Hermon, not far from Geshur, a district of Syria (Joshua 13:13; 2 Samuel 10:6; 2 Samuel 10:8; 1 Chronicles 19:7). Hence the adjacent portion of Syria is called Aram-Maacah, or Syria of Maachah ("Syria-Maachah," 1 Chronicles 19:6). It appears to have been situated at the southerly junction of Coele-Syria and Damascene- Syria, being bounded by the kingdom of Rehob on the north, by that of Geshur on the south, and by the mountains on either side of the Upper Jordan, on the east and west. (See GESHUR).

The little kingdom thus embraced the southern and eastern declivities of Hermon, and a portion of the rocky plateau of Itursea (Porter's Damascus, 1:319; comp. Journ. of Sac. Lit. July 1854, page 310). The Israelites seem to have considered this territory as included in their grant, but were never able to get possession of it (Joshua 13:13). In the time of David this petty principality had a king of its own, who contributed 1000 men to the grand alliance of the Syrian nations against the Jewish monarch (2 Samuel 10:6; 2 Samuel 10:8). The lot of the half-tribe of Manasseh beyond the Jordan extended to this country, as had previously the dominion of Og, king of Bashan (Deuteronomy 3:14; Joshua 12:5). The Gentile nameis Maacahthite (מִעֲכָתַי, Sept. Μαχαθί, but Μααχαθί in 2 Samuel 23:24, Μαχαθά in 1 Chronicles 4:19, Μιοχαθεί in Jeremiah 40:8; Auth. Version "Maacathite," but "Maachathi" in Deuteronomy 3:14), which is also put for the people (Deuteronomy 3:14; Joshua 12:5; Joshua 13:11; Joshua 13:13; 2 Kings 25:23). Near or within the ancient limits of the small state of Maacah was the town called for that reason Abbel beth-maacah, perhaps its metropolis, which is represented by the modern Abil el-Kamh, situated on the west side of the valley and stream that descends from Merj Ayun towards the Huleh, and on a summit, with a large offset on the south. (See ABELN-BETH MAACHAH).

Rosenmü ller explains the name Maacah to press, to press together, which seems to denote a region enclosed and hemmed in by mountains, a land of valleys. The name of this region is Anglicized everywhere "Maachah" in the Auth. Vers., except in 2 Samuel 3:3; 2 Samuel 10:6; 2 Samuel 10:8. Once (Joshua 13:13, second clause) it is written in the original Maacath (Hebrew Maakath', מִעֲכָת, Sept. Μαχαθί,Vulg. Maachati, Auth. Vers. "Maachathites"). The identification of the Chaldee version with the district of Epicairus (Ε᾿πικαιρος ), mentioned by Ptolemy (5:16, 9) as lying between Callirrhoe and Livias, as also that of the Syriac (on 1 Chronicles) with Charan, according to Rosenmü ller (Altelth. 1. 2) a tract in the district of the Ledja (Burckhardt, 1:350), is merely traditionary (Reland, Palest. p. 118).

2. The last named of the four children of Nahor by his concubine Reumah, probably a son, although the sex is uncertain (Genesis 22:24). B.C. cir. 2040. Ewald arbitrarily connects the name with the district of Maachah in the Hermon range (Gesch. 1:414, note 1).

3. The sister of Hupham (Huppim) and Shupham (Shuppim), and consequently granddaughter of Benjamin; she married Machir, by whom she had two sons (1 Chronicles 7:15-16). B.C. post. 1856. (See GILEAD).

4. The second named of the concubines of Caleb (son of Hezron), by whom she had several children (1 Chronicles 2:48). B.C. ante 1658.

5. The wife of Jehiel and mother of Gibeon (1 Chronicles 8:29; 1 Chronicles 9:35). B.C. cir. 1658.

6. A daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; she became the wife of David, and mother of Absalom (2 Samuel 3:3). B.C. 1053. In 1 Samuel 27:8, we read of David's invading the land of the Geshurites, and the Jewish commentators (in Jerome, ad Reg.) allege that he then took the daughter of the king captive, and, in consequence of her great beauty, married her, after she had been made a proselyte according to the law in Deuteronomy 21. But this is a gross mistake. for the Geshur invaded by David was to the south of Judah, whereas the Geshur over which Talmai ruled was to the north, and was regarded as part of Syria (2 Samuel 15:8). (See GESIHUI).

The fact appears to be that David, having married the daughter of this king, contracted an alliance with him, in order to strengthen his interest against Ishbosheth in those parts. Josephus gives her name Μαχάμη (Ant. 7:1, 4). (See DAVID).

7. The father of Hanan, which latter was one of David's famous body- guard (1 Chronicles 11:43). B.C. ante 1046.

8. The father of Shephatiah, which latter was the military chief of the tribe of Simeon under David and Solomon (1 Chronicles 27:16). B.C. ante 1014.

9. The father of Achish, which latter was the king of Gath, to whom Shimei went in search of his runaway servants, and thus forfeited, his life by transcending the bounds prescribed by Solomon (1 Kings 2:39). B.C. ante 1010. He appears to have been different from the Maoch of 1 Samuel 27:2. (See ACHISH).

10. A daughter of Abishalom, the wife of Rehoboam, and mother of Abijam (1 Kings 15:2). B.C. 973-953. In 1 Kings 15:10 we read that Asa's "mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom." It is evident that here "mother" is used in a loose sense, and means "grandmother," which the Maachah named in 1 Kings 15:2 must have been to the Asa of 1 Kings 15:10. It therefore appears to be a great error to make two persons of them, as is done by Calmet and others. The Abishalom who was the father of this Maachah is called Absalom in 2 Chronicles 11:20-22, and is generally supposed by the Jews to have been Absalom, the son of David; which seems not improbable, seeing that Rehoboam's two other wives were of his father's family (2 Chronicles 11:18). In 2 Chronicles 13:2, she is called "Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah." But Josephus says that she was the daughter of Tamar, the daughter of Absalom (Ant. 8:10, 1), and consequently his granddaughter. This seems not unlikely, and in that case this Tamar must have been the wife of Uriel. (See ABIJAI).

It would appear that Asa's own mother was dead before he began to reign; for Maachah bore the rank and state of queen-mother (resembling that of the sultaness Valide among the Turks), the powers of which she so much abused to the encouragement of idolatry, that Asa commenced his reforms by "removing her from being queen, because she had made an idol (lit. a fright) in a grove" (1 Kings 15:10-13; 2 Chronicles 15:16).


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Maacah'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/m/maacah.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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