(ay' fehk) Place name meaning “bed of brook or river” or “fortress.” 1. City whose king Joshua defeated (Joshua 12:18), where Philistine armies formed to face Israel in days of Samuel (1 Samuel 4:1) resulting in Philistine victory and capture of Israel's ark of the covenant. Philistine armies including David and his men gathered in Aphek to fight Saul. The Philistine commanders forced Achish to send David back from battle (1 Samuel 29:1). Eventually the Philistines defeated Israel, bringing death to Saul and Jonathan.
Aphek is located at modern Tell Ras elAin near the source of the Yarkon River in the Sharon plain northeast of Joppa. Egyptian execration texts from about 1900 B.C. apparently refer to Aphek. Aphek became known as Antipatris in the New Testament era. See Antipatris. 2. Northern border city which Joshua did not conquer (Joshua 13:4). This may be modern Afqa, fifteen miles east of ancient Byblos and 23 miles north of Beirut, Lebanon. 3. City assigned to Asher (Joshua 19:30) but not conquered (Judges 1:31). This may be modern Tell Kerdanah three miles from Haifa and six miles southeast of Acco. 4. City east of Jordan near the Sea of Galilee where Benhadad led Syria against Israel about 860 but met defeat as a prophet predicted for Israel (1 Kings 20:26-30). A wall of Aphek fell on 27,000 Syrians (1 Kings 20:30). Also Elisha promised Joash victory over the Syrians in Aphek (2 Kings 13:17).