Abel (of) Beth-Maacah

ABEL (of) BETH-MAACAH ā’ bəl bĕth mā’ ə kə (אָבֵ֣ל בֵּֽית־מַעֲכָ֑ה, the meadow of the house of Maacah or house of oppression). A city in northern Pal. and upper Galilee’s Huleh Valley, a few m. W of ancient Laish, or as renamed Dan, and nine m. S of Ijon. Joab pursued Shebna (2 Sam 20:14ff) to this city. Under Ben-hadad (1 Kings 15:20) and later under Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 15:29) the city was captured. The modern name for the site is Abil el-Qamh. A collection of 19th cent. b.c. Egyp. texts of curses, called the Execration Texts, include a reference to Abel along with Ijon, Laish and Hazor. It appears in Thutmose III’s roster of 119 Canaanite towns as number 92, and spelled i-b-r. This town is to be distinguished from number 99 in Thutmose’s list which refers to modern Ayin Ibl (En-bul) in the Talmud. Tiglath-pileser has left a fragmentary text in the Nimrod Tablet giving an account of the same invasion mentioned by the Biblical writer in 2 Kings 15:29. After listing various towns which he conquered in northern Syria and on the Phoen. coast he went on to Gal’aza (Gilead) and Abil [ma]akka (Abelbeth-maacah) on the border of the land of Beth-Omri (Israel) and Beth-Hazael (Aram-Damascus). (These readings are now established by a new inscr.—D. J. Wiseman, Iraq XVIII [1956], 117ff.) Note 2 Chronicles 16:4 where the name is shortened to Abel-maim.

Bibliography

J. Pritchard ANET2 (1955), 283f.; Y. Aharoni, The Land of the Bible (1967) 133, 150, 294, 328-330.