RAPHON, rā’ fŏn (Ραφών). Modern er-Rafeh on the right bank of the Nahr el-Ehreir eight m. N of Carnaim (modern Ashteroth-karnaim). This city not mentioned in the Bible is prob. nw-r-p-’i, No. 29, in Thutmose III’s list of conquered cities. Here also Timotheus, commander of Gilead, reorganized his army and reinforced it with auxiliary Arab troops after he was routed by Judas Maccabeus and Jonathan at the command of eight thousand Jews at Dathema. By crossing the ravine to encounter the enemy on the bank opposite Raphon the Jews again routed the Gentiles.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
The place where in his campaign East of Jordan Judas inflicted disastrous defeat on the host of Timotheus, the fugitives fleeing for refuge to the temple at Carnaim (1 Macc 5:37 ff; Ant, XII, viii, 4). The same place is doubtless referred to by Pliny as "Raphana" (NH, v.16). It may possibly be represented by the modern Rafeh, on the East of the pilgrimage road, about 17 miles North of Der`ah, and 11 miles Northeast of Tell el-`Ash`ary. It is a mile and a half North of Wady Kanawat, which would thus be the "brook" mentioned in the narrative. It is perhaps far enough away from Carnaim, if this is rightly placed at Tell el-`Ash`ary.