International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ma'-a-ka (ma`akhah; Septuagint: Codex Vaticanus Mocha; Codex Alexandrinus Maacha): A small Syrian kingdom adjoining that of Geshur on the western border of Bashan, the inhabitants of which are called Maachathites (the Revised Version (British and American) "Maacathites"), whose territory was taken by Jair (Deuteronomy 3:14 Joshua 12:5). The border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites and all Mt. Hermon were given to the half-tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 13:11). The inhabitants of these kingdoms, however, were not driven out by Israel (Joshua 13:13), and at a later day the children of Ammon hired mercenaries from Maacah for their encounter with David. The armies met near Medeba when the "Syrians" from Maacah found themselves opposed to Joab. That famous captain completely routed them (2 Samuel 10:6; the Septuagint has "Amalek"). In 1 Chronicles 19:6 it is called Aram-maacah, Syria-maachah (the King James Version); and in 1 Chronicles 2:23 "Aram" appears instead of "Maacah."
It evidently lay between Geshur on the South and Hermon on the North, being probably bounded by Jordan on the West, although no certain indication of boundaries is now possible. They would thus be hemmed in by Israel, which accounts for `Geshur and Maacath dwell in the midst of Israel" (Joshua 13:13).It is possible that Abel-beth-maacah may have been a colony founded by men from Maacah.
(1) Septuagint: Codex Vaticanus Mocha; Codex Alexandrinus Mocha, daughter of Nahor, borne to him by Reumah (Genesis 22:24).
(2) Septuagint: Codex Vaticanus Maacha; Codex Alexandrinus Maachath, the one wife of David who was of royal rank, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, who became the mother of Absalom (2 Samuel 3:3 1 Chronicles 3:2).
(3) Maacha, father of Achish, king of Gath (1 Kings 2:39). He is probably referred to as "Maoch" in 1 Samuel 27:2.
(4) The daughter of Absalom, the favorite wife of Rehoboam, and mother of Abijah (1 Kings 15:2 2 Chronicles 11:20, etc.). Evidently "daughter" must here be understood as "granddaughter," according to a common oriental usage. Tamar was the only daughter of Absalom. If Tamar married Uriel of Gibeah (2 Chronicles 13:2), then Maacah was her daughter. In that case the name Micaiah in this passage would be either a copyist's error or a variant of Maacah. She must have been a woman of strong personality. Unfortunately, her influence was cast upon the side of idolatry. She maintained her position in the palace, however, till the reign of her grandson Asa. Possibly she acted as regent during his minority. Ultimately, she was degraded by him for an act of peculiar infamy (1 Kings 15:13 2 Chronicles 15:16).
(5) Concubine of Caleb, son of Hezron (1 Chronicles 2:48).
(6) Sister of Huppim and Shuppim the Benjamites, who became the wife of Machir the Manassite, the "father" of Gilead (1 Chronicles 7:12, 15 f).
(7) Wife of Jeiel, the "father" of Gibeon, an ancestress of King Saul (1 Chronicles 8:29; 1 Chronicles 9:35).
(8) Father of Hanan, one of David's mighty men (1 Chronicles 11:43).
(9) Father of Shephatiah, ruler of the Simeonites under David (1 Chronicles 27:16).