ABEL-BETH-MAACAH (Heb. אָבֵל בֵּית־מַעֲכָה), also called Abel-Maim (II Chron. 16: 4) or simply Abel (II Sam. 20:18). It is the present Tell Abil (Abil al-Qamḥ) northeast of Kefar Giladi and south of Metullah. Pottery found on the surface of the tell dates to the Early Bronze Age and later periods. It may be one of the cities mentioned in the Egyptian Execration Texts (inscribed on figurines) from the early 18th century B.C.E. and is apparently also referred to in the list of cities (no. 92) captured by Thutmose III in Palestine and southern Syria in his first campaign (c. 1469 B.C.E.). In the 12th–11th centuries, it may have passed into the possession of the Danites when they settled in the north of the country, but it subsequently was considered part of (Beth-) Maacah, whose center comprised northern Golan and Bashan. In the days of David, it was a fortified place and "a city and a mother in Israel" (II Sam. 20:19) in which the rebel Sheba, the son of Bichri, was besieged when he fled from Joab's army. It was captured by the Arameans during the reign of Baasa, king of Israel (early ninth century) together with Ijon, Dan, and the rest of the northeastern part of the Israelite kingdom (I Kings 15:20; II Chron. 16:4). In the days of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Tiglath-Pileser III, king of Assyria, conquered all the eastern and northern parts of Israel and the capture of Abel-Beth-Maacah is specifically mentioned (ii Kings 15:29). This event is also recorded in Assyrian inscriptions which describe this king's campaign of 733/32 B.C.E. and the annexation of the conquered areas to Assyria (these contain a reference to Abil (m) akka). The city was apparently included in the province of Megiddo. No subsequent mention is made of Abel-Beth-Maacah in ancient sources. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Horowitz, Ereẓ Yis, 3–4; B. Maisler (Mazar), in: BJPES, 1 (1933), 5; J. Braslavi (Braslavski), in: BJPES, 2 (1935), 43–44; S. Klein, Ereẓ ha-Galil (1946); N. Glueck, River Jordan (1946); W.F. Albright, in: AASOR, 6 (1926), 19; Abel, Geog, 1 (1933), 249; 2 (1938), 233;   B. Maisler (Mazar), in: Bulletin des études historiques juives, 1 (1946), 56; Aharoni, Land, passim. (Michael Avi-Yonah)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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