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Bible Cities : Mahanaim
Ancient Mahanaim

Map of Ancient Mahanaim

Mahanaim in Easton's Bible Dictionary two camps, a place near the Jabbok, beyond Jordan, where Jacob was met by the "angels of God," and where he divided his retinue into "two hosts" on his return from Padan-aram (Gen. 32:2). This name was afterwards given to the town which was built at that place. It was the southern boundary of Bashan (Josh. 13:26, 30), and became a city of the Levites (21:38). Here Saul's son Ishbosheth reigned (2 Sam. 2:8, 12), while David reigned at Hebron. Here also, after a troubled reign, Ishbosheth was murdered by two of his own bodyguard (2 Sam. 4:5-7), who brought his head to David at Hebron, but were, instead of being rewarded, put to death by him for their cold-blooded murder. Many years after this, when he fled from Jerusalem on the rebellion of his son Absalom, David made Mahanaim, where Barzillai entertained him, his headquarters, and here he mustered his forces which were led against the army that had gathered around Absalom. It was while sitting at the gate of this town that tidings of the great and decisive battle between the two hosts and of the death of his son Absalom reached him, when he gave way to the most violent grief (2 Sam. 17:24-27). The only other reference to Mahanaim is as a station of one of Solomon's purveyors (1 Kings 4:14). It has been identified with the modern Mukhumah, a ruin found in a depressed plain called el-Bukie'a, "the little vale," near Penuel, south of the Jabbok, and north-east of es-Salt.

Mahanaim in Fausset's Bible Dictionary ("Two camps or hosts".) A place on the Jabbok so-called by Jacob from the two angelic hosts which appeared to him when returning from Padan Aram to Canaan. (See JACOB.) The two may refer to Jacob's own camp and that of the angels, or rather his division of his party into two, corresponding to which were the two angelic companies, one to guard each. The Speaker's Commentary less probably makes it, the angels were on his right and his left. Mahanaim was in Gad; assigned to the Levites (Joshua 21:38-39). Now Mahneh, on a tributary of the Yabis, which Paine identifies with the Jabbok. The correspondence is striking between the human and the divine, the visible and the invisible agencies in this remarkable history. Jacob's two companies answer to the two heavenly ones, the face of God and the face of Esau; seeing that first prepares Jacob for seeing this; the messengers of God and those of Jacob; and the name Jabbok, i.e. wrestling, marking the scene of the patriarch's wrestling with the Lord. Here Abner fixed the seat of Ishbosheth's kingdom, being unable to wrest the towns of Ephraim or Benjamin from the Philistines (2 Samuel 2:8-9). Here Ishbosheth was murdered (2 Samuel 4:5). Here David fled from Absalom, for it was then Walled and large enough to contain David's "hundreds" and "thousands." It had its gates and watchmen (2 Samuel 17:24; 2 Samuel 18:1-4; 1 Kings 2:8). One of Solomon's commissariat officers was at Mahanaim (1 Kings 4:14.) The Shulamite, i.e. Solomon's bride, the church, is compared to "the company of two armies" (margin, "Mahanaim," Song of Solomon 6:13). Though "one" (Song of Solomon 6:9) she is nevertheless "two," the family of Jesus Christ in heaven and that on earth, that militant and that triumphant. Her strength, like Jacob's at Mahanaim, is Christ and His hosts enlisted on her side by wrestling prayer.

Mahanaim in Hitchcock's Bible Names tents; two fields; two armies

Mahanaim in Naves Topical Bible The place where Jacob had the vision of angels Ge 32:2 -The town of, allotted to Gad Jos 13:26,30 -One of the Levitical cities Jos 21:38 -Ish-bosheth establishes himself at, when made king over Israel 2Sa 2:8-12 -David lodges at, at the time of Absalom's rebellion 2Sa 17:27-29; 1Ki 2:8

Mahanaim in Smiths Bible Dictionary a town on the east of the Jordan. The name signifies two hosts or two camps,and was given to it by Jacob, because he there met "the angels of God." Ge 32:1,2 We next meet with it in the records of the conquest. Jos 13:26,30 It was within the territory of Gad, Jos 21:38,39 and therefore on the south side of the torrent Jabbok. The town with its "suburbs" was allotted to the service of the Merarite Levites. Jos 21:39; 1Ch 6:80 Mahanaim had become in the time of the monarchy a place of mark. 2Sa 2:8,12 David took refuge there when driven out of the western part of his kingdom by Absalom. 2Sa 17:24; 1Ki 2:8 Mahanaim was the seat of one of Solomon's commissariat officers. 1Ki 4:14 and it is alluded to in the song which bears his name. ch. So 6:13 There is a place called Mahneh among the villages of the part of Jordan, through its exact position is not certain.

Mahanaim in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE ma-ha-na'-im (machanayim; the Greek is different in every case where the name occurs, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus also giving variant forms; the dual form may be taken as having arisen from an old locative ending, as, e.g. yerushala(y)im from an original yerushalem. In Gen 32:21 machaneh is evidently a parallel form and should be rendered as a proper name, Mahaneh, i.e. Mahanaim): The city must have been one of great strength. It lay East of the Jordan, and is first mentioned in the history of Jacob. Here he halted after parting from Laban, before the passage of the Jabbok (Gen 31:2), "and the angels of God met him." Possibly it was the site of an ancient sanctuary. It is next noticed in defining the boundaries of tribal territory East of the Jordan. It lay on the border of Gad and Manasseh (Josh 13:26,30). It belonged to the lot of Gad, and was assigned along with Ramoth in Gilead to the Merarite Levites (Josh 21:38; 1 Ch 6:80--the former of these passages affords no justification to Cheyne in saying (EB, under the word) that it is mentioned as a "city of refuge"). The strength of the place doubtless attracted Abner, who fixed here the capital of Ishbosheth's kingdom. Saul's chivalrous rescue of Jabesh- gilead was remembered to the credit of his house in these dark days, and the loyalty of Mahanaim could be reckoned on (2 Sam 2:8, etc.). To this same fortress David fled when endangered by the rebellion of Absalom; and in the "forest" hard by, that prince met his fate (2 Sam 17:24, etc.). It was made the center of one of Solomon's administrative districts, and here Abinadab the son of Iddo was stationed (1 Ki 4:14). There seems to be a reference to Mahanaim in Song 6:13 the Revised Version (British and American). If this is so, here alone it appears with the article. By emending the text Cheyne would read: "What do you see in the Shulammite? A narcissus of the valleys." It is quite clear from the narrative that Jacob, going to meet his brother, who was advancing from the South, crossed the Jabbok after leaving Mahanaim. It is therefore vain to search for the site of this city South of the Jabbok, and Conder's suggested identification with some place near el- Buqei`a, East of es-Salt], must be given up. On the North of the Jabbok several positions have been thought of. Merrill (East of the Jordan, 433 ff) argues in favor of Khirbet Saleikhat, a ruined site in the mouth of Wady Saleikhat, on the northern bank, 3 miles East of Jordan, and 4 miles North of Wady `Ajlun. From its height, 300 ft. above the plain, it commands a wide view to the West and South. One running "by the way of the Plain" could be seen a great way off (2 Sam 18:23). This would place the battle in the hills to the South near the Jordan valley. Ahimaaz then preferred to make a detour, thus securing a level road, while the Cushite took the rough track across the heights. Others, among them Buhl (GAP, 257), would place Mahanaim at Michneh, a partly overgrown ruin 9 miles East of Jordan, and 4 miles North of `Ajlun on the north bank of Wady Machneh. This is the only trace of the ancient name yet found in the district. It may be assumed that Mahanaim is to be sought in this neighborhood. Cheyne would locate it at `Ajlun, near which rises the great fortress Kal`ater-Rabad. He supposes that the "wood of Mahanaim" extended as far as Michneh, and that "the name of Mihneh is really an abbreviation of the ancient phrase." Others would identify Mahanaim with Jerash, where, however, there are no remains...

Mahanaim Scripture - 1 Chronicles 6:80 And out of the tribe of Gad; Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, and Mahanaim with her suburbs,

Mahanaim Scripture - 1 Kings 2:8 And, behold, [thou hast] with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword.

Mahanaim Scripture - 1 Kings 4:14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo [had] Mahanaim:

Mahanaim Scripture - 2 Samuel 17:24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.

Mahanaim Scripture - 2 Samuel 17:27 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,

Mahanaim Scripture - 2 Samuel 19:32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, [even] fourscore years old: and he had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he [was] a very great man.

Mahanaim Scripture - 2 Samuel 2:12 And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.

Mahanaim Scripture - 2 Samuel 2:29 And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan, and went through all Bithron, and they came to Mahanaim.

Mahanaim Scripture - 2 Samuel 2:8 But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim;

Mahanaim Scripture - Genesis 32:2 And when Jacob saw them, he said, This [is] God's host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

Mahanaim Scripture - Joshua 13:26 And from Heshbon unto Ramathmizpeh, and Betonim; and from Mahanaim unto the border of Debir;

Mahanaim Scripture - Joshua 13:30 And their coast was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the towns of Jair, which [are] in Bashan, threescore cities:

Mahanaim Scripture - Joshua 21:38 And out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, [to be] a city of refuge for the slayer; and Mahanaim with her suburbs,