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Mahanaim

From Academic Kids

Mahanaim - two camps, a place near Jabbok, beyond Jordan River, 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). Although two possible sites have been identified, the one most widely accepted lies about ten miles east of Jordan River. The other is located nine miles farther upstream on the Jabbok River. After the Conquest, when tribal boundaries were established, Mahanaim was located on the border between the tribe of Gad (Josh 13:26) and the half-tribe of Manasseh (Josh 13:30). It became a Levitical city (1 Chr 6:80). After King Saul died, Abner, the commander of Saul’s army, established Saul’s son, Ish-bosheth, as king of Israel in Mahanajim (2 Sam 2:8). Ish-bosheth reigned in Mahanaim for two years before Rechab and Baanah assassinated him (2 Sam 2:10; 4:5-7). Mahanaim was in the same general area as Jabesh-gilead, a city that owed its freedom to Saul’s intervention some forty years earlier. 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).

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