🔼The name Maacah: Summary
- From the verb מעך (ma'ak), to press of squeeze.
🔼The name Maacah in the Bible
The name Maacah is remarkable popular in the Bible. There's one country named such (also known as מעכת Maacath, which was peopled by the Maacathite; מעכתי), and several men and women.
The country (or town) named Maacah/Maacath was situated north of Canaan, probably in Aram and close to Geshur. It was a kingdom, which during the invasion of Canaan was ruled by Og, one of the last of the gargantuan Rephaim (Joshua 12:5). At some point, Jair, the son of Manasseh, conquered the entire region and named it after himself: Havvoth-jair (Deuteronomy 3:14), but the citizens of Maacah and Geshur were famously spared by the Israelites at any time during or after the invasion (Joshua 13:11).
Much later, Maacath was still a kingdom, and its king sent 1,000 soldiers to aid the Ammonites in their war against king David (2 Samuel 10:6, 1 Chronicles 19:7). The town called Abel-beth-maacah was situated in the same region, and it's generally supposed that the two have something to do with each other (and may very well be the same; 2 Samuel 20:14).
🔼Men referred to as Maacathite in the Bible:
- A son of Hodiah, named Eshtemoa (1 Chronicles 4:19).
- Either Ahasbai, the father of Eliphelet (who was one of David's mighty-men), or else Ahasbai's parent (2 Samuel 23:34). See more about this in our article on the name Eliphelet.
- Hoshaiah, the father of Jaazaniah, one of the buddies of Ishmael, the murderer of Gedaliah, who was the Babylonian vassal of Judah (2 Kings 25:23). The prophet Jeremiah calls this man Jezaniah (Jeremiah 40:8).
🔼Men personally called Maacah in the Bible:
- A son of Nahor with Reumah (Genesis 22:24).
- The father (probably not the mother) of Achish, king of Gath (1 Kings 2:39). This person is also known as Maoch (1 Samuel 27:2).
- The father (or the mother) of one of David's mighty-men (1 Chronicles 11:43).
- The father (probably not the mother) of the leader of the Simeonites during the days of David (1 Chronicles 27:16).
🔼Women personally called Maacah in the Bible:
- A wife of David and mother of Absalom (2 Samuel 3:3). She may be the same as Ahasbai, the mother of mighty-man Eliphelet.
- The wife of King Rehoboam and mother of king Abijah (2 Chronicles 11:20) or Abijam (1 Kings 15:2), and grandmother of king Asa (1 Kings 15:8).
- A concubine of Caleb (1 Chronicles 2:48).
- A woman of Manasseh (1 Chronicles 7:15).
- The great-grandmother of king Saul (1 Chronicles 9:35).
🔼Etymology of the name Maacah
The name מעכת (Maacath) is really the same as מעכה (Maacah). The name Maacath was composed in a time when the letter ת (taw) was used in much the same way as the letter ה (he) was in the time when the Bible was written in its final form. Sometimes the editors of the Bible chose to incorporate the older but genuine spelling (מעכת), and sometimes they chose to use to updated form (מעכה). But both forms come from the verb מעך (ma'ak) meaning press, squeeze:
The verb מעך (ma'ak) means to press or squeeze. It's used a mere three times in the Old Testament.
The name Maacah means Squeezer or Pusher. Both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read the more descriptive Oppression.