Bible Meaning: Enclosure, fortress
Strong's Concordance #H663
There are several Biblical cities named Aphek. The most important of these, called Antipatris in the New Testament (Acts 23:31), is located within the Plain of Sharon and near the source of the Kanah (Yarkon) River.
Aphek's king was one of thirty-one rulers defeated by Joshua and the Israelites during their battles to take the Promised Land. Later, it became the staging place for the Philistines, in the days of Samuel the prophet, to plan an attack against Israel.
After Herod the Great rebuilt Aphek he renamed it Antipatris, which means "for forefather" (Strong's #G494), in honor of his father Antipater. After Apostle Paul's arrest in 58 A.D., beginning his fourth missionary journey, he is taken briefly to the city. From Antipatris he is then escourted to Caesarea so that his case can be heard by Roman governor Felix.
A different Aphek than the one mentioned above, likely in the region of Phoenicia, was not conquered by Joshua (Joshua 13:4).
A third city named Aphek, located northeast of both Mount Carmel and the Kishon River, was given to the tribe of Asher as an inheritance in the Promised Land. The tribe, however, was never able to remove the inhabitants from the city.
A fourth Aphek is located east of the Sea of Galilee. It is near this city that God allowed Israel's King Ahab to win a decisive victory over Syrian King Benhadad. When Benhadad's remaining army retreats to Aphek, a wall falls on many of them killing an additional 27,000 troops (1Kings 20).
Ahab, after he captures Benhadad, refuses to execute him (as God commanded) but rather sets him free! The Lord then inspires a prophet to inform the sinful Israelite leader he will forfeit his own life in exchange for the one he released (1Kings 20:34 - 43).
The king of Aphek, one: the king of Lasharon, one . . .
From the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that is beside the Sidonians, unto Aphek, to the borders of the Amorites
Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages.
And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek.
Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel.
1Kings 20:26, 30
And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Benhadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.
But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city: and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.
And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD'S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.
Then the soldiers, as it was commanded them, took Paul, and brought him by night to Antipatris.