- First Reference: Numbers 13:21
- Last Reference: Zechariah 9:2
- Included in Eastons: Yes
- Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
- Included in Naves: Yes
- Included in Smiths: Yes
- Included in Websters: No
- Included in Strongs: Yes
- Included in Thayers: No
- Included in BDB: Yes
Fortress, the capital of one of the kingdoms of Upper Syria of the same name, on the Orontes, in the valley of Lebanon, at the northern boundary of Palestine (Numbers 13:21; 34:8), at the foot of Hermon (Joshua 13:5) towards Damascus (Zechariah 9:2; Jeremiah 49:23). It is called "Hamath the great" in Amos 6:2, and "Hamath-zobah" in 2 Chronicles 8:3.
Hamath, now Hamah, had an Aramaean population, but Hittite monuments discovered there show that it must have been at one time occupied by the Hittites. It was among the conquests of the Pharaoh Thothmes III. Its king, Tou or Toi, made alliance with David (2 Samuel 8:10), and in B.C. 740 Azariah formed a league with it against Assyria. It was, however, conquered by the Assyrians, and its nineteen districts placed under Assyrian governors. In B.C. 720 it revolted under a certain Yahu-bihdi, whose name, compounded with that of the God of Israel (Yahu), perhaps shows that he was of Jewish origin. But the revolt was suppressed, and the people of Hamath were transported to Samaria (2 Kings 17:24, 30), where they continued to worship their god Ashima. Hamah is beautifully situated on the Orontes, 32 miles north of Emesa, and 36 south of the ruins of Assamea.
The kingdom of Hamath comprehended the great plain lying on both banks of the Orontes from the fountain near Riblah to Assamea on the north, and from Lebanon on the west to the desert on the east. The "entrance of Hamath" (Numbers 34:8), which was the north boundary of Palestine, led from the west between the north end of Lebanon and the Nusairiyeh mountains.
anger; heat; a wall
Called also Hemath.
A city of upper Syria
Numbers 13:21; Numbers 34:8; Joshua 13:5; 1 Kings 8:65; Ezekiel 47:16
Inhabited by Canaanites
David receives gifts of gold and silver from Toi, king of Hamath
2 Samuel 8:9-10; 1 Chronicles 18:3; 1 Chronicles 18:9-10
Conquest of, by Jeroboam
2 Kings 14:25; 2 Kings 14:28
Conquest of, by the Chaldeans
2 Kings 25:20-21
Israelites taken captive to
Solomon builds store cities in
2 Chronicles 8:4
(fortress), the principal city of upper Syria, was situated in the valley of the Orontes, which it commanded from the low screen of hills which forms the water-shed between the source of the Orontes and Antioch. The Hamathites were a Hamitic race, and are included among the descendants of Canaan. (Genesis 10:18) Nothing appears of the power of Hamath until the time of David. (2 Samuel 8:9) Hamath seems clearly to have been included in the dominions of Solomon. (1 Kings 4:21-24) The "store-cities" which Solomon "built in Hamath," (2 Chronicles 8:4) were perhaps staples for trade. In the Assyrian inscriptions of the time of Ahab (B.C. 900) Hamath appears as a separate power, in alliance with the Syrians of Damascus, the Hittites and the Phoenicians. About three-quarters of a century later Jeroboam the Second "recovered Hamath." (2 Kings 14:28) Soon afterwards the Assyrians took it, (2 Kings 18:34; 19:13) etc., and from this time it ceased to be a place of much importance. Antiochus Epiphanes changed its name to Epiphaneia. The natives, however, called it Hamath even in St. Jerome's time, and its present name, Hamah , is but slightly altered from the ancient form.
one of the families descended from Canaan, named last in the list. (Genesis 10:18; 1 Chronicles 1:16)
Fortress of Zobah, (2 Chronicles 8:3) is supposed by some to be a different place from the foregoing; but this is quite uncertain.
(fortress of Zobah), (2 Chronicles 8:3) has been conjectured to be the same as Hamath. But the name Hamath-Zobah would seem rather suited to another Hamath which was distinguished from the "Great Hamath" by the suffix "Zobah."
the heat, or the wall, of an army
A town on the border of Palestine, subdued by Solomon.
2 Chronicles 8:3