Name Meaning—Oppression or depression
Scripture employs this name in three different ways. It is given as the designation of a city in Syria (2 Samuel 10:8; 1 Chronicles 19:6, 7); of three or four males (2 Samuel 10:6; 1 Kings 2:39; 1 Chronicles 11:43; 27:16); and of several females distinguished thus—
1. Maachah, the son of Nahor by his concubine, Reumah (Genesis 22:24).
2. Maachah, the concubine of Caleb, son of Hezron (1 Chronicles 2:48).
3. Maachah, a woman of Benjamin, the wife of Machir the Manassite who was the father or founder of Gilead. This Maachah was the daughter-in-law of Manasseh, son of Joseph and mother of Peresh and Sheresh (1 Chronicles 7:12, 15, 16).
4. Maachah, the wife of Jehiel, father or founder of Gibeon, and ancestress of King Saul (1 Chronicles 8:29; 9:35).
5. Maachah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, and therefore a woman of royal rank. Taken in battle by David, she became one of his eight wives and mother of Absalom (1 Chronicles 3:2; 2 Samuel 3:3).
6. Maachah, daughter or granddaughter of Absalom. According to common oriental usage, “daughter” must be understood as “granddaughter.” Absalom had only one real daughter, Tamar, who, if she married Uriel of Gibeah, had Maachah or Maacah as her daughter (2 Chronicles 13:2). The Maachah before us became the favorite wife of King Rehoboam and mother of King Abijah of Judah (1 Kings 15:1, 2; 2 Chronicles 11:20-22). Although a woman of strong character, her influence was on the side of idolatry. She maintained her position in the palace until the reign of her grandson, Asa, who finally degraded her for an act of peculiar infamy (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 15:16).
7. Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom, mother of Asa, king of Judah, who followed his forbear David in doing that which was right in the sight of the Lord (1 Kings 15:10; 2 Chronicles 15:16).