(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. Jeromes time, and its present name, Hamah , is but slightly altered from the ancient form.