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Elah

Meaning: terebinth or oak

The name of a place and four biblical men…

  1. Valley of Elah, where the Israelites were encamped when David killed Goliath (1 Sam. 17:2, 19).

    And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. (Goliath (1 Sam. 17:2-3)

    It was near Shochoh of Judah and Azekah (17:1). It is the modern Wady es-Sunt, i.e., “valley of the acacia.”

    “The terebinths from which the valley of Elah takes its name still cling to their ancient soil. On the west side of the valley, near Shochoh, there is a very large and ancient tree of this kind known as the ‘terebinth of Wady Sur,’ 55 feet in height, its trunk 17 feet in circumference, and the breadth of its shade no less than 75 feet. It marks the upper end of the Elah valley, and forms a noted object, being one of the largest terebinths in Palestine.” Geikie’s, The Holy Land, etc.

  2. One of the Edomite chiefs or “dukes” of Mount Seir (Genesis 36:41).

  3. The second of the three sons of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (1 Chr. 4:15).

  4. The son and successor of Baasha, king of Israel (1 Kings 16:8-10). He was killed while drunk by Zimri, one of the captains of his chariots, and was the last king of the line of Baasha. Thus was fullfilled the prophecy of Jehu (6, 7, 11-14).

  5. The father of Hoshea, the last king of Israel (2 Kings 15:30; 17:1).