What and who is…

Hebrew: אֵלָה —meaning: terebinth

Terebinth Tree
A terebinth tree growing in the Valley of Elah. Photo by David Bena (CC).

This is the name of a place and 4 biblical men.

  1. Valley of Elah

    also known as: Elah Valley

    View of the Valley of Elah (2011). Photo © copyrighted.
    View of the Valley of Elah (2011) from an ancient fortress city dating to the reign of King David. It is known as The Elah Fortress (Arabic: Khirbet Qeiyafa) and is possibly the biblical city of Sha'arayim, based on the 2 gates discovered on the site. The Elah Fortress “lies just inside a north-south ridge of hills separating Philistia and Gath to the west from Judea to the east.”
    Photo by Yoav Dothan (GFDL).

On a mountain overlooking the Valley of Elah is where the Israelites were encamped when David killed Goliath, a famous giant of Gath (1 Samuel 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 Samuel 17:2-3)

It was near Shochoh of Judah and Azekah (17:1).

“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.” —John Cunningham Geikie, The Holy Land and the Bible: A Book of Scripture Illustrations gathered in Palestine, (1887, abridged edition: 1903)

Valley of Elah—satellite view
  1. Elah, of Edom

    He is one of the Edomite chiefs or “dukes” of Mount Seir (Genesis 36:41).

  2. Elah, son of Caleb

    He is the 2nd of the 3 sons of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (1 Chronicles 4:15).

  3. King Elah

    He is a son and the successor of King Baasha. Elah was a king of Israel (1 Kings 16:8-10), murdered while drunk. His assassin is Zimri, one of the captains of his chariots.

    Elah was the last king of the line of Baasha. Thus was fullfilled the prophecy of Jehu (1 Kings 16:6-7; 16:11-14).

  4. Elah, father of the last king

    His son is King Hoshea, the last king of the Kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 15:30; 17:1).

    This Elah was not a king.

Article Version: July 17, 2019