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Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Hachilah, the Hill

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In a wood in the untilled land near Ziph, facing (1 Samuel 23:19; 1 Samuel 23:24, "south" of) the Jeshimon, i.e. the waste district. David and his 600 men lurked in the fastnesses of the hill; but as Saul approached withdrew to the wood (rather the choresh or "village" attached to Ziph below. (See ZIPH.) Saul bivouacked by the way or road which passed over or at the side of the hill. Then ensued David's taking of Saul's spear and cruse (1 Samuel 23:14; 1 Samuel 26:13). See the title of Psalm 54. There is an undesigned coincidence between David's language in Psalms 11:1, "how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain," and the independent history (1 Samuel 26:20)," the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains," a confirmation of the genuineness of both psalm and history.

From the rock of Ziph David came down to "the wilderness of Maon." Both names are still found in southern Judah. Conder (Palestine Exploration) identifies Hachilah with a high hill bounded by deep valleys N. and S. on which stands the ruin Yekin or Harbin, facing Jeshimon on the right. The "trench" where Saul pitched tent is the flat low plot between steep cliffs, the head of a large wady with water. David crossed the valley, and from either of the hill tops called to the hosts. There is only one hill E. of Ziph overlooking the desert, the rest are rolling downs at a lower level; on this one is Yekin, which is "Hachil," the liquids 'l' and 'n' being interchanged as often.

The "trench" in which Saul lay (1 Samuel 26:5) was the hollow, with a spring and cave in it, still to be seen beneath the crest of the hill. Another knoll is beyond this hollow; just as the Bedouins take up their quarters, not on a hill where they can be seen, but in a slight hollow so as at will to emerge forth at the right moment on a foe. It is contrary to their customs of war to lie in a trench of an encampment; however the sense may probably be (see margin), he lay within the wagon rampart.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Hachilah, the Hill'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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Wednesday, May 27th, 2020
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