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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Sorek, Valley of

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sō´rek ( שׂורק נחל , naḥal sōrēḳ , "the valley of the choice ( sōrēḳ ) vine" (see VINE ); σωρήχ , sōrḗch ): "(Samson) loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah" ( Judges 16:4 ). Jerome (OS, 153 f, 6) mentions a Capharsorec which was near Saraa (ancient ZORAH (which see)); this latter is undoubtedly the village of Sura‛h , high up upon the northern slopes of the great Wâdy es Surâr . About 3/4 of a mile West of this is Khurbet Sūrı̄k , which is certainly the site referred to by Jerome, and possibly marks that of a more ancient town which gave its name to the whole valley. This valley is of importance in the historical geography of Palestine out of all proportion to its scanty mention in the Old Testament (HGHL , 218 ff). The Wâdy es Surār is an expansion of the ravine Wâdy Isma‛in (which itself is formed by the junction of the great Wâdy Beit Hanı̄neh , which rises near Bereh, and the Wâdy es Sikkeh , which drains the "Plain of Rephaim" near Jerusalem). The Jerus-Jaffa Railway traverses successively the Wâdy es Surār , the Wâdy Ismai‛n and the Wâdy es Sikkeh to reach the Jerusalem plateau. The Valley of Sorek is a name which probably belonged only to the open, fertile valley, well suited for vineyards, which traverses the Shephelah. It is now given over almost entirely to the cultivation of wheat, barley and maize (durra ). The valley passes between the lofty hill of Sara‛h (Zorah) to the North and ‛Ain Shems (Beth-shemesh) and Tibneh (Timnah) on the South. Standing on the ruins of Beth-shemesh, one can watch the modern railway train winding for miles up the valley along almost the very road from Ekron (now ‛Akı̂v ), upon which came the strange sight of the milch kine dragging the ark (1 Samuel 6:12 ). Very probably it was in this valley that the Philistines were defeated (1 Samuel 7:5-14 ) (PEF , III, 53, Sh XVII ).

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Sorek, Valley of'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/s/sorek-valley-of.html. 1915.

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