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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature

Elah


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Elah, 1

E´lah, son of Baasha king of Israel. After a reign of two years (B.C. 930-929) he was assassinated while drunk, and all his kinsfolk and friends cut off, by Zimri, 'the captain of half his chariots.' He was the last king of Baasha's line, and by this catastrophe the predictions of the prophet Jehu were accomplished ().

Elah, 2

E´lah, a valley in which the Israelites were encamped when David fought Goliath (). It doubtless received this name from the terebinth trees, or from some remarkable terebinth tree, growing in it. Ecclesiastical traditions identify it with the present valley of Beit Hanina, about eight miles north-west from Jerusalem. In this valley olive trees and carob trees now prevail, and terebinth trees are few; but the brook is still indicated whence the youthful champion selected the 'smooth stones' wherewith he smote the Philistine. The brook is dry in summer, but in winter it becomes a mighty torrent, which inundates the vale. Dr. Robinson, however, disputes this ancient tradition, and finds that the conditions of the history require him to identify the valley of Elah with the Wady es-Sumt (acacia valley), which he crossed on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, about eleven miles south-west from the former city. His reasons are given in Biblical Researches, iii. 350; and he remarks that the largest specimen of the terebinth tree which he saw in Palestine still stands in the vicinity.

 

 

 

 


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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Elah'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature". https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/kbe/e/elah.html.

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