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ELAH a valley in the tribe of Judah, near the country of the Philistines, notorious for the conflict between David and Goliath. (1 Sam. xvii.) The name is omitted by the LXX. in 5.2, and translated in verse 19 (ἐν τῇ κοιλάδι τῆς δρύος). The valley lay “between Socoh and Azekah” (5.1), the former of which is identified by the modern village of Shuweikeh, and thus fixes the valley of Elah to the modern “Wady-es-Sunt.” “It took its name Elah of old from the Terebinth (Butm.), of which the largest specimen we saw in Palestine still stands in the vicinity, just as it now takes its name es-Sŭmt (Sŭnt) from the acacias which are scattered in it.” (Robinson, Bib. Res. vol. ii. p. 350.) No value whatever can be attached to the tradition which has marked part of the Wady Beît Hanîna, on the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem, as the ancient valley of Elah; a tradition, like many others in Palestine, which consults the convenience of pilgrims, rather than historical or geographical accuracy.


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