, Εμεκ Ῥαφαῒν
, κοιγὰς τῶν Τιτάνων
, LXX.; κ. Γιγάντων
, Joseph.), a valley mentioned in the north border of the tribe of Judah, the south of Benjamin (Josh.
15.8, 18.18), in the vicinity of Jerusalem.
It is translated “the valley of the giants” in the authorised version, except in 2 Sam.
5.18, 22, where we find that the valley of Rephaim was a favourite camping ground for the Philistines, soon after David had got possession of the stronghold of Sion; and in Isaiah,
17.5, where it is represented as a fruitful corn-bearing tract of land, well answering to the wide valley, or rather plain, immediately south of the valley of Hinnom, traversed by the Bethlehem road, which is commonly identified by travellers as the “valley of the giants,” although Eusebius places it in Benjamin (Onomast. s. v.
). [p. 2.699]
It evidently derived its name from the Rephaim, a family of the Amalekites (Gen.
14.5) settled in Ashteroth Karnaim, supposed by Reland to be of the race of the Gephyraei, who came with Cadmus from Phoenicia to Greece. (Hdt. 5.57
; Reland, Palaest.
p. 141, comp. pp. 79, 355.) The Philistines who are said to have encamped there may have bequeathed their name to the valley.