Valley of Elah

Valley of Elah

(I Samuel 17:2)
“And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and encamped by the valley of  Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.” (I Samuel 17:2)

This small valley on the border of the Judean Hills, 8 km. south of Beit Shemesh, has always been an important route from the Judean foothills to the Judean hills.

The origin of the name is ancient, probably after the indigenous terebinth trees (elah = terebinth).
In ancient days it was a battlefield between Israel and the Philistines, where David slew Goliath:

“And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them.” (I Samuel 17:3).

Today the central part of the valley is taken up by kibbutz Netiv HaLamed Heh and nearby is a Ministry of Communications satellite receiving station.

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