The best view of the valley is from the commanding hilltop of Azekah. This strategic city was wisely fortified by Rehoboam, and it was one of the last cities to fall to the Babylonians in the invasion of Judah in 586 BC. The valley below is the location of the battle of David and Goliath.
View from Azekah
The valley gets it name from the Elah tree, a type of oak or terebinth tree. This large and old Elah tree still remains in the valley, reminding visitors of the day when trees proliferated in the Shephelah (cf. 1 Kings 10:27).
The Brook Elah is famous for the five stones it contributed to the young slinger, David. Some surmise that David chose five stones instead of the one needed in case he needed to face Goliath’s four brothers.
Located on the east end of the valley is the site of Adullam. This place proved to be the perfect place for David to hide in his initial flight from Saul. As it today rests on the border between pre-1967 Israel and the West Bank, so in David’s day, this site was apparently in “no-man’s land” where he could stay safely out of the path of Saul or the Philistines.
Cave of Adullam
1 Samuel 22 says that David hid in the “cave of Adullam.” Today there are many caves at the site and it’s not clear which one or ones David used, as many have been used and modified in the years since. While he was here, 400 men who were in debt, distress or discontent, gathered around David.
View of Valley from Socoh
This panoramic view of the Elah Valley from the south is an approximate view of what the Philistine army saw as they faced the Israelites in the battle commonly known as “David vs. Goliath.” The Philistines were encamped on the south side of the valley and King Saul’s forces occupied the hill on the northern side.
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The Valley of Elah (Gems in Israel) Interesting and informative, this article harmonizes the biblical history of the site with the experience of actually being there. Told from the perspective of a tour guide, this account of “David and Goliath” is complete with driving directions.
Elah (WebBible Encyclopedia, ChristianAnswers.Net) Briefly describes the origin of the word, in addition to the basic biblical facts about the site and other biblical uses of the name.
Valley Of Elah (Ohr Somayach International) Offers a brief overview of the site.
Azekah (WebBible Encyclopedia, ChristianAnswers.Net) Briefly describes the origin of the word, in addition to the basic biblical facts about the site with internal links to related topics.
Azekah (dabar.org) Presents both archaeological and historical highlights from each of the major periods of Israel’s ancient history.
Azekah (BibleTools.org) Lists verses for a topical study on the site of Azekah.
Adullam (WebBible Encyclopedia, ChristianAnswers.Net) Interests the reader with both physically and biblically descriptive facts, including internal links to related topics.
In the Cave of Adullam (Baptist Trumpeter Publications) Offers spiritual lessons on David’s refuge in the caves of Adullam, by A. W. Pink.