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Elah (1)

ē´la (אלה, 'ēlāh, “oak” or “terebinth”):

(1) A “duke” or “sheik” of Mount Seir (head of a clan, the Revised Version (British and American) “chief”) of Edom (Genesis 36:41).

(2) Shimei-ben-Elah, Solomon's commissary in Benjamin (1 Kings 4:18 the King James Version).

(3) The second of the three sons of Caleb, the son of Jephunneh (1 Chronicles 4:15).

(4) The father of Hoshea, the last king of Israel (2 Kings 15:30; 2 Kings 17:1).

(5) A Benjamite, son of Uzzi, one of the chiefs of the tribes when the country was settled (1 Chronicles 9:8).

(6) The son and successor of Baasha, king of Israel (1 Kings 16:8-10). He was killed while drunk by Zimri, one of the captains of his chariots, and was the last king of the line of Baasha. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of Jehu (1 Kings 16:6, 1 Kings 16:7, 1 Kings 16:11-14). See next article Elah (2).

(7) Valley of Elah, where the Israelites were encamped when David killed Goliath (1 Samuel 17:2, 1 Samuel 17:19). It was near Shochoh of Judah and Azekah (1 Samuel 17:1). It is the modern Wady es-Sunt, i.e., “valley of the acacia.” “The terebinths from which the valley of Elah takes its name still cling to their ancient soil. On the west side of the valley, near Shochoh, there is a very large and ancient tree of this kind known as the 'terebinth of Wady Sur,' 55 feet in height, its trunk 17 feet in circumference, and the breadth of its shade no less than 75 feet. It marks the upper end of the Elah valley, and forms a noted object, being one of the largest terebinths in Palestine.” Geikie's The Holy Land, etc.

Elah (2)


Son of Baasha, fourth king of Israel (1 Kings 16:6-14). He reigned two years, 888-887 BC. The statement that he came to the throne in the 26th year of Asa, reigned two years, and died in the 27th year of Asa, illustrates the Hebrew method of synchronizing the reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah (compare 1 Kings 15:33; 1 Kings 16:8). Elah appears to have been a debauchee. While he was drinking himself drunk in the house of Azra, his chamberlain, Zimri, one of his military leaders, conspired against him and murdered him. According to Josephus (VIII, xii, 4) he took advantage of the absence of the army, which was at Gibbethon, to kill Elah. The extirpation of the royal family followed the murder of the king. Baasha's dynasty had its origin in a murder and it ended in a murder. The government had no stability. These revolutions illustrate the truth that “they who take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

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