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Elah Valley - Socoh; David vs/ Goliath
by Galyn Wiemers, Generation Word

First Samuel 17:1,2 says:
"Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Socoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelites assemble and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them”

This is the valley where David killed Goliath. It stretches from the land of Judah to the land of the Philistines. “Elah” in Hebrew means terebinth tree which is a large tree that still grows there. The Elah Valley is one of five major valleys running through the foothills that are found between the Coastal Plain and the hill country of Judah. The valley begins east of Gath and ends at a ridge that rises into Bethlehem. Socoh and Azekah are two main towns here.

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Valley of Elah in the Bible:

1 Samuel 17:2, 19; 21:9, David kills Goliath

In 2008 the fortified city of Khirbet Qeiyafa from 1000-900 BC was excavated by Yosef Garfinkel. Khirbet Qeiyafa overlooks the valley between Azekah and Socoh about 6 miles from Gath. A four-chambered gate, casemate walls, a couple of buildings and an ostracon (broken pottery with writing) have been found. The ostracon was found in a building near the city gate with five lines of text made up of 50 letters that dates from the time of the book of 1 Samuel using proto-Canaanite script, but written in Hebrew. It appears to be an administrative document from the days of King Saul and refers to the end of the corrupt days of the judges and to the establishment of the Israelite’s king by Samuel and the leaders in an attempt to save their society
(1 Sam. 8-9). It says:     - “Do not oppress, and serve God…despoiled him/her.     - “The judge and the widow wept; he had the power     - “over the resident alien and the child, he eliminated them together.     - “The men and the chiefs/officers have established a king.     - “He marked 60 servants among the communities. This text sounds like 1 Sam. 8:1-6, “When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges…They turned aside after dishonest…and perverted justice…he elders of Israel…they said…’appoint a king to lead us.’…And the Lord told him: ‘Listen to all that the people are saying to you.