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Valley of Ellah


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The Valley of Elah or Ella Valley (“the valley of the terebinth”); from the Hebrew: עמק האלה‎ Emek HaElah), is a long, shallow valley in Israel and the West Bank best known as the place described in the Torah where the Israelites were encamped when David fought Goliath. It is home to several important archaeological sites, including those identified as the ancient towns of Azekah and Socho. Rising up from the valley on its extreme southeast end lies the hilltop ruin Adullam, and on its north lie the ruins of the ancient fortress city of Khirbet Qeiyafa.

The valley is named after the large and shady terebinth trees, which are indigenous to it. On the west side of the valley, near Socho, there is a very large and ancient tree of this kind, 55 feet (17 m) in height with a trunk 17 feet (5.2 m) in circumference and a canopy at least 75 feet (23 m) in diameter. This tree is notable for being one of the largest terebinths in the area and marks the upper end of the valley.


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