Elah Valley

The Valley of Elah, "the Valley of the Terebinth". It is called after the large and shady terebinth trees which are indigenous to its parts, and best known as the place described in the Bible where the Israelites were encamped when David fought Goliath (1 Sam. 17:2, 19). It was near Azekah and Socho (17:1). On the west side of the valley, near Socho, there is a very large and ancient tree of this kind, 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 valley, and forms a noted object, being one of the largest terebinths in the area. Rising up from the valley on its extreme south-east end lies the hilltop ruin, Adullam.
Elah Tree

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).
Brook Elah

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 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.