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Reference: Rephaim, Valley Of


(Jos 15:8; 18:16, R.V.). When David became king over all Israel, the Philistines, judging that he would now become their uncompromising enemy, made a sudden attack upon Hebron, compelling David to retire from it. He sought refuge in "the hold" at Adullam (2Sa 5:17-22), and the Philistines took up their position in the valley of Rephaim, on the west and south-west of Jerusalem. Thus all communication between Bethlehem and Jerusalem was intercepted. While David and his army were encamped here, there occurred that incident narrated in 2Sa 23:15-17. Having obtained divine direction, David led his army against the Philistines, and gained a complete victory over them. The scene of this victory was afterwards called Baalperazim (q.v.).

A second time, however, the Philistines rallied their forces in this valley (2Sa 5:22). Again warned by a divine oracle, David led his army to Gibeon, and attacked the Philistines from the south, inflicting on them another severe defeat, and chasing them with great slaughter to Gezer (q.v.). There David kept in check these enemies of Israel. This valley is now called el-Bukei'a.

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(emeq). 2Sa 5:17-18,22; 23:13; 1Ch 11:15; 14:9; Isa 17:5. In Jos 15:8; 18:16, it is translated "the valley of the giants." The scene of David's twice routing the Philistines utterly and destroying their idols; so that it was named Perazim, God breaking forth there upon David's foes (for they came to seek him to avenge their old quarrel, on hearing of his accession); a type of God's future utter overthrow of the church's last foes (Isa 28:21-22).(See PERAZIM.) The Philistines came in harvest time to the valley, to carry off the ripe crops, in 2Sa 23:13; Isa 17:5.

Joshua (Jos 15:8) says Judah's boundary "went up to the top of the mountain that lieth before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley, of Rephaim ("giants") northward." The most northern point of the valley of Rephaim was at the summit that terminated the valley of Hinnom on the W. Its proximity to Bethlehem is implied in 2Sa 23:13-17. Bethlehem was S. of Jerusalem. Moreover, the Philistines' natural line of march to Jerusalem would be from the S.W. Hence it is likely the valley of Rephaim is the wide elevated plain which, beginning at the top of the valley of Hinnom, stretches S. along the road to Bethlehem, but gradually bends W. until it contracts into the narrow, deep valley, wady el Werd.

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