Map of the Philistine Valley of Sorek
for Print) (Freely Distributed)
Map of the Valley of
Sorek in Ancient Philistia
The Bible says that Samson
fell in love with a woman named Delilah in the Valley of "Sorek" a
Hebrew word which means "Vine." It is not clear exactly where
this valley was located but we know it was a valley which separated
the Land of Judah from the Philistines.
Judges 16:4 - And it
came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of
Sorek, whose name [was] Delilah.
Valley of Sorek in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
SOREK, VALLEY OF
so'-rek (nachal soreq, "the valley of the choice (soreq) vine" (see
VINE); sorech): "(Samson) loved a woman in the valley of Sorek,
whose name was Delilah" (Jdg 16:4). Jerome (OS, 153 f, 6) mentions a
Capharsorec which was near Saraa (ancient ZORAH (which see); this
latter is undoubtedly the village of Sura`h, high up upon the
northern slopes of the great Wady es Surar. About 3/4 of a mile West
of this is Khurbet Surik, which is certainly the site referred to by
Jerome, and possibly marks that of a more ancient town which gave
its name to the whole valley. This valley is of importance in the
historical geography of Palestine out of all proportion to its
scanty mention in the Old Testament (HGHL, 218 ff). The Wady es
Surar is an expansion of the ravine Wady Isma`in (which itself is
formed by the junction of the great Wady Beit Chanineh, which rises
near Bereh, and the Wady es Sikkeh, which drains the "Plain of
Rephaim" near Jerusalem). The Jerus-Jaffa Railway traverses
successively the Wady es Surar, the Wady Ismai`n and the Wady es
Sikkeh to reach the Jerusalem plateau. The Valley of Sorek is a name
which probably belonged only to the open, fertile valley, well
suited for vineyards, which traverses the Shephelah. It is now given
over almost entirely to the cultivation of wheat, barley and maize
(durra). The valley passes between the lofty hill of Sara`h (Zorah)
to the North and `Ain Shems (Beth-shemesh) and Tibneh (Timnah) on
the South. Standing on the ruins of Beth-shemesh, one can watch the
modern railway train winding for miles up the valley along almost
the very road from Ekron (now `Akiv), upon which came the strange
sight of the milch kine dragging the ark (1 Sam 6:12). Very probably
it was in this valley that the Philistines were defeated (1 Sam
7:5-14) (PEF, III, 53, Sh XVII).
E. W. G. Masterman
Smith's Bible Dictionary Topics
(like the sun), son of Manoah, a man of the town of Zorah in the
tribe of Dan, on the border of Judah. #Jos 15:33; 19:41| (B.C.
1161). The miraculous circumstances of his birth are recorded in
(red), The valley of, a wady in which lay the residence of Delilah.
#Jud 16:4| It was possibly nearer Gaza than any other of the chief
Philistine cities, since thither Samson was taken after his capture
at Delilah's house.
(languishing) a woman who dwelt in the valley Of Sorek, beloved by
Samson. #Jud 16:4-18| There seems to be little doubt that she was a
Philistine courtesan. [SAMS0N] (B.C. 1141.)
The Bible Mentions
"Philistia" on the Coast of Israel
1 Samuel 6:17 - "And these are the
golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass
offering unto the LORD; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one,
for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one"
Psalms 87:4 - I will
make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold
Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this [man] was born
- Moab [is] my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe:
Philistia, triumph thou because of me.
108:9 - Moab [is] my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my
shoe; over Philistia will I triumph.
The Bible Mentions
"Gaza" as a Chief City of the Philistines
Judges 1:18 - Also
Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon
with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof.
Chronicles 7:28 - And their possessions and habitations
[were], Bethel and the towns thereof, and eastward Naaran, and
westward Gezer, with the towns thereof; Shechem also and the towns
thereof, unto Gaza and the towns thereof:
15:47 - Ashdod with her towns and her villages, Gaza
with her towns and her villages, unto the river of Egypt, and the
great sea, and the border [thereof]:
10:19 - And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as
thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto
Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.
6:17 - And these [are] the golden emerods which the
Philistines returned [for] a trespass offering unto the LORD; for
Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath
one, for Ekron one;
- Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza,
and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because
they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver [them] up
- And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the
earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no
sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.
16:21 - But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes,
and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with
fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
- And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go
toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto
Gaza, which is desert.
11:22 - There was none of the Anakims left in the land of
the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in
Ashdod, there remained.
18:8 - He smote the Philistines, [even] unto Gaza,
and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the
47:5 - Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is
cut off [with] the remnant of their valley: how long wilt thou cut
2:4 - For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon
a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron
shall be rooted up.
47:1 - The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the
prophet against the Philistines, before that Pharaoh smote
10:41 - And Joshua smote them from Kadeshbarnea even unto
Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.
- But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which
shall devour the palaces thereof:
- Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot,
and went in unto her.
9:5 - Ashkelon shall see [it], and fear; Gaza
also [shall see it], and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her
expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from
Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.