>  Top Jewish Tour Destinations in Israel   >  Elah Valley, Battle Site of David and Goliath

david goliath battlesite

Nestling in the heart of the Judean Foothills (the Shephelah), the Elah valley runs beneath Tel Azekah. This part of the valley identified with Efes Damim (1 Samuel 17:1), the battle site of David and Goliath.

The Elah Valley and the Bible

The battle between David and Goliath is presented in vivid detail in the first book of Samuel, chapter 17. The Elah valley was the very seam between Philistine and Judean lands, so whoever triumphs in this battle will reign over a strategic and fertile region.

As Goliath appeared in the Philistine camp, the Israelites were terrified, and none dared to confront him. Then, young shepherd David arrived at the Israelite camp to provide goods to his family members. When he heard the Philistine giant defaming the Israelites and their God, he approached King Saul and requested to confront Goliath. He declined the offer to use any armor and advanced towards Goliath.

Upon seeing him, Goliath responded, “Come here, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” David replied, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of Hosts, the God of the ranks of Israel, whom you have defied…“.

He then removed a stone from his bag, slung it, and struck Goliath in the forehead. The giant fell to the ground.  “David ran up and stood over the Philistine, grasped his sword, and pulled it from its sheath; and with it, he dispatched him and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their warrior was dead, they ran.

The battle ended with a decisive victory for the Israelites. It also marked the beginning of David’s military and political activity, eventually leading him to the throne.

Touring the Elah Valley

There are two locations where it is possible to reach the dry riverbed of the Elah Valley, collect some pebbles, and practice your skills in operating a sling. Although no direct archaeological finds relate to the battle, it is a great experience to walk and discuss the battle at its actual site. It is also recommended to ascend to the top of Tel Azekah. From here, you can review the battle site from the probable location of the Philistine camp.

A site tour can be combined with a guided day tour in the Judean hills (the Shephelah).

Contact us to inquire more about a private tour to the Elah Valley:

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