Rephaim, Valley of

(Josh. 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 (2 Sam. 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 2 Sam. 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 (2 Sam. 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.