In Search of the Ancient Name of Khirbet Qeiyafa

Nadav Na'aman

Abstract


This article discusses the identity of the recently excavated stronghold of Khirbet Qeiyafa, a tenth century BCE site located near the Valley of Elah, in the area where the story of the battle between David and Goliath takes place. There is also the story of a battle between Elhanan the Bethlehemite and Goliath of Gath that takes place at Gob (2 Sam 21:19). In light of a comparison of the two episodes I suggest identifying Khirbet Qeiyafa with biblical Gob. A close reading of the four anecdotes related in 2 Sam 21:15-22 clarifies the message of the early biblical tradition of four battles fought between Israelite and Philistine elite warriors that culminated in the advance of the Israelite troops to the gates of Philistine Gath.

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