E'lim (Hebrews Eylim', אֵילִים, trees [so called from their strength; SEE OAK ]; perh. here palm-trees; Sept. Αἰλείμ), a place mentioned in Ex 15:27; Nu 33:9, as the second station where the Israelites encamped after crossing the Red Sea. (See Huldrich or Ulrich, De fontibus in Elim repertis, Brem. 1728). SEE BEER-ELIM. It is distinguished as having had "twelve wells (rather "fountains," ינוֹת) of water, and threescore and ten palm-trees." Laborde (Geographical Commentary on Exodus 15:27) supposed wady Useit to be Elim, the second of four wadys lying between 29° 7' and 29° 20', which descend from the range of et- Tih (here nearly parallel with the shore) towards the sea. The route of the Israelites, however, cannot well be mistaken at this part. It evidently lay along the desert plain on the eastern shore of the Red Sea. Elim must consequently have been in this plain, and not more than about fifty miles from the place of passage. With these data, and in a country where fountains are of such rare occurrence, it is not difficult to identify Elim. Near the south-eastern end of this plain, and not far from the base of Jebel Hummam, the outpost of the great Sinai mountain-group, a charming vale, called wady Ghurundel, intersects the line of route. It is the first of the four wadys noticed above, and is, in fact, the most noted valley of that region, and the only one in the vicinity containing water (Robinson, Researches, 1:100, 105). In the dry season it contains no stream, but in the rainy season it becomes the channel of a broad and powerful mountain current, being bounded by high ridges, and extending far into the interior. It has no soil, but drifting sand, which has left but one of the "wells" remaining, the others anciently existing being doubtless filled up. This principal fountain springs out at the foot of a sandstone rock, forming a pool of sparkling water, and sending out a tiny but perennial stream. This, in fact, is one of the chief watering places in the peninsula of Sinai (Bartlett, Forty Days in the Desert, page 33 sq.). There are no palm-trees at present here, but the place is fringed with trees and shrubbery, stunted palms, with their hairy trunks and dishevelled branches; tamarisks, their feathery leaves dripping with what the Arabs call manna; and the acacia, with its gray foliage and white blossoms (Stanley, Palestine, page 68). These supply the only verdure, which, however, in contrast with the naked desert, is quite refreshing (Olin's Travels, 1:362). Well might such a wady, in the midst of a bare and treeless waste, be called emphatically Elim, "the trees." Lepsius takes another view, that Ghurundel is Mara, by others identified with Howara (2 hours N.W. from Ghurundel, and reached by the Israelites, therefore, before it), and that Elim is to be found in the last of the four above named, wady Shubeikeh (Travels, Berlin, 1845, page 27 sq.). SEE EXODE.

Bible concordance for ELIM.

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