Se'la-hammah'lekoth (Heb. Se'la hammachlekoth', סֵלִע הִמִּחלקוֹת; Sept. πέτρα ἡ μερισθεῖσα; Vulg. Petra dividens), a rock in the wilderness of Maon, the scene of one of those remarkable escapes which are so frequent in the history of Saul's pursuit of David (1Sa 23:28). Its name, if interpreted as Hebrew, signifies the "rock of escapes," or "of divisions." The former is the explanation of Gesenius (Thesaur. p. 485), the latter of the Targum and the ancient Jewish interpreters (Midrash; Rashi). The escape is that of David; the divisions are those of Saul's mind, undecided whether to remain in pursuit of his enemy or to go after the Philistines; but such explanations, though appropriate to either interpretation, and consistent with the Oriental habit of playing on words, are doubtless mere accommodations. The analogy of topographical nomenclature makes it almost certain that this cliff must have derived its name either from its smoothness (one of the radical meanings of חָלִק) or from some peculiarity of shape or position, such as is indicated in the translations of the Sept. and Vulgate. The divisions characteristic of the mountain, or rather cliff (for such Sela properly means), probably were the seams or ravines down its sides, which furnished David the means of escape. According to Lieut. Conder (Tent Work in Palestine, 2, 91), the name Malaky is still applied to part of a rocky gorge between Ziph and Maon," seamed with many torrent beds."

Bible concordance for SELA-HAMMAHLEKOTH.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

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