Shaara'im (Heb. Shaara'yim, שִׁעֲרִיַ ם, two gates; Sept. in Joshua Σακαρίμ, in Samuel αἱ πόλεις, in Chron. Σεωρείμ [v.r. Σαρίμ]; Vulg. Saraim, Saarim), a town in the "valley" or maritime plain of Judah (Jos 15:36, A.V. "Sharaim," where it is named between Azekah and Adithaim). Its occurrence among the cities of Simeon (1Ch 4:31) is probably a clerical error for Sharuhen (Jos 19:6). "It is mentioned again in the account of the rout which followed the fall of Goliath, where the wounded fell down on the road to Shaaraim and as far as Gath and Ekron (1Sa 17:52). These two notices are consistent with each other. Goliath probably fell in the Wady es-Sumt, on opposite sides of which stand the representatives of Socoh and Jarmuth; Gath was at or near Tell es-Safieh, a few miles west of Socoh at the mouth of the same wady; while Ekron (if 'Akir be Ekron) lies farther north. Shaaraim is probably therefore to be looked for somewhere west of Shuweikeh, on the lower slopes of the hills, where they subside into the great plain" (Smith). "The valley of Elah runs down among the hills for some distance, and then forks below Tell-Zakartah; one branch, or rather side valley, running to Gath (Tell es-Safieh), and the other to the plain of Ekron. Perhaps the town of Shaaraim may have been situated at the fork, and may have taken its name from the 'two passes' (see Porter, Hand-book for Sin. and Pal. p. 264)" (Kitto). It is probably identical with. the Ir-Tarain of the Talmud (Tosephtah, Ahaloth, s.f.), for the Chaldee tarain has the same meaning, gates (Schwarz, Palest. p. 102). From the associated localities it must be sought in the vicinity of the modern Shahmeh, a village with traces of ruins about two and a half miles south of Ekron (Van de Velde, Memoir, p. 114). Lieut. Conder at first proposed Tell Zakariah as a suitable position for Shaaraim (Quar. Statement of "the Pal. Explor. Fund," 1875, p. 194), but M. Ganneau suggests the ruin. Sa'ireh (ibid. p. 182), mentioned in Dr. Robinson's list (Append. to vol. 3, 1st ed. of Researches) between Shuweikeh and Beit-Netif, in which Lieut. Conder seems finally to coincide (Tent Work in Pal. 2, 339).

Bible concordance for SHAARAIM.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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