So'rek (Heb. Sorek', שׂוֹרֵק, red; Sept. Σωρήκ [in some copies compounded with a part of the preceding word]), the name of a valley (נִחִל, wady) in which lay the residence of Delilah (Jg 16:4). It appears to have been a Philistine place, and possibly was nearer Gaza than any other of the chief Philistine cities, since thither Samson was taken after his capture at Delilah's house. Beyond this there are no indications of its position, nor is it mentioned again in the Bible. Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. Σωρήχ) state that a village named Capharsorech was shown in their day "on the north of Eleutheropolis, near the town of Saar (or Saraa), i.e. Zorah, the native place of Samson." Zorah is now supposed to have been fully ten miles north of Beit-Jibrin, the modern representative of Eleutheropolis, though it is not impossible that there may have been a second further south. Van de Velde (Memoir, p. 350) proposes Wady Simsim, which runs from near Beit-Jibrin to Askulan; but this he admits to be mere conjecture. On the south side of the ridge on which the city of Zorah stood, and between it and Bethshemesh, runs a wide and fertile valley, whose shelving sides of white limestone are admirably adapted for the cultivation of the vine. It winds away across the plain, passing the sites of Ekron and Jabneel. This may possibly be the valley of Sorek. Its modern name, Wady es-Surar, bears some remote resemblance, at least in sound, to the Biblical Sorek (Porter, Handbook, p. 282). "The view up this valley eastward is picturesque. The vale, half a mile across, is full of corn, and in the middle runs the white shingly bed of the winter torrent. Low white hills flank it on either side, and the high rugged chain of the mountains. of Judah forms a pretty background" (Conder, Tent Work in Palest. 2, 175).
The word Sorek in Hebrew, signifies a peculiarly choice kind of vine. which is said to have derived its name from the dusky color of its grapes, that perhaps being the meaning of the root (Gesenius, Thesaur. p. 1342). It occurs in three passages of the Old Test. (Isa 5:2; Jer 2:21; and, with a modification, in Ge 49:11). It appears to be used in modern Arabic for a certain purple grape, grown in Syria, and highly esteemed, which is noted for its small raisins and minute soft pips, and produces a red wine. This being the case, the valley of Sorek may have derived its name from the growth of such vines, though it is hardly safe to affirm the fact in the unquestioning manner in which Gesenius (ibid.) does. Ascalon was celebrated among the ancients for its wine; and, though not in the neighborhood of Zorah, was the natural port by which any of the productions of that district would be exported to the west. SEE VINE.