(Heb. Tsarephath', צ רַפִת, smelting place; Sept and New Test. Σαρεπτά [in Obad. τὰ Σαρεπτά; v.r. in 1 Kings, Σεφθά]; Josephus, Σαρεφθά; "Sarepta," Lu 4:26), a town which derives its claim to notice from having been the residence of the prophet Elijah during the latter part of the drought, and where he performed the miracle of multiplying the barrel of meal and cruse of oil, and where he raised the widow's son to life (1Ki 17:9-10). Beyond stating that it was near to, or dependent on, Zidon (לצַידוֹן), the Bible gives no clew to its position. It is mentioned by Obadiah (ver. 20), but merely as a Canaanitish (that is, Phoenician) city. Josephus (Ant. 8:13, 2), however, states that it was "not far from Sidon and Tyre, for it lies between them." To this Jerome adds (Onomast. s.v. "Sarefta") that it "lay on the public road," that is, the coast-road. Both these conditions. are implied in the mention of it in the itinerary of Paula by Jerome (Epit. Paulae, § 8), and both are fulfilled in the situation of the modern village of Surafend, a name which, except in its termination, is almost identical with the ancient Phoenician (comp. Pliny, 5, 17; Jerome, Ep. 108, ad Eustoch.).
There were many vineyards there (Sidon. Apoll. Carm. 17:16; Fulgent. Mythol. 2, 15). The Crusaders made Sarepta a Latin bishopric in the archiepiscopate of Sidon, and erected near the port a small chapel over the reputed site of Elijah's miracle (William ch of Tyre, 19:14; Jacob of Vitry, ch. 44). In the Middle Ages it .was a strongly fortified place (Wilken, Kreuzzige, 2, 208). The locality has been visited and described in recent times by Robinson (Bibl. Res. 2, 475), Thomson (Land and Book, ch. 12), and others. It appears to have changed its place, at least since the 11th century, for it is now more than a mile from the coast, high up on the slope of a hill (Robinson, p. 474), whereas at the time of the Crusades it was on the shore. Of the old town considerable indications remain. One group of foundations is on a headland called Ain elKentarah; but the chief remains are south of this, and extend for a mile or more, with many fragments of columns, slabs, and other architectural features. The Roman road is said to be up usually perfect there (Beamont, Diary, etc., 2, 186). The site of the chapel erected by the Crusaders on the spot then reputed to be the site of the widow's house is probably still preserved (see the citations of Robinson). It is near the water's edge, and is now marked by a wely and small khan dedicated to el-Khud, the well-known personage who unites, in the popular Moslem faith, Elijah and St. George. A grotto at the foot of the hill on which the modern village -stands is' now shown as the residence of Elijah (Yan de Velde, Syr. and Palest. 1, 102). See Maundrell, Travels, p. 63; Korte, Reis. p. 307; Nau, Voyage Nouv. p. 544; Pococke, East, 2, 85; Raumer, Palastina, p. 140; Richter, Walf. p. 72; Russegger, 3, 145; Cobius, De Sarepta (Viteb. 1728), SEE PHOENICIA.