Ephes Dammim

EPHES DAMMIM (ē-fĕs dăm'ĭm, Heb. ’ephes dammîm, boundary of blood). A place so called from the bloody battles fought there between Israel and the Philistines. Lying between Soco and Azekah in Judah, it was the Philistine encampment when David killed Goliath (1Sam.17.1). It is called Pas Dammim in 1Chr.11.13. The modern Beit Fased (“house of bloodshed”) may be over the ancient site.


EPHES-DAMMIM ē fĭz dăm’ ĭm (אֶ֥פֶס דַּמִּֽים, end or boundary of blood). A site in the territory of Judah between Socoh and Azekah (1 Sam 17:1), where the Philistines encamped. It is elsewhere designated PAS-DAMMIM (1 Chron 11:13). Some have conjectured that the deep red color of the soil gave rise to the concept of blood. It is more probable that the site was so named because of the number of battles fought there between Israel and the Philistines. Archeologist Abel thinks the place is to be identified with Beit Faṩed, which is SE of Socoh. However, it has been usual to identify the place with the ruins of Damun, about 4 m. NE of Socoh. Latest atlases indicate that the site cannot be located with exactness.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(’ephec dammim):

Some spot between Socoh and Azekah (1Sa 17:1) where the Philistines were encamped; called in 1Ch 11:13, "Pas- dammin." Ephes" end of" or "boundary" and the whole word may mean the "boundary of blood." The deep red color of the newly plowed earth in this situation is noticeable and may have given origin to the idea of "blood" (compare ADUMMIM). Cheyne suggests that from ’adhummin, to dammim, is an easy step, and that the former, meaning "red brown earth," may have been the original. No other satisfactory locality has been found to explain the name or fix the site.