Halah

HALAH (hā'la). A district in Media to which many of the captive Israelites were taken by Shalmanezer and by Tiglath-Pileser (2Kgs.17.6; 2Kgs.18.11; 1Chr.5.26). It is about 80 miles (133 km.) west by north of the famous Behistun Rock on the road from Ecbatana to Babylon.


HALAH hā’ lə (חְלַ֧ח). One of the places to which kings of Assyria deported Israelites on the capture of Samaria (2 Kings 17:6; 18:11; 1 Chron 5:26). In Obadiah 20, where the KJV has “the captivity of this host,” the RSV has “the exiles in Halah.” Halah was situated in the region of Gozan, but it has not yet been satisfactorily identified.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(chalach; Halae, Hallae, Chaach, for Chalach, Chala; Vulgate (Jerome’s Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) Hala):

1. Many Identifications:

Mentioned in 2Ki 17:6; 18:11; 1Ch 5:26, as one of the places to which the kings of Assyria sent the exiled Israelites (see Gozan; Habor). Various identifications have been proposed, all of them except the last more or less improbable for philological reasons:

(1) the Assyrian Kalach (Nimrud, the Calah of Ge 10:11);

(2) the Assyrian Hilakku (Cilicia);

(3) Chalkitis in Mesopotamia (Ptol. v.18, 4), adjoining Gauzanitis (Gozan)--a good position otherwise;

(4) the Calachene of Strabo, in the North of Assyria. Equally unsuitable, also, is

(5) the Chalonitis of Pliny and Strabo, Northeast of Assyria, notwithstanding that this was apparently called Halah by the Syrians. An attractive identification was

(6) with the river Balikh (by change of "H" into "B")--compare Septuagint "in Halae and in Habor, rivers of Gozan"--but even this has to be abandoned in favor of

(7) the Assyrian Halahhu, which (except the doubling and the case-ending) is the same, letter for letter.

2. The Most Probable of Them:

It is mentioned in the W. Asia Inscr, II, plural 53, l. 35, between Arrapha (Arrapachitis) and Racappu (Reseph). According to the tablet K. 123, where it is called mat Halahhi, "the land of Halahhu," it apparently included the towns Se-bise, Se-irrisi, Lu-ammu(ti?), and Se-Akkulani, apparently four grain-producing centers for the Assyrian government. The first quotation implies that Halah was near or in Gauzanitis, and had a chief town of the same name. Of the 8 personal names in K. 123, 5 are Assyrian, the remainder being Syrian rather than Israelite.