Salecah

SALECAH, SALCAH (Heb. salekhâh). A city on the extreme NE boundary of the kingdom of Bashan, near Edrei (Deut.3.10; Josh.12.5; Josh.13.11). Og, king of Bashan, once ruled it; and undoubtedly it was included in the portion given to the half-tribe of Manasseh. It later became the northern limit of the Gadites (1Chr.5.11). It is now known as Salkhad.


SALECAH sǎl’ ə kə (סַלְכָ֖ה; KJV SALCAH and SALCHAH). The site which defined the eastward extent of Bashan (Deut 3:10; Josh 12:5; 13:11). It was apparently assigned to the eastern part of Manasseh as part of Bashan (Josh 13:29-31), but was later inhabited by Gadites (1 Chron 5:11). A suitable site with a similar, though not etymologically equivalent, name is modern Salkhad (Nabatean צלחד); located on an extinct volcanic cone just S of Jebel ed-Druze (Jebel/Mt. Hauran). It controls the SE approach to the fertile Hauran Valley (Biblical Bashan), the southern approaches to Damascus, and the western end of the desert route to the Persian Gulf. The old E-W Rom. road is still visible. Its location and importance make it the proper eastern extremity of Bashan. The chief remains are those of the citadel, the present form of which is Ayyubid although some elements are Rom. Coins of Aretas, king of the Nabateans (9 b.c.-a.d. 40) also have been found there.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

sal’-e-ka, sal’-ka (calekhah; Codex Vaticanus Sekchai, Acha, Sela Codex Alexandrinus Elcha, Aselcha, Selcha): This place first appears in De 3:10 as marking the eastern boundary of Bashan. It is named as one of the cities in which Og, king of Bashan, ruled (Jos 12:5). It must certainly have been included in the portion given to the half-tribe of Manasseh, "all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan," although it is not named among the cities that fell to him (Jos 13:29 ). At a later time we are told that Gad dwelt over against the Reubenites in the land of Bashan unto Salecah (1Ch 5:11). The boundaries of the tribes probably changed from time to time.

The ancient city is represented by the modern Qalkhad, a city in a high and strong position at the southern end of Jebel ed-Druze (the Mountain of Bashan). On a volcanic hill rising some 300 ft. above the town, in what must have been the crater, stands the castle. The view from the battlements, as the present writer can testify, is one of the finest East of the Jordan, including the rich hollow of the Chauran, Mt. Hermon, and all the intervening country to the mountains of Samaria, with vast reaches of the desert to the South and to the East. The old Roman roads are still clearly seen running without curve or deviation across the country to Bozrah and Der’ah, away to the Southeast over the desert to Kal`at el-`Azraq, and eastward to the Persian Gulf. The castle was probably built by the Romans. Restored by the Arabs, it was a place of strength in Crusading times. It has now fallen on evil days. The modern town, containing many ancient houses, lies mainly on the slopes Southeast of the castle. The inhabitants are Druzes, somewhat noted for turbulence.

In the recent rising of the Druzes (1911) the place suffered heavily from bombardment by the Turks. For water-supply it is entirely dependent on cisterns filled during the rainy season. W. Ewing