SELA HAMMAHLEKOTH (sē'la ha-mă'le*ch-kōth, “rock of divisions or escapes”). A cliff in the wilderness of Maon. It was so called because there David eluded Saul (1Sam.23.28). About eight miles (thirteen km.) NE of Maon there is a great gorge called Wadi Malaki, impassable except by making a detour of many miles; this is probably the place.
SELA-HAMMAHLEKOTH sē lə hə mä’ lə kŏth
, rock of divisions
, rock of smoothness,
and rock of the ways
have been suggested; RSV ROCK OF ESCAPE). A wellknown crag in the Wilderness of Maon (q.v.), prob. referring to the Maon S of Hebron, where Saul almost captured David (1 Sam 23:25-29
). It is apparently not Masada, since this is somewhat removed from Maon. The location is unknown.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
se-la-ha-ma’-le-koth, -koth (cela`ha-machleqoth; petra he meristheisa): "The rock of divisions (or, escape)" (1Sa 23:28 margin). "Saul .... pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon. And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul" (1Sa 23:25,26). The name seems to survive in Wady Malaki, "the great gorge which breaks down between Carmel and Maon eastward, with vertical cliffs" (PEF, III, 314, Sh. XXI).