SHAARAIM (shā'a-rā'ĭm, Heb. sha‘ărayim, two gates, so rendered in lxx of 1Sam.17.52; kjv [incorrectly] Sharaim in Josh.15.36)
A town belonging to Judah in the Shephelah or “low country” (Josh.15.36; 1Sam.17.52).A town belonging to Simeon (1Chr.4.31). It is listed as Sharuhen in Josh.19.6 and Shilhim in Josh.15.32.
SHAARAIM shā ə rā’ əm
, two gates
). 1. A town in the Shephelah (lowland hills) SW of Jerusalem (Josh 15:33-36
). The valley of Elah (modern Wadi es-Sant), down which the Philistines retreated in 1 Samuel 17
, is identified as “the way from Shaaraim” (v. 52
). This implies only that Shaaraim commanded this valley, not necessarily that Shaaraim was below Azekah (v. 1
). Its location is unknown.
2. A Simeonite village in southern Judah (1 Chron 4:28-31). Comparison with other town lists (Josh 15:27-32; 19:2-6) has suggested identity with Shilhim (q.v.) and Sharuhen (q.v.), but these lists are not similar enough to establish the identities. Its location is unknown.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(sha`arayim, "two gates"; Sakareim; the King James Version Sharaim):
(1) A city in the Shephelah or "lowland" of Judah mentioned (Jos 15:36) in close association with Socoh and Azekah; the vanquished army of the Philistines passed a Shaaraim in their flight from Socoh toward Gath and Ekron (1Sa 17:52). It is possible that in this latter reference the "two gates" may refer--as Septuagint implies--to the two Philistine strongholds themselves. Shaaraim has been identified with Tell Zakariya (see however AZEKAH) and with Kh. Sa`ireh (PEF, III, 124, Sh XVII), an old site West of Beit `Atab. Both proposals are hazardous.
(2) One of the towns of Simeon (1Ch 4:31), called (Jos 19:6) "Sharuhen" and, as one of the uttermost cities of Judah, called (Jos 15:32) "Shilhim." This town was in Southwestern Palestine and is very probably identical with the fortress Sharhana, a place of some importance on the road from Gaza to Egypt. Aahmes (XVIIIth Dynasty) besieged and captured this city in the 5th year of his reign in his pursuit of the flying Hyksos (Petrie, Hist, II, 22, 35), and a century later Tahutmes III, in the 23rd year of his reign, took the city of Sharuhen on his way to the siege and capture of Megiddo (Petrie, Hist, II, 104). On philological grounds Tell esh-Sheri`ah, 12 miles Northwest of Beersheba, large ruin, has been proposed, but it does not suit at all the Egyptian data (PEF, III, 399, Sh XXIV).