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The Shephelah

SHEPHELAH, THE (shē-fē'la, Heb. ha-shephēlâh, low country). The word is not in the English Bible. KJV translates the Hebrew word “low country” or “low plain” four times, “plain” three times, “vale” five times, and “valley” eight times; NIV has “foothills” seven times and “western foothills” thirteen times; ASV always has “lowland.” It represents the undulating country between the mountains of Judah and the maritime plain south of the Plain of Sharon, extending through the country of Philistia along the Mediterranean. One of the Promised Land’s six geographical sections west of Jordan (Josh.12.8), it had many sycamore trees (1Kgs.10.27). Its limestone hills were 500 to 800 feet (156-250 m.) high. Good crops, especially grapes, grew in the valleys. Samson’s exploits took place there, and David hid there from Saul.