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Sorek

SOREK (sō'rĕk, Heb. sôrēq, vineyard). A valley that extends from near Jerusalem to the Mediterranean Sea about eight and one-half miles (fourteen km.) south of Joppa. It was in this valley that Samson found Delilah (Judg.16.4). It was a fertile area where vineyards flourished. Today it produces rich harvests of grain. A modern railroad follows the valley to Jerusalem. In OT times a highway ran along the same route. It was over this road that the ark was conveyed after it had been taken from the Philistines (1Sam.6.10-1Sam.6.14). There the Philistines suffered a great defeat at the hands of the Israelites (1Sam.7.3-1Sam.7.14). It is doubtless Wadi es-Sarar.


SOREK sôr’ ĕk (שֹׂרֵ֑ק, choice vine). The valley where Delilah, the lover of Samson, lived (Judg 16:4). This valley was one of three parallel narrow E-W valleys that crossed the Shephelah (rocky plateau stretching from Ajalon to Gaza). Eshtaol and Zorah were on the N of the valley, and Timnah, where Samson sought a wife (Judg 14:1), is located farther SW, near the mouth of the valley. It is known today as Wadi es-Sarar beginning about thirteen m. SW of Jerusalem and running in a NW direction for about twenty m. toward the Mediterranean. Since Beth-shemesh was set apart in the days of Joshua as a Levitical city (Josh 21:16), proximity to the SE mouth of the valley demanded that it be heavily fortified against Philistine harassments. Samson’s betrayal by Delilah would no doubt have threatened this important Israelite stronghold.