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Vale, Valley

Since Israel in OT times was essentially a mountain dwelling people, their view of the lowlands which surrounded them (and which were largely occupied by their enemies) was naturally colored by this fact. Consequently, the term “The Valley” was reserved by them for a specific region, lying between the mountains of Judaea and the Mediterranean. This was שְׁפֵלָה, H9169, “depressed” or “sunken,” identified by the name of Shephelah in modern geographies and in RSV. (See also [[Palestine]].) It is, curiously, not a valley at all, but a kind of piedmont zone of low hills lying between the coastal plain proper and the Judaean hills, and separated from the latter by a narrow (true) valley. In Deuteronomy 1:7; Joshua 10:40; and 1 Kings 10:27, this is the “vale” or “valley” referred to. It is of interest to note that, in modern Israel, the unqualified term “The Valley” is also used, but nowadays it is in reference to the Plain of Esdraelon rather than the historic Shephelah. Article 2 2.