ZAREPHATH (zăr'ĕ-făth, Heb. tsārephath, refinement). An OT town remembered chiefly because Elijah resided there during the latter half of the famine caused by the drought (
F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine (1938), 449.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
The Sidonian town in which Elijah was entertained by a widow after he left the brook Cherith (
The site of the ancient town is marked by the ruins on the shore to the South of the modern village, about 8 miles to the South of Sidon, which extend along the shore for a mile or more. They are in two distinct groups, one on a headland to the West of a fountain called Ain el-Qantara, which is not far from the shore. Here was the ancient harbor which still affords shelter for small craft. The other group of ruins is to the South, and consists of columns, sarcophagi and marble slabs, indicating a city of considerable importance. The modern village of Sarafend was built some time after the 12th century, since at the time of the Crusades the town was still on the shore.
It is conjectured that the Syrophoenician woman mentioned in
The place has been identified by some with Misrephoth-maim of
Originally Sidonian, the town passed to the Tyrians after the invasian of Shalmaneser IV, 722 BC. It fell to Sennacherib 701 BC. The Wely, or shrine bearing the name of el-Khudr, the saint in whom George is blended with Elijah, stands near the shore. Probably here the Crusaders erected a chapel on what they believed to be the site of the widow’s house.