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ZELA ze’ lə, KJV, ZELAH (צֵ֨לַע, rib, side, of man, Gen 2:21, 22; of a hill, 2 Sam 16:13). A city in Benjamin.

In Joshua 18:28 Zela is mentioned as a part of a group of fourteen cities which in general lay a few m. to the N of Jerusalem. Zela’s exact location is not certain but some have suggested Khirbet Salah, between Jerusalem and Gibeon, as a possible site. The Heb. name in Joshua 18:28 may possibly have been Zela ha-eleph (“ox rib”) as the LXX A text, Σηλαλεφ suggests; but the Heb. of 2 Samuel 21:14 has Zela, the LXX giving πλευρά, G4433, (side). This latter reference tells how David buried here the bones of Saul and Jonathan in the ancestral tomb of Kish, thus identifying this place as important to that family.

Bibliography E. G. Kraeling, Bible Atlas (1956), 208; Y. Aharoni, M. Avi-Yonah, The Macmillan Bible Atlas (1968), 83.