Free Online Bible Library | Zelah

We also have classes for: provides a comprehensive biblical education from world-class professors
to encourage spiritual growth in the church, for free.

Would you do us the favor of answering this two question poll so we can know how to serve you better? You will also be given the opportunity to join our team tasked with how to make better. Thank you.  --Bill Mounce



ZELAH, ZELA (zē'la, Heb. tsēla‘). A town in Benjamin probably close to Jerusalem (Josh.18.28). Here David reinterred the bones of Saul and Jonathan in the family tomb, which had belonged to Kish (2Sam.21.14). “Zela” is closer to the Hebrew.

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.


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

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(tsela` (2Sa 21:14)): A city in the territory of Benjamin (Jos 18:28; the Septuagint here omits). Here was the burying-place of the family of Saul, whither the bones of the king and of Jonathan were brought for burial (2Sa 21:14; the Septuagint here reads en te pleura, translating tsela`, "side"). The place is not identified. It may be the Zilu of the Tell el-Amarna Letters.

Biblical Training

The BiblicalTraining app gives you access to 2,300 hours of instruction (129 classes and seminars). Stream the classes, or download and listen to them offline. Share classes via social media, email, and more.