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ZIKLAG (zĭk'lăg, Heb. tsiqelagh). A city in the south of Palestine, given to the tribe of Judah in Joshua’s day (Josh.15.31), but subsequently given to or shared by the tribe of Simeon (Josh.19.5). Later it was ruled by the Philistines; Achish king of Gath assigned it to David and his men who were fleeing from Saul (1Sam.27.1-1Sam.27.7). During their occupation of the city, David offered to go with Achish against Saul, but the Philistines sent him back. On reaching Ziklag he found that the Amalekites had raided it, burned it, and had carried off the women and children. David recovered his property, returned to Ziklag, and from there began to recruit men of Judah to take his side when they would be needed. Later Ziklag became the property of the kings of Judah until the Captivity.


It was to Ziklag that a messenger came to announce Saul’s death at the battle of Mount Gilboa (2 Sam 1:1; 4:10). When David finally became king he included the area of Ziklag in his kingdom. Later still Ziklag was one of the places occupied by the Jews after the Exile (Neh 11:28).

Ziklag is prob. represented today by Tell el-Khuweilfeh about five m. S-SW of Tell Beit Mirsim (Debir).


F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine (1938).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

The site of this important place is not yet fixed with certainty; Conder proposed Zucheilika, a ruin 11 miles South-Southeast of Gaza, and 4 miles North of Wady es-Sheri’a, which may be the "Brook Besor" (1Sa 30:9,10,21); Rowland (1842) proposed `Asluj, a heap of ruins South of Beersheba and 7 miles to the East of Bered. Neither site is entirely satisfactory. See Williams, Holy City, I, 463-68; BR, II, 201, PEF, 288, Sh XX.

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