ZIPH (zĭf, Heb. zīph, meaning unknown)

A city in the Negev “toward the border of Edom” given to the tribe of Judah in Joshua’s division of the land (Josh.15.24). It was probably about four miles (seven km.) south by east from Hebron.The wilderness named from no. 1, which was in the southern part of Jeshimon. David hid here from Saul until the Ziphites betrayed him (1Sam.23.14-1Sam.23.24; 1Sam.26.1-1Sam.26.2).A city in the western part of Judah; Rehoboam fortified it (2Chr.11.8).Possibly the same as no. 1, though mentioned separately in Josh.15.55.A Calebite family name (1Chr.2.42).A son of Jehallelel of the tribe of Judah (1Chr.4.16). In KJV and NEB his father’s name is Jehaleleel.

ZIPH, ZIPHITES zĭf, zĭf’ īt (זִ֣יף, זִיפִי, KJV once ZIPHIMS, Ps 54 superscription). 1. A man (or tribe) of Judah (1 Chron 4:16), son of Jehaleleel.

2. A town in the Negeb (q.v.) area of Judah (Josh 15:24; 1 Chron 2:42; 4:16) where Ziph is a clan or family affiliated with Caleb. No doubt the family gave its name to the town. Probably modern Khirbet ez-Zeifeh SW of Kurnub near the old Edomite border.


F. M. Abel, Géographie de la Palestine (1938), 490.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(ziph; Ozeib, or Ziph):

The site is Tell Zif, 4 miles Southeast of Hebron, conspicuous hill 2,882 ft. above sea-level; there are cisterns and, to the East, some ruins (PEF, III, 312, 315).

(2) A town in the Negeb of Judah (Jos 15:24), site unknown.

(ziph, meaning unknown):

(1) A grandson of Caleb (1Ch 2:42); the Septuagint has Zeiph.

(2) A son of Jehallelel (1Ch 4:16). In the Septuagint’s Codex Alexandrinus reads Ziphai, but Codex Vaticanus has the totally different form Ameachei.