ZUPH (zŭf, Heb. tsûph, honeycomb)

An ancestor of the prophet Samuel. He was a Levite descended from Kohath (1Sam.1.1; 1Chr.6.35). He is called Zophai in 1Chr.6.26.A district in Benjamin near its northern border (1Sam.9.5). Location unknown.

2. A district of Benjamin where Saul looked for his father’s asses (1 Sam 9:5). Elkanah, father of Samuel, from Ramathaim-zophim in the hill country of Ephraim seems to have come from this district. Possibly the family name Zuph provided a name for the district. The exact site is not known.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(tsuph, "honeycomb"):

(1) According to 1Sa 1:1 b; 1Ch 6:35 (Hebrew verse 20) = "Zophai" of 1Ch 6:26 (11), an ancestor of Elkanah and Samuel. But Budde and Wellhausen take it to be an adjective, and so read tsuphi, in 1Sa 1:1 b: "Tohu a Zuphite, an Ephraimite." It should probably be read also in 1:1a: "Now there was a certain man of the Ramathites, a Zuphite of the hill-country of Ephraim," as the Hebrew construction in the first part of the verse is otherwise unnatural. The Septuagint’s Codex Alexandrinus has Soup; Lucian has Souph in 1Sa 1:1 b; 1Ch 6:26 (11); Codex Vaticanus has Souphei; Codex Alexandrinus and Lucian have Souphi; 6:35 (20), Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus have Souph; Lucian has Souphi; and the Kethibh has tsiph.

(2) The Septuagint’s Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus have Seiph; Lucian has Sipha, "the land of Zuph," a district in Benjamin, near its northern border (1Sa 9:5).