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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Tsikclag צַקְלִג [on pause צַקַלָג , fully Tsikelag'; צַיקַלִג 1 Chronicles 12:20], winding [Fü rst]; Sept. Σεκελά or Σικελάγ v.r. Σικελά etc.; Josephus, Σίκελλα, Ant. 6:13, 10; 14, 6; Steph., Byz. Σέκελα; Vulg. Siceleg), a place which possesses a special interest from its having been the residence and the private property of David. It is first mentioned in the catalogue: of the towns of Judah in Joshua 15 where it is enumerated (Joshua 15:31) among those of the extreme south, between Hormah (or Zephath) and Madmannah (possibly Beth-marcaboth). It next occurs in the same connection, among the places which were allotted out of the territory of Judah to Simeon (Joshua 19:5). We next encounter it in the possession of the Philistines (1 Samuel 27:6), when it was, at David's request, bestowed upon him by Achish king of Gath. He resided there for a year and four months (1 Samuel 27:7; 1 Samuel 31; 1 Samuel 14:26; 1 Chronicles 12:1; 1 Chronicles 12:20; Josephus [Ant. 6:13, 10] gives this, as one, month and twenty-days). It was there he received the news of Saul's death (2 Samuel 1:1; in, 2 Samuel 1:10). He then relinquished it for Hebron (2, 1). Ziklag is finally mentioned, in company with, Beer-sheba, Hazarshual, and other towns of the south, as being reinhabited by the people of Judani after their return from the Captivity (Nehemiah 11:28).

The situation of the town is difficult to determine, notwithstanding so many notices. On the other hand, that it was in "the south" (Negeb) seems certain, both from the towns named with it, and also from its mention with "the south of the Cherethites" and "the south of Caleb" some of whose descendants we know were at Ziph and Maon, perhaps even at Paran (1 Samuel 25:1). On the other hand, this is difficult to reconcile with its connection with the Philistines and with the fact which follows from the narrative of 1 Samuel 30 (see 1 Samuel 30:9-10; 1 Samuel 30:21) that it was north of the brook Besor. The word employed in 1 Samuel 27:5; 1 Samuel 27:7; 1 Samuel 27:11, to denote the region in which it stood is peculiar. It is not hash-Shephelah, as it must have been had Ziklag stood in the ordinary lowland of Philistia, but has-Sadeh, which Prof. Stanley (Sin and Pal. App. § 15) renders "the field." On the whole, though the temptation is strong to suppose (as some have suggested) that there were two places of the same name, the only conclusion seems to be that Ziklag was in the south country, with a portion of which the Philistines had a connection, which man have lasted from the time of their residence there in the days of Abraham and Isaac. Ziklag does not appear to have been known to Eusebius and Jerome, or to any .f the older travelers. Mr. Rowlands, however, in his journey from Gaza to Suez in 1842 (in Williams, Holy City, 1, 463-468), was told of "an ancient site called Asluj, or Kasluj, with some ancient walls," three hours east of Sebata, which again was two hours and a half south of Khalasa. This he considers as identical with Ziklag. Dr. Robinson had previously (in 1838) heard of Aslui as lying south-west of Milh, on the way to Abdeh (Bibl. Res. 2, 201), a position not discordant with that of Mr. Rowlands. The identification is supported by Mr. Wilton (Negeb, p. 209); but in the Arabic form of the name. the similarity which prompted Mr. Rowlands's conjecture almost entirely disappears (עשלג צקלג ). Smith. The English engineers think that they have discovered the name and site of Ziklag in the ruins still called Khirbet Zuheilikah, occupying three small hills, nearly half a mile apart, in the form of an equilateral triangle, together with ancient cities, situated in an open, rolling plain eleven miles east-southeast of Gaza, and nineteen south-west of Beit-Jibrin. (Quar. Report of Pal. Explor. Fund, Jan. 1878, p. 12 sq.). (See SIMEON).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Ziklag'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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