Places in the Bible Today:



Translated NamesZela, Zelah
Geo Data KML (for Google Earth)
GeoJSON (for GIS applications)

3 Possible Identifications

  1. Khirbet Salah (modern): 45% confidence
    1. cityscape of Har HotzvimKhirbet Salah

  2. Khirbet Erha (modern): less than 10% confidence
    1. satellite view of the region around Khirbet ErhaKhirbet Erha

  3. Khirbet Shab Salah (modern): less than 10% confidence
    1. satellite view of the region around Khirbet Shab SalahKhirbet Shab Salah

Verses (2)

Josh-Ruth (1)
Josh 18:28
1Sam-Esth (1)
2Sam 21:14

Linked Data Identifiers

Logos FactbookZela (2007)Zela
OpenBible.infoa597dd0 (Zela)
UBS Names Databaseot ID_2514


  1. Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (1992): Zela (place)
  2. Baly, Atlas of the Biblical World (1971): Zela
  3. Grollenberg, Atlas of the Bible (1957): Zela
  4. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (2003)
  5. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1979): Zela
  6. McKinny, Historical Geography of the Administrative Division of Judah (2014): page 346
  7. New Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary (2009)
  8. New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (1988): Zelah
  9. Oxford Bible Atlas, Fourth Edition (2007)
  10. Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia (1975): Zelah
  11. Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible (2010)

Confidence Trends over Time

This chart indicates how confidence in the identifications is changing over time. Each dot (connected by a dotted line) reflects the confidence of an identification over the preceding ten years (e.g., the 2009 dot reflects scholarship from 2000 to 2009), and the corresponding solid line reflects a best-fit line for the identification. Confidences that cluster near or below 0% indicate low confidence. Because of the small dataset, it's best to use this chart for general trends; if one identification is trending much higher than the others (in this case, Khirbet Salah), then you can probably have higher confidence in the identification. This chart only reflects the sources I consulted (listed above), not an exhaustive review of the literature.

Thumbnail Image Credits

Gilabrand, Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2019


This page attempts to identify all the possible locations where this biblical place could be. The confidence levels add up to less than 100%, indicating that the modern location is uncertain. It's best to think about the confidences in relative rather than absolute terms. Often they reflect different schools of thought, each confident in their identifications.