Places in the Bible Today:



Translated NameZelzah
Geo Data KML (for Google Earth)
GeoJSON (for GIS applications)

4 Possible Identifications

  1. not a place (describing people rather than a place): 35% confidence
  2. another name for Zela (ancient): less than 10% confidence. It may be:
    1. cityscape of Har HotzvimKhirbet Salah

    2. satellite view of the region around Khirbet ErhaKhirbet Erha

    3. satellite view of the region around Khirbet Shab SalahKhirbet Shab Salah

  3. Beit Jala (modern): less than 10% confidence
    1. cityscape of Beit JalaBeit Jala

  4. another name for Kiriath-jearim (ancient): less than 10% confidence
    1. church at Deir el AzarDeir el Azar

Verses (1)

1Sam 10:2

Linked Data Identifiers

Logos FactbookZelzah (2007)Zelzah
OpenBible.infoa44c89d (Zelzah)
UBS Names Databaseot ID_2517
WikipediaZelzah (biblical place) (redirect)


  1. Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (1992): Zelzah (place)
  2. Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary (2013): Zelzah
  3. Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (2000): Zelzah
  4. Gordon, I and II Samuel (1986): 1Sam 10:2
  5. Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (2003)
  6. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1979): Zelzah
  7. IVP Old Testament Bible Background Commentary (2000): 1Sam 10:2
  8. Lexham Bible Dictionary (2016): Zelzah
  9. McKinny, Historical Geography of the Administrative Division of Judah (2014): page 345
  10. New Bible Dictionary (1996): Zelzah
  11. New Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary (2009)
  12. New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (1988): Zelzah
  13. Tyndale Bible Dictionary (2001): Zelzah
  14. Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible (2010)
  15. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary (2009): Gen 35:20 note 537
  16. Zondervan Pictorial Bible Atlas (1972): page 181

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, for example, 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, Gilabrand, Bahnfrend


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.