Saturday, July 14, 2007

What's actually in the Valley of Elah?

Elah may be a funny word, but to me the word Valley is far funnier. You know how if you look at it, spell it, and think about a word too long in your head it just starts to seem spelled wrong, pronounced wrong, and be way to strange to really be a word. Thinking about the word valley...that's what's happening...valley, val-ley vall-ey, vallie. Ok enough.

Anyways, I'm sure it's not bizarre that when a movie title has the name of a place in it, that you might just be a little curious where it comes from. Anyways, the past two weeks I have been reading I and II Samuel in the Bible and when I read the word Elah I couldn't help think about about Paul Haggis' upcoming movie In the Valley of Elah.

The Elah Valley is actually a real place. It is in Israel just outside the west bank (as shown in the handy-dandy google map above). It is referenced in the Bible specifically as it is the place where David killed Goliath as the Israelites were facing the Philistines (I Samuel 17).

I'm not really sure how or if this plays into the movie. But the BiblePlaces website has some good pictures of what the valley looks like today. Including the brook were it is believed David gathered the stones with which he killed Goliath. I've include one panoramic image below.

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Will said...

Sounds like the makings of a great biblical allusion that is used subtly in a film (like Babel was in its film).
I'm not expecting anything too heavy-handed (like a David & Goliath scenario in the film).

I love how thorough you are in your explorations. :-)

nate said...

Hey RC...interesting. I named one of my daughters "Elah"--it means oak tree in hebrew. In aramaic, there is a different word, spelled the same way that means "god" (derrived from elaha, or Elohim). It was the oak treem meaning I was going for though.