SALT, VALLEY OF
A valley where, on two occasions, the Israelites defeated the Edomites. (2 Sam. 8:13; 2 Ki. 14:7) Its precise location is uncertain, but scholars have generally recommended either of two locations, one near Beer-sheba and the other to the S of the Salt Sea.
East from Beer-sheba in the Negeb is a valley the Arabic name of which (Wadi el-Milh) means Valley of Salt. The location is one where Judeans from the N might conceivably meet in combat Edomites coming from the SE. However, some authorities, preferring a location in Edom’s territory, identify the Scriptural Valley of Salt with a plain S-SW of the Salt Sea. At present, the low land S of the Salt Sea is quite marshy and hardly a location that would be chosen for a battle. But, since the level of the Salt Sea is rising, the plain may have been more firm at the time the battles occurred, or the fighting could have begun in a portion of the valley where the ground was not marshy. After the second conflict 10,000 Edomites were hurled to their deaths from a crag, but the location of that crag is not stated.—2 Chron. 25:11, 12.
In the first battle, David and Joab (evidently with Abishai in charge of at least some of the troops) struck down 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. (2 Sam. 8:13; 1 Ki. 11:15; 1 Chron. 18:12; Ps. 60 superscription) Later, King Amaziah (858-829 B.C.E.) attacked and slaughtered 10,000 Edomites in the same valley following this with the execution of 10,000 Edomites who were captured, as well as the seizing of the Edomite stronghold Sela (Petra).—2 Ki. 14:7; 2 Chron. 25:11, 12.