One of the Levitical families descended from Kohath, that of Zuph or Zophai ( 1 Chronicles 6:26 1 Chronicles 6:35 ), had a district assigned to them in Ephraim, which from this circumstance was called "the land of Zuph," and hence the name of the town, "Zophim." It was the birth-place of Samuel and the seat of his authority ( 1 Samuel 2:11 ; 7:17 ). It is frequently mentioned in the history of that prophet and of David ( 15:34 ; 16:13 ; 19:18-23 ). Here Samuel died and was buried ( 25:1 ).
This town has been identified with the modern Neby Samwil ("the prophet Samuel"), about 4 or 5 miles north-west of Jerusalem. But there is no certainty as to its precise locality. Some have supposed that it may be identical with Arimathea of the New Testament. (See MIZPAH).