(`emeq ha-melekh; Septuagint in Ge reads to pedion ("the plain") basileos, in 2 Sam, he koilas ("valley") tou basileos; the King James Version King's Dale):
The place where the king of Sodom met Abram (Genesis 14:17), and the situation of Absalom's monument (2 Samuel 18:18). It was identical with the Vale of Shaveh, and was evidently near Salem, the city of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17). If SALEM (which see) is Jerusalem, then Absalom's pillar was also near that city, Josephus writes (Ant., VII, x, 3), "Absalom had erected for himself a marble pillar in the king's dale, two furlongs (stadia) from Jerusalem, which he named Absalom's Hand." In all probability this "pillar" was a rough upright stone--a matstsebhah--but its site is lost. The traditional Greek-Egyptian tomb of perhaps 100-200 years BC which has been hewn out of the rock on the eastern side of the Kidron valley is manifestly misnamed "Absalom's pillar," and the Kidron ravine (nachal) cannot be the King's Vale (`emeq).
E. W. G. Masterman
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