SALECAH; SALCAH, SALCHAH
sal'-e-ka, sal'-ka (calekhah; Codex Vaticanus Sekchai, Acha, Sela Codex Alexandrinus Elcha, Aselcha, Selcha):
This place first appears in Deuteronomy 3:10 as marking the eastern boundary of Bashan. It is named as one of the cities in which Og, king of Bashan, ruled (Joshua 12:5). It must certainly have been included in the portion given to the half-tribe of Manasseh, "all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan," although it is not named among the cities that fell to him (Joshua 13:29). At a later time we are told that Gad dwelt over against the Reubenites in the land of Bashan unto Salecah (1 Chronicles 5:11). The boundaries of the tribes probably changed from time to time.
The ancient city is represented by the modern Qalkhad, a city in a high and strong position at the southern end of Jebel ed-Druze (the Mountain of Bashan). On a volcanic hill rising some 300 ft. above the town, in what must have been the crater, stands the castle. The view from the battlements, as the present writer can testify, is one of the finest East of the Jordan, including the rich hollow of the Chauran, Mt. Hermon, and all the intervening country to the mountains of Samaria, with vast reaches of the desert to the South and to the East. The old Roman roads are still clearly seen running without curve or deviation across the country to Bozrah and Der'ah, away to the Southeast over the desert to Kal`at el-`Azraq, and eastward to the Persian Gulf. The castle was probably built by the Romans. Restored by the Arabs, it was a place of strength in Crusading times. It has now fallen on evil days. The modern town, containing many ancient houses, lies mainly on the slopes Southeast of the castle. The inhabitants are Druzes, somewhat noted for turbulence.
In the recent rising of the Druzes (1911) the place suffered heavily from bombardment by the Turks. For water-supply it is entirely dependent on cisterns filled during the rainy season. W. Ewing
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