sha-a-ra'-im (sha`arayim, "two gates"; Sakareim; the King James Version Sharaim):
(1) A city in the Shephelah or "lowland" of Judah mentioned (Joshua 15:36) in close association with Socoh and Azekah; the vanquished army of the Philistines passed a Shaaraim in their flight from Socoh toward Gath and Ekron (1 Samuel 17:52). It is possible that in this latter reference the "two gates" may refer--as Septuagint implies--to the two Philistine strongholds themselves. Shaaraim has been identified with Tell Zakariya (see however AZEKAH) and with Kh. Sa`ireh (PEF, III, 124, Sh XVII), an old site West of Beit `Atab. Both proposals are hazardous.
(2) One of the towns of Simeon (1 Chronicles 4:31), called (Joshua 19:6) "Sharuhen" and, as one of the uttermost cities of Judah, called (Joshua 15:32) "Shilhim." This town was in Southwestern Palestine and is very probably identical with the fortress Sharhana, a place of some importance on the road from Gaza to Egypt. Aahmes (XVIIIth Dynasty) besieged and captured this city in the 5th year of his reign in his pursuit of the flying Hyksos (Petrie, Hist, II, 22, 35), and a century later Tahutmes III, in the 23rd year of his reign, took the city of Sharuhen on his way to the siege and capture of Megiddo (Petrie, Hist, II, 104). On philological grounds Tell esh-Sheri`ah, 12 miles Northwest of Beersheba, large ruin, has been proposed, but it does not suit at all the Egyptian data (PEF, III, 399, Sh XXIV).
E. W. G. Masterman
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