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SALCHAH (Heb. סַלכָה), town in Bashan, which marked the farthest limit of the territory of Og, king of Bashan, who was defeated and dispossessed by the Israelites (Deut. 3:10; Josh. 12:5; 13:11). According to i Chronicles 5:11, the tribe of Gad settled there. It is usually identified with modern Salkhad, but some question this identification, as it is doubtful if the area of Gad extended that far to the northeast.

In postbiblical times, the place is mentioned in several Nabatean inscriptions (as Salḥad) and was apparently part of the Nabatean kingdom in the first century c.e. Jewish sources identify it with Seleucia. In Roman times it was called Tricomias and was garrisoned by the Equites promoti Illyriciani (Notitia Dignitatum 81:15); it is mentioned as an independent locality in Georgius Cyprius (Descriptia Orbis Romani, line 1024). Salchah was an important town in Arab times, and in the 14th century contained a Jewish community. The modern town of Salkhad numbered approximately 15,000 inhabitants in the early 2000s, mainly Druze.


Pauly-Wissowa, 2nd series, 13 (1939), 101, s.v.Tricomia; Avi-Yonah, Geog, 174; R. Dussaud, Topographie historique de la Syrie… (1927), 324, 366; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 440–1; Press, Ereẓ, 3 (1952), 66f.; Aharoni, Land, index.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]

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