ELAH (Heb. אֵלָה; 9th century B.C.E.), king of Israel in the period coinciding with the reign of King Asa of Judah; son of *Baasha. According to 1 Kings 16:8, Elah reigned two years (c. 883–882 B.C.E.); however, in effect it was only a few months (a short time before and a short time after the official New Year's day). Elah was murdered, while in a state of intoxication, by *Zimri, the captain of half his chariot force, in the house of Arza, who was Elah's steward, in the capital city Tirzah (ibid. 9–10). The murder of Elah was apparently connected with the army's dissatisfaction over his indifference to the renewed campaign against the Philistines near Gibbethon. This campaign was undertaken as a continuation of the efforts of *Nadab son of Jeroboam to ensure the security of the southwestern border of the kingdom (ibid. 16; cf. 15:27).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.