In the Valley of Elah: Encountering the Foreign Characters of the Old Testament

In the Valley of Elah two cultures encamped, one against the other. The Philistines took up one hill somewhere between Socoh and Azekah and the Israelites took up another hill, with the valley itself dividing the two camps. We all know where the story goes from here. The two cultures come to violent confrontation in the valley itself.

The valley was a crossroads, a meeting place of cultures for good or ill. For the first hearer’s of God’s word these places and people were immanent and tangible. For us, these cultures are foreign.

For us, the biblical writers and the people they wrote about appear larger-than-life. Like David and Goliath, they become exaggerated caricatures. Charlton Heston types who part seas and fight giants. But God’s redemptive history and the people who participated in it were grounded in real places – the lands of the bible – and in real times – the life-ways of ancient peoples.

We too are encamped upon a hill overlooking the valley of Elah, watching, observing, and wondering. How did it come to this, Who is this Goliath Character, Who Is this David Character, why have they come to blows in this place and what will the ultimate results of this confrontation be?

To find out we will have to descend to the valley floor and stand with these characters, all foreigners to one another In the Valley of Elah.

Join Us

In the Valley of Elah explores the where, when and how of the biblical text in hopes of encountering the characters of the Old Testament in their own time and place.

More than just introduce you to the archaeological, geographic and cultural realities faced by these characters, it is designed to enhance your faith and transform your understanding of people like:

  • Abraham
  • Jacob
  • Moses
  • Samson
  • David
  • Solomon
  • Elijah
  • Hezekiah and Isaiah
  • The Messiah

Three delivery formats are available

Eight week adult bible study

Each week we will encounter a new character from the Old Testament in his/her original and ancient archaeological, cultural, and geographic setting. The course is designed so that each session is a stand-alone unit.

Weekend seminar

We will encounter the foreign characters of the Old Testastament in two three hour sessions of in depth study time.  Depending on what best serves your community this could be accomplished on a Friday night / Saturday morning schedule, or in a single day.

One night Bible Study

This is the two hour crash course. We will focus on encountering just one or two of the interesting characters of the Old testament in their original setting. This is a great way to introduce your community to the transformation that comes with realizing that these characters were real people, who lived in real places, in real times.

If you would like to host this study group in your community or have any additional questions please click below:

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What People are saying:

“… it was so insightful and brought the holy land to life. I especially liked the Elijah study, wow! God works through our doubts doesn’t He?”

– Laura Feigenbaum

“In walking through Larry’s class I experienced Larry as a passionate man who has a gift for insighting his fellow believers and church leadership.  He shown a compassion to those who had been taught differently by their influences over their lives, patient to those who had trouble understanding, clear in his delivery, and honest while remaining in truth to things he did and did not know….”

  – Keith Little



If you are interested in In a house in Capernaum: Encountering the Foreign Characters of the New Testament, you can find out more information here.

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