This hike goes to the top of Tel Adulam and then partially encircles the tel. On top of the tel is a cave that may have been the hiding place of David and his private army.
Time: Approximately 1½ hours.
Distance: 3½ Km.
Difficulty: A mainly easy hike on jeep trails. However, there is one 10-15 minute section close to the top of the tel which is steep and a bit difficult, although not dangerous.
Directions and starting point: Enter "תל עדולם" into Waze. This will take you through the moshav Neve Michael and along country roads to close to the top of the tel. However, stop at a 3-way junction where the paved road comes to an end and park your car here on the grass. If you find yourself driving on a rough jeep trail you have gone too far.
Public transport: There is no close public transport.
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Take the first or second trail on the left up the hill (it does not matter which one as they both join up).
Shortly you will come to a fork. Take the left fork that continues up the hill.
As you approach the top of the tel, notice a narrow and not very conspicuous footpath on your right. This is a slightly difficult trail that will take you to the top of the tel.
The edge of the top of the tel is a good place for observing the Elah Valley below and the Judean Mountains in the distance.
Continue ahead. Shortly on your right you will see a yellow sign סכנה (danger) on your right warning you about a cistern that is encircled by a wire fence. Notice a footpath below it. After a short distance on this footpath is another סכנה sign with another cistern enclosed by a wire fence. A bit higher on the tel and above the sign is a stone wall. In the corner of the wall on your left is the opening of the cave. Explore! There are parts of two olive presses within the cave. It has another exit.
Go back to the main path. Continue to the very top of the tel where there is a signpost. Continue straight ahead past the signpost.
After a while you will see a black marker on a tree on your left. Shortly there is a 3-way cross junction. Turn left.
At the next T-junction turn right. This will take you past a large field on the left. After a bend in the path, you will see in the field an area with a large fig tree. It actually comes from a well. If you want you can explore it. Otherwise, continue along this trail which will lead you back to your car.
The Biblical city of Adulam
Adulam is mentioned a number of times in the Bible. It was an important Canaanite city and is mentioned in the Book of Joshua (Joshua 12:15 and 15:35). Prior to this, the Book of Genesis tells us that Judah left his father and brothers to partner with the Canaanite Hira from Adulam (Genesis 38:1) and it is here that he met his Canaanite wife.
David hid in Adulam after being expelled from Gath by King Achish while fleeing from King Saul who was seeking to kill him. He gathered here his family "and every man who was in distress, and every man who had a creditor, and every man of embittered spirit, gathered themselves to him, and he became a chief over them; and there were about 400 men with him." (Samuel 22:2). This is the beginnings of his becoming a military leader. Could the cave on the top of the tel be the cave in which David and his men hid out? it is difficult to know as there are other caves in the area. Nevertheless, the place he hid is called in the Bible the "cave of Adulam." This was a Muslim village early in the Ottoman period, but was uninhabited at least by the 1800s.
The entrance to the cave on the tel is at the base of a stone wall. This could have been the cave in which David and his men hid.