A city, 25 km. (16 miles) SW of Jerusalem, for which Israelites and Philistines contested. The Ark of the Covenant was returned here after it had been captured and temporarily retained by the Philistines (1 Sam. 6: 1–16). Later, in the time of Ahaz, the Philistines regained control.

Another city of the same name (but ‘Heliopolis’ in NRSV) in Egypt, connected with a cult of the sun, is mentioned in Jer. 43: 13. The word shemesh means ‘sun’.