Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
A city in the Shephelah , or low country between the hill country of Judah and the sea; very ancient ( Genesis 38:1; Genesis 38:12; Genesis 38:20); the seat of one of the 31 petty king smitten by Joshua ( Joshua 12:15). Fortified by Rehoboam ( 2 Chronicles 11:7) Called for its beauty "the glory of Israel" ( Micah 1:15). Reoccupied on the return from Bahyhm ( Nehemiah 11:30). The limestone cliffs of the Shephelah are pierced with caves, one of which was that of Adullam, David' s resort ( 1 Samuel 22:1; 2 Samuel 23:13; 1 Chronicles 11:15). Tradition fixes on Khureitun as the site, S. of the wady Urtas, between Bethlehem and the Dead Sea. This cave on the borders of the Dead Sea six miles S.E. of Bethlehem (his parents' residence) would be more likely as the place whence David took his parents to Moab close by, than the region of the city Adullam in the far West. Names of western places are sometimes repeated in the East. David's usual haunts were in this eastern region.
The cave's mouth can only be approached on foot across the cliff's edge; it runs in by a long winding narrow passage, with cavities on either side; a large chamber within, with very high arches, has numerous passages to all directions, joined by others at right angles, and forming a perplexing labyrinth. The air within is dry and pure. David's familiarity with it, as a Bethlehemite, would naturally lead him to it. Lieut. Conder (Palest. Explor.) at first fixed on the cave Mogharet Umm el Tumaymiyeh, five miles N. of Ayd el Mieh; agreeing with the position assigned by Eusebius 10 miles E. of Eleutheropolis; but the cave with its damp hot atmosphere is unfit for human habitation. In a later report Conder, after surveying the ground, fixes on Ayd el Mieh (feast of the hundred) as the site of the cave and city of Adullam, eight miles N.E. of Beit Jebrin (Libnah ), 10 miles S.W. of Tell es Safyeh (Gath ), and half way between Socoh and Keilah: 500 feet above wady Sumt (valley of Elah); barring the Philistines' progress up this valley to Judah's grain lands.
Tombs, wells, terraces, and rock fortifications are to be traced. It is connected by roads with adjoining places, Maresha ( El Marash ), Jarmuth ( Yarmuk ), and Socoh ( Suweikeh ), and has a system of caves close to its wells still inhabited, or used as stables, and large enough for all David's band. On the top of the city hill are two or three caves which together could accommodate 250 men. The darkness, scorpions, bats, and flies are against Khureitun and Deir Dubban caverns as a residence. From Gibeah ( Jeba ) David fled to Nob, thence down the valley to Gath ( Tell Es Safyeh ); from Gath he returned to Judah. On the edge of the country between Philistia and Judah, he collected his band into Adullam ( Ayd El Mieh ); thence, by the prophet's direction, to the hills, a four miles' march to Hareth, still within reach of his own Bethlehem. To the present day the cave dwelling peasantry avoid large caves such as Khureitun and Umm El Tuweimin , and prefer the drier, smaller caves, lighted by the sun, such as Ayd El Mieh , meaning in Arabic "feast of the hundred." The expedition of David's three mighty men from Ayd el Mieh to Bethlehem would be then 12 leagues, not too far for what is described as an exploit ( 2 Samuel 23:13-17; 1 Chronicles 11:15-19).
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
One of the royal cities of Canaan, afterwards part of Judah's lot. Joshua 12:15; Joshua 15:35 . It was rebuilt or fortified by Rehoboam, 2 Chronicles 11:7; and was dwelt in by some who returned from exile. Nehemiah 11:30; Micah 1:15 . Identified with Aid-el-ma, a name similar to Adullam, 31 39' N, 35 0' E. More interest attaches to the Cave Of Adullam than to the city, because of its having been a stronghold of David. In the locality of the place named above there are limestone cliffs, in which are extensive excavations, one of which may have been David's cave of Adullam. This is in the low country and all David's house went down from the hills of Bethlehem to him. 1 Samuel 22:1 . The traditional site is a cave in the Wady Khureitun on the east part of Judah. It is approached by a narrow footpath (now partly blocked up by a fallen rock) which could easily be defended, and the cave is very large. Both this and other caves near where the city of Adullam was located are by different travellers strongly advocated as the true site. The 'Cave of Adullam' has become a proverbial expression for a refuge in distress, because there gathered to David, besides his relatives, "every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented," or bitter of soul, and he became their captain. 1 Samuel 22:1,2; 2 Samuel 23:13; 1 Chronicles 11:15 . David was God's anointed king, and the prophet Gad went to him, and Abiathar the priest; so that with that outcast company were God's prophet, priest, and king, though all the outward forms of worship were elsewhere: typical of the Lord Jesus in His rejection. When on earth the outward forms were not with Him; and now that He is in glory His virtual rejection is still as complete even by some in Christendom.
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Adul'lam. (Justice Of The People). Apocrypha. Odollam , a city of Judah in the lowland of the Shefelah , Joshua 15:35, the seat of a Canaanite king, Joshua 12:15, and evidently a place of great antiquity. Genesis 38:1; Genesis 38:12; Genesis 38:20.
Fortified by Rehoboam, 2 Chronicles 11:7, it was one of the towns reoccupied by the Jews after their return from Babylon, Nehemiah 11:30, and still a city in the time of the Macabees. 2 Maccabees 12:38. Adullam was probably near Deir Dubban , five or six miles north of Eleutheropolis. The limestone cliffs of the whole of that locality are pierced with extensive excavations, some one of which is doubtless the "cave of Adullam," the refuge of David. 1 Samuel 22:1; 2 Samuel 23:13; 1 Chronicles 11:15.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
An ancient city in the plain of Judah, southwest of Jerusalem, Genesis 38:1 Joshua 15:35 . Its king was slain by Joshua, Joshua 12:15 . It was one of the cities rebuilt and fortified by Rehoboam, 2 Chronicles 11:7 Micah 1:15 , and was reoccupied by the Jews after the captivity, Nehemiah 11:30 .
When David withdrew from Achish, king of Gath, he retired to the "cave of Adullam," 1 Samuel 22:1 2 Samuel 23:13 . The location of this cave, however, is uncertain. Tradition places it in the hill country, about six miles south-east of Bethlehem, the city of David; a large and fine cave, visited by many travellers. It is capable of holding thousands.
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Joshua 12:15 15:35 1 Samuel 17:2 2 Chronicles 11:7 Micah 1:15
The Cave of Adullam has been discovered about 2 miles south of the scene of David's triumph, and about 13 miles west from Bethlehem. At this place is a hill some 500 feet high pierced with numerous caverns, in one of which David gathered together "every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented" ( 1 Samuel 22:2 ). Some of these caverns are large enough to hold 200 or 300 men. According to tradition this cave was at Wady Khureitun, between Bethlehem and the Dead Sea, but this view cannot be well maintained.
People's Dictionary of the Bible 
Adullam ( A-Dŭl'Lam ), Justice Of The People. Joshua 15:35. An ancient and royal city in Judah, 15 or 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem. The king of the place was slain by Joshua. It was fortified by Rehoboam, and, probably on account of its strength, was called the glory of Israel. Micah 1:15. Near this city was a cave, where David secreted himself when he fled from Achish. The cave is described by a modern traveller as uneven, intricate, and very capacious; he says it is perfectly plain that 400 men might conceal themselves in the sides of the cave, as David's men did, and escape observation. 1 Samuel 22:1.
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
ADULLAM . A city in the Shephelah, assigned to Judah; named between Jarmuth and Socoh ( Joshua 15:35 etc.). It is probably the modern ‘ Id el-Ma ’, about 8 miles N.W. of Beit JibrÃ®n . Rehoboam fortified it ( 2 Chronicles 11:7 ), and the children of Judah returned to it after the captivity ( Nehemiah 11:30 ). The Cave of Adullam, the refuge of David ( 1 Samuel 22:1 etc.), must have been one of those in the adjoining valley. Adullamite ( Genesis 38:1 etc.) = an inhabitant of Adullam.
Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types 
1 Samuel 22:1 (c) This cave is a picture of the refuge in the time of storm which GOD gives to His people. It is "the secret place of the Most High." It is the "shadow of a great rock in a weary land." It is the quiet secret place of prayer. Those who were in distress, despondent and in debt came there to David for relief. So we may go to our "cave of Adullam," into the presence of our wonderful Lord to find rest and relief from the troubles, cares, problems and griefs of life.
Micah 1:15 (c) In this passage the results of coming alone with GOD are described as being the blessings which those saints enjoy who hide in that secret place, and under the wings of the Almighty.
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
a city in the tribe of Judah, to the west of Hebron, whose king was slain by Joshua, Joshua 12:15 . It is frequently mentioned in the history of Saul and David; and is chiefly memorable from the cave in its neighbourhood, where David retired from Achish, king of Gath, when he was joined by the distressed and discontented, to the number of four hundred, over whom he became captain, 1 Samuel 22:1 . Judas Maccabaeus encamped in the plain of Adullam, where he passed the Sabbath day, 2Ma_12:38 . Eusebius says that, in his time, Adullam was a very great town, ten miles to the east of Eleutheropolis.
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Joshua 12:15 Genesis 38:1 Genesis 38:12 Genesis 38:20-22 1 Samuel 22:1 2 Samuel 23:13 Micah 1:15 2 Chronicles 11:7 Nehemiah 11:30
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
a - dul´am ( עדלּם , ‛ădhullām ):
(1) A city, with dependencies, and in ancient times having a king, mentioned five times in the Old Testament, each time in a list with other cities ( Joshua 12:15; Joshua 15:35; 2 Chronicles 11:7; Micah 1:15; Nehemiah 11:30 ). In the list of 31 kings whom Joshua smote, Adullam follows Hormah, Arad, Libnah, and precedes Makkedah. Among the 14 Judahite cities of the first group in "the lowland" Adullam is mentioned between Jarmuth and Socoh. In the list of 15 cities fortified by Rehoboam it appears between Socoh and Gath. Micah gives what may be a list of cities concerned in some Assyrian approach to Jerusalem; it begins with Gath, includes Lachish, and ends with Mareshah and Adullam. And Adullam is still in the same company in the list in Nehemiah of the cities "and their villages" where the men of Judah then dwelt. In the time of the patriarchs it was a place to which men "went down" from the central mountain ridge ( Genesis 38:1 ). Judas Maccabeus found it still existing as a city (2 Macc 12:38). Common opinion identifies Adullam with the ruin ‛Aid - el - Ma , 13 miles West-Southwest from Bethlehem (see HGHL , 229ff). This is in spite of the testimony of the Onomasticon , which, it is alleged, confuses Adullam with Eglon. Presumably the city gave its name to the cave of Adullam, the cave being near the city.
(2) The cave of Adullam, David's headquarters during a part of the time when he was a fugitive from Saul ( 1 Samuel 22:1; 2 Samuel 23:13; 1 Chronicles 11:15 ). Sufficient care has not been exercised in reading the Bible statements on this subject. To begin with, Hebrew syntax permits of the use of the word "cave" collectively; it may denote a group or a region of caves; it is not shut up to the meaning that there was one immense cave in which David and his 400 men all found accommodations at once. All reasonings based on this notion are futile.
Further, by the most natural syntax of 2 Samuel 23:13-17 (duplicated with unimportant variations in 1 Chronicles 11:15-19 ), that passage describes two different events, and does not connect the cave of Adullam with the second of these. "And three of the thirty chief men went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam; and the troop of the Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephaim. And David was then in the stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Beth-lehem. And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me water," etc. Concerning these three seniors among David's "mighty men" it is narrated, first, that they were David's comrades in a certain battle, a battle which the Chronicler identifies with Pas-dammim, where David slew Goliath; second, that they joined David at the cave of Adullam, presumably during the time when he was hiding from Saul; third, that at a later time, when the Philistines were in the valley of Rephaim (compare 2 Samuel 5:18 ), and David was "in the stronghold" (Josephus says "at Jerusalem," Ant , VII, xii, 4), these men broke through the Philistine lines and brought him water from the home well of Bethlehem.
The cave of Adullam, like the city, was "down" from the central ridge ( 1 Samuel 22:1; 2 Samuel 23:13 ). The city was in Judah; and David and his men were in Judah ( 1 Samuel 23:3 ) at a time when, apparently, the cave was their headquarters. Gad's advice to David to return to Judah ( 1 Samuel 22:3 , 1 Samuel 22:5 ) was given at a time when he had left the cave of Adullam. If the current identification of ‛Aid - el - Ma as Adullam is correct, the cave of Adullam is probably the cave region which has been found in that vicinity.
It has been objected that this location is too far from Bethlehem for David's men to have brought the water from there. To this it is replied that thirteen or fourteen miles is not an excessive distance for three exceptionally vigorous men to go and return; and a yet stronger reply is found in the consideration just mentioned, that the place from which the men went for the water was not the cave of Adullam. The one argument for the tradition to the effect that Chariton's cave, a few miles Southeast of Bethlehem, is Adullam, is the larger size of this cave, as compared with those near ‛Aid - el - Ma . We have already seen that this has no force.
In our current speech "cave of Adullam" suggests an aggregation of ill-assorted and disreputable men. This is not justified by the Bible record. David's men included his numerous and respectable kinsmen, and the representative of the priesthood, and some of David's military companions, and some men who afterward held high office in Israel. Even those who are described as being in distress and debt and bitter of soul were doubtless, many of them, persons who had suffered at the hands of Saul on account of their friendship for David. Doubtless they included mere adventurers in their number; but the Scriptural details and the circumstances alike indicate that they were mainly homogeneous, and that most of them were worthy citizens.
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(Heb. Adullam ’ , עֲדֻלָּם , prob. Justice Of the People; Sept. Ο᾿Δολλάμ , Odollam; and so in the Apocrypha, 2 Maccabees 12:38, and Josephus, Ant. 8:10, 1; but Adullami, Ἀδουλλάμη in Ant. 6, 12, 3), an old city ( Genesis 38:1; Genesis 38:12; Genesis 38:20) in the plain country of the tribe of Judah ( Joshua 15:35), and one of the royal cities of the Canaanites ( Joshua 12:15). It was one of the towns which Rehoboam fortified ( 2 Chronicles 11:7; Micah 1:15), and is mentioned after the captivity ( Nehemiah 11:30; 2 Maccabees 12:38). Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. s.v.) state that it existed in their time as a large village, ten miles to the east of Eleutheropolis, by which (unless, as Reland thinks, Paloest. p.547, they confound it with Eglon) they probably mean north-east (Keil, Comment. in loc. Josh.; Schwarz, Palest. p. 87), possibly at el-Keishum, near Timnath (comp. Genesis 38:12); or perhaps (see Tobler, Drit. Wanderung, p. 150) at the present village Beit Ula (Van de Velde, Memoir, p. 282). It is evident that Adullam was one of the cities of "the valley" or plain between the hill country of Judah and the sea; and from its place in the lists of names (especially 2 Chronicles 11:8), it appears to have been not very far from the Philistine city of Gath.
This circumstance would suggest that the Cave Of Adullam ( 2 Samuel 23:13; 1 Chronicles 11:15), to which David withdrew immediately from Gath ( 1 Samuel 22:1), was near the city of that name (see Stanley, Palestine, p. 254, note). But there is no passage of Scripture which connects the city and the cave, and it is certainly not in a plain that one would look for a cave capable of affording a secure retreat to 400 men; nor has any such cave been found in that quarter. It is therefore far from improbable that the cave of Adullam was in the mountainous wilderness in the east of Judah toward the Dead Sea, where such caves occur, and where the western names (as Carmel) are sometimes repeated. Accordingly, we actually find in this very region the name Dhullam, belonging to a tribe of Arabs who encamp here for pasturage, but properly belong to a more western district around Beersheba (Robinson ’ s Researches, 2, 473), and whose predatory character well befits the ancient notoriety of the spot (De Saulcy ’ s Narrative, 1, 434, 435). May not this same nomadic habit have transferred the name of the city to the cave in former times likewise? This view is favored by the fact that the usual haunts of David were in this quarter ( 1 Chronicles 11:15); whence he moved into the land of Moab, which was quite contiguous, whereas he must have crossed the whole breadth of the land, if the cave of Adullam had been near the city of that name. Tradition (William of Tyre, De Bello Sacro, 15, 6) fixes the cave on the borders of the Dead Sea, about six miles south-east of Bethlehem, in the side of a deep ravine (Wady Khureitun) which passes below the Frank mountain on the south (Robinson ’ s Researches, 2, 175). It is an immense natural cavern, the mouth of which can be approached only on foot alone the side of the cliff. Irby and Mangles, who visited it without being aware that it was the reputed cave of Adullam, state that it "runs in by a long, winding, narrow passage, with small chambers or cavities on either side. We soon came to a large chamber with natural arches of great height; from this last there were numerous passages, leading in all directions, occasionally joined by others at right angles, and forming a perfect labyrinth, which our guides assured us had never been perfectly explored, the people being afraid of losing themselves. The passages are generally four feet high by three feet wide, and were all on a level with each other. There were a few petrifactions where we were; nevertheless the grotto was perfectly clean, and the air pure and good" (Travels, p. 340, 341). It seems probable that David, as a native of Bethlehem, must have been well acquainted with this remarkable spot, and had probably often availed himself of its shelter when out with his father ’ s flocks. Dr. Thomson, who explored it to some extent, thinks that it corresponds to the Biblical account of David ’ s fastness (Land and Book, 2, 427). Others (as Stanley, Palestine, p. 254) think the cave in question was one of the numerous excavations found in the soft lime-stone hills along the eastern edge of the "plain" of Judah, particularly those at Deir Dubban (Van de Velde, Narrative, 2, 156, 157); but these are evidently artificial, being apparently enlargements of naturally small crevices for the purpose of magazines of grain (Robinson, Researches, 2, 352-354, 395, 396). (See Cave) (Of Adullam); ODOLLAM (See Odollam) .
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
Adul´lam, an old city ( Genesis 38:1; Genesis 38:12; Genesis 38:20) in the plain country of the tribe of Judah ( Joshua 15:35), and one of the royal cities of the Canaanites ( Joshua 12:15). It was one of the towns which Rehoboam fortified ( 2 Chronicles 11:7; Micah 1:15), and is mentioned after the Captivity ( Nehemiah 11:30; 2 Maccabees 12:38). It is evident that Adullam was one of the cities of 'the valley,' or plain between the hill country of Judah and the sea; and from its place in the lists of names (especially 2 Chronicles 11:7), it appears not to have been far from the Philistine city of Gath. It is probable, however, that the 'cave of Adullam' ( 1 Samuel 22:1) was not in the vicinity of the city, where no such cave has been found, but in the mountainous wilderness in the west of Judah towards the Dead Sea. This conjecture is favored by the fact that the usual haunts of David were in this quarter; whence he moved into the land of Moab, which was quite contiguous, whereas he must have crossed the whole breadth of the land, if the cave of Adullam had been near the city of that name. The particular cave, usually pointed out as 'the cave of Adullam,' is about six miles south-west of Bethlehem, in the side of a deep ravine which passes below the Frank's mountain on the south. It is an immense natural cavern, with numerous passages, the mouth of which can be approached only on foot along the side of the cliff. It seems probable that David, as a native of Bethlehem, must have been well acquainted with this remarkable spot, and had probably often availed himself of its shelter when out with his father's flocks. It would therefore naturally occur to him as a place of refuge when he fled from Gath; and his purpose of forming a band of followers was much more likely to be realized here, in the neighborhood of his native place, than in the westward plain, where the city of Adullam lay.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia 
David's hiding-place (1Sam. xxii. 1), a royal Canaanitish city 10 m. NW. of Hebron.
- Adullam from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Adullam from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Adullam from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Adullam from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Adullam from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Adullam from People's Dictionary of the Bible
- Adullam from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Adullam from Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types
- Adullam from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Adullam from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Adullam from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Adullam from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Adullam from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature
- Adullam from The Nuttall Encyclopedia