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Mount Gilboa

Mount Gilboa West

3_MtGilboa_West_2 Mount Gilboa, along with the Hill of Moreh form the narrow passage that separates the Jezreel and Harod Valleys just west of Beit She’an.  It was on this mountain that Saul and his sons fell to the Philistine army.  Tradition claims this is the reason the eastern face of the mountain remains bare even to this day.

We’ll began posting again next week, after the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Bethshean and the Jezreel Jordan Junction

1_BeitSean_Jezreel-Jordan_Junction_1 From atop Mount Gilboa, one is afforded a stunning view of the Jezreel Valley as it intersects with the Jordan Valley.  At the center of this major junction is the ancient city of Beit She’an (Bethshean), where it guarded the crossing point from Pella in Jordan to the Jezreel—which would then lead on past Megiddo to the trade opportunities of International Trunk Route (sometimes called the Via Maris).  This bottleneck of commerce underscores the value of Bethshean, beginning with Egyptians, Israelites, Philistines, and eventually even the empires of Alexander and Rome.

The Importance of Jezreel

The Importance of Jezreel


Even a casual reading of the period of the Divided Kingdom in the Old Testament reveals the importance of a particular city in the Northern Kingdom...Jezreel. The city of Jezreel is located on a small bluff on the western edge of Mount Gilboa. The city overlooks the beautiful Jezreel Valley to its north. The panoramic view stretches from Mount Carmel to the west, across the Nazareth ridge to the north, past Mount Tabor and the Hill of Moreh to the Harod Valley in the east. It is one of my favorite sites in Israel as you can visualize so many Biblical stories taking place within its view. This morning, I read an interesting article by Norma Franklin from the University of Haifa. She talks about the importance of the city of Jezreel throughout history, but in particular, the period of the Divided Kingdom. I invite you to read it.

Want to see Jezreel? I'll be going over there next June, and I'm leading a tour. I would be honored for you to join me on this exciting trip as we study the Bible while traveling through Israel.