THE JEZREEL VALLEY

The Jezreel Valley is a hub of biblical events and locations. It is located in the north of Israel in the Lower Galilee region; the Mt. Carmel mountain rage is on its west, and the Jordan Valley is on its east. This valley is one of the most fertile locations in Israel, and is considered Israel’s “breadbasket” due to the variety of crops it produces.

Mt. Tabor

Mt. Tabor sticks out like a sore thumb in the northeastern edge of the Jezreel Valley. This is the mountain on which Deborah and Barak gather 10,000 men to defeat the Canaanite army (Judges 4). Some tradition holds that this is the mountain where Jesus was transfigured; there is a small Franciscan church on top commemorating this occasion.

En-dor

En-dor is a small town on the northeastern side of the Jezreel Valley; it is between Mt. Tabor and the Hill of Moreh. In 1 Samuel 28, Saul sneaks around the Philistine army camped at Shumen, at the foot of the Hill of Moreh, to consult the witch at En-dor. The witch summons Samuel, who informs Saul of his upcoming military loss to the Philistines, his death, and the transferring of the kingdom to David (1 Samuel 28).

Mt. Gilboa

Mt. Gilboa is located on the southeastern side of the Jezreel Valley. This is the mountain on which King Saul falls on his sword mid-battle with the Philistines (1 Samuel 31). Saul’s and Jonathan’s bodies are then hung on the walls of Beit Shean, on the far eastern edge of the Jezreel Valley. Following their death, David curses Mt. Gilboa and forbids it to have rain, dew, and crops (2 Sam 1:21).

Ein Harod

Ein Harod, or the Spring of Harod, is in the northern foothills of Mt. Gilboa, on the eastern edge of the Jezreel Valley. At this spring, God downsizes Gideon’s army by sending home those who knelt down to drink, and keeping the 300 men who lapped the water like a dog (Judges 7).

Harod Valley

The Harod Valley shoots off to the east of the Jezreel Valley. Through this valley, the freshly anointed king, Jehu, drives his chariot “like a madman” on his way to kill Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah.

In Luke 17:11-17, Jesus heals ten lepers. At the time, He is traveling “along the border between Samaria and Galilee.” This border runs through the Harod Valley, placing this miracle somewhere in this valley.

The Battle of Armageddon

The Plains of Megiddo is another name for the Jezreel Valley. The city of Megiddo is on the southwestern edge of the valley and is referred to as “Armageddon” in the New Testament (Revelation 16:16). This sets the Jezreel Valley as a gathering place for the armies fighting in the future, end-time Battle of Armageddon.