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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Jezreel

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JEZREEL . The Hebrew name from which is derived the name of the Plain of Esdraelon (see Esdraelon). The plain is called ‘the Valley of Jezreel’ in Joshua 17:16 , Judges 6:33 , Hosea 1:5 .

1 . Primarily, however, it denotes an Important city overlooking the Plain on the south in the border of the tribe of Issachar. Here, by ‘the fountain of Jezreel’ probably the powerful spring known as ‘Ain Jalûd the Israelites encamped against the Philistines before the battle of Gilboa ( 1 Samuel 29:1 ). It is named as an important town in the short-lived kingdom of Ishbosheth ( 2 Samuel 2:9 ). Under Solomon it was in the administrative district of Baana ( 1 Kings 4:12 ). But the chief interest of the town’s history centres in the time of the reign of Ahab, who established here a royal residence, to which he retired when the three years’ drought came to an end ( 1 Kings 21:1; 1 Kings 18:45 ), and whence he saw and coveted the vineyard of Naboth (21). It is probable, however, that the ‘ivory palace’ of 1 Kings 22:39 was not at Jezreel, but at the capital, Samaria. To Jezreel came Joram to recover from the wounds received in battle with the Syrians ( 2 Kings 8:29 ); and here, on the revolt of Jehu, were that king and his mother Jezebel slain (ch. 9), as well as all that remained of the house of Ahab (ch. 10). This is the last we hear of Jezreel, which thereafter seems to have sunk into insignificance. The place is represented both in situation and in name by the modern village of Zer‘in , a poor and dirty hamlet. Except a few ruined tombs and fragments of sarcophagi, there are no remains of antiquity to be seen in the neighbourhood.

2 . There was a second Jezreel, of which nothing is known save that it was in the territory of Judah ( Joshua 15:56 ) and was the native place of one of David’s wives, Abinoam ( 1 Samuel 25:43 ). 3 . A Judahite ( 1 Chronicles 4:3 ). 4 . The symbolical name of Hosea’s eldest son ( Hosea 1:4 ). 5 . Jezreel (‘whom God soweth’) is a title symbolically applied to Israel in Hosea 2:22 f.

R. A. S. Macalister.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Jezreel'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/j/jezreel.html. 1909.

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