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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Harod

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(Heb. Charod', חֲרוֹד; Sept. Ἀρώδ v.r. Ἀράδ ), a brook or place (עִיַן, a spring or fountain, "well," Sept. πηγή) not far from Jezreel and Mount Gilboa ("Gilead," Judges 7:3), by (עִל )'which Gideon and his great army encamped on the morning of the day which ended in the rout of the Midianites (Judges 7:1), and where the trial of the people by their mode of drinking apparently took place. (See GIDEON). The name means "palpitation," and it has been suggested that it originated in consequence of the alarm and terror of most of the men who were here tested by Gideon (Judges 7:3; Judges 7:5); but this supposition seems very far-fetched, and the name more probably arose from some peculiarity in the outflow of the stream, or from some person or circumstance otherwise unknown. The word, slightly altered, recurs in the proclamation to the host-"Whosoever is fearful and trembling (חָרֵד, chared'), let him return"(Judges 7:3); but it does not follow that the name Charod was, as Prof. Stanley proposes, bestowed on account of the trembling, for the mention of the trembling may have been suggested by the previously existing name of the fountain; either would suit the paronomastic vein in which these ancient records so delight... The word charred (A V. was afraid") recurs in the description of another event which took place in this neighborhood, possibly at this very spot-Saul's last encounter with the Philistines-when he "was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly" at the sight of their fierce hosts (1 Samuel 28:5). It was situated south of the hill Moreh, where the Midianites were encamped in the valley of Jezreel (1 Samuel 28:1), and on the brow of the hills overlooking that plain on the south (1 Samuel 28:8). As the camps were not far distant from each other (compare 1 Samuel 28:10-15), it must have been in a narrow part of the valley, and probably near its head (for the invaders came from the east, 1 Samuel 6:3, and fled down the eastern defiles, 1 Samuel 7:22). Hence the position of the present Ain Jalud, south of Jezreel, is very probably that of the fountain in question (Stanley's Sinai and Palest. p. 334-336). This spring, which gives rise to a small stream flowing east-ward down the wady of the same name, is evidently there presentative of the ancient name Gilead applied to this spot, (See GILEAD), 2, and has thus supplanted the other name Harod. Indeed it, is probable that the latter was rather the name of a town in the neighborhood, since we find mention of its inhabitants (2 Samuel 23:25). (See HARODITE).

"The valley of Jezreel"referred to is an eastern arm of, the great plain of Esdraelon; bounded on the south by Gilboa, and on the north by a parallel ridge called the "hill of Moreh" (q.v.). It is. about three miles wide. (See JEZREEL). The Midianites: were encamped along the base of Moreh, and probably near the town of Shunem. On the south side of the valley, at the base of Gilboa, and nearly opposite Shunem, is the fountain of Ain Jalud. It is about a mile east of Jezreel, and hence it was also called the "fountain of Jezreel." The water bursts out from a rude grotto in a wall of conglomerate rock, which here forms the base of Gilboa. It first flows into a large but shallow pond, and then winds away through the rich green vale past the ruins of Bethshean to the Jordan. Theside of Gilboa rises over the fountain steep and rugged. Some have thought it strange that the Midianites should not have seized on this fountain but, as many of the Israelites probably lurked in the mountain, the Midianates may have deemed it more prudent to encamp in the open plain to the north, where there are also fountains. The Jerusalem Itinerary seems to indicate that the name Ain Jalud (q. d. "Fountain of Goliath") arose from an ancient tradition that the adjoining valley was the site of David's victory over the giant (ed. Wesseling, p. 586). The fountain was a noted camping-ground for both Christians and Saracens during the Crusades. William of Tyre calls it Tubania (Gesta Dei per Francos, p. 1037; Bohadin, Vita Saladini, p. 53). The valley of Jezreel still forms a favorite haunt of the wild Bedawin, who periodically cross from the east side of the Jordan, as in Judges 6:5 : "They came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; both they and their camels were without number"(Porter, Handbook fr Syr. and Pal. 2, 355; Robinson, Bib. Res. 2, 324).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Harod'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/h/harod.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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