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Jezreel, Jezre-el

jez'-re-el (seed of God, God scatters)
RELATED:
Hosea
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Easton's Bible Dictionary

God scatters.

(1) A town of Issachar ( Joshua 19:18 ), where the kings of Israel often resided ( 1 Kings 18:45 ; 21:1 ; 2 Kings 9:30 ). Here Elijah met Ahab, Jehu, and Bidkar; and here Jehu executed his dreadful commission against the house of Ahab ( 2 Kings 9:14 - 37 ; 10:1 - 11 ). It has been identified with the modern Zerin, on the most western point of the range of Gilboa, reaching down into the great and fertile valley of Jezreel, to which it gave its name.

(2) A town in Judah ( Joshua 15:56 ), to the south-east of Hebron. Ahinoam, one of David's wives, probably belonged to this place ( 1 Samuel 27:3 ).

(3) A symbolical name given by Hosea to his oldest son ( Hosea 1:4 ), in token of a great slaughter predicted by him, like that which had formerly taken place in the plain of Esdraelon (Compare Hosea 1:4 , 1:5 ).


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Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names

(no entry)

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Smith's Bible Dictionary

(1) (seed of God) A descendant of the father or founder of Etam, of the line of Judah. ( 1 Chronicles 4:3 ) (B.C. about 1445).

(2) A city situated in the plain of the same name between Gilboa and Little Hermon, now generally called Esdraelon. [ESDRAELON] It appears in ( Joshua 19:18 ) but its historical importance dates from the reign of Ahab, B.C. 918-897, who chose it for his chief residence. The situation of the modern village of Zerin still remains to show the fitness of his choice. Int he neighborhood, or within the town probably, were a temple and grove of Eastward, with an establishment of 400 priests supported by Jezebel. ( 1 Kings 16:33 ; 2 Kings 10:11 ) The palace of Ahab, ( 1 Kings 21:1 ; 18:46 ) probably containing his "ivory house," ( 1 Kings 22:39 ) was on the eastern side of the city, forming part of the city wall. Comp. ( 1 Kings 21:1 ; 2 Kings 9:25 , 9:30 , 9:33 ) Whether the vineyard of Naboth was here or at Samaria is a doubtful question. Still in the same eastern direction are two springs, one 12 minutes from the town, the other 20 minutes. The latter, probably from both its size and its situation, was known as "the spring of Jezreel." With the fall of the house of Ahab the glory of Jezreel departed.

(3) A town in Judah, in the neighborhood of the southern Carmel. ( Joshua 15:56 ) Here David in his wanderings took Ahinoam the Israelites for his first wife. ( 1 Samuel 27:3 ; 30:5 )

(4) The eldest son of the prophet Hosea. ( Hosea 1:4 )


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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

jez'-re-el, jez'-rel (yizre'e'l, "God soweth"):

(1) A city on the border of the territory of Issachar (Joshua 19:18).


1. Territory:

It is named with Chesulloth and Shunem (modern Iksal and Solam). It remained loyal to the house of Saul, and is mentioned as part of the kingdom over which Abner set Ishbosheth (2 Samuel 2:9). From Jezreel came the tidings of Saul and Jonathan's death on Gilboa, which brought disaster to Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 4:4). The city plays no important part in the history till the time of Ahab. Attracted, doubtless, by the fine position and natural charms of the place, he made it one of his royal residences, building here a palace (1 Kings 21:1). This was evidently on the eastern wall; and the gate by which Jehu entered was over-looked by the quarters of Queen Jezebel (2 Kings 9:30). The royal favor naturally enhanced the dignity of the city, and "elders" and "nobles" of Jezreel are mentioned (1 Kings 21:8, etc.). Under the influence of Jezebel, an institution for the worship of Baal was founded here, from which, probably, the men were drawn who figured in the memorable contest with Elijah on Carmel (2 Kings 10:11). "The tower in Jezreel" was part of the defenses of the city. It commanded a view of the approach up the valley from Beth-shean--the way followed by the hordes of the East, who, from time immemorial, came westward for the rich pasture of the plain (2 Kings 9:17). It was necessary also to keep constant watch, as the district East of the Jordan was always more unsettled than that on the West; and danger thence might appear at any moment. The garden of Naboth seems to have lain to the East of the city (2 Kings 9:21 ), near the royal domain, to which Ahab desired to add it as a garden of herbs (1 Kings 21:1). See NABOTH. This was the scene of the tragic meetings between Elijah and Ahab (1 Kings 21:17), and between Jehu and Joram and Ahaziah (2 Kings 9:21). Joram had returned to Jezreel from Ramoth-gilead to be healed of his wounds (2 Kings 9:15). By the gateway the dogs devoured Jezebel's body (2 Kings 9:31). Naboth had been stoned to death outside the city (1 Kings 21:13). Josephus lays the scene by the fountain of Jezreel, and here, he says, the dogs licked the blood washed from the chariot of Ahab (Ant., VIII, xv, 6). This accords with 1 Kings 21:19; but 22:38 points to the pool at Samaria.

2. Identification:

The site of Jezreel must be sought in a position where a tower would command a view of the road coming up the valley from Beth-shean. It has long been the custom to identify it with the modern village, Zer'in, on the northwestern spur of Gilboa. This meets the above condition; and it also agrees with the indications in Eusebius, Onomasticon as lying between Legio (Lejjun) and Scythopolis (Beisan). Recently, however, Professor A.R.S. Macalister made a series of excavations here, and failed to find any evidence of ancient Israelite occupation. This casts doubt upon the identification, and further excavation is necessary before any certain conclusion can be reached. For the "fountain which is in Jezreel," see HAROD, WELL OF.

(2) An unidentified town in the uplands of Judah (Joshua 15:56), the home of Ahinoam (1 Samuel 27:3, etc.).




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bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, city, define, esdraelon, jezreel, yizre'e'l

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