| jez'-re-el (seed of God, God scatters)
Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1) A town of Issachar ( Joshua
19:18 ), where the kings of Israel often resided ( 1
Kings 18:45 ; 21:1
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
). 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
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
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 )
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).
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.
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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