On a recent trip to Israel I visited a site that I had viewed many times, but had not taken the time to visit.
The spring of Jezreel is situated in the large cluster of trees.
The Spring of Jezreel is located about 0.6 mi. northeast of the summit of biblical Jezreel.
This is a view of the pool and abandoned structure that was built during the days of the British Mandate (1922–1948). A channel directs water from the Spring of Jezreel into this pool. This powerful spring is located at the foot of Tel Jezreel (about 0.6 mi northeast of the summit of the tell).
According to the biblical text it was here that Saul mustered the Israelite troops in preparation for his fatefull battle with the Philistines.
“The Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek, and Israel camped by the spring in Jezreel.” (1 Samuel 29:1)
Soon afterward, Saul and his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-shua were killed on nearby Mount Gilboa (1 Samuel 31:2).
Naboth’s vineyards may have also been in the vicinity (1 Kings 21:1).
View of the channel that leads from the Spring of Jezreel to the pool that was built during the days of the British Mandate (1922–1948). In this photo, the water is flowing toward the viewer.
For more images from Jezreel, Click Here.
One of the famous stories surrounding the life of Saul is that of how Saul’s son Jonathan, along with his armor bearer attacked the Philistine garrison at Michmash (1 Samuel 14:1–16)—about 7.5 mi. north northeast of Jerusalem.
In the story it is recounted how from a ridge on the south they descended into a wadi (today the Suweinit) and ascended the slope north of the wadi to attack Michmash.
1Sam. 14:4 On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez, and the other Seneh. 5 One cliff stood to the north toward Michmash, the other to the south toward Geba. (1 Samuel 14:4–5)
View looking east down the Wadi Suweinit in the vicinity of Michmash (modern Mukmas). Note the rugged cliffs on the north (left) and south (right). — Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download.
It is probable that the cliff on the north is “Bozez” and that on the south (right) is “Seneh.” But this is an area that they probably avoided due to the steepness of the cliffs. They probably looked for a more gradual slope as they made their way down into (from upper right) and up out of the Wadi bed (upper left).
View looking north from the ridge on the south side of the Wadi Suweinit towards the Palestinian city of Mukmas—biblical “Michmash.” This is probably in the vicinity of “the pass” mentioned in 1 Samuel 14:4. — Click on Image to Enlarge and/or Download.
View looking north from the ridge on the south side of the Wadi Suweinit—from where Jonathan and his armor bearer began their two man attack—towards the Palestinian city of Mukmas—biblical “Michmash.” Michmash/Mukmas is situated on the hill in the distance. The bottom of the Wadi Suweinit is (out of view) just beyond the fence and grass in the foreground.
The slope down into and out of the wadi is steep but passable—and this area avoids the cliffs to the north and south of this “pass”—see the image of the Wadi Suweinit above.