Does the Jezreel Valley (i.e. Bible Geography) Matter to Me? (pt. 4)

VII. Historical Significance

The Valley of Jezreel was an important region for many reasons which have already been described.  Its location, and fertile soil made it key historical location.  Some of the most significant events in the history of Palestine occurred, and will occur, in the Valley of Jezreel.  The following is a list of some of the most significant events of the valley.

a. Pre-Israelite

1. In 2350 B.C. Pepi I fought against rebel forces in the Valley of Jezreel.[1]

2. In 1468 B.C. Pharaoh Thutmose III conquers Megiddo.

b. Old Testament History

1. Israel is unable to control the valley after the conquest of Joshua.

2. Deborah and Barak defeat Sisera and gain further control of the valley (Judges 4-5).

3. Gideon defeats Midian with his 300 men (Judges 7).

4. Saul is defeated and killed by the Philistines (1 Samuel 31).

5. Solomon fortifies Meggido (1 Kings 9:15-19).

6. Ahaziah, King of Judah, was wounded in Ibleam and died in Megiddo (2 Kings 14-29).

7. Josiah was killed in battle at Megiddo by Necho II and his forces. (2 Kings 23:28-31)

c. New Testament Events

1. Jesus frequently used the Valley of Jezreel when traveling from Galilee to Jerusalem.

2. Jesus heals ten lepers while passing “between Samaria and Galilee.” (Luke 17:11-19)

3. “In the Roman period a large village called Ezdraela flourished [in Jezreel], with a road-station nearby.”[2]

d. Eschatological Events

1.      Revelation 16:16 predicts that the final battle between God and the rebellion will be fought at Megiddo, which of course, is in the Jezreel valley.

[1] Eric H. Cline, The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age (Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 2000.), 3.

[2]Avraham Negev, The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land, 3rd ed.. 173.