Mount Gilboa

Mount Gilboa

(I Samuel 31:1-2)

“Now the Philistines fought againstIsrael: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa

And the Philistines followed close upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons”

Mount Gilboa is situated in a block of hills running southeast to northwest (an offshoot of the Samarian Hills)  and lies between the Jezreel and Beth Shean Valleys.

In the Bible: Mount Gilboa is mentioned in the Bible many times:

It was included in the tribal allotments of Issachar and Manasseh.

The battles of Deborah and Gideon were fought in this region.

“Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell slain on Mount Gilboa…” (I Samuel 31-1)

King Saul and his sons died on these mountains and in their memory one of its peaks has been named Mount Saul (Sha’ul).

“The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa…” (I Samuel 31-8)

“O mountains of Gilboa, may you have neither dew nor rain, nor fields that yield offerings [of grain]. For there the shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, as though he had not been anointed with oil” (II Samuel 1-21)

Despite this curse – which for many years left the Gilboa largely denuded – today large tracts on the hills of Gilboa have been covered with forests and parts have been designated as nature reserves.

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