Rich in history…rich in beauty

Mt. Gilboa

Mount Gilboa lies along the lower Galilee’s gateway between the Jezreel Valley and the Jordan Valley. The ridge, which rises to about 1700 feet, was the site where King Saul and his three sons, Jonathan, Abinadav, and Malkishua, died after a battle with the Philistines (I Samuel 31: 2-7). There are several other Biblical sites in this area: Gideon’s chose and assembled his soldiers at Ein Harod and nearby was the home of Ahab and Jezebel. During the period of the Judges, the Midianites invaded the Valley of Harod from the neat and camped between the Hill of Moreh and Mount Gilboa. Also located in this area is Beit Shean, one of the country’s most significant Biblical man-made mountains were Roman-Byzantine ruins.  After Saul’s death, David, a loyal Israelite to his king, returned to the site after the battle and cursed the mountain: “Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew nor rain upon you, neither fields of choice fruits; for there the shield of the mighty was vilely cast away, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.” II Samuel 1:21. For many years, the mountain was bare. It was only recently the Jewish National Fund planted forests on the hillsides. Today it is one of the prettiest areas in the land. In the springtime, following the winter rains, there are thousands attracted to the area to see the blankets of blooms from wildflowers, including the rare Gilboa Iris. It grows only on this mountain range and has a vibrant purple color.

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