Tuesday, May 15, 2012

JEZREEL VALLEY




The Jezreel Valley is the gateway between the east and west of the country – the
place it can be transversed easily, without climbing hills.

In Hellenistic times, Tel Megiddo became too small for its inhabitants and they
moved to a larger area below. The settlement was named Otnai. In 122 CE
Adrianus built a basis for a Roman legion in Otnai and the name was changed to
Legio. Caesar Diocletyanus changed the name to Maximyanosopolis, but under
Muslim rule the name became Lajun. There was an Arab village there under the
same name until 1948.

The British built a police station nearby, which today is a prison.

Many biblical battles took place in the Jezreel Valley, including the battles of
Devorah and Barak, Gideon against the Mideonites, and Samuel against the
Philistines.

Judges 4

Deborah

 1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, now that Ehud was dead.
2 So the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in
Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. 3



Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the
Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the LORD for help.

 4 Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.
5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the
hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes
decided. 6 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to
him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand
men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. 7 I will lead Sisera,
the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River
and give him into your hands.’”

 8 Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t
go.”

 9 “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are
taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands
of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 There Barak summoned
Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah
also went up with him.

 11 Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab,
Moses’ brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near
Kedesh.

 12 When they told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13
Sisera summoned from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River all his men and his
nine hundred chariots fitted with iron.

 14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the LORD has given Sisera
into your hands. Has not the LORD gone ahead of you?” So Barak went down Mount
Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. 15 At Barak’s advance, the LORD routed
Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his
chariot and fled on foot.

 16 Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all
Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left. 17 Sisera, meanwhile, fled on
foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was an alliance
between Jabin king of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite.

 18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t
be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket.

 19 “I’m thirsty,” he said. “Please give me some water.” She opened a skin of milk, gave
him a drink, and covered him up.

 20 “Stand in the doorway of the tent,” he told her. “If someone comes by and asks
you, ‘Is anyone in there?’ say ‘No.’”


 21 But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him
while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the
ground, and he died.

 22 Just then Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet
him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with
her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple—dead.

 23 On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites. 24 And the
hand of the Israelites pressed harder and harder against Jabin king of Canaan until
they destroyed him.


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