Tuesday, May 15, 2012



The tel is at the junction of the roads though the Jezreel Valley, road 675 from
east to west, and road 60 from north to south.

On the tel was a rectangular, walled palace, with 4 towers at the corners. It
belonged to the Israelite king Ahab. Each new Israelite kings dynasty set up a
new capital. Ahab’s capital was Shomron, which has been set up by his father,
King Omri.

Ahab was a very strong and rich ruler, and built his second palace at Tel Jezreel.
Many ivory artifacts were found there, including ivory furniture. He married the
Phoenician king’s daughter, Jezebel.

1 Kings 21

Naboth’s Vineyard

 1 Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth the
Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel, close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.
2 Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden,
since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you
prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.”

 3 But Naboth replied, “The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of
my ancestors.”

 4 So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I

Hazel Perez

will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” He lay on his bed sulking and
refused to eat.

 5 His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, “Why are you so sullen? Why won’t you

 6 He answered her, “Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your
vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I
will not give you my vineyard.’”

 7 Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat!
Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

 8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the
elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. 9 In those letters she wrote:

   “Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people.
10 But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has
cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”

 11 So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel directed in the
letters she had written to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth in a
prominent place among the people. 13 Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him
and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed
both God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death. 14
Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.”

 15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to
Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he
refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth
was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard.

 17 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite: 18 “Go down to meet
Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he
has gone to take possession of it. 19 Say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Have
you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the
LORD says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your
blood—yes, yours!’”

 20 Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!”

   “I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold yourself to do evil in the
eyes of the LORD. 21 He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out
your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. [a] 22
I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of
Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.’

Hazel Perez

 23 “And also concerning Jezebel the LORD says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the
wall of Jezreel.’

 24 “Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds will feed
on those who die in the country.”

 25 (There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the
LORD, urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going
after idols, like the Amorites the LORD drove out before Israel.)

 27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted.
He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.

 28 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you noticed how
Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not
bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”

On 3.9.1260 CE the Battle of Ayn Jalut (the Arabic name for spring) took place
in the Jezreel Valley. This was between the Monguls, under Genghis Khan’s
grandson, Hulegu (basis of the word hooligan) coming from the north via what
is now Syria, and the Mamalukes, mercenaries from Egypt, led by Sultan Kotuz.
Before the battle, approx two thirds of the Mongul troops had to return Mongolia,
leaving only 10,000 to fight the Mamalukes, who had a force of 15,000. The
Mamalukes won the battle and stopped a Mongolian capture of Europe and
the Middle East. A month later, one of the Mamaluke commanders, Baibars,
murdered Kotuz and became Sultan.

Up until 1948 there was an Arab village on the tel call Zarin. In April 1948, after
3 tries, the Palmach captured the site. There is a memorial to the fallen of the 4 th
Brigade of the Palmach on the Tel.

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