What is the biblical significance of Jezreel? What does the word 'Jezreel' mean?
The word "Jezreel" is constructed of two Hebrew words meaning "to sow" and "mighty" or "Almighty" and in combination the meaning is "God will sow." The city of Jezreel was situated in a beautiful valley, near Esdraelon, an area between Mount Carmel and the sea to the Jordan river. Jezreel is also called the Great Plain and the Valley of Esdraelon. The city of Nazareth, Jesus' home town, was on the northern side of Jezreel.
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In the Bible, the city of Jezreel has a long, violent history. The wife of King Ahab, Jezebel, died when she was thrown from a window of Jezreel's palace, and her body was eaten by dogs (2 Kings 9:30-35). Naboth was murdered in Jezreel when he refused to give King Ahab his vineyard (1 Kings 21:1-23). King Ahab's sons were beheaded and their heads piled at the gates of Jezreel (2 Kings 10:1-11). Jezreel was also the scene of many biblical battles: Deborah's victory over Sisera (Judges 4); the Israelites' victory over the Midianites and the Amalekites (Judges 6—8); Saul and Jonathan's defeat at the hand of the Philistines (1 Samuel 31); Egypt's victory over King Josiah (2 Kings 23:29).
The Jezreel Valley is now a beautiful farmland, where wheat, cotton, corn, and sunflowers are grown, and herds of sheep and cattle graze. The Valley of Jezreel is also called "The Valley of Megiddo" and some believe it may be the scene of the battle of Armageddon, according to a passage in Revelation that says "they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon" (Revelation 16:16-21). The word Armageddon is a combination of the word har, meaning mountain or mountain range, and mgiddown, which in English is "Megiddo."
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