Jezreel, Fountain of

Jezreel, Fountain Of (עִיַן, always a perennial natural spring), a place where Saul encamped before the fatal battle of Gilboa (1Sa 29:1). Still in the same eastern direction from Zerin are two springs, one 12 minutes from the town, the other 20 minutes (Robinson, Bib. Res. 3, 167). This latter spring "flows from under a sort of cavern in the wall of conglomerate rock, which here forms the base of Gilboa. The water is excellent; and issuing from crevices in the rocks, it spreads out at once into a fine limpid pool 40 or 50 feet in diameter, full of fish" (Robinson, 3, 168). This probably, both from its size and situation, is the one above referred to. It is also probably the same as the spring (A.V. "well") of "Harod," where Gideon encamped before his night attack on the Midianites (Jg 7:1). (Possibly the nearer spring may distinctively have been called that of Jezreel, and the farther one that of Harod.) The name of Harod, "trembling," probably was taken from the "trembling" of Gideon's army (Jg 7:3). It was the scene of successive encampments of the Crusaders and Saracens, and was called by the Christians Tubania, and by the Arabs Ain Jalud. "the spring of Goliath" (Robinson, Bib. Res. 3, 69). This last name, which it still bears, is derived from a tradition mentioned by the Bordeaux Pilgrim, that here David killed Goliath. The tradition may be a confused reminiscence of many battles fought in its neighborhood (Ritter, Jordan, p. 416); or the word may be a corruption of "Gilead," supposing that to be the ancient name of Gilboa, and thus explaining Jg 7; Jg 3, "depart from Mount Gilead" (Schwarz, p. 334). SEE GILEAD. According to Josephus (Ant, 8, 15, 4, 6), this spring, and the pool attached to it, was the spot where Naboth and his sons were executed, where the dogs and swine licked up their blood and that of Ahab, and where the harlots bathed in the blood- stained water (Sept.). But the natural inference from the present text of 1Ki 22:38 makes the scene of these events to be the pool of Samaria. SEE NABOTH.

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