Sites - Israel: Mount Gilboa
Ancient Israel Sites
Mount Gilboa in Wikipedia
Mount Gilboa (Hebrew: הר הגלבוע) is a ridge above the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel. The formation
extends from southeast to northwest, bordering the highlands of the West Bank and the Beit She'an
valley; the 'Green Line' between Israel and the West Bank traverses the ridge. The Gilboa range is also
the setting in the Books of Samuel portraying Saul, Jonathan, and David.
The Arabic name is Mount Faqoa (Arabic: جبال فقوعة). The name is taken from the village Faqoa between
Jenin City and Beit She'an.
The mountain has two religious kibbutzim, Ma'ale Gilboa and Merav, named after one of Saul's daughters,
as well as a drug rehabilitation centre called Malkishua, most likely after one of King Saul's sons,
Malchi-shua. Ma'ale Gilboa has in it a yeshiva (Talmudical school), Yeshivat Ma'ale Gilboa. Municipal
services are mainly administered by the Gilboa Regional Council, although two villages are part of the
Beit She'an Valley Regional Council.
The Israeli government had proposed a new community on the mountain: Mikhal, named after Saul's other
daughter Michal. However, environmentalists and other residents had been vehement in their opposition
to this project, fearing that Mikhal would destroy more green space and threaten certain irises which
are unique to this area. Others in opposition questioned the need for an additional village, since the
existing villages were themselves trying to attract new residents and expand.
Every year, in early spring, the Iris haynei (Hebrew: אירוס הגלבוע, Irus Ha-Gilboa) flower grows on the
mountain, and visitors from all over Israel come to see the purple flower.
Nature reserves --
Two nature reserves have been declared on the Gilboa ridge; The Irus Ha-Gilboa nature reserve in 1970,
covering 7,280 dunams and the eastern Gilboa reserve in 2005, covering 18290 dunams.
Mount Gilboa Travel Information
Mount Gilboa is part of the lower Galilees eastern gateway
between the Jezreel Valley, Israels breadbasket, and the
Jordan Valley. One of the Galilees most scenic regions, this
500-meter-high ridge is the site where King Saul and his
sons, Jonathan, Abinadav and Malkishua died after a battle
with the Philisitines (1 Sam. 31:2-7). This moving story is
commemorated by the names of some of the communities and
peaks along this 18-kilometer-long mountainous stretch.
The view from Gilboa takes in many visitor sites, including
Mount Moreh (Judges 7:1), where Gideons army assembled; Tel
Jezreel, home of Ahab and Jezebel; and the national parks of
Ein Harod, where Gideon chose his soldiers (Judges 7:4);
Beit Alpha, with its ancient synagogue mosaic and Bet Shean,
one of the countrys most significant biblical tels, whose
Roman-Byzantine ruins are a highlight. (Israel Minister of
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