Gilboa View


Othniel delivered his people from the king of Mesopotamia, whom they had served eight years. Mesopotamia is a Greek word meaning between the rivers. This country lay between the Tigris and the Euphrates, and was the same as Pa'-dan-a'-ram.

The Land of Moab was the country inhabited by the descendants of Moab, the son of Lot. It lay east of the Dead Sea, but in the time of Ehud extended north only to the river Arnon. It had many strong towns; but the country is now desolate, and its cities lie in ruins.

Mount Tabor stands 0N the north-eastern border of the great plain of Es-dra-e'-lon. It is sixty miles north of Jerusalem, about three miles farther south than the lower end of the Sea of Galilee, and nearly ten miles west of the Jordan River, a little more than one-fourth the distance to the Mediterranean. It rises nearly two thousand feet above the sea, and some thirteen to fifteen hundred feet above the surrounding plain. It is rounded and beautiful in form, with a small plain on its summit, and covered everywhere with handsome forests, except on the south side, where it presents a front of naked limestone rock.

The Midianites were a nomadic or semi-nomadic people, descended from Abraham by Keturah. Gen. 25:2. The boundaries of then territory cannot be definitely given. We have seen that the Kenites, to whom Hobab, the father-in-law of Moses, belonged, were a branch of the Midianites. Their range of pasturage in the time of Moses seems to have been the peninsula of Sinai, perhaps the western border of the Gulf of Akabah, whence Moses led the flock of Jethro "to the back side of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb." Exodus 3:1. But a comparison of the various passages of the Old Testament referring to the Midianites leads to the conclusion that their main seat was east of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, in the bordering desert of Arabia; whence their course, whether for trade or for plunder, was first northward and then westward across the Jordan valley. 

Sacred Geography and Antiquities.

The Valley of Jezreel lies about fifty-two miles north, and a little east, of Jerusalem. It is an arm of the great plain of Jez'-re-el, or Es-dra-e'-lon, and runs north-west and south-east, with Little Hermon and the hills of Moreh on its north-eastern side, and the mountains of Gilboa on the south-west. It is a fertile, meadow-like vale, about fifteen miles long by three miles wide. Just at the entrance to the valley on the north-west stands the city of Jezreel upon the slope of Mount Gilboa, and one hundred feet above the plain. About a mile and a half east of the city, a large fountain flows from a "cavernous recess" at the base of Gilboa. This is supposed to be the place where Gideon encamped with his followers, while the immense host of the Midianites pitched over against them on the north side of the valley.

The Ammonites occupied the territory lying between Arnon and Jabbok, having the country of Moab on the south and south-west, and the tribes of Reuben and Gad on the west. Their capital city, Rabbah, or Rabbath Ammon, was situated forty-five miles east of Jerusalem, and about ten miles farther north. It was a place of great natural strength, and Moses says, "The border of the children of Ammon was strong." Numbers 21:24 These people were the descendants of Ammon, the son of Lot.

The Philistines were a warlike people that inhabited the fertile plain that lies along the Mediterranean Sea south of Mount Carmel.


Jezreel Pool