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carpet.” And in another place he mentions, that “ the fields in many parts were still covered with a rich crop of wheat, long ready, and waiting for the sickle.” Mr. Paxton says, that in many places the weeds were nearly as high as a man's head a proof of the rich luxuriance of the soil. But this noble plain belongs to the government, and is only partially cultivated. It is almost without villages. When ascending to Nazareth, Dr. Robinson writes : “ The plain in this part is rich and fertile, but lay mostly untilled; here and there only were a few patches of grain intermingled with the far greater portions now let run to waste."
And in more general terms, he says of the great body of the plain, that it is 66
every where a tract of fertile, though now neglected soil."
Through the plain of Esdraelon, the ancient river' Kishon is of old represented as pouring its waters in such abundance, as to sweep away' the troops of Sisera during the battle of Deborah and Barak; and we still find the same river a considerable stream, under the name of El-Mukútta', flowing along the base of Carmel into the bay of ’Akka ..
“ Not improbably in ancient times, when the country was perhaps more wooded, there may have been permanent streams throughout the whole plain, like that which still runs eastward along the middle arm; and even now, in ordinary seasons, during the winter and spring, there is an abundance of water on the plain, flowing westwards to form the Kishon.
The large fountains all along the southern border furnish more powerful streams; and all the water-courses from the hills and along the plain are full and overflowing. During the battle of Mount Tabor, between the French and Arabs, April 16th, 1799, many of the latter are expressly said to have been drowned in the stream coming from Debûrieh,' which then inundated a part
1 The village of Debûrieh is small and unimportant, lying on the side of a ledge of rocks just at the base of bor. It is said to
of the plain. Monro, in crossing the arm of the plain from Sôlam to Nazareth, on the first or second of May, describes himself as passing in half an hour from Sôlam a considerable brook from the eastward, and afterwards some others, which flow into a small lake on the northern side of the plain, and eventually contribute to swell the Kishon' . . . In April, 1829, Prokesch, in travelling directly from Ramleh to Nazareth, entered the plain of Esdraelon at or near Lejjûn ; here he came upon the Kishon, flowing in a deep bed through marshy ground; and after wandering about for some time to find the way through the morass, was at length set right by an Arab, who pointed out the proper ford. All these considerations, and especially these marshes in the region of Lejjûn or Megiddo, fully bear out the sacred writer, in affirming that the forces of Sisera were swept away by the Kishon ; swollen as the stream probably was by the tempest and rain, with which the Lord interfered in behalf of the Israelites. (Judges v. 20, 21; compare v. 4.)
“ The Kishon of the plain is not now a permanent stream ; but usually flows only during the season of rain, and for a short time afterwards. Yet the river, as it enters the sea at the foot of Carmel, never becomes dry; and we must therefore seek for its perennial sources along the base of that mountain. In travelling under the eastern brow of Carmel,? writes Dr. Shaw, I had an opportunity of seeing the sources of the river Kishon, three or four of which lie within less than a furlong of each other. These alone, without the lesser contributions nearer the sea, discharge water enough to form a river half as big as the
The length of the stream from these sources to have once had a christian church, the ruins of which are still visible, This would seem not' improbably to be the Daberath of the Old Testament, belonging to Issachar, but assigned to the Levites. Joshua xxi. 28.
1 The Isis flows by Oxford, and is the main branch of the river Thames.
the sea, he estimates at seven miles, or about two and a half hours. It was probably somewhere along this permanent stream that Elijah slew the prophets of Baal.
“ The quantity of water in the Mukútta', as it passes through the lower plain to the sea, is not inconsiderable.
Schubert forded it in May, (when) the water (came) half way up the bodies of the mules. Monro crossed the river near its mouth, at the south-east nook of the bay of ’Akka, in a boat ; he describes the stream as about thirty yards in width, and deep; so that the asses, with their heads tied to the boat, were compelled to swim
“ I took leave of the noble plain of Esdraelon from the summit of Mount Tabor, as it lay extended before us, quiet and peaceful, in the brilliant light of an (Eastern) morning; so tranquil, indeed, that it was
difficult to connect with it the idea of battles and bloodshed, of which for a long succession of ages it has been the chosen scene. Here Deborah and Barak, descending with their forces from Mount Tabor, attacked and discomfited the host of Sisera, with his nine hundred chariots of iron,' from Endor to Taanach and Megiddo, where the Kishon swept them away. In and adjacent to the plain, Gideon achieved his triumph over the Midianites; and here, too, the glory of Israel was darkened for a time, by the fall of Saul and Jonathan
upon Gilboa 1
“ It was also adjacent to Aphek in the plain, that Ahab and the Israelites obtained a miraculous victory over the Syrians under Benhadad ;while at Megiddo, the pious Josiah fell in battle against the Egyptian monarch. Then came the times of the Romans, with battles under Gabinius and Vespasian. The period of the crusades furnishes likewise its account of contests in and around the plain . . . In A.D. 1187, a fierce and fatal conflict took place in the plain around Tabor, near the Kishon ... and almost in our day the battle of Mount Tabor was one of the triumphs of Napoleon.” -See ROBINSON'S Researches, vol. iii. pp. 161, 168, 183, 228-234 ; Paxton's Letters, pp. 176, 178.
“ This plain," writes Mr. Stephens," is the 'mighty plain' of the ancients, and celebrated for more than three thousand years as the great battle-ground' of nations'. . The Assyrians and the Persians, Jews and Gentiles, Crusaders and Saracens, Egyptians and Turks, Arabs and Frenchmen, warriors of every nation, have poured out their blood on the plains of Esdraelon." -Incidents of Travel, ii. 345, 346.
2 1 Kings xx. 26–30.
JEZREEL (ZER’ÎN). VALLEY OF JEZREEL.
SCRIPTURE NOTICES. “ THEN all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the East were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the Valley of Jezreel.”—Judges vi. 33. (See whole chapter.)
“ Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek : and the Israelites pitched by a fountain which is in Jezreel ... And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.”—1 Samuel xxix. 1, 11.
“ And Jonathan, Saul's son, had a son that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.”—2 Samuel iv. 4.
“... And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah ; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.”—1 Kings xviii. 45, 46.
“... Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab, king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard , and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or I will give thee the worth of it in money. And Naboth
aid. The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased ... And Jezebel his wife said unto him ... I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. So she wrote letters in Ahab's name ... and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people ; and set two men, sons of Belial ... to bear witness