JEZEBEL: Wife of Ahab, seventh king of Israel. She was a daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre, and one of the most unscrupulous yet energetic queens of history. She seems to have swayed the mind of her husband, and where he was weak and vacillating, she supplied courage and resolution. She established the worship of the Phenician Baal in the kingdom, and, while supporting at her own table the priests of Baal, persecuted the prophets of Israel (I Kings xviii. 4), and vowed vengeance upon Elijah (I Kings xix. 2). When her husband despaired of getting Naboth's vineyard, she ordered the judicial murder of Naboth and secured for her husband the coveted possession (I Kings xxi. 5). She survived Ahab fourteen years, but continued to have great influence at court, and saw her daughter Athaliah married to the king of Judah (II Kings viii. 26). When Jehu drove into Jezreel, with the design of extirpating the house of Ahab, Jezebel was thrown from the upper story of the palace to death on the atones beneath. Her body was crushed under Jehu's chariot-wheels, and, according to II Kings ix. 30-35, devoured by dogs. See AHAB; and ELIJAH.

BLIOGRAPHY: Consult, besides the pertinent sections in the works named under AHAB: DB, ii. 656-657; EB, ii. 2457; JE, vii. 186.

JEZREEL: A plain mentioned Josh. xvii. 16; Judges vi. 33; Hos, i. 5, etc. The name ("God sows") denotes the fruitfulness of the plain as something unusual, extraordinary, and wrought by God, and indicates that from the moat ancient times agriculture was adequately recompensed in the region. Jezreel is the largest plain in the mountain land of Israel, and is therefore called the "valley" (Judges v. 15; I Sam. xxxi. 7), and "the great plain" (I Macc. xii. 49). It was of great significance in commerce, and the road from Egypt led by three branches to the southern edge of the plain and continued northwest to the coast, northeast to Tabor and Damascus, while the eastern edge was crossed by the road from Samaria to Galilee. This made it a continual cause of strife. The Israelites first gained possession of it by the victory of Barak and Deborah (Judges v.), though the Canaanites retained possession of Megiddo, Ibleam, Taanach, and Dor until the time of the kings (Judges i. 27). To Manasseh belonged the southern portion (Josh. xvii. i1-13), to Issachar the eastern part (Josh. xix. 18-20), while Zebulun was on the north (Josh. xix. 10 sqq.). The Israelites under Saul and Jonathan sustained a defeat beneath Gilboa (I Sam. xxxi.); Ahab defeated Ben-hadad II. near Aphek (I. Kings xx 26); and Josiah was defeated by Necho II. at Megiddo (II Kings xxiii. 29). The city of Jezreel, belonging to Issachar, was situated on the plain, at the foot of Gilboa (Josh. xix. 18), above Beth-shean (I Kings iv. 12), not far from Carmel


(I Kings xviii. 45), and was the home of Ahab and Naboth (I Kings xxi. 1) and the scene of Jehu's exploit (II Kings ix. 17 sqq.). It is called Esdraelon in Judith, iii. 9, iv. 6, and in later times, as in the Onomasticon of Eusebius; the modern village Zer'in has preserved the name. There were other places of note on the plain. Josephus (Ant. XX., vi. 1) mentions Ginaea, the modern Jenin, the old Engannim of Josh. xix. 21. Taanach of Judges v. 19 is the modern Ta'annuk. The city of Megiddo lay on the south border of the plain, and appears as the Egyptian Maketi and as Magidda in the Amarna Tablets; it was a royal Canaanitic city, and was refortified by Solomon. In the western part lay the village of Nein, to be identified with the Nain of Luke vii. 11 aqq. The modern Endur bespeaks the ancient En-dor of Josh. xvii. 11, south of which is Sulem, the Shunem of Josh. xix. 18. Aphek must be sought not far from the city of Jezreel, possibly in the ruins of the modern El-Fule.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: G. A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land, chap. xix., London, 1897; H. Reland, Palästina, pp. 359-370, Utrecht, 1714; C. Ritter, Comparative Geography of Palestine, ii 314-315, 317 322, iv. 333, 343-350, Edinburgh, 1888; G. Ebers and H. Guthe, Palästina in Bild und Wort, i. 275-290, Stuttgart, 1883; W. M. Thomson, The Land and the Book, ii, 177-191, New York, 1886; W. M. Müller, Asien und Europa, pp, 157-158, 167, Leipsic, 1893; F. Buhl, Geographie des alten Palästina, pp. 106 sqq., 204 sqq., Tübingen, 1896; Robinson: Researches, iii. 161-168; Schürer, Geschichte, i. 494-495, Eng, transl., I., ii. 89; DB, ii. 657-658; EB, ii. 2458-2460, JE, vii. 1868-187.


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