The Gilboa range lies in the North of Israel, separating the Harod and Jezreel valleys and reaching 1600 feet in elavation. Many stories from the Prophets occured at or around Gilboa. After the battle of Ai, Joshua built an altar on Mt. Eival (near Gilboa) and read the Torah to the Israelites (Joshua 8:30-38). Gideon set up a camp on the base of the Gilboa, at Ein Harod, to prepare for the battle against the Midianites (Judges 7:1-25). Saul and his three sons (see Samuel I:31) are slain on Mt Gilboa itself. Subsequently, King David curses Mt. Gilboa by saying that they should have no rainfall, remaining barren (Samuel II 1:21). 

The Carmel range lies north west of the Gilboa. Mount Carmel rises to  1790 feet, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. On Mount Carmel Elijah the Prophet succeeded in disproving Jezebel's gods, the Ba'alim (Kings I 18:19-40). During the Second World War, with Rommel's Nazi forces marching ever closer to Palestine, a plan was devised to fortify the Carmel mountain to halt the Nazi advance, but fortunately the Nazis never reached Palestine.






[ When Gideon was about to set out to battle against the Midianites, he  was instructed by G-d to cut his army into a small force of 300 men, to prove that a victory was reached only through G-d and not through the army size. Gideon brought his men to the waters of Ein Harod- those who brought the water up to their mouths with their hand joined his army; those who dipped their faces in the water were sent home. Only 300 men passed the test.



Map of Israel after Joshua's conquest, during the time of the Judges: These tribal divisions were not condusive to uniting the Israelites - customs developed differently and each tribe had its own leader or Judge











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18 Jul 2007 / 3 Av 5767 0