The Dogs of Jezreel
Jezreel, from the Hebrew word pronounced yiz-reh-ale, meaning God will sow, was a northern city of Israel within the allotted territory of the tribe of Issachar (see Tribal Lands). The Valley of Jezreel, named after the city, marked the boundary between Samaria to the south and Galilee to the north. Megiddo (see Armageddon) and the Plain of Megiddo, also known as the Plain of Esdraelon, are just to the west of Jezreel. Some of the kings resided in Jezreel, most notably Ahab.
"In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel"
Jezreel is mentioned frequently in events of Bible History between the time of Joshua and the Kings of Israel and Judah. Jezreel was located within the tribal territory Of Issachar:
"And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families. And their border was toward Jezreel" (Joshua 19:17-18 KJV)
Jezreel was a prominent city in and after the time of Saul and David:
But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul's host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim; And made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. Ishbosheth Saul's son was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David" (2 Samuel 2:8-10 KJV)
Part of Elijah's confrontation with Jezebel took place at Jezreel:
"And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. 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. And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time." (1 Kings 18:45 - 19:1-2 KJV)
The famous incident of Jezebel's murder of Naboth for his vineyard occurred in Jezreel:
"And it came to pass after these things, that 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, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money."
"And Naboth said to Ahab, 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 because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread."
"But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard."
"And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."
"So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, 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, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die." (1 Kings 21:1-10 KJV)
The wicked Jezebel was put to death in Jezreel:
"And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?"
"And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot."
"And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter. And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of The Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel." (2 Kings 9:30-37 KJV)
Fact Finder: Was King Ahab more evil in the eyes of The Lord than any Israelite king before him?
1 Kings 16:30; see also Ahab