On the northwest edge of Mount Gilboa, Jezreel overlooks the Valley that took its name. Built as a fortress in Omri’s day in the 800’s BC, King Ahab had a palace in Jezreel and some believe it was a cavalry base for King Ahab’s military. A view from the city and its postion helped command the highway through the Jezreel Valley from Megiddo and Beth Shean. It was a small village in the early Bronze Age (2700 BC). In 1987 a bulldozer accidentally uncovered ancient structures and David Ussishkin and John Woodhead led the excavation from 1990-1996. They uncov ered four towers and a casemate wall around the fortress built with ashlars and boulders. The fortress covered 11 acres and was surrounded by a 20 ft. deep moat on 3 sides.
Jezreel in the Bible:
Jos.19:18, Jezreel is in Issachar;
1 Kg.18:45-46, Elijah outran Ahab’s chariot from Mt. Carmel to Jezreel;
1 Kg.21:1-24, Naboth lost his life and his vineyard in Jezreel to Ahab;
2 Kg.8:28-29,;9:14-37, Jehu drove his chariot to Jezreel from the Jordan Valley and killed the King of Israel, the king of Judah (Jehoram) and the Queen Mother (Jezebel);
2 Kg.19:1-11; Hosea 1:4, Jehu killed all Ahab’s descendants at Jezreel and the prophet Hosea condemned him.