Jezreel was a city in the plain, or valley, of Esdraelon. The area surrounding the city was also called the Valley of Jezreel. The word Jezreel comes from two Hebrew root words meaning “to sow” and “almighty.” Put together, the two root words mean “God will sow.”
The Valley of Jezreel is a beautiful, broad plain, stretching from west to east from Mount Carmel and the sea to the Jordan, which it reaches through two arms between the mountains of Gilboa, Little Hermon, and Tabor; and from south to north from the mountains of Ephraim to those of Galilee. Nazareth lies in the hills on the northern side of the valley. Jezreel is also called the Great Plain and the Valley of Esdraelon.
The city of Jezreel has a long and varied history and figures prominently in many Bible events, most of them violent. King Jehu ordered that the heads of King Ahab’s 70 sons be placed in heaps at the gate of Jezreel (2 Kings 10:1–11). Ahab’s queen, Jezebel, met her death by being thrown from a window of the palace of Jezreel, and it was there that her body was eaten by dogs (2 Kings 9:30–35). Jezreel was the scene of the phony trial of Naboth, who owned a vineyard near Ahab’s palace and who was murdered by Jezebel for his refusal to give his land to Ahab (1 Kings 21:1–23). The Valley of Jezreel was the scene of some important battles as well: the victory of Barak over Sisera (Judges 4); a victory of Gideon over the Midianites, the Amalekites, and their allies from the east (Judges 6 – 8); the victory of the Philistines over Saul and his sons (1 Samuel 31); and the Egyptians’ victory over King Josiah (2 Kings 23:29).
Jezreel is also the name of a son of the prophet Hosea, so named because God had declared that He would avenge the blood of Jezreel on the house of Jehu (Hosea 1:4–5).
Today, the Jezreel Valley is a green, fertile plain, covered with fields of wheat, cotton, sunflowers, and corn, as well as grazing tracts for multitudes of sheep and cattle. Because of its location in the same valley as Megiddo, Jezreel is considered to be a likely spot for the future battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16–21). In fact, the Valley of Megiddo is also called the Valley of Jezreel.