the Greek form of the Hebrew "Jezreel," the name of the great plain (called by the natives Merj Ibn Amer; i.e., "the meadow of the son of Amer") which stretches across Central Palestine from the Jordan to the Mediterraanean, separating the mountain ranges of Carmel and Samaria from those of Galilee, extending about 14 miles from north to south, and 9 miles from east to west. It is drained by "that ancient river" the Kishon, which flows westward to the Mediterranean. From the foot of Mount Tabor it branches out into three valleys, that on the north passing between Tabor and Little Hermon (Judg. 4:14); that on the south between Mount Gilboa and En-gannim (2 Kings 9:27); while the central portion, the "valley of Jezreel" proper, runs into the Jordan valley (which is about 1,000 feet lower than Esdraelon) by Bethshean. Here Gideon gained his great victory over the Midianites (Judg. 7:1-25). Here also Barak defeated Sisera, and Saul's army was defeated by the Philistines, and king Josiah, while fighting in disguise against Necho, king of Egypt, was slain (2 Chr. 35:20-27; 2 Kings 23-29). This plain has been well called the "battle-field of Palestine." "It has been a chosen place for encampment in every contest carried on in this country, from the days of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, in the history of whose wars with Arphaxad it is mentioned as the Great Plain of Esdraelon, until the disastrous march of Napoleon Bonaparte from Egypt into Syria. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Crusaders, Frenchmen, Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors out of every nation which is under heaven, have pitched their tents in the plain, and have beheld the various banners of their nations wet with the dews of Tabor and Hermon" (Dr. Clark).
God scatters. (1.) A town of Issachar (Josh. 19:18), where the kings of Israel often resided (1 Kings 18:45; 21:1; 2 Kings 9:30). Here Elijah met Ahab, Jehu, and Bidkar; and here Jehu executed his dreadful commission against the house of Ahab (2 Kings 9:14-37; 10:1-11). It has been identified with the modern Zerin, on the most western point of the range of Gilboa, reaching down into the great and fertile valley of Jezreel, to which it gave its name. (2.) A town in Judah (Josh. 15:56), to the south-east of Hebron. Ahinoam, one of David's wives, probably belonged to this place (1 Sam. 27:3). (3.) A symbolical name given by Hosea to his oldest son (Hos. 1:4), in token of a great slaughter predicted by him, like that which had formerly taken place in the plain of Esdraelon (comp. Hos. 1:4, 5).