Jezreel Valley and Megiddo

The scenic and spacious Jezreel Valley is located just north of ancient Samaria. This fertile plain served (and still serves) as the breadbasket of Israel-–and the site of numerous bloody battles throughout Bible times. From Gideon (Judges 7) to Deborah (Judges 4-5) to Saul (1 Samuel 28-31) to Josiah (2 Kings 23:29-30; 2 Chronicles 35:20-27), […]

Sheba and Cush

The ancient nations of Sheba and Cush, both located several hundred miles south of Israel, were often regarded by the people of Israel as the ends of the earth. The nation of Sheba was located on the southwest coast of the Arabian peninsula and traded frankincense, myrrh, gold, and precious stones throughout the Ancient Near […]

Nations Across the Jordan River

The small nations of Ammon, Moab, and Edom lay east of the Jordan River, and the people of these nations were distantly related to the Israelites. The Ammonites and Moabites were descended from Abraham’s nephew Lot (Genesis 19), and the Edomites were descended from Jacob’s twin brother Esau (Genesis 36). The Israelites had passed by […]

Shechem and the Hill Country of Samaria

The ancient city of Shechem in the hill country of Samaria was a literal crossroads of activity during Bible times. Pivotally positioned between two mountains along a key road running through central Israel, Shechem was often regarded as part of the “heartland” of Israel. Here Abraham first offered sacrifices in the Promised Land (Genesis 12:6-7) […]