This is where King Saul and his sons fell on Mount Gilboa in a battle between Israel and the Philistines. As David heard the sad news of the loss of his dear friend, he cursed the mountains of Gilboa, " “O mountains of Gilboa, may you have neither dew nor rain, nor fields that yield offerings of grain.” [2 Samuel 1:21].

Overlooking the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel, Mount Gilboa is a site worth seeing. A scenic route to hikes, picnic sites, bike paths and breathtaking views. Mount Shaul (Saul) has also become a well-known place for hang-gliders and windsurfers to take off from. 


Gilboa, Mount gil-bō′a (הַר הַגִּלְבֹּעַ, “Mount of the Gilboa”): Unless we should read “Gilboa” for “Gilead” in Jgs 7:3 (see GILEAD, 2) this mountain is mentioned in Scripture only in connection with the last conflict of Saul with the Philistines, and his disastrous defeat (1 Sa 28:4; 31:1,8; 2 Sa 1:6,21; 21:12; 1 Ch 10:1,8). If Zer‘in be identical with Jezreel — a point upon which Professor R. A. S. Macalister has recently cast some doubt — Saul must have occupied the slopes on the N.W. side of the mountain, near “the fountain which is in Jezreel” (1 Sa 29:1). The Philistines attacked from the plain, and the battle went sore against the men of Israel, who broke and fled; and in the flight Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchi- shua, sons of Saul, were slain. Rather than be taken by his lifelong foes, Saul fell upon his sword and died (1 Sa 31:1 ff).

The modern name of the mountain is Jebel Faku‘a. It rises on the eastern edge of the plain of Esdraelon, and, running from Zer‘in to the S.E., it then sweeps southward to join the Samarian uplands. It presents an imposing appearance from the plain, but the highest point, Sheikh Burkan, is not more than 1,696 ft. above sea level. In the higher reaches the range is rugged and barren; but vegetation is plentiful on the lower slopes, especially to the W. The Kishon takes its rise on the mountain. Under the northern cliffs rises ‘Ain Jalud, possibly identical with HAROD, WELL OF, which see. In Jelbun, a village on the western declivity, there is perhaps an echo of the old name.

“Gilboa, Mount,” ISBE, paragraph 24000.

The battle Between Israelites and Philistines and the death of Saul and his sons on Gilboa

The end of 1 Samuel describe the dead of Saul and three of his sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, at Mount Gilboa in the battle against the Philistines, it fact is describe in 1 Sam. 31:1-13. Their bodies were first hung on the wall of Beth-shan by Philistines and later brought to Jabesh by Israelites. After few days, David had the bones buried in the tribe of Benjamin territory, in the tomb of Kish, the Saul’s father, described in 2 Sam. 21:12-14


“Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, Saul’s sons. And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him. So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together. And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them. 

And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. And they cut off his head, and stripped off his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to publish it in the house of their idols, and among the people. And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan. And when the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul; All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bethshan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.”

1 Samuel 31:1–13 KJV

The Fountain of Jezreel

Jezreel, Fountain of: where Saul encamped before the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam. 29:1). In the valley under Zerin there are two considerable springs, one of which, perhaps that here referred to, “flows from under a sort of cavern in the wall of conglomerate rock which here forms the base of Gilboa. The water is excellent; and issuing from crevices in the rocks, it spreads out at once into a fine limpid pool forty or fifty feet in diameter, full of fish” (Robinson). This may be identical with the “well of Harod” (Judg. 7:1; comp. 2 Sam. 23:25), probably the ‘Ain Jalud, i.e., the “spring of Goliath.”

“JEZREEL, FOUNTAIN OF,” Easton’s Bible Dictionary, n.p.