North Central Cities
of Ancient Israel Map

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Bethshan occupied a strategic location in Israel. It was located where the Jezreel valley's eastern entrance met with western access to the Jordan River valley. It was on Bethshan's walls that the Philistines fastened King's Saul's headless corpse, along with the bodies of his sons, as a warning to the Israelites (1Chronciles 10:8 - 10, 1Samuel 31:8 - 13).

The city, located in Israel's Plain of Sharon, is often referred to as Caesarea of Palestine to distinguish it from other locations. Philip the evangelist, King Herod and Roman governor Felix lived in Caesarea. The apostle Paul spent more than two years in the city's jail cell (Acts 8:40, 12:19 - 23, 23:23 - 24).

Cana is only mentioned in the New Testament. Jesus and his disciples traveled from Bethabara to the city, after his temptation by the devil, to attend a wedding celebration. It was at the festivities that Christ performed his first public miracle of turning water in wine (John 2:1 - 11).

The king of Dor was one of thirty-one rulers conquered by Joshua in Israel's conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua 12:23).

Cities of North Central Ancient Israel Map

It was at Dothan that Jacob's sons sold their hated brother Joseph to traders heading to Egypt (Genesis 37).

The city of Endor is famous for the place where King Saul consulted a witch in a foolish attempt to contact the dead spirit of Samuel (1Samuel 28).

The area around Gennesaret, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, was where the disciples landed after Jesus appeared as a ghost on the lake! The Lord performed many miracles in the surrounding area (Matthew 14:34 - 36).

It was in the city of Jezreel that Jezebel and all the house of Ahab were killed (1Kings 21, 2Kings 10).

The Jezreel valley, north of the city, is known as the battlefield of Israel. Several battles, including those involving Gideon, Deborah and Barak, King Saul and others were fought within it.

Jesus miraculously fed 4,000 people after landing in the city (Matthew 15:32 - 39). Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2), whose name means Mary of Magdala, lived in the city at one time.

The city is located within the valley of Megiddo, which itself is part of the larger Jezreel valley. The Egyptian army killed Judah's righteous King Josiah near Megiddo (2Kings 23:29 - 30, 2Chronicles 35:20 - 35).

The Mount of Megiddo (Armageddon, Revelation 16:12 - 16) is a small hill near the city. It is the place where the End Time Antichrist and his evil forces will fight Jesus Christ during his Second Coming.

Jesus, in Nain, miraculously resurrected the only son of a widow (Luke 7:11 - 17).

Jesus lived in Nazareth from the time shortly after his birth until just after Pentecost in 27 A.D. (Harmony of the Gospels, Part 2, Sections 42 - 43). He then moved to Capernaum in fulfillment of prophecy (Matthew 2:23, 4:13 - 17). His mother, however, as well as his family of half-brothers and half-sisters, seems to have still lived in the city (see Luke 4:16 - 24, Matthew 13:54 - 58).

Israel's King Omri purchased property from a man named Shemer and renamed it Samaria (1Kings 16:24). He soon moved the capital of the northern ten tribes of Israel from Tirzah (1Kings 14:17) to the new city he built on the land.

Shechem was Abraham's first encampment in Canaan after he and his family left Haran (Genesis 12:4 - 6). When God's people conquered the area under Joshua, it became one of Israel's six cities of refuge (Joshua 20:1 - 8). Shechem, after the united kingdom split after the death of Solomon, became the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel (northern ten tribes, 1Kings 12:25).

Sychar lies close to the city of Shechem. Jacob dug one of his wells in the area. Jesus, many years later, would meet a Samaritan woman at the well that would lead to the whole area hearing the gospel (John 4:5 - 42).

The Kingdom of Israel's capital at Shechem was moved to Tirzah under King Jeroboam (1Kings 14:17). Years later, around 879 B.C., King Omri moved the capital again to Samaria.

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