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Mount Gilboa

GILBOA, MOUNT gĭl bō’ ə (גִּלְבֹּֽעַ; LXX Γελβουε; etymology unknown). A mountain or range of mountains, about eight m. long and from three to five m. wide, lying to the E of the [[Plain of Esdraelon]], on the border between Samaria and Galilee. The highest peak, Sheikh Burqān, is only 1,696 ft, above sea level, but it falls off rather abruptly on the E to the Jordan, 2,000 ft. below. The western slope inclines more gradually to the Esdraelon, 300 ft. above sea level. On these western slopes occurred the last battle and the death of Saul and his three sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua (1 Sam 31; 2 Sam 1; 21:12). The Philistines prepared for war when Israel pressed into the plain and threatened to cut off Philistine access to the Way of the Sea (the major trade route from Egypt to Damascus). When they attacked, the Israelite warriors fled, and Saul was seriously wounded. Rather than fall into the hands of his lifelong enemies in this condition, Saul took his own life, one of the