Har Shaul Scenic Lookout & the Biblical Story of the Downfall of King Saul

This dramatized video (04:49) from the History Channel tells the biblical story of the death of King Saul and his son, Jonathan, in the battle with the Philistines on Mount Gilboa, combining the two traditions of the story as told in I Samuel Chapter 31 and II Samuel Chapter 1. However, the tragic downfall of Saul, the first anointed King of Israel, began before his death. As told in I Samuel Chapter 28, Saul was in complete despair following the death of the prophet Samuel, as God seemed to have abandoned him and the Philistines were preparing to attack. Fearing for his own fate and that of his people, Saul gathers his kingdom on Mount Gilboa to prepare to fight the Philistines. In desperation, he disguises himself as a simple man and approaches a sorcerer to help him communicate with the spirit of Samuel, in hopes that Samuel will offer wisdom and guidance about the imminent war. He is shocked and shaken by the things he hears from the mouth of Samuel. 

Har Shaul Scenic Lookout

This article from KKL-JNF describes the rich history and ecology of Mount Gilboa, where the biblical stories that occurred in these very places come to life. The names of the mountains and communities in the Gilboa region perpetuate the memory of King Saul and his sons, who died in battle on Mount Gilboa. According to Jewish legend, the desolate landscape of Mount Gilboa is a result of David’s harsh curse against the mountain after he heard the tragic news of their deaths. A visit to “Saul’s Shoulder,” an observation point on the northern ridge of Mount Gilboa, offers sweeping views of the Jezreel and Beit Shean Valleys below and the perfect place to delve into this tragic biblical tale.

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