Harod Spring (Ma'ayan Harod) National Park (Well of Harod)

Ma'ayan Harod (the Harod Spring), the Fountain of Ain Jelud (Ayn Jalut). 

Ma'ayan Harod bubbles up from Gideon's cave. The spring of Harod is the westernmost spring of a group of springs flowing into the Beth Shean valley.

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) in his book "The Innocents Abroad" (published in 1869, Chapter 51) wrote:
We went back to the valley, and rode to the Fountain of Ain Jelud. They call it the Fountain of Jezreel, usually. It is a pond about one hundred feet square and four feet deep, with a stream of water trickling into it from under an overhanging ledge of rocks. It is in the midst of a great solitude. Here Gideon pitched his camp in the old times; behind Shunem lay the "Midianites, the Amalekites, and the Children of the East," who were "as grasshoppers for multitude; both they and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea-side for multitude." Which means that there were one hundred and thirty-five thousand men, and that they had transportation service accordingly. Gideon, with only three hundred men, surprised them in the night, and stood by and looked on while they butchered each other until a hundred and twenty thousand lay dead on the field.

This was the site where, according to the Bible, Gideon's soldiers were tried and selected for the war against the Midianites:
Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. (Judges 7:1)
As the Bible tells it, 32000 men initially answered Gideon's call to arms, but after a preliminary selection, he was left with 10.000.
God then ordered Gideon to take the troops down to the water, where God would "sift them".
So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, "Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink."
And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water.
Then the LORD said to Gideon, "By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place." (Judges 7:5-7)
Though this test, Gideon was able to identify the most alert men: the "lappers."
Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers.
And he said to them, "Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: (Judges 7:16-17)

In the 13th Century Ma'ayan Harod was the scene of the Battle of Ayn Jalut, in which the Mameluke general Baibars won a decisive victory over the Mongols, who had advanced as far as Gaza, and drove them back into northern Syria. After this victory he became Sultan of Egypt and Syria.

On the slope above the spring is the abandoned house of Joshua Hankin, the "Redeemer of the Valley". The tombs of Hankin and his wife Olga are located here as well.

The national park also has a very large swimming pool, sports and play equipment. 


Well of Harod Harod Spring (Ma'ayan Harod) National Park (Well of Harod) Ma'ayan Harod (the Harod Spring), Gideon's Cave Ma'ayan Harod (the Harod Spring), Gideon's Cave Ma'ayan Harod (the Harod Spring), Gideon's Cave Directions: The Harod Spring Nature Reserve is located on the Afula-Beit Shean road, Route 71, about 10 kilometers from Afula, turn in the direction of Gideona.
Directions: The Harod Spring Nature Reserve is located on the Afula-Beit Shean road, Route 71,
about 10 kilometers from Afula, turn in the direction of Gideona.


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