(Gil·boʹa) [possibly, Hill Country].
A mountain traditionally identified with Jebel Fuquʽah, a crescent-shaped ridge of limestone hills lying E of the Plain of Jezreel and W of Beth-shean. Ravines divide the range into several plateaus. Much of it is barren rock, with rugged channels in the northern and western parts, where chalk has been eroded. But wheat and barley are cultivated on the gradual western slopes. Also, pastureland, as well as fig and olive trees, can be found there. The northern side is the steepest and highest, rising to about 520 m (1,700 ft) above sea level.
Because of its strategic location E of the fertile Plain of Jezreel between the torrent valley of Kishon and the Jordan Valley, Gilboa figured in at least two major battles. At “the well of Harod,” commonly linked with the spring located on the NW spur of Gilboa, Gideon and his men encamped. (Jg 7:1) Later, King Saul gathered his forces to Gilboa and there suffered defeat at the hands of the Philistines. There too, three of his sons, Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, were slain and Saul himself committed suicide.—1Sa 28:4; 31:1-4, 8; 2Sa 1:4-10, 21; 1Ch 10:1-8.