Harod Spring


Harod Spring (Ein Harod in Hebrew) is located on the southern border of the Jezreel Valley on the slope of Mount Gilboa, geographical location of the event vividly described in the Book of Judges.


“Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him, rose early and camped beside at the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.


The Lord said to Gideon, ‘The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, My own power has delivered me.’ Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’ So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained.


Then the Lord said to Gideon, ‘The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there.’ Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water.


And the Lord said to Gideon, ‘You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.’ Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water. 


The Lord said to Gideon, ‘I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.’ So the 300 men took the people’s provisions and their trumpets into their hands.


 And Gideon sent all the other men of Israel, each to his tent, but retained the 300 men; and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley” (Judges 7:1-7).


And that is how Gideon was able to choose the best men who were always on alert. With them, he defeated the Midianites in a shocking and surprising attack.


The Harod Spring also witnessed another battle that occurred in 1260 between the Mameluke Sultan Kotuz's army and his rivals, the Mongols who were defeated. Because of the victory, unconquered regions of Europe and Asia were saved from Mongolian invasion. 


Hundreds of years passed since then and at last the Jewish began to return to their Homeland. In 1920, Yehoshua Hankin, who was known as the 'redeemer of the Land’ who played a very important role in assisting the Jewish people’s return to Zion by buying land. Here and further into the Jezreel Valley he purchased over 3500 hectares (about 8,600 acres) from the local Arabs. In 1921 a communal farm (kibbutz) at Harod Spring. Hankin and his wife, Olga, had their home built right above the Gideon's cave, later turned into museum. They are both buried at Harod Spring.