(BETHSHEAN) At the eastern end of the Valley of Jezreel, not far from the Jordan River, was the strategic town of Bethshan. (For the importance of the Valley of Jezreel see PALESTINE.) When the Israelites first settled in Canaan, they could not conquer Bethshan completely. Although the town was in the tribal allotment of Issachar, Manasseh soon took control of it in an unsuccessful attempt to drive out the local inhabitants (Josh 17:11-12; Judg 1:27). The town was still hostile to Israel in the time of Saul (1 Sam 31:10-12), but by the time of Solomon it was firmly under Israelite control (1 Kings 4:12).

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