Megiddo (Hebrew: מגידו;
Arabic: المجیدو, Tell al-Mutesellim) is a tell or hill in northern Israel about 30km south-east of Haifa. Megiddo
is better known for its Greek name Armageddon. Megiddo
is strategically located at the head of a pass through the Carmel Ridge
overlooking the Jezreel
Valley from the west. The
pass is an important trade route connecting Egypt
and northern regions of Syria,
Assyria and Mesopotamia (sorry for the mixing
the different time periods). Because of this it had been repeated destroyed and
rebuilt. Excavations have revealed about 26 layers of ruins! It was probably
inhabited from approximately 7000 BC to 586 BC (the same time as the
destruction of the First Israelite Temple
in Jerusalem by
the Babylonians, and subsequent fall of Israelite rule and exile). Since this
time it has remained uninhabited.
|Tel Megiddo- aerial view form the southeast (source BiblePlaces.com)|
Megiddo is mentioned twelve
times in the Old Testament, ten times in reference to the ancient city of Megiddo, and twice with
reference to "the plain of Megiddo", most probably simply meaning
"the plain next to the city." The
Bible lists the king of Megiddo among the Canaanite rulers defeated by Joshua
in his conquest of the land (Joshua 12:7,
The city of Megiddo
was allotted to the tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 17:11; 1 Chronicles 7:29).
Deborah and Barak led the Israelites to victory over the
Canaanite armies of Sisera by "the waters of Megiddo" (Judges 5:19-20).
Solomon made Megiddo
one of his district capitals as well as one of his three main fortress cities
(I Kings 4:12; 9:15). According to I Kings (9:15), King
Solomon built Megiddo together with Hazor and Gezer. At that time the city had
become the center of a royal province of the United Monarchy.
|view of Jazreel Valley|
There were many famous battles fought there. In 906 BCE, a
battle was fought here between Egypt
and the Kingdom
of Judah. King Josiah of Judah
died in battle near Megiddo
when he tried to sabotage Pharaoh Necho's attempt to succor the Assyrians at the
Battle of Carchemish (2 Kings 23:29-30; 2 Chronicles 35:20-24).
|strategic view of Jezreel Valley|
The word "Armageddon" appears only once in the
Greek New Testament, in Revelation 16:16.
16:16 Then they gathered the kings together to the
place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
The word may come from Hebrew har məgiddô (הר מגידו),
is not actually a mountain, but a mount (a hill created by many generations of
people living and rebuilding on the same spot). According to one premillennial
Christian interpretation, the Messiah will return to earth and defeat the
Antichrist (the "beast") and Satan the Devil in the Battle of
Armageddon. Then Satan will be put into the "bottomless pit" or abyss
for 1,000 years, known as the Millennium.
|thick walls and gateway|
This may be the Solomonic gateway. King Solomon built many fortified cities in ancient Israel. Some are for chariots while others are for storage of grains. Initially, most scholars think that Tel Megiddo is a chariot city because of its stables. However the discovery of grain storage facilities are forcing them to rethink their classification.
|northern stables, probably built around the time of King Ahad|
|note the thick walls|
|storage silos for grains, probably built by King Jeroboam II (8th C BC). There are stairs that lead to the
bottom of the site|
|near the southern Megiddo Stables. There are cattle grazing in the background|
Labels: Bible lands, Biblical Studies, HolyLand, Old Testament