Megiddo in the Bible was an ancient city in the Jezreel Plains in northern Palestine / Israel on the old Via Maris trade route from Egypt to Mesopotamia. Megiddo is considered the most important archaeological site of the Biblical period in Israel and one of the most important research sites in the Middle East. The city was continuously settled for more than five millennia (from about 6000 to 500 BC). The site’s military importance and its role as an army battlefield are reflected in the Apocalypse of John in the New Testament.
Armageddon, derived from “Har Megiddo” (the mountain of Megiddo), appears there as the site of the final biblical battle between good and evil (Revelation 16:16). Edward Robinson identified Biblical Megiddo with the Tell el-Mutesellim near the Arab village of el-Leğğūn in the first half of the 19th century. Robinson was born on April 10, 1794, in Southington, Connecticut (USA). He died in New York on January 27, 1863. He was an American biblical scholar known as the “Father of Biblical Geography.” Strategically located, Megiddo controlled one of antiquity’s actual trades and military routes, the Via Maris, which connected Egypt with Syria and Mesopotamia. The tell monitored the road at the point where it entered the Jezreel plain from the Carmel Mountains. The fertile plain represented the economic base of the city.
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History of Megiddo in the Bible
According to Boringhieri, there is a place in the lower Galilee in today’s State of Israel that has perhaps seen the most significant number of battles in the world: the valley of Jezreel, Esdraelon in the Bible. On a hill, on the edge of the fertile plain below, stands Megiddo, one of the oldest known cities. Inhabited since 7000 BC, it is an archaeological site offered to tourists today. Still, in its time, it was a powerful city-state strategically located on the crossroads of the ancient paths that connected the superpowers of antiquity: Mesopotamia (in the East), Egypt (in the South), and Anatolia (in the North). A few kilometers to the West opens the Mediterranean Sea, with its trade routes and warships plying its waves.
Megiddo is mentioned in both the Bible and the Amarna texts (EA 242-247, 365); a letter (EA 248) may be from Megiddo. During the Amarna period, Biridiya was regent in Megiddo. Historians describe the city of Megiddo as a center of commerce and a city that could dominate a large area. This city was very popular as a spoil of war. In the 2nd millennium BC, Pharaoh Thutmosis III was defeated. Egypt at the battle of Megiddo, the Canaanite princes.
For many centuries the region was the scene of significant battles. Most recently, in 1918, at what became known as the Battle of Palestine between the British and Ottomans. General Allenby inflicted a considerable defeat on the Turks. The Jewish Christians of the 1st century knew the story that judges Barak was able to defeat the Canaanite king Jabin here. According to the biblical account, God caused the Canaanites to be defeated here. Judge Gideon routed the Midianites, and Kings Ahaziah and Josiah were killed there.
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Approximately between 1550 – 1200 BC. The Egyptian pharaohs made the states of present-day Palestine their vassals, including Megiddo, but this did not stop the city from flourishing. The residents built a magnificent new palace that far dwarfed the old one. Magnificent vessels made of gold and lapis lazuli and carved figures made of ivory were found among its remains. The city was founded around 1150 BC. Destroyed. A good 100 years later, the city came under the rule of the Israelite kings. The palaces from this period convey the image of an important military center. The aggressive character was accentuated when a fire in the late 10th century B.C., the city was largely destroyed. And the freed-up areas were used to build troop facilities.
Is Megiddo mentioned in the Bible?
Megiddo in the Bible is mentioned in the book of Revelation, which concludes the Bible. Only a two-line verse identifies the place chosen by the Lord God for the final battle between Good and Evil. Indeed, between Gog and Magog: “And they gathered the kings in the place called in Hebrew Armageddon, ”writes the apostle John. Or whoever was the author of the prophecy, whose identity is by no means certain. «Armageddon,» writes the author in Greek. They are translating HarMegiddo, or Mount Megiddo, from Hebrew.
By today’s standards, Megiddo in the Bible is more of a rise or a hill than a mountain. But in ancient times, there was a renowned city, a place of terrible wars and mourning since the sixth century BC. Perhaps, for this reason, wanting to set somewhere the last fight, the end of the world, before the victorious resurrection of Christ. The evangelist places him right up here. Christian pilgrims came with the Bible in their hands as tourist guides. (Or rather, they went before the Intifada brought down tourism in Israel) to visit its archaeological remains, which also refer to a much earlier era.
According to the Dictionary of History (2010), Megiddon in the Bible is the ancient city of Palestine (od. Tell alMutasallim) in the valley of Jezreel. So, already an urban center in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, the mentions in historical sources began in the 13th century. 15th-14th (campaigns of Thutmose III; letters of Amarna), when M. became a vassal kingdom of Egypt.
Therefore, Megiddo in the Bible is the Heb. Mĕgiddō and the ancient and powerful city of Canaan. So, for its power, it dominated the military road that led from Egypt to Mesopotamia. Thanks to the monumentality of the remains and continuity of occupation. It constitutes one of the main Palestinian sites of the pre-classical age. Therefore, among other things, a magnificent collection of carved ivories has been unearthed.
Megiddo in the Bible is mentioned on the relief at Karnak, describing the campaign of Pharaoh Sheshonq I. Sheshonk then destroyed the city and erected a victory stele, a fragment of which was found. The Arameans conquered and destroyed Megiddo around 900 BC. The city of Megiddo in the Bible was utterly redesigned: the chessboard-like street network housed a settlement, four-fifths of which consisted of residential buildings. The Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III ruled from an administrative building built in the north, his freshly conquered new province of Samaria. After that, Megiddo’s importance declined rapidly until the city was finally abandoned.