Hebrew for Hill of Megiddo, this is not the first time Har-Megiddo has been placed on the map for its theological significance (nor will it be the last). Located in the Jezreel Valley in Northern Israel, it is today a modern settlement. In ancient times it was an important city state in a strategic location. It sat at the head of a narrow pass that served as a key trade route between the allied lands of Egypt and Assyria. It was a crossroads of several major routes and due to its critical geography it has seen its share of battles and its share of history.
A common practice was simply to build a city on top of the ruins of a previous occupation. The city of Megiddo has seen destruction and reconstruction many times, and currently twenty main levels have been identified, dating back to settlements in the early 4th millennium.
In 15th century BC, a battle at Megiddo was fought between Egypt and Canaan. Historically, this battle is accepted as the first to be ‘reliably’ documented. In it, the Egyptians drove back the Canaanite forces into the city of Megiddo where the Egyptians laid siege. The city held out upwards of seven months, but ultimately fell to the Egyptians who looted the city but spared its structures and its citizens.
In about 1037 BC King Solomon took the throne, and during his reign he built upon the City of Megiddo.
In 922 BC, the Kingdom of Israel divided into the North and South Kingdoms. The Northern was known as the Kingdom of Israel, the Southern the Kingdom of Judah.
Not long after this, circa 900-850 BC King Ahab ruled Megiddo, holding it as a chariot city as did Solomon. It seems that “Solomon’s Stables” now known to be Ahab’s stables were constructed here. Two large complexes of stables provided stabling for 492 horses.
During these turbulent times the Assyrians and Babylonians were two major opposing conquering forces. In 721 BC the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians.
Egypt was allied with the Assyrians and in 609 BC sent an army to aid them in their fight against the Babylonians. They were stopped at the pass at Megiddo by the army of Judah under King Josiah. The Egyptians overcame Josiah’s army and Josiah was killed.
Despite Egyptian aid the Assyrians fell to the Babylonians around 605 BC and the Kingdom of Judah followed shortly, falling to Babylon in 597 BC.
The city’s connection with the Israelites was broken, and although the city was destroyed and rebuilt a number of times, it declined in significance.
Jumping ahead to more recent times, in 1918 AD another Battle of Megiddo was written into history,when General Allenby in WWI campaigned against Palestine.
And lastly, in the New Testament it is prophesied that Megiddo will be the site of a final military showdown between the forces of good and evil. Derived from the Hebrew ‘Har-Megiddo’ the word ‘Armageddon’ has become a familiar name for the final battle that will end the world as we know it and bring in the reign of Jesus Christ.
For further information on this subject, see text of the book, “Millennium Superworld” at www.megiddo.com