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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Megiddo

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MEGIDDO (in Zechariah 12:11 Megiddon ). One of the most important of the fortress cities of ancient Canaan. It was captured by Thothmes iii in the 23rd year of his reign, the spoils being magnificent; and it is mentioned several times in the Tell el-Amarna correspondence. Though nominally belonging to Manasseh ( Joshua 17:12; Joshua 17:18 , Judges 1:27-28 ), the Canaanites remained in possession. Near the ‘waters of Megiddo’ the Canaanites under Sisera were defeated by Barak and Deborah ( Judges 5:18-21 ). Solomon restored its fortifications ( 1 Kings 9:15 ). Here king Ahaziah ( 2 Kings 9:27 ) died; and the good king Josiah, interfering in a quarrel between Pharaoh-necho and the king of Assyria, and opposing the former’s progress in the dangerous passage of Megiddo, was also slain ( 2 Kings 23:29-30 , 2 Chronicles 35:22 ), to the grief of all Israel ( Zechariah 12:11 ). Finally, it was at Armageddon (RV [Note: Revised Version.] Har-Magedon , ‘the mountains of Megiddo’) that the mysterious conflict of Revelation 16:10 was to take place.

The site of Megiddo may now be considered as proved to be Tell el-Mutesellim (‘Hill of the Governor’), a great mound about 4 miles N.W. of Tell Ta‘annak (Taanach; cf. Joshua 12:21; Joshua 17:11 , Judges 5:19 etc.). The Importance of the site can be seen at a glance, for it guards the great pass from the Plain of Sharon to that of Esdraelon, which in all history, from Thothmes iii. to Napoleon 1., has been a route of armies. The hill has recently been excavated by the German Palestine Society, and fortifications going back before b.c. 2000 have been uncovered, as well as the most extensive remains of successive cities which have occupied this site for many centuries. Here was found the seal of Shama’, ‘the servant of Jerohoam’ probably Jeroboam ii. To the south of the tell is an abundant stream, and in Roman times a fortified post the Legio of Eusebius, the modern el-Lejjun was established there. The stream may have been the ‘waters of Megiddo’ of Judges 5:19 etc.; it is one of the most important of the tributaries of the Kishon.

E. W. G. Masterman.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Megiddo'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/m/megiddo.html. 1909.

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