April 6, 2011

Megiddo is first mentioned in Scripture in Joshua 12:21 as one of the cities captured under the leadership of Joshua and assigned to the tribe of Manasseh (17:11). Nelson’s NIBD speaks of the importance of this site:

Megiddo was situated on the main road that linked Egypt and Syria. Overlooking the Valley of Jezreel (Plain of Esdraelon), Megiddo was one of the most strategic cities in Palestine. All major traffic through northern Palestine traveled past Megiddo, making it a strategic military strong-hold.

Therefore it was a great loss when Israel subsequently did not retain this city (Judges 1:27), whose location can be seen in the map below:

Megiddo. Map courtesy of

Megiddo was a city of great antiquity. The impressive Canaanite gate can be seen here in our photo:

Canaanite Gate at Megiddo. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

This was one of the cities later fortified by King Solomon (1 Kings 9:15) during the United Kingdom period (Iron Age). The Solomonic gate was here:

Solomonic Gate at Megiddo, a fortress city. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Crucial battles were fought here or near here.

1.During the time of the Judges, Barak’s forces (Deborah was the Judge and Prophetess) defeated the Canaanite enemy near here (Judges 4-5). From Megiddo one can easily see Mt. Tabor, mentioned in the account (4:14) ; Judges 5:19 refers to the “waters of Megiddo.”

2. In 2 Kings 9:27, Judah’s king Ahaziah died here by the hand of Jehu; the year was 841 BC.

3. Good King Josiah (also of Judah) was killed here by Pharaoh Necho of Egypt; the year was 609 BC.

4. The word Armageddon (Rev. 16:16) is rendered Har-Magedon by the NASB and means The Mount of Magedon, i.e., Mt. Megiddo.

Click on images for higher resolution.

%d bloggers like this: