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Megiddo (Megiddon)

Meaning: place of troops

originally one of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:21), belonged to the tribe of Manasseh (Judg. 1:27), but does not seem to have been fully occupied by the Israelites till the time of Solomon (1 Kings 4:12; 9:15)

The valley or plain of Megiddo was part of the plain of Esdraelon, the great battlefield of Israel. It was here Barak gained a notable victory over Jabin, the king of Hazor, whose general, Sisera, led on the hostile army. Barak rallied the warriors of the northern tribes, and under the encouragement of Deborah (q.v.), the prophetess, attacked the Canaanites in the great plain. The army of Sisera was thrown into complete confusion, and was engulfed in the waters of the Kishon, which had risen and overflowed its banks (Judg. 4:5).

Many years after this (B.C. 610), Pharaoh Necho II., on his march against the king of Assyria, passed through the plains of Philistia and Sharon; and King Josiah, attempting to bar his progress in the plain of Megiddo, was defeated by the Egyptians.

He was wounded in battle, and died as they bore him away in his chariot towards Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chr. 35:22-24), and all Israel mourned for him. So general and bitter was this mourning that it became a proverb, to which Zechariah (12:11,12) alludes.

Author: Matthew G. Easton, with minor editing by Paul S. Taylor.

Archaeologists have found Megiddo. See the Christian archaeological video which describes this ancient city: On the Prophets & Kings of Israel (“Innocent Blood,” part of the Faith Lessons video series). “When evil dominates society as it did at Megiddo, it's a wake-up call for Christians to fight for righteousness.”

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