Megiddo stands on the southern edge of the Jezreel Valley and is probably the most famous battlefield in the world. In biblical times, Megiddo was one of three cities that guarded the Via Maris trade route. Standing near a critical mountain pass, it was the most strategic location on the well-traveled road.
Click here to see a diagram of Megiddo
With such an important location, Megiddo became a military stronghold, as well as store city. Inhabitants developed a water shaft system to supply their city with water. The shaft is 120 feet deep, and connects to springs outside the city by a tunnel 250 feet long.
Controlling Megiddo meant having enormous influence over the ancient world, and people often vied for its control. Archaeologists have discovered seventy-seven layers in Tel Megiddo, each representing a time when the city was battled for, destroyed, and rebuilt.
Megiddo once served as a center for pagan worship, and a bronze-age high place discovered there features a large altar dating back before the kings of Israel. According to Scripture, Megiddo served as the royal city of Canaanite king, Taanach, whom Joshua defeated (Josh. 12:21).
Later, Solomon fortified Megiddo as one of his chariot cities (1 Kings 9:15). Ahaziah, king of Judah was killed there (2 Kings 9:27) and King Josiah foolishly fought Pharaoh-Neco and was killed as well (2 Chron. 35:20-24).
Built on Mount Megiddo (Har Megiddo in Hebrew), the area around Megiddo is known as Armageddon. It was used as a symbol of the great battle between good and evil which will one day result in God?s triumph (Rev. 16:13-16).
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