06 Jan 2016 168 views
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photoblog image Megiddo - Armageddon
Megiddo - Armageddon|

Megiddo - Armageddon


In ancient times Megiddo was an important city-state. Excavations have unearthed 26 layers of ruins, indicating a long period of settlement. Megiddo is strategically located at the head of a pass through the Carmel Ridge overlooking the Jezreel Valley from the west. Megiddo's strategic importance was that pass which formed part of the Egyptian-Assyria trade route.


Probable inhabitation since 7,000 BC, but the first significant findings dates from the copper age 4,500 - 3,500 BC. Many rulers sacked the fortified town, to be rebuilt by other rulers, among them King Solomon also had a go. Because of its strategic position, many a battle was fought in or near the place. On Monday I mentioned the first recorded battle in the 15th century BC. That battle on the plains of Jezreel was followed up by a seven year siege of the Megiddo fortress.


The Bible lists the king of Megiddo among the Canaanite rulers defeated by Joshua in his conquest of the land (Josh. 12:21). There is no mention whether there was a battle in or near Megiddo at the time - but it would be safe to assume so, otherwise that king wouldn't have been defeated.


The Egyptian Pharaoh Shishak took Megiddo in the second half of the 10th century BC. His conquest of the city is affirmed in his inscriptions at the Temple at Karnak.


In the 9th and 8th centuries BC, the rulers of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) refitted the fortress even more elaborately than before. The palaces, water systems and fortifications of Israelite Megiddo are among the most elaborate Iron Age architectural remains unearthed in the Levant. I have been down the passage to the hidden fountain that was devised. It also served as a bolt hole. In 732 B.C.E., the Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser III took the region from the Northern Kingdom. In the following years Megiddo served as the capital of an Assyrian province.


A remarkable clash took place between pharaoh Necho and King Josiah of Judah in 609 BC. According to 2 Chronicles 35:21 Necho claimed that God sent him to do battle against the Babylonians and he (Josiah) should stand down. This was a bit difficult for Josiah to accept and he attacked Necho's forces. Josiah lost the battle and was killed.


Megiddo's importance soon dwindled, and it was finally abandoned around 586 BC. Since that time it has remained uninhabited, preserving ruins pre-dating 586 BC without settlements ever disturbing them.


The Book of Revelations (16:16) in the Bible says that Armageddon (the mound of Megiddo and the Greek name) would at the end of days be the site of the last battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil.


comments (14)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 6 Jan 2016, 02:34
It is fascinating stuff, Louis, and I am enjoying travelling with you and "listening" to your commentary.

Those date palms are making a brave stand.
Louis: Thank you Ray. The country is full of date palms and they sell the most delicious dates.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 6 Jan 2016, 04:47
I love the two trees in between this rocky surface. Megiddo has a lot of (violent) history and is quite old.. What a place to be.
Louis: The total experience during our visit was like that. So much, so sold, everything has a bearing on what happens today.
What a fascinating place Louis! I enjoy travelling with you.
Louis: It is fascinating, Richard and the journey is set to continue.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 6 Jan 2016, 06:26
A history of eternal conflict revealed Louis
Louis: The history and reasons, in some cases, Chris. Conflict in this part of the world, is a never ending story.
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 6 Jan 2016, 06:46
Imagine being able to separate all those layers of ruins, and to make sense of them, Louis
Louis: I think I have missed my calling. This is what I would have liked to do, Lisl. (Plus photography, of course smile)
What amazes me more than anything, Louis, is that it's been abandoned since 586 BC. I guess no one wants to tempt Armageddon???
Louis: The Armageddon prophecy dates from around 80 to 90 AD. I think people just didn't want to live where all rulers are intent on obliterating.
Looks like a lonely place now.
Louis: Except for a few archaeologists, Mary.
Lucky you visiting this Louis, and it's only a stones throw from Africa, no messy ferries to drive on to.
Louis: Hah, there are ferries, but given the distance we rather fly. You saw happen with the passengers on those ferries, who wish to migrate to Europe ...
I guess in the general climate in that area ruins last a lot longer than if there was lots of rain etc. I like the way you are linking your narrative to the Bible, it really adds to the interest.
Louis: I believe a dry climate can help, but I am not that knowledgeable on the subject. I am glad that you can derive good value from the Bible references. One of the young people who were with us, says that he can now read his Bible in technicolour.
I imagine that, when "Armageddon" happens it will leave us looking rather like this!
Louis: One can imagine that, Tom. I can also think that our American friends will be surprised if it doesn't happen somewhere in the US of A.
If revelations is right then it might not be long. Trouble is who will know which side is which?
Louis: Easy, th baddies wear black, Bill
it's amazing how you can notice the different layers of construction just by the different forms of rock or stone used to build in each era... wonderful history Louis... i am learning much from your commentary....petersmile
Louis: In the dirt wall to the right in this picture, one can also see a bit of the layering. Thank you, peter
This just looks so arid Louis, I feel parched just looking at the scene.
Louis: It is arid, but not a kilometre away from the green Jezreel valley. Within the walls of this place, there is a fountain with the sweetest water.
Quite amazing stuff, Louis!!!
Louis: Mindboggling to know how people strived here, over the years.

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