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What is the significance of Megiddo in the Bible?

Megiddo in the Bible
Question: "What is the significance of Megiddo in the Bible?"

Megiddo is an ancient city in Israel and the site of a number of military conflicts. Today it is the site of a kibbutz and some rich archeological digs (Tel Megiddo).

Megiddo is first mentioned in Joshua 12:21 as one of the cities of the “Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites” whose kings were defeated by Joshua. Megiddo was in the territory of Manasseh (Joshua 17:11; 1 Chronicles 7:29), and, although they were not able to completely drive out the residents, the Manassehites were eventually able to subjugate them (Judges 1:27).

Megiddo is also mentioned in conjunction with the battle between Sisera and Barak (with Deborah the judge) in Judges 5:19. Megiddo was later included in the territory of Baana son of Ahilud, one of Solomon’s twelve district governors (1 Kings 4:12). Megiddo was one of the cities that was rebuilt or fortified by Solomon (1 Kings 9:15).

Ahaziah, king of Judah, was wounded in battle against Jehu, who was attempting to overthrow Joram, the king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Ahaziah fled to Megiddo where he died from his wounds (2 Kings 9:27).

King Josiah of Judah, contrary to God’s will, fought against Pharaoh Necho at Megiddo and was killed there (2 Kings 23:29–30 and 2 Chronicles 35:22).

Zechariah 12:10–12 says, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives.” What happened at Hadad Rimmon is not explicitly mentioned in Scripture. This passage is the only time that place name in used in Scripture. Many Jewish and Christian scholars view this to be a reference to the “ultimate grief” of the Jewish people at the death of King Josiah. Zechariah 12 looks forward to a time when the nation will morn for the Messiah as they mourned for Josiah.

The New Testament does not mention Megiddo, but the term Armegeddon (Har Megiddo, or “Mount Megiddo”) is mentioned in Revelation 16:16 as a place of judgment against the enemies of God, which would seem to correlate with the imagery in Zechariah 12.

In popular culture the term Armageddon, usually separated from the biblical teaching, has become synonymous with “the end of the world involving a great military conflict.” When Christians hear the term Armageddon, they should not respond with fear but with confidence that Christ is the ultimate victor over all His enemies.

Recommended Resource: The New Moody Atlas of the Bible by Barry Beitzel

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