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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Megiddo

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On the S. edge of the Esdraelon or Jezreel plain, the frontier of Issachar and Manasseh, commanding a pass from the N. into the hill country. (See MANASSEH.) Joshua (Joshua 12:21) defeated its king, with 30 other petty chieftains, W. of Jordan. It was assigned to Manasseh, though within Issachar's limit, but they failed to drive out the Canaanites, and could only make them tributary (Joshua 17:11-12-13; Judges 1:27-28; Judges 5:19). "The kings of Canaan (Jabin and Sisera his captain) fought in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo" (namely, Kishon, or else a copious stream flowing down into Kishon) with Deborah and Barak. They assembled at Taanach and by the waters of Megiddo, but the battle was fought at Mount Tabor, for they "perished at Endor" (Psalms 83:10), near Tabor.

Barak would never desert the heights of Tabor to march 15 miles over a boggy plain and attack Sisera strongly placed on the low hills of Taanach. Jehovah "drew unto Barak Sisera, unto the Kishon" (Judges 4:7), i.e. unto the pools and springs of the Kishon at El Mujahiyeh, the "spring head" W. of Tabor. From the high ground of Tabor Barak rushed down on the foe, who first posted themselves at the foot of the conical hill on which Endor is, and thence ventured into the open plain S.W. of Tabor. "The waters of Megiddo" are the abundant springs which flow into the nahr Jalud, from what is now the Mujedda ruin in the Jordan valley ("the grazing place," "cut down by sheep") at the foot of Mount Gilboa, Thus, "the valley of Megiddo" is that which leads down from Jezreel to Bethshean. The words "in Taanach" (Judges 5:19) "over (so the Hebrew 'al ) for 'by') the waters of Megiddo" must be a district name for all the plain of which Taanach was the capital, or else translated "in sandy soil" (ta'anach ).

Thus the whole of Sisera's flight was only five or six miles from the scene of his defeat, to the plain Zaanaim (Bitzaanaim, now Bessum) between Tabor and Kedesh of Naphtali by the sea of Galilee (Conder, in Palestine Exploration Quarterly Statement, January 1877, p. 13-20; October, pp. 190-192). At Megiddo was stationed one of Solomon's commissariat officers (1 Kings 4:12). Solomon "built," i.e. fortified, Megiddo as a commanding military portion (1 Kings 9:15). Here Ahaziah fled from Jehu, and died here (2 Kings 9:27), in the kingdom of Samaria (2 Chronicles 22:9). (See AHAZIAH.) Here godly Josiah fell in conflict with Pharaoh Necho (2 Chronicles 35:22-24; Zechariah 12:11). (See JOSIAH; HADADRIMMON.) Megiddo thus became a component part of Armageddon, the scene of the last conflict with Antichrist (Revelation 16:16). (See ARMAGEDDON.) Now El Lejjun; in Eusebius and Jerome "Legio," on the caravan route between Egypt and Damascus, "15 miles from Nazareth, four from Taanach." Traces of a Roman road remain, and large "tells" mark the site of the fortresses commanding hill and plain.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Megiddo'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/m/megiddo.html. 1949.

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