|MEGIDDO; MEGIDDON |
me-gid'-o, me-gid'-on (meghiddo, meghiddon; Magiddo, Mageddon, Magdo):
A royal city of the Canaanites, the king of which was slain by Joshua (Joshua 12:21). It lay within the territory of Issachar, but was one of the cities assigned to Manasseh (Joshua 17:11; 1 Chronicles 7:29). Manasseh, however, was not able to expel the Canaanites, who therefore continued to dwell in that land. Later, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, the Canaanites were put to taskwork (Joshua 17:12; Judges 1:27). The host of Sisera was drawn to the river Kishon, and here, "by the waters of Megiddo," the famous battle was fought (Judges 5:19). By the time of Solomon, Israel's supremacy was unquestioned. Megiddo was included in one of his administrative districts (1 Kings 4:12), and it was one of the cities which he fortified (1 Kings 9:15). Ahaziah, mortally wounded at the ascent of Gur, fled to Megiddo to die (2 Kings 9:27). At Megiddo, Josiah, king of Judah, attempted to arrest Pharaoh-necoh and his army on their march to the Euphrates against the king of Assyria. Here the Egyptian monarch "slew him .... when he had seen him," and from Megiddo went the sorrowful procession to Jerusalem with Josiah's corpse (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chronicles 35:20). The sad tale is told again in 1 Esdras 1:25. "The mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon" became a poetical expression for the deepest and most despairing grief (Zechariah 12:11).
See also ARMAGEDDON.
The constant association of Megiddo with Taanach (Tell Ta`anek) points to a position on the south edge of the plain of Esdraelon. In confirmation of this, we read (RP, 1st series, II, 35-47) that Thothmes III captured Megiddo, after having defeated the Palestinian allies who opposed him. He left his camp at Aruna (possibly `Ar`arah), and, following a defile (possibly Wady `Arah), he approached Megiddo from the South We should thus look for the city where the pass opens on the plain; and here, at Khan el-Lejjan, we find extensive ruins on both sides of a stream which turns several mills before falling into the Kishon. We may identify the site with Megiddo, and the stream with "the waters of Megiddo." Pharaoh-necoh would naturally take the same line of march, and his advance could be nowhere more hopefully opposed than at el-Lejjun. Tell el-Mutasellim, a graceful mound hard by, on the edge of the plain, may have formed the acropolis of Megiddo.
The name Mujadda` attaches to a site 3 miles South of Beisan in the Jordan valley. Here Conder would place Megiddo. But while there is a resemblance in the name, the site really suits none of the Biblical data. The phrase "Taanach by the waters of Megiddo" alone confines us to a very limited area. No position has yet been suggested which meets all the conditions as well as el-Lejjun.
The Khan here shows that the road through the pass from Esdraelon to the plain of Sharon and the coast was still much frequented in the Middle Ages.