Be very quiet when you stand in the Jezreel Valley, and imagine the din and clash of ancient battles that raged here over the millennia. The region’s prime international highway linked all ancient kingdoms, and the main road through the Mount Carmel range passed through Megiddo.
One of the first recorded battles in history, dating from the Late Bronze Age, was waged at Megiddo. How appropriate, then, that the last great gathering of armies just before Christ’s return to earth will also take place at the “Hill of Megiddo,” commonly known as Armageddon (Revelation 16:13–16).
Solomon understood Megiddo’s strategic importance and fortified the city to control all traffic and trade. Megiddo, governed by Solomon’s son-in-law Baana (1 Kings 4:12), was probably the richest capital of the kingdom’s twelve administrative districts. Archaeologists say that the twenty-acre tell of Megiddo boasts the remains of twenty-six levels, representing every period of Israel’s ancient history—and then some.
- Deborah and Barak victoriously fought General Sisera here (Judges 5:19).
- Solomon used this city as a defense post (1 Kings 9:15).
- King Josiah was killed at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29).