|See also Armageddon an ancient town in N Palestine, strategically located on a route linking Egypt to Mesopotamia: site of many battles, including an important Egyptian victory over rebel chieftains in 1469 or 1468 |
place of troops, originally one of the royal cities of the Canaanites (Josh. 12:21), belonged to the tribe of Manasseh (Judg. 1:27), but does not seem to have been fully occupied by the Israelites till the time of Solomon (1 Kings 4:12; 9:15). The valley or plain of Megiddo was part of the plain of Esdraelon, the great battle-field of Palestine. It was here Barak gained a notable victory over Jabin, the king of Hazor, whose general, Sisera, led on the hostile army. Barak rallied the warriors of the northern tribes, and under the encouragement of Deborah (q.v.), the prophetess, attacked the Canaanites in the great plain. The army of Sisera was thrown into complete confusion, and was engulfed in the waters of the Kishon, which had risen and overflowed its banks (Judg. 4:5). Many years after this (B.C. 610), Pharaohnecho II., on his march against the king of Assyria, passed through the plains of Philistia and Sharon; and King Josiah, attempting to bar his progress in the plain of Megiddo, was defeated by the Egyptians. He was wounded in battle, and died as they bore him away in his chariot towards Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chr. 35:22-24), and all Israel mourned for him. So general and bitter was this mourning that it became a proverb, to which Zechariah (12:11, 12) alludes. Megiddo has been identified with the modern el-Lejjun, at the head of the Kishon, under the north-eastern brow of Carmel, on the south-western edge of the plain of Esdraelon, and 9 miles west of Jezreel. Others identify it with Mujedd'a, 4 miles south-west of Bethshean, but the question of its site is still undetermined.