On a hill in the Jezreel Valley, near the town of Afula you can find one of the most important archeological sites in Israel from the time of the Bible, Tel Megiddo.
Undisturbed today, with an elegant appearance of a national park, it is difficult to imagine the tumultuous history this land has experienced. Megiddo is mentioned in Egyptian writings, and is also prophesied in the Book of the Revelation to be the site of the great and final battle of Armageddon i. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, the impressive remains of several civilizations draw many visitors and pilgrims.
Tel Megiddo was a strategic military location on the Via Maris, the Roman road that led from Egypt to Damascus. It had a long history of battles and conquests. The nearby springs and fertile ground drew the first settlers to the site. It was a city with formidable walls 5,000 years ago. One thousand years later it fell to Egyptian rule, after which the Canaanites conquered and held the city. Under King David, the city became an important administrative center. His son, Solomon, made Megiddo a royal city, which reached the heights of its powers under King Ahab around 2,900 years ago. Ahab turned Megiddo into “Ir Rekhev” and built impressive water works. Israelite Megiddo fell to the Assyrians in 732 BCE and was finally demolished by the Egyptians in 609 BCE.
The site includes remains from the city’s glorious past with paths leading through the main sites such as the City Gates and the Ivory Palace in which a treasure of ancient ivory objects and jewelry were discovered – the richest Canaanite treasure ever discovered. Other sites include the stables from Ahab’s time, and the waterworks that include an 80-foot deep shaft and a 230- foot-long tunnel that leads to the springs west of the tel.
The onsite museum displays the history of Megiddo through an audio/visual presentation. The northern part of the tel has a spectacular view of the Jezreel Valley, while the southern part has an arbor for praying.
FROM THE SCRIPTURES:
Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. King Josiah went to meet him, and Pharaoh Neco killed him at Megiddo, as soon as he saw him. And his servants carried him dead in a chariot from Megiddo and brought him to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s place.
(2 Kings 23:29-30 ESV).
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land shall mourn, each family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves (Zechariah 12:10-14 ESV).
And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon (Revelation 16:13-16 ESV).