Thursday, July 26, 2018

Armageddon, Now Tel Megiddo, Israel

Tel Megiddo, Israel, about 18 miles from Haifa
Tel Megiddo is located at the crossroads between Syria, Egypt and Mesopotamia in the valley of Jezreel.   People have lived here since the 4th millennium BCE to 500 BCE.  This strategic spot controlled the pass which connected Egypt with Mesopotamia. Megiddo had become a fortified town in ancient days.   A communal settlement (KA) was founded nearby in 1949 by immigrants from Poland.  387 people lived here in 1990.  Today it is known as  Kibbutz Megiddo .   ", It falls under the jurisdiction of Megiddo Regional Council. In 2016 it had a population of 852."  Ancient Greeks called it Armageddon. It thrived as a Canaanite city in the Bronze Age."                                    
Tel Megiddo where they have been digging, located
 about 30 Km south-east of Haifa.  The archeologists uncovered 26 layers of ancient cities.  "
Megiddo continued to serve as the seat of the royal governor during the reign of Jeroboam II, king of Israel. This is attested to by a seal, found in excavations at the beginning of the 20th century, bearing the inscription to Shema, servant of Jeroboam. During the rebellion of Jehu, Ahaziah, king of Judah, fled to Megiddo and died there of his wounds. (II Kings 9: 27)"

Dozens of major battles have been fought here over the millennia by Assyrians, Israelites, Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines, Greeks, Romans and the Crusaders.  Napoleon defeated the Ottomans here in 1799.  About a century later, General Allenby of the British army defeated them again here.

In Egyptian history, Megiddo is mentioned in their inscriptions and was the site of the victory of Pharaoh Thutmose III over the king of Kadesh.  Deborah's victory over the Canaanites happened here.  Josiah's defeat by the Egyptians, meetings in the time of Tiglath-Pileser;  the Roman War, and the Crusades were here.  
A battle could take place in Megiddo
but more likely it could happen in Gaza at the Gaza-Israel fence
from the looks of today's news.  Here, Palestinians are
breaking down the fence between Gaza and Israel.

Palestinians have been shooting rockets, mortars and missiles into Israel,
and now besides rockets they have been sending kites lit with fire into
the air where they land in fields and forests.  This is Megiddo where it is
said to happen.  
This is where the Christians read in their New Testament that the apocalyptic war between the forces of good and evil will happen, right at Har Megiddo, called the ARMAGEDDON.  "According to the Bible and Christian teachings, the city of Megiddo was also the site of the last battle between Satan and Jesus."

It's also mentioned in Kings in the Tanakh (Old Testament) Kings  9-15: "And this is the reason of the levy which King Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer."
. Valley around Megiddo. In the far background of this photo, from far left to center, are the hills of Nazareth, Mt. Tabor and Hamoreh (city of Afula).

Tel Megiddo had been under many archaeological excavations for more than a century.  Researchers have discovered evidence that the city on top of the mount had been destroyed and rebuilt some 25 times.  In excavations between 1909 and 1939, over 20 strata of settlement were uncovered, one of which contained stables from early in the 1st Temple Period.                                                           
Pope Paul VI and head of Greek
Orthodox Church, Patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras

The most significant meeting that was held by Pope Paul VI during his 1964 visit to the Holy Land was with Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras (the most prominent of the spiritual leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church) and Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Benedictos.
It was probably held in Jerusalem.  Of course he would want to see Megiddo. 

Zalman Shazar, President of Israel 1963-1968
then 1968 -1973. 

When Pope Paul VI visited Israel in 1964, he was received by President Shazar at Megiddo.  

So many battles have already been fought here.  " Approximately 34 battles have been fought in the Jezreel Valley (the valley of Armageddon) at the base of Tel Megiddo. Napoleon Bonaparte declared it as "the most natural battleground of the whole earth." Here are some of the most important ones: Thutmose III vs. the Canaanites in ca. 1472 BCE; Deborah & Barak vs. Sisera (Judges 5); Saul vs. the Philistines (1 Sam 31) Solomon vs. Pharaoh Shishak (2 Chr. 12:3-4); Josiah vs. Pharaoh Necho (2 Kings 23:29); Four separate battles between Saladin and the Crusaders in the 12th century; Egyptian Mamlouks vs. Mongols in 14th century; Napoleon Bonaparte vs. Ottomans in 1799; General George Allenby vs. Ottoman Turks in 1918; 

The land has been soaked in human blood.  The last battle fought here was at  Kibbutz Mishmar Ha�emek vs. Arab Liberation Army in 1948.  Mishmar HaEmek is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located in the western Jezreel Valley, it falls under the jurisdiction of Megiddo Regional Council.  May that be the last battle Israel has had to fight there.  

Resource:  Book:  Prince of Fire by Daniel Silva, p. 377-378.

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia -forgotten-story-megiddo-archaeological-paradise-007148

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