Megiddo: Place of troops, originally one of the royal cities of the Canaanites
(Joshua 12:21) belonged to the tribe of Manasseh
(Judges 1:27) but does not
seem to have been fully occupied by the Israelites till the time of
(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
(Judges 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 Chronicles 35:22-24) and all Israel
mourned for him. The Song of Solomon general and bitter was this mourning that it
became a proverb, to which Zechariah
(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.