A Brief History
On April 16, 1457 BC, a battle was fought between the forces of the Egyptian Pharaoh and Canaanite states that chafed under Egyptian rule. Pharaoh Thutmose III strove to put down a rebellion led by the King of Kadesh to continue Egyptian hegemony over the region.
The significance of this battle does not lie in the implications of its effect on the ancient world, but in the wealth of historical documentation available. Megiddo is the first battle known to History to be well documented, and is the first documented incidence of the use of composite bows, and the first time we are aware of a body count being taken after the battle. The source of this information is ancient hieroglyphics found at Luxor.
In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, Megiddo/Armageddon is listed as the place a massive battle will take place heralding the “end of times” giving us the term Armageddon that is often used interchangeably with “end of times” or “apocalypse.” The location of Megiddo in modern Israel has caused many religious oriented people to attach great significance to the modern struggle between Israelis and their Arab/Muslim neighbors and has created a sense of fear or inevitability that the end of times will indeed be heralded by a major battle in this location. A similar Biblical herald of the apocalypse is the destruction of the Dome of the Rock mosque on Temple Mount and a rebuilding of the Jewish temple on that location.
Author‘s note: I have visited this location and been inside the Dome of the Rock.
The battle was fought between 10,000 to 20,000 Egyptians against 10,000 to 15,000 rebels (Canaanites, Kadesh, Megiddo, and Mitanni) and resulted in the death of about 4000 Egyptians and 8300 rebels. An additional 3400 rebels were captured and the Egyptian troops sacked and looted the rebels camp. This looting took place while the remaining rebel forces managed to evacuate to the defensive city of Megiddo and hold off the Egyptians during a siege that lasted 7 months with Thutmose eventually taking the city and exerting hegemony over the area of the Levant through a series of further battles and campaigns.
Even 2000 years ago when the New Testament was written the Battle of Megiddo was considered an ancient battle of historical significance. Question for students (and subscribers): Is this site somehow related to heralding the apocalypse? Only you and your religious views can decide that, so feel free to share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Cline, Eric H. The Battles of Armageddon: Megiddo and the Jezreel Valley from the Bronze Age to the Nuclear Age. University of Michigan Press, 2000.