Megiddo – The end of the world welcomes careful drivers

After traveling this part of northern Israel before in the Jezreel Valley, famous for where the end of the world will happen, I got a chance after I finished working for a few days in nearby Karmiel to actually have a proper visit of this historical site.

I came not to speculate at the very place the book of revelation says the last battle will happen, but to make sense of a particular scripture I have read that I have been trying to make sense of:

Zechariah 12:10-12

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives

Question; this future prophesied repentance and revival is parallel with a place and/or event in history of the “Hadad Rimmon”, I am curious what this is, and why it is after some searching, no one knows what it is.

My primitive knowledge of Hebrew tells me that Rimmon is a pomegranate, but thats all I know.  By going to the Megiddo historical centre I thought maybe I could shed light on this.

I had to ask the manager of my youth hostel how to get to Megiddo,which advised getting the bus to Tel Aviv.   Megiddo is not mentioned on the bus stop schedules, I had to ask the bus driver to let me off at the right time.    Actually I had to get off at a bus stop at the side of the highway and walk for a mile, along this junction to the visitor centre.

By the main road is a large prison.   There has been some talk of tearing it down and rebuilding elsewhere as more significant archeological discoveries were found not long ago – possibly the oldest Christian church ever found.

 
The end of the world welcomes careful drivers….

I had my iPod with me and I was in the mood for some 80s rock, so I had this apt track from Def Leppard’s ‘Armageddon it’   its funny that Armageddon which is derived from Ha Megiddo, has become quite common in language as a modern phrase for any big impending war.

Anyway, once at the outside of the visitor centre I just paid 28 shekels to go in.

I found out that Megiddo became an Israelite city sometime between the 10th and 9th centuries BC and functioned as an administrator centre for the fertile Jezreel Valley, many parts were added later.

 

These drawings on the walls I think are from Canaanite period.   The drawing of a giraffe is quite interesting, didn’t think there was those here in Israel, but then again there were lions in the bible which aren’t there now, there are a small number of wild cats, leopards in Negev but they are very rare.   On the right is a picture of the Pope which someone has scratched on graffiti in Hebrew.

From the top of the site you can see all across the Jezreel valley, the plain of Megiddo, a wide open space with a busy main road that goes to Afula.   There is two petrol stations and a McDonalds along the fields of Megiddo!!

There were mostly people in one big group here, so I was a bit cheeky and stood close to the historian who was speaking, as I think it costs extra to hire him to guide you.

Like a lot of other ancient parts of Israel like Masada, there is a complex underground system built to provide fresh water.   I went down the steps to see the tunnels.

>>> More on Megiddo on the next chapter…..

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