When will the Battle of Armageddon take place?

The crossroads of the world

"The historical significance of Megiddo is that it is located on the major highways in Palestine. Everything had to go through there over the millennia. On the one hand is the Mediterranean Sea and on the other hand is the Syrian-Arab desert, that is had to go through everything. And the only big crossroads there is, that's Megiddo. So that's exactly the crossroads of the world. "

So Professor Dieter Vieweger. Megiddo appears several times in the Bible as the place of decisive battles, not first in the Apocalypse but already in the Book of Judges or in the Book of Kings.

"And if you are afraid that at the end of the day the enemies will come and want to storm Jerusalem, they will come to Jerusalem via Megiddo. And there the idea of ​​the eschatological final battle before the end of the world was born. And that in Greek times has happened, one no longer speaks of Megiddo but of Armageddon. "

The Tell has been excavated for over a hundred years. The hill with walls from six thousand years of cultural history is located between the Carmel Mountains and the fertile Jezreel plain. To the north on the mountains of Galilee lies Nazareth. You can also see Mount Tabor, the Mount of Transfiguration. And in the direction of Tiberias, your gaze wanders past the horns of Hattin, where the Muslims under Saladin defeated the Crusaders in 1187. In 1919 the British General Allenby inflicted a heavy defeat on the Ottoman troops in the so-called Palestine Battle at Megiddo. But the place is legendary by Pharaoh Thutmose III. become. The Egyptians defeated the Canaanites here in 1457 BC.

"They fall in the back of the enemies in the south and north, they make so much booty that they get drunk and are so full of kleptomania that they don't even notice that the Canaanites can save themselves to the city of Megiddo by opening the gates and now the Pharaoh lies in front of it and has to besiege it for nine months until he finally takes it. "

That said, Megiddo was well fastened. There was enough water and food here to withstand a siege for a long time - a Bronze Age and later also an Iron Age center, with the largest granary in Palestine and a water channel carved into the rock.

King David is said to have conquered the city after defeating King Shaul. At least that's how the royal books tell it. King Solomon, David's son, is said to have built a magnificent palace in Megiddo, according to biblical tradition, with everything that goes with it.

"Where we are now is very controversial. I would say we are in a storehouse again, like the one we have just seen."

An elongated building with columns, a paved floor, stone containers, typical of a granary. Earlier excavators believed, however, that they discovered Solomon's stables here. A dummy horse made of sheet steel illustrates this assumption.

"The idea of ​​the horse stable comes from the Old Testament. If the Old Testament says that Solomon built a horse stable in Megiddo, then you have to find a horse stable during excavations. The poor horses, how do they want to get in here? That are storage rooms that are completely unsuitable for keeping horses. "

This subterranean structure, which has been excellently preserved to this day, testifies to the wealth and power of Megiddo as an economic and political center, according to Dieter Vieweger:

"If a state like Israel with capital Samaria or Shechem has a large provincial city, depending on the time, then that is Megiddo. And in this Megiddo money is implemented, that is, agricultural products are implemented, i.e. barley and wheat, which are grown on the plain - and then up to Galilee the great amount of oil, the great amount of wine. These are precisely the export products that Israel has, and that goes through Megiddo. That is what makes Megiddo so important. "

After the Assyrians conquered the northern Israelite empire, cities like Megiddo or Hazor lost their importance. In 587 Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebucatnezzar II. Megiddo was apparently completely forgotten. But Megiddo was remembered as a magical place.