Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Holy Land Tour: Meggido

We drove down the Mountain of the Beatitudes to the Sea of Galilee and our adventures there are recounted in my First Report from Israel.

After lunch that day we ventured out to Meggido--mentioned in Revelation 16 as the site of the battle of Armageddon. 

Meggido was an important city that was abandoned about 4 BC. Archaelogists have found 25 levels of civilization in this area and believe that Kind David conquered Meggido around the 16th level. Commanding a broad view of the valley below, the city had strategic military importance for the Jews and later for the Romans.

Meggido is mentioned in the Old Testament in 2 Kings 9:15 documenting King Solomon's building activity at Meggido and King Josiah was killed by the Egyptian Pharoah Neco at Meggido ( 2 Kings 23:29-30).

We climbed carefully up a steep and rocky path to the summit of the ruins of the old City. Here's some of what we saw there:

And here's the strategic view from the summit, overlooking the valley:

The rocky remains of this ancient city require you to exercise your imagination to appreciate the importance that Meggido had for many centuries before the birth of Christ.

One of the interesting things I saw at the top of the summit was this plant with what appears to be thorny-shaped flowers:

This was the first time I saw this plant, but not the last time. It seems to grow in the rocky soil of archaeological ruins. I wonder if this is the plant used to make the Crown of Thorns?

Last stop of the day: Nazareth. More on that tomorrow.

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