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Meaning and etymology of the name Megiddo

Megiddo Megiddo

Megiddo - in later Scriptures also known as Megiddon (Megiddon, Zech 12:11) - was an ancient Canaanite city 'southeast of Mount Carmel at the western approach of the Jezreel Valley' (says the Oxford Companion to the Bible). It was conquered by Joshua (Joshua 12:21) and assigned to Manasseh (17:11). The latter never drove the Canaanites out but enslaved them (Judges 1:27-28). Centuries later the Canaanites were still enslaved and Solomon deployed this force to build the temple, his house and to fortify Jerusalem, Megiddo and other towns (1 Kings 9:15).

It remains a grim fact that the temple (the image of the body of Christ) was built by slavery and excessive capitalism.

The city of Megiddo was situated on a hill and, tradition has it that the valley around it will be the stage of the final battle (Rev 16:16, The Greek name Armageddon is assumed to come from the Hebrew words Har Megiddo, meaning Mount Megiddo, although that is debatable; see our article on Armageddon).

Although BDB Theological Dictionary declares the connection not clear, NOBS Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names derive the name Megiddo from the verb gadad (gadad), cut, invade (see the name Gad). Neither explains the letter mem but this letter may denote the participle form, which is used to indicate that the action of the verb is ongoing; interpreted as verb: cutting, invading , or as a noun: a cutting (i.e. a cut) or an invading (i.e. invasion).

The verb gadad most often refers to the pagan ritual of self laceration during worship (1 Kings 18:28) and sometimes to a gathering in troops or bands (Mic 5:1, Jeremiah 5:7). but its derivatives reveal a deeper meaning. gedud (gedud) means a band of raiders; the identical word gedud (gedud) means furrow, cutting; and Gad (gad) means fortune. It seems that the verb indicates a cutting with the distinct purpose of laying a treasure bare. The ritualistic cutting results in the exposure of precious blood, and a raid produces loot.

In the discussion of the word gedud (gedud), marauding band, HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament notes, "More often than not the noun refers not to Israel's own troops but to those of her enemies," which ties in neatly to the events surrounding Armageddon.

NOBS Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names both decide to interpret the name Megiddo rather than translate it, and go with the noun gedud (gedud), meaning marauding band. Hence NOBS reads Place Of Troops, and Jones reads Place Of Multitudes. But the Hebrew language is rich in verbs that indicate a gathering of any kind, and this verb is certainly not one of them. The verb gadad denotes an active invasion, not a passive gathering, and the letter mem indicates an ongoing action.

The name Megiddo means Invading, or Intruding. See the name Gad for a closer look at the root verb.



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