🔼The name Megiddo: Summary
- Invading, Instrument/Place Of Exposure
- From the verb גדד (gadad), to cut, invade and expose.
🔼The name Megiddo in the Bible
Megiddo — in later Scriptures also known as Megiddon (מגדון, Zechariah 12:11) — was an ancient Canaanite city southeast of Mount Carmel at the western approach of the Jezreel Valley. 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.
Megiddo has been abandoned since the Assyrian invasion, but in 2005 the ruins of a very early church were found in its vicinity. 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 (Revelation 16:16). The Greek name Armageddon is assumed to come from the Hebrew words Har Megiddo, meaning Mount Megiddo, but that is debatable; see our article on Armageddon.
🔼Etymology of the name Megiddo
Although BDB Theological Dictionary declares the connection not clear, NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names derive the name Megiddo from the verb גדד (gadad), to cut or invade:
The verb גדד (gadad) describes making an invasive cut, mostly in order to expose something valuable. Noun גדוד (gedud) may describe an invasive band of raiders, or more general: a cutting, a furrow. Noun גדודה (geduda) means a furrow or cutting. Noun גד (gad) appears to describe the exposed treasure and may be used to describe a physical fortune, plain luck or a state of felicity.
Verb גדה (gada) also means to cut. Noun גדה (gadda) refers to a river bank. Noun גדי (gedi) describes a young animal, but mostly one that was either just slaughtered or soon will be.
Neither NOBSE nor Jones 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). Nouns that begin with the mem often describe agency, that is: a person who does the verb or a place where the verb gets done.
NOBSE 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 גדוד (gedud), meaning marauding band. Hence NOBSE 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 גדד denotes an active invasion, not a passive gathering, and the letter mem indicates an ongoing action. The name Megiddo means Invading, or Intruding.