How the Excavation of Megiddo Found Evidence of a Biblical Episode

March 26 2020

First appearing in the New Testament book of Revelation, the word Armageddon derives from the Hebrew har megiddo, referring to the mound or tel of the ancient fortress-city of Megiddo. Eric Cline describes the story behind the excavation of the site:

James Henry Breasted, the founding director of the newly established Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, had been wanting to dig at Megiddo . . . ever since June 1920. It was Lord Edmund Allenby, hero of the Allied forces in the Middle East during World War I and victor of the battle fought at Megiddo in 1918, who convinced Breasted that he should begin a new series of excavations at the ancient site. “Allenby of Armageddon,” as he was frequently called (though his official title was “Viscount Allenby of Megiddo”), had won the 1918 battle at the ancient site in part because of Breasted’s multi-volume publication, Ancient Records of Egypt, which appeared in 1906. In one of those volumes, Breasted translated into English the account of Pharaoh Thutmose III’s battle at Megiddo in 1479 BCE. Breasted’s translation allowed Allenby to employ, successfully, the same tactics 3,400 years later.

Breasted was particularly interested in recovering the remains of two cities out of the many that lay, one on top of another, within the ancient mound. One was the city that had been captured by Thutmose III. The other was Solomon’s, which that ancient king had reportedly fortified during the 10th century BCE, according to the Hebrew Bible.

Breasted’s excavation began in 1925 and in 1926 made its first major discovery, one that had in fact been unearthed by a previous archaeologist whose team had discarded it: a stone fragment with a hieroglyphic inscription bearing the symbol of Pharaoh Sheshonq, who had ruled Egypt from 945 to 920 BCE. Cline explains its significance:

According to a very lengthy inscription that Pharaoh Sheshonq ordered to be carved onto a wall in a temple in Egypt, he had attacked and captured Megiddo among many other cities in the area. We know that this took place a few years before the end of his reign, about 930 BCE. Thus, the fragment . . . may corroborate Sheshonq’s boast that he had captured the city. In addition, to a number of scholars and members of the public it was even more important because of its biblical implications, for many today equate Sheshonq with Pharaoh Shishak, who the Bible says attacked Jerusalem and other cities soon after the death of King Solomon, i.e., also approximately 930 BCE.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Edmund Allenby, King Solomon, Megiddo

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy