Epic – Poetry – Spirituality
My general ignorance is very useful: it allows me to give free rein to my curiosity, without it ever dying out.
And this is how, light years after the others, I come to discover a marvel at once historical, geographical, theological, poetic and spiritual: Megiddo.
The literal translation of Har Megiddo in English is: Hill of Megiddo.
Indeed, Megiddo is a city dating from the highest antiquity, located in a literally gigantic plain – on one of the only promontories of the place: the hill.
Until then, there was nothing abnormal: the men were not crazy, when it was a question of protecting themselves to survive, they went to the top as soon as they could.
The construction of a city on this hill was therefore quite logical, not to say commonplace.
What is less commonplace is its location, at the absolute crossroads of the trade routes linking the Africa of the ancient Egyptians to what we now call Turkey – and also a passageway to Asia Minor – said at this time: Mesopotamia.
This is how Megiddo became a strategic location of interest to several states – and therefore several armies, since the beginning of humanity.
Add to this position that, in order to reach Megiddo from the South – thus from Egypt, one must pass through a sort of natural corridor between the mountains and the picture will be complete: Megiddo will be more than a city: it will be a lock against the others – and a cash drawer when only caravans were passing.
Of course, these are only geographical facts – almost exclusively geological.
What becomes interesting about Megiddo is that it has been, since the beginning of its existence, the city of war. Made for and by war.
It is the city of the oldest battle of mankind whose details have been reported to us: this battle dates from the 15th century BC. It opposed the pharaoh Thutmôsis III to a Syrian-Canaanese coalition led by the king of Qadesh.
Of course, this could not be the only battle. They were almost countless. 35 civilizations have passed through the walls of Megiddo since its first creation
The other major battle of antiquity took place in 609 B.C., this time between the troops of Pharaoh Neko II and the king of Judah, Josiah – a battle recorded in the Second Book of Chronicles.
Josiah lost the battle – it was a terrible blow to the kingdom of Judah.
It is impossible to deny or forget this defeat – despite everything.
So, perhaps, when St. John the Apostle had a vision of the end times, it is not out of place for him to locate the final battle on the plains of Megiddo.
And so, from two Hebrew words, a third word was created: Armageddon :
And they gathered them in a place called in Hebrew Armageddon. And the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice from the throne came out of the sanctuary, saying, “It is done. And there were lightnings, and thunderings, and a great earthquake: for as long as there have been men upon the earth, there hath never been so great an earthquake. And the great city was broken in three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And God remembered Babylon the Great, to give her to drink the wine of his wrath, the cup of his anger. All the islands fled, and the mountains disappeared. And great hailstones fell from heaven upon men, and they blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for it was a terrible plague.Revelation 16 – 16-21
When Napoleon Bonaparte, during the Egyptian Campaign, was in the plains under Megiddo, he noticed that all the armies of the world could fight there.
Megiddo, city of war – which would therefore be chosen as the city of the last battle, the one that would put an end to all wars.
What is interesting, whether you are a believer or not, when you discover the existence, the position and the history of the city of Megiddo, is this incredible real destiny :
Sparte was the City of Warriors.
Megiddo was the City of War.
At the same time of an immeasurable prosperity – and of an endless misery
A city where, indeed, in a simple reality, all the armies of the world can confront each other – even nowadays.
I know that I am far from entertainment when talking about Megiddo.
Is this true?
Isn’t there already an infinite amount of “literature” around the end of time? Around the Armageddon – which most of us take as a date – when it is a place.
I, the spectator, would find fascinating a theatre program that would allow me to “travel” through the history of Megiddo. Because, after all, the end of time is one of the fundamental hearts of the civilizations stemming from the Abrahamic religions.
Okay – this is a bit serious.
Theatre can also be serious, it can talk about war, spirituality and – since it’s theatre – poetry of course.