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Har Megiddon

``As I look down upon the Plain of Esdraelon from this high hill which marks the site of Megiddo (which some call Har Megiddon) I think of battles.'' So she wrote me, and sent me pictures . . . ``This is the archaeological excavation we visited . . . stood among the stones huddled about our knees like awe-struck children . . . Went back three thousand years . . . Solomon's stables (here) held four hundred . . . horses . . . This view of Ha'emek (which simply means `The Valley') shows it fertile with hollyhocks, mignonette, and cyclamen that rival the flowers of the Plain of Sharon, and olive orchards as fair as those of Shephelah. Most precious of all, crops rustle in the breeze like strands of silk. Called `God's sowing' (the meaning of Jezreel) the vale is pastoral, peaceful . . . ``Yet some historians say the battles fought here number more than those of all other places . . . I can imagine many armies crossing the broad flat valley, sometimes powerfully meeting. (Think Assyria! Rome! Remember Deborah, the prophetess, beneath her palm tree singing, `Awake! arise!' and Barak chasing chariots!) ``Since then how many formidable prognostications have raised the awesome cry of `Armageddon!' over contested fields where no conclusions have been reached -- only temporary ventures and victories -- forecasts of the future and fearful gatherings whose ends and purposes are variously -- climactically -- interpreted by scholars, laymen, and other interested parties . . . to fuel our arguments and our confusion . . .

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