City situated, according to the Priestly description of tribal boundaries and groups of cities contained in the Book of Joshua (xv. 41), among the foot-hills bordering upon Judah and extending westward to the maritime plain. It is mentioned also several times in the narrative (Josh. x.) of the pursuit of the routed forces of the allied southern kings by the Israelites under Joshua, and once (xii. 16) in the list of the princes conquered during the southern campaign. Apparently Makkedah was a stronghold of some importance, being deemed worthy of especial mention side by side with Libnah, Lachish, and Hebron (x. 28-37). Near the city was a large cave in which the five allies sought refuge. When this was reported to Joshua he ordered the exit of the cave to be blocked by boulders and guarded. The army then followed the fleeing enemy and accomplished its utter defeat. On its return to Makkedah the five kings were led out and executed.
The site of Makkedah is much in doubt. Warren was the first to identify it with the modern Al-Mughar ("the cave"), several miles southwest from Ekron, and about eight miles from the sea and twenty-five miles from Gibeon. The determining reason for this identification is the presence of caves at Al-Mughar. According to Major Conder it is the only site in the Shefelah where caves are to be found. Eusebius declared that Makkedah was eight miles east of Eleutheropolis, but this seems incredible.