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MILLO (mĭl'ō, Heb. millô’, fullness). A mound or rampart built up and filled in with earth and stones to raise the level.

1. An ancient fortification in or near Shechem. In Judg.9.6, Judg.9.20Beth Millo” mentioned three times probably means the inhabitants of this tower or fortification.

2. A place just north of Mount Zion and outside the city of David, though it was inside the city of Jerusalem from Hezekiah’s time onward. NIV refers to it as “the supporting terraces,” but see footnote (2Sam.5.9). When David had taken Zion (2Sam.5.7-2Sam.5.9), he began to fill up Millo and to build inward toward Zion. Solomon later strengthened Millo (1Kgs.9.15, 1Kgs.9.24; 1Kgs.11.27). Hezekiah, three hundred years later, again strengthened it, this time against the Assyrians (2Chr.32.5). The “Beth Millo” where the godly Joash, king of Judah, was killed by his own officials was probably this same fortification. (2Kgs.12.20-2Kgs.12.21).

MILLO mĭl’ ō (מִלֹּ֔וא), from מָלֵא, H4848, to fill, hence a mound, terrace. 1. A place, prob. a citadel, called Beth-millo (the house of Millo) (Judges 9:6, 20), located near Shechem. Its inhabitants were among those who proclaimed Abimelech king.

2. A fortification or citadel near Jerusalem, constructed by Solomon with forced labor (1 Kings 9:15, 24; 11:27). Apparently Solomon added to an existing Millo, for of David it is reported that he built the city of Jerusalem round about from the Millo inward (2 Sam 5:9; 1 Chron 11:8). The Millo formed a prominent part of the works of defense set up by King Hezekiah for the protection of the city (2 Chron 32:5). The “house of Millo” where Joash was slain (2 Kings 12:20) was prob. this Millo. The exact location of this fortification remains uncertain.


J. Simons, Jerusalem in the Old Testament (1952), 131-144.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

mil’-o. (millo generally interpreted to mean a "filling," e.g. a solid tower or an earth embankment; in Jud 9:6,20; 2Ki 12:20, we get beth millo’, translated in English Versions of the Bible "House of Millo," which Winckler thinks may have been the original Jebusite temple-shrine of Jerusalem (see Beth-millo); Septuagint reads Bethmaalon, also Maalon and oikos Maallon):

1. Old Testament References

It is generally supposed that "The Millo" was some kind of fortress or other defense, but many speculations have been made regarding its position. In 2Sa 5:9, we read that David built round about from the Millo and inward, or (in the Septuagint, Septuagint) "he fortified it, the city, round about from the Millo and his house" (compare 1Ch 11:8). In connection with Solomon’s strengthening of the fortifications, there are several references to Millo. In 1Ki 9:15, Solomon raised a levy "to build the house of Yahweh, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem," etc.; in 9:24, "Pharaoh’s daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house which Solomon had built for her: then did he build Millo"; in 1Ki 11:27, Solomon "built Millo, and repaired the breach of the city of David his father." At a later time Hezekiah "took courage, and built up all the wall that was broken down, and raised it up to the towers, and the other wall without, and strengthened Millo in the city of David" (2Ch 32:5; 2Ki 12:20); Joash was slain by his servants "at the house of Millo, on the way that goeth down to Silla," but possibly this may have been in Shechem (compare Jud 9:6).

2. Identical with the Akra Site:

The mention of the site in the days of David and the reference to it in connection with the city of David (1Ki 11:27) point to some part of the southeastern hill South of the temple. It is suggestive that Millo is in Septuagint always translated by "Akra." It seems to the present writer very probable that it was a fortress crowning the hill on which at a later time stood the Syrian Akra, which hill, if we are to believe Josephus (BJ, V, iv, 1, etc.), was cut down because its commanding situation dominated the temple. This hill cannot have been the site of Zion afterward known as "David’s Burg" (City of David), because the tombs of the Judean kings were within its walls, and that alone would have made the complete leveling of the site impossible, but whereas the Jebusite fortress was probably not far from Gihon, this fortified summit may have been, as Watson suggests for the Akra, as far north as where the present Al Aqsa mosque is situated. In David’s time it may have been an isolated and detached fort guarding the north approach, but if it was originally a Jebusite high place (Winckler) partly of sun-dried brick like similar constructions in Babylonia, the account of its being leveled would be much more credible. The importance of this site in the days of Solomon is fully explicable if this was the citadel guarding the newly built temple and royal palaces.

Dr. G.A. Smith is inclined to think that Millo may have been a fortress "off the south end of Ophel, to retain and protect the old pool," and Vincent suggests that the site of Millo is that now occupied by the great causeway connecting the Western and Eastern hills along which runs the Tariq bab es silsileh.