Armageddon

Armageddon (Ancient Greek: Ἁρμαγεδών Harmagedōn, Hebrew: הַר מְגִדּוֹ‎, Har Megiddo, Arabic أرمجدون, Late Latin: Armagedōn) is the site of an epic battle associated with the end time prophecies of the Abrahamic religions.[1] The three major Abrahamic religions are, in order of appearance, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The word Armageddon appears only once in the New Testament, Revelation 16:16, which states "And they gathered them together to the place called in hebrew, 'Armageddon.'" The word Armageddon comes from the Hebrew har məgiddô (הר מגידו), meaning "Mountain of Megiddo." Megiddo is a small mountain on which ancient forts were built that guarded the main highway, the Via Maris, that connected Egypt with Mesopotamia.[2] Megiddo is mentioned 12 places in Hebrew Scripture, twice with reference to "the plain of Megiddo".

David Jeremiah notes, "We would actually be more accurate to refer to this conflict as the "Campaign of Armageddon." The word translated as battle in Revelation 16:14 is the Greek word polemos, which signifies a war or campaign. Armageddon will involve many battles fought throughout the entire land of Israel over a three-and-one-half-year period of time.[3]

In his discussion of Armageddon, J. Dwight Pentecost has devoted an entire chapter to the subject, titled "The Campaign of Armageddon", in which he discusses Armageddon as a campaign and not a specific battle, which will be fought in the Middle East. Pentecost writes:

"It has been held commonly that the battle of Armageddon is an isolated event transpiring just prior to the second advent of Christ to the earth. The extent of this great movement in which God deals with "the kings of the earth and of the whole world" (Rev. 16:14) will not be seen unless it is realized that the "battle of that great day of God Almighty" (Rev. 16:14)[9] is not an isolated battle, but rather a campaign that extends over the last half of the tribulation period. The Greek word "polemo", translated "battle" in Revelation 16:14, signifies a war or campaign, while "machē" signifies a battle, and sometimes even single combat. This distinction is observed by Trench, (see Richard C. Trench, New Testament Synonyms, pp.301-2) and is followed by Thayer (see Joseph Henry Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 528) and Vincent (see Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, II, 541). The use of the word polemos (campaign) in Revelation 16:14 would signify that the events that culminate in the gathering at Armageddon at the second advent are viewed by God as one connected campaign."[4]

In the book he edited, The Coming Great War, A. Sims said:

It appears from Scripture that this last great battle of that great day of God Almighty will reach far beyond Armageddon, or the Valley of Megiddo. Armageddon appears to be mainly the place where the troops will gather together from the four corners of the earth, and from Armageddon the battle will spread out over the entire [country of Israel]. Joel speaks of the last battle being fought in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which is close by Jerusalem and Isaiah shows Christ coming with blood-stained garments "from Edom," [present day Jordan]. So the battle of Armageddon, it seems, will stretch from the valley of Megiddo in the north...through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, near Jerusalem, [and down to Jordan, south of Israel]. And to this agree the words of the prophet Ezekiel that the armies of this great battle will "cover the land..." But Jerusalem will no doubt be the center of interest during the battle of Armageddon, for God's word says: "I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle."[5]

Zechariah 12 describes this in great detail, stating "all nations of the earth" will be "gathered against" Jerusalem (Zech 12:3). The Lord says, "It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem" (Zech. 12:9). It goes on to say that all of Jerusalem will "look on Me whom they pierced" and everyone will mourn for Him. In Chapter 14, we read, "I will ather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem" (Zech. 14:2) but "then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle" (Zech 14:3). It then specifies what will happen to the people who fight against Jerusalem, "And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths" (Zech. 14:12). Revelation 19:15,21 states how God will strike these people down, "Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God... And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh." It's important to note that this war will be so horrific that the Bible says blood will flow in unimaginable amounts, although ancient historians such as Plutarch, Herodotus and Josephus describe similar scenes. Revelation 14:20 says, "And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horswes bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs." It's interesting that this is exactly the distance from the north end of Israel to the southern tip (about 200 miles).

Personally I believe "Armageddon" was the destrution of Jerusalem. "A study of the context of Rome’s battle with Israel indicates that the plain of Megiddo was in view as was the city of Jerusalem. This only reinforces an A.D. 70 fulfillment. “Josephus tells us that when Titus left Egypt with orders from his father [Vespasian] to subdue the Jews that he returned ‘to Caesarea, having taken a resolution to gather all his other forces together at that place.’ Bear in mind that Caesarea was within sight of Mt. Carmel, the mountain of Megiddo, and that those armed forces coming from the northern regions must pass through Megiddo before reaching the appointed place of gathering. Titus stayed in the regions around Caesarea until most of the forces from the north arrived, and then moved on to Jerusalem for the ‘battle of the great day of God Almighty.’”[6]

FOOTNOTES:

1. Wikipedia "Armageddon" Accessed Novenmber 5, 2010.
2. Ibid
3. Jeremiah, David. What in the World Is Going On?: 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford to Ignore. Thomas Nelson, pg. 196.
4. Pentecost, J. Dwight. Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology, pg. 340
5. Sims, A., ed. The Coming Great War. Toronto: A. Sims, Publisher, 1932, pg. 7-8).
6. DeMar, Gary. Last Days Madness, pg. 319


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