12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. 13 And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. 14 For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) 16 And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. (Revelation 16:12-16)
What, or where, is Armageddon? According to Wikipedia, “The word “Armageddon” appears only once in the Greek New Testament, in Revelation 16:16. The word may come from Hebrew har məgiddô (הר מגידו), meaning “Mountain of Megiddo”. “Mount” Megiddo is not actually a mountain, but a tell (a hill created by many generations of people living and rebuilding on the same spot) on which ancient forts were built to guard the Via Maris, an ancient trade route linking Egypt with the northern empires of Syria, Anatolia and Mesopotamia. Megiddo was the location of various ancient battles, including one in the 15th century BC and one in 609 BC.” It turns out that another very important battle culminated at or about Megiddo even before 609 BC, and as I continue to study Megiddo’s history and Revelation 16 I am thinking that Armageddon does not refer to a literal physical location on earth at all.
This study all began with a dream given to my youngest daughter last weekend which prompted my wife and me to consider Armageddon in more detail. In the dream my daughter and some others strategized and “killed” Armageddon, who was at that time the most evil person in all the earth. After the assassination Armageddon’s followers determined to kill everyone involved in that conspiracy, but they could not kill these saints directly. Instead they had to somehow take control of their minds and bring them to the point where they would kill themselves, suicide themselves. They did not want to kill the conspirators themselves for “political reasons.” These demons then captured my daughter and her sister. They stood before them to strike fear into them, but she told them, “You are not going to get me to commit suicide.” Then she awoke.
My wife and I both believe the dream to be prophetic so we have attempted to understand it. Here is what we have so far. There are only a few references to Megiddo in Scripture, but we believe they shed light on this dream and the mysterious concept from the Book of Revelation.
The first mentions of Megiddo in the Bible reveal that it was a Canaanite city given to the tribe of Manasseh. Joshua 17:11-12 shows that Manasseh could not drive out the Canaanites in Megiddo, but that they persisted in dwelling in that land. This is our first clue, Megiddo is a Canaanite stronghold. Looking to the last verse in Zechariah we read, “Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.“ (Zechariah 14:21 KJV) Some new versions of the Bible translate “Canaanite” with the word “trader” or “merchant.” Revelation 18:11-24 deals with the destruction of the Canaanites (merchants) in the Day of the LORD. So, Megiddo relates to a Canaanite spirit of making merchandise of all things including the souls of men (as we see in Revelation 18:13).
The next important thing we see related to Megiddo occurs in Judges 5 which records the song of Deborah and Barak. Verse 5:19 says, ‘The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.” (Judges 5:19 KJV) Earlier verses of the song reveal that these “kings” who came to fight were “the remnant of the noble; the people of the LORD.” (Judges 5:13) They came to fight the “kings of Canaan” at and about Megiddo. Deborah and Barak sing their song because these princes of the LORD defeated the Canaanite kings.
In the Scripture “the remnant” typically refers to God’s overcomers, to the few whom God chooses among all that he calls. Various words or phrases in Scripture refer to these overcomers, like the Bride of Christ and Sons of God, for example. God gave the victory to his overcomers at that time in this battle against the Canaanite strongholds around Megiddo. Remember from previous studies that all historical events recorded in the Bible serve as spiritual parables relating to future events. I believe that this song records a parable concerning events having to do with my daughter’s dream and these days we live in. The historical account of Jael killing Sisera, which culminated the victory of these Canaanite kings, sheds much light on this. The next post will discuss this.
Now consider the map below and note the locations of Megiddo, Jezreel, and Tanaach. All of these places have ramifications which we will discover as we proceed in this study. You can access the map directly by clicking here.
Observe that the Plain of Megiddo and the Valley of Jezreel appear to run into one another. One source says, “Descending from the watershed E-ward to Jordan. W. of the watershed is Plain of Megiddo, which later bore Greek form of name `Jezreel’, i.e. Esdraelon: Scholars include it in the O.T. term `Valley of Jezreel’.” So, it appears that Megiddo and Jezreel speak of the same general place in Israel. This is very interesting indeed for if Megiddo and Jezreel speak of the same place, then Megiddo is the place where God judged Queen Jezebel.
Finally, consider that most people believe that the word Armageddon refers to the “Mount of Megiddo,” but that Megiddo itself is not a mountain, but a plain. Perhaps the “har” at the beginning of the word really speaks about the top or “head” of Megiddo.
(to be continued…)