According to the
Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation in the
New Testament of the Bible,
Armageddon (/ˌɑːrməˈɡɛdən/, from Ancient Greek:
Ἁρμαγεδών Harmagedōn, Late Latin: Armagedōn, from
Hebrew: הר מגידו Har Megiddo) is the prophesied location of
a gathering of armies for a battle during the end times, variously
interpreted as either a literal or a symbolic location. The term is
also used in a generic sense to refer to any end of the world
Tel 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
Anatolia and Mesopotamia.
Megiddo was the location of
various ancient battles, including one in the 15th century BC and one
in 609 BC. Modern
Megiddo is a town approximately 25 miles
(40 km) west-southwest of the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee
Kishon River area in Israel.
2.3 Jehovah's Witnesses
2.4 Seventh-day Adventist
4 Bahá'í Faith
6 See also
8 External links
Megiddo fortifications, 1457 BCE.
Armageddon appears only once in the Greek New Testament, in
Revelation 16:16. The word is transliterated to Greek from Hebrew har
məgiddô (הר מגידו), har (Strong H2022) meaning "a mountain
or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively): - hill (country),
mount (-ain), X promotion." This is a shortened form of Harar (Strong
H2042) "to loom up; a mountain; -hill, mount".
מְגִדּוֹן H4023) /meg-id-do'/ "Megiddon or Megiddo, a place
of crowds.") The name refers to a fortification made by King Ahab
(869-50 BC) that dominated the Plain of Jezreel.. The mountain of
Megiddo it is the Carmel Mountain, where the Prophet Elijah defeat
Baal and glorified God's power and glory (I Kings 18:10-40).
Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos. Painting by Hieronymus Bosch
See also: Christian eschatology
Megiddo is mentioned twelve times in the Old Testament, ten times in
reference to the ancient city of Megiddo, and twice with reference to
"the plain of Megiddo", most probably simply meaning "the plain next
to the city". None of these
Old Testament passages describes the
Megiddo as being associated with any particular prophetic
beliefs. The one
New Testament reference to the city of Armageddon
found in Revelation 16:16 in fact also makes no specific mention of
any armies being predicted to one day gather in this city, but instead
seems to predict only that "they (will gather) the kings together to
.... Armageddon". The text does however seem to imply, based on the
text from the earlier passage of Revelation 16:14, that the purpose of
this gathering of kings in the "place called Armageddon" is "for the
war of the great day of God, the Almighty". Because of the
seemingly highly symbolic and even cryptic language of this one New
Testament passage, some Christian scholars conclude that Mount
Armageddon must be an idealized location. Rushdoony says, "There
are no mountains of Megiddo, only the Plains of Megiddo. This is a
deliberate destruction of the vision of any literal reference to the
place." Other scholars, including C. C. Torrey, Kline and Jordan
argue that the word is derived from the Hebrew moed (מועד),
meaning "assembly". Thus, "Armageddon" would mean "
Assembly," which Jordan says is "a reference to the assembly at Mount
Sinai, and to its replacement, Mount Zion."
The traditional viewpoint interprets this
Bible prophecy to be
symbolic of the progression of the world toward the "great day of God,
the Almighty" in which the great looming mountain of God's just and
holy wrath is poured out against unrepentant sinners, led by Satan, in
a literal end-of-the-world final confrontation.
Armageddon is the
symbolic name given to this event based on scripture references
regarding divine obliteration of God's enemies. The hermeneutical
method supports this position by referencing Judges 4 and 5 where God
miraculously destroys the enemy of His elect, Israel, at Megiddo, also
called the Valley of Josaphat.
William Hendriksen says:
For this cause, Har Magedon is the symbol of every battle in which,
when the need is greatest and believers are oppressed, the Lord
suddenly reveals His power in the interest of His distressed people
and defeats the enemy. When Sennacherib's 185,000 are slain by the
Angel of Jehovah, that is a shadow of the final Har-Magedon. When God
grants a little handful of Maccabees a glorious victory over an enemy
which far outnumbers it, that is a type of Har-Magedon. But the real,
the great, the final Har Magedon coincides with the time of Satan’s
little season. Then the world, under the leadership of Satan,
anti-Christian government, and anti-Christian religion – the dragon,
the beast, and the false prophet – is gathered against the Church
for the final battle, and the need is greatest; when God's children,
oppressed on every side, cry for help; then suddenly, dramatically,
Christ will appear on the clouds of glory to deliver his people; that
The Dispensational viewpoint interprets biblical prophecy literally
and expects that the fulfillment of prophecy will also be literal,
depending upon the context of scripture. In his discussion of
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) 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
God as one connected campaign.
— Pentecost, p.340
Pentecost then discusses the location of this campaign, and mentions
the "hill of Megiddo" and other geographic locations such as "the
valley of Jehoshaphat" and "the valley of the passengers",
"Lord coming from
Edom or Idumea, south of Jerusalem, when He returns
from the judgment"; and
Pentecost further describes the area involved:
This wide area would cover the entire land of
Israel and this
campaign, with all its parts, would confirm what Ezekiel pictures when
he says the invaders will 'cover the land'. This area would
conform to the extent pictured by John in Revelation 14:20."
Pentecost then outlines the biblical time period for this campaign to
occur and with further arguments concludes that it must take place
with the 70th week of Daniel. The invasion of
Israel by the Northern
Confederacy "will bring the Beast and his armies to the defense of
Israel as her protector". He then uses Daniel to further clarify his
thinking: (Dan. 11:40b-45).
Again, events are listed by Pentecost in his book:
"The movement of the campaign begins when the King of the South moves
against the Beast-False Prophet coalition, which takes place 'at the
time of the end.'"
The King of the South gets in battle with the North King and the
Northern Confederacy (Daniel 11:40).
Jerusalem is destroyed as a
result of this attack, and, in turn, the armies of the Northern
Confederacy are destroyed.
"The full armies of the Beast move into
Israel (11:41) and shall
conquer all that territory (11:41-42). Edom, Moab, and
escape. . . ."
". . . a report that causes alarm is brought to the Beast"
"The Beast moves his headquarters into the land of
assembles his armies there."
"It is there that his destruction will come. (11:45)."
After the destruction of the Beast at the
Second Coming of Jesus, the
promised Kingdom is set up, in which
Jesus and the
Saints will rule
for a thousand years.
Satan is then loosed "for a season" and goes out
to deceive the nations, specifically, Gog and Magog. The army
mentioned attacks the
Saints in the New Jerusalem, they are defeated
by a judgment of fire coming down from Heaven, and then comes the
Great White Throne
Great White Throne judgment, which includes all of those through the
ages and these are cast into the Lake of Fire, which event is also
known as the "second death" and Gehenna, not to be confused with Hell,
which is Satan's domain. Pentecost describes this as follows:
The destiny of the lost is a place in the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20;
20:10, 14-15; 21:8). This lake of fire is described as everlasting
fire (Matt. 25:41) (Matt. 18:8) and as unquenchable fire (Mark
9:43-44), 46-48, emphasizing the eternal character of
retribution of the lost.
— Pentecost, p. 555
Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that
Armageddon is the means by which God
will fulfill his purpose for the Earth to be populated with happy
healthy humans free of sin and death. They teach that the armies
of heaven will eradicate all who oppose the Kingdom of God, wiping out
all wicked humans on Earth, leaving only righteous mankind.
They believe that the gathering of all the nations of the earth refers
to the uniting of the world's political powers, as a gradual process
beginning in 1914 and seen later in manifestations such as the League
of Nations and the
United Nations following the First and Second World
Wars. These political powers are said to be influenced by Satan
and his demons in opposition to God's kingdom. Babylon the Great
is interpreted as the world empire of false religion, and that it will
be destroyed by the beast just prior to Armageddon. Witnesses
believe that after all other religions have been destroyed, the
governments will turn to persecute them, and that
God will then
intervene, precipitating Armageddon.
Jehovah's Witnesses teach that the armies of heaven, led by Jesus,
will then destroy all forms of human government and then Jesus, along
with a selected 144,000 humans, will rule Earth for 1,000 years.
They believe that
Satan and his demons will be bound for that period,
unable to influence mankind. After the 1,000 years are ended, and the
second resurrection has taken place,
Satan is released and allowed to
tempt the perfect human race one last time. Those who follow
destroyed, along with him, leaving the earth, and humankind at peace
God forever, free of sin and death.
The religion's current teaching on
Armageddon originated in 1925 with
former Watch Tower Society president J. F. Rutherford, who based his
interpretations on the books of Exodus, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Psalms
as well as additional material from the books of Samuel, Kings and
Chronicles. The doctrine marked a further break from the teachings of
Watch Tower Society founder Charles Taze Russell, who for decades had
taught that the final war would be an anarchistic struggle for
domination on earth. Tony Wills, author of a historical study of
Jehovah's Witnesses, claimed that Rutherford seemed to relish his
descriptions of how completely the wicked would be destroyed at
Armageddon, dwelling at great length on prophecies of destruction. He
stated that towards the close of his ministry Rutherford allocated
about half the space available in The Watchtower magazines to
discussion of Armageddon.
Main article: Seventh-day Adventist eschatology § Armageddon
Seventh-day Adventist understanding of Revelation 13-22
The teachings of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church state that the terms
"Armageddon", "Day of the Lord" and "The
Second Coming of Christ" all
describe the same event. Seventh-day Adventists further teach that
the current religious movements taking place in the world are setting
the stage for Armageddon, and they are concerned by an anticipated
unity between spiritualism, American
Protestantism and Roman
Catholicism. A further significant difference in Seventh-day Adventist
theology is the teaching that the events of
Armageddon will leave the
earth desolate for the duration of the millennium. They teach that
the righteous will be taken to heaven while the rest of humanity will
be destroyed, leaving
Satan with no one to tempt and effectively
"bound." The final re-creation of a "new heaven and a new
earth." then follows the millennium.
Armageddon marks the "great climax of history
when the nations would be gathered together 'into a place called in
the Hebrew tongue Armageddon', and the judgment on them would herald
the setting up of the Kingdom of God." 
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Armageddon is viewed as a spiritual battle or struggle in
the present age between the forces of good, i.e. righteousness, purity
and virtue, and the forces of evil. The final struggle between the two
comes as satanic influence is let loose with the emergence of Gog and
Satan gathers all his powers, and uses all his methods to
mislead people, introducing an age where iniquity, promiscuity,
atheism, and materialism abound.
Muslims believe that
God appointed a Promised Messiah and
the spiritual reformation and moral direction of mankind. A brief time
of serenity (before the final Day of Judgement) will follow; it is
characterized by the assembling of mankind under one faith, Islam.
From Bahá'í literature a number of interpretations of the
expectations surrounding the
Armageddon may be inferred,
three of them being associated with events surrounding the World
The first interpretation deals with a series of tablets written by
Bahá'u'lláh, founder of the Bahá'í Faith, to be sent to various
kings and rulers. The second, and best-known one, relates to
events near the end of
World War I
World War I involving General Allenby and the
Megiddo (1918) wherein World Powers are said to have drawn
soldiers from many parts of the world to engage in battle at Megiddo.
In winning this battle Allenby also prevented the Ottomans from
killing 'Abdu'l-Baha, then head of the Baha'i Faith, whom they had
intended to crucify. A third interpretation reviews the overall
progress of the World Wars, and the situation in the world before and
The idea that a final
Armageddon will be fought at Tel
Megiddo has had a wide influence, especially in the US. According to
Donald E. Wagner, Professor of Religion and Director of the Center for
Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University,
Ronald Reagan was an
adherent of "
Armageddon theology," and "seemed to blend his political
analysis with his
Armageddon theology quite naturally."
An American militia group called Hutaree, based on the idea that it
will soon defend itself from the Antichrist's armies, received wide
attention in 2010, when several members were indicted for plotting to
kill a police officer and plant roadside bombs along the funeral
procession. The charges were dismissed.
Futurist view of the Book of Revelation
Historicist views of Revelation
Megiddo: The Omega Code 2
Preterist interpretation of the Book of Revelation
Waiting for Armageddon
^ Collins English Dictionary, HarperCollins, 3rd ed., p. 81
^ "Amateur Archaeologists Get the Dirt on the Past", New York Times
^ Maps and pictures of
Megiddo mountain and the surrounding plain (in
^ BC The Archaeology of the
Bible Lands. By Magnus Magnusson. BBC
Bible Keyword Search Results: megiddo (KJV)". 2011. Retrieved
2011-01-15. Listing of the 12 Biblical
Old Testament passages
containing the word "Megiddo".
^ "Revelation 16, The Seven Bowls of God's Wrath". 2011. Retrieved
New Testament excerpt describing various apparent
calamities of nature with respect to Armageddon.
^ a b James B. Jordan, Biblical Horizons, No. 85
^ Rousas John Rushdoony, Thy Kingdom Come: Studies in Daniel and
^ William Hendriksen, More Than Conquerors, 163.
^ Revelation 16:14
^ Joel 3:2
^ Ezekiel 39:11
^ Zech. 12:2-11; 14:2
^ Pentecost, p. 341
^ Ezekiel 38:9-16
^ Revelation 14:20
^ "Daniel 11:40-45 (King James Version)". BibleGateway.com. Archived
from the original on 25 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
^ "Daniel 11:40 (King James Version)". BibleGateway.com. Archived from
the original on 25 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
^ Zechariah 12:2
^ Ezekiel 39, Zechariah 12:4
^ Daniel 11:44, Revelation 16:12
^ Daniel 11:45
^ Pentecost, p. 356
^ Revelation 20:8
^ Revelation 20:11-15
^ "Matthew 25:41 (King James Version)". Archived from the original on
25 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
^ "Matthew 18:8 (King James Version)". Archived from the original on
25 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
^ "Mark 9:43-44 (King James Version)". Archived from the original on
25 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
^ "Mark 9:46-48 (King James Version)". Archived from the original on
25 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
^ a b "Armageddon—A Happy Beginning". The Watchtower: 4–7.
December 1, 2005.
^ "Armageddon—God's War to End All Wars". The Watchtower: 5–8.
April 1, 2008.
^ "What Does the
Bible Really Teach" pp. 215-218 '1914—A Significant
^ "The End of False Religion is Near".
^ Mankind’s Search for
God chap. 16 p. 371 par. 13 "the destruction
Babylon the Great
Babylon the Great will usher in a period of “great tribulation”
that culminates in “the war of the great day of
God the Almighty . .
. Har–Magedon.” "
^ "Walk by Faith, Not by Sight!". The Watchtower: 19. September 15,
^ "The Marvelous New World of God's Making".
^ "Flight to Safety Before the "Great Tribulation"". The Watchtower:
18. June 1, 1996.
^ Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable.
^ Wills, Tony (2006), A People For His Name, Lulu Enterprises,
p. 154, ISBN 978-1-4303-0100-4
^ "Seventh-day Adventists believe" 1988 by the Ministerial Association
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
^ "Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology" 2000 Review and Herald
Publishing Association and the General Conference of Seventh-day
^ Revelation 20:2
^ Revelation 21:1
^ The Christadelphian: Volume 107, 1970, pp. 555-556.
^ a b c Lambden, Stephen. "Catastrophe,
Armageddon and Millennium:
some aspects of the Bábí-Bahá'í exegesis of apocalyptic
symbolism". Bahá'í Studies Review. 9. Retrieved 2007-06-10.
^ Roderic Maude and Derwent Maude (1997). The Servant, the General,
and Armageddon. George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-424-7.
^ Donald E. Wagner, The alliance between fundamentalist Christians and
Israel lobby: Christian Zionism in US
Middle East policy
^ "US 'Christian militants' charged after FBI raids" BBC, 30 March
2010. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
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