Thursday, June 25th, 2020
In 1799 Napoleon Bonaparte fought the Ottomans in the Jezreel Valley, alternatively known as the Megiddo Valley. Napoleon deemed the valley the most natural or perfect battlefield on earth. According to the Book of Revelation, it just might be the final battlefield on earth — at least the final terrestrial battlefield for a very, very long time.
A hill positioned towards the western edge of the valley gives the entire area its name. The Israelis call the hill Tel-Megiddo. Because of an ancient fortress on top of it, the hill has been the focus of extensive archaeological efforts for well over a century, yielding lots of interesting discoveries. There are layers upon layers of history there, going back before the children of Abraham arrived. In the Book of Revelation, Tel-Megiddo has a hybrid Hebrew-Greek name: Armageddon.
Biblical scholars debate whether the Battle of Armageddon will be a literal, physical battle or a spiritual battle. In my estimation, one verse settles the question. That verse is Revelation 19:17: “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun. And with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, ‘Come, gather for the great supper of God.’” The verse is almost a direct quotation from Ezekiel 39:17. The whole of Ezekiel 39 should therefore be referenced to give prophetic context. When I read Ezekiel 39, I cannot help but conclude that the chapter refers to the aftermath of a massive, literal, physical battle. I would encourage you to read the passage for yourself to see if you come to the same conclusion. Doesn’t it seem like Ezekiel is talking about a massive, literal, physical battle? If that is a correct read, I am ready and willing to take an additional step and conclude that Revelation 19:17 and Ezekiel 39:17 probably refer to the same final battle, a future final Battle of Armageddon.
To summarize in brief, I am arguing that the Battle of Armageddon mentioned in Revelation 19 is one and the same as the massive, future battle described in Ezekiel 38 and 39. That battle takes place on a map, in what is now the nation of Israel. Again, read Ezekiel 39, but also read the prior two chapters, chapters 37 and 38. All three chapters focus on Israel. Just count the occurrences. It is all about the people of Israel, the house of Israel, and the land of Israel.
Israel, Israel, Israel. Okay then, could Ezekiel mean anything other than Israel as it is commonly understood? I mean, Israel, the Jewish nation that currently exists? Ezekiel seems to be talking about that self-same Israel, and only that Israel. Ezekiel is talking about the Hebrew-speaking Jewish nation that once existed and that now exists again.
If everything I have argued for thus far is right, then the nation of Israel does indeed appear in the Book of Revelation. And it is the location for the final battle. Therefore, Israel should be of special interest to Christians. Prophecy is yet to be fulfilled there.