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Tuesday, February 20 2018

Old Testament Armageddon

"The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo"

The English-language rendering of "Megiddo" originated from the Hebrew word, pronounced meg-id-do, which means rendezvous, or place of troops. From that comes the Hebrew term, pronounced har-megiddon, meaning the hill (or mount) of Megiddo, from which we get the English pronunciation "Armageddon."

"Megiddo" is first documented by name in the Holy Scriptures as one of the fortified Canaanite cities taken during the time of Joshua (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Joshua). As shown in the model below that is on exhibit in Israel, Megiddo was a highly-fortified hill-top city.


As such, it also makes plain that Joshua, with the LORD's help, was a very skillful tactical battle commander, and that the Israelites of that time were very formidable in war.

"12:7 And these are the kings of the country which Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west, from Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon even unto the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir; which Joshua gave unto the tribes of Israel for a possession according to their divisions; 12:8 In the mountains, and in the valleys, and in the plains, and in the springs, and in the wilderness, and in the south country; the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites:

12:9 The king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one;
12:10 The king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one;
12:11 The king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one;
12:12 The king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one;
12:13 The king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one;
12:14 The king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one;
12:15 The king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one;
12:16 The king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one;
12:17 The king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one;
12:18 The king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one;
12:19 The king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one;
12:20 The king of Shimronmeron, one; the king of Achshaph, one;
12:21 The king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one;
12:22 The king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam of Carmel, one;

12:23 The king of Dor in the coast of Dor, one; the king of the nations of Gilgal, one;
12:24 The king of Tirzah, one: all the kings thirty and one." (Joshua 12:7-24 KJV)

Later, in the era of the Judges that followed the time of Joshua (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Judges), the area around Megiddo ("by the waters of Megiddo") was the site of another victory for the Israelites, under the leadership of Barak and Deborah (see The Song of Deborah and Barak).


"5:19 The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money. 5:20 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. 5:21 The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength. 5:22 Then were the horsehoofs broken by the means of the prancings, the prancings of their mighty ones. 5:23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty." (Judges 5:19-23 KJV)

The vast plain around Megiddo has long been a place where troops gather, as a staging area, or to pass through, as was the case when Necho, the king of Egypt, sent his army through the area on the way to battle in Mesopotamia (see also The Medes And Chaldees Prophecies).

It was during that crossing that Josiah, the king of Judah (see Josiah of Judah), involved himself in a battle that was not his business - the Egyptian king even warned him "What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not." But Josiah didn't listen, and was killed "in the valley of Megiddo."

"35:20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Charchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. 35:21 But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.

35:22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.

35:23 And the archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded. 35:24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had; and they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.

35:25 And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations." (2 Chronicles 35:20-25 KJV)

As shown on the map above, the "Mount of Megiddo" is located on the south side of the Plain of Esdraelon, or Plain of Jezreel, running from the major port city of Haifa to below Nazareth in northern Israel. On the opposite side of the valley is Nazareth, the home town of Jesus Christ until His ministry began (see Hometowns: Nazareth and The Land Of Israel: Galilee), when He moved to Capernaum on the north shore of the Sea Of Galilee (see Hometowns: Capernaum). "Armageddon" was a familiar sight to the Messiah all of His lifetime.

From that historical basis comes the familiar prophecy:

"16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon" (Revelation 16:16 KJV).

Fact Finder: Many equate the famous end-time "Battle of Armageddon" with "doomsday." What does "doomsday" actually mean in the Holy Bible?
See The Doomsday Clock

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This Day In History, February 20

1339: The Battle of Parabiago between the Milanese army and the St. George's (San Giorgio) Mercenaries of Lodrisio Visconti.

1547: Edward VI was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.


1579: Sir Nicholas Bacon died at age 70. He was a high official in the government of Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) and the father of the philosopher Francis Bacon.


1685: Rene-Robert Cavelier established Fort St. Louis (St. Louis was named after French King Louis IX), thereby establishing the "New France" claim to Texas.

New France

1653: During the first English-Dutch War, the Dutch fleet under Van Tromp fought the British at the Battle of Portland.

1707: Aurangzeb died at age 89. He was the last of the great Mughal emperors of India (1658-1707). Under him the Mughal empire reached its greatest extent, although his policies helped lead to its end.

1790: Holy Roman emperor Joseph II died at age 49 (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1811: Austria declared itself bankrupt.

1831: Polish revolutionaries defeated the Russians at the Battle of Growchow.

1862: William Lincoln, age 11, son of President Abraham Lincoln, died at the White House.

1895: Frederick Douglas, escaped slave and U.S. antislavery leader, died at age 78.

1920: At the end of the First World War (1914-1918; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), when Britain inherited the Middle East nations that had been under the Ottoman Empire for centuries (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire), Britain recognized the government of Trans-Jordan (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration).

1938: British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden resigned in protest because of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1943: During the Second World War (1939-1945), U.S. movie studio executives agreed to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies and integrate nationalistic and political propaganda in "entertainment" films (a practice that has never stopped; see also The Art Of War and Fake News - News, Or Noose?).

1947: Louis Mountbatten was appointed the last British Viceroy of India.

1959: "Black Friday" for the Canadian aviation industry of the 1950s. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker ended the CF-105 Arrow project. Built in Toronto by Avro Canada, the delta-winged interceptor Arrow was one of the fastest, most advanced fighters in human history (Mach 2 at altitude of 50,000 feet). Fighter aircraft designed and built over 50 years later (including the McDonnell-Douglas F-15 and F-18, both of which are slower and have a lower maximum operational height than the Arrow) are still inferior to the Arrow in some performance characteristics. When the Arrow was canceled, many of the Canadian Arrow engineers found work at NASA where elements of Arrow design and technology were used in the U.S. Space Shuttle.

1962: John Glenn became the second U.S. astronaut in space (after Alan Shepherd in May 1961) and the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth. Although almost totally ignored by U.S. historians and news media (leaving many of the U.S. population with a very inward-looking, limited awareness of the genuine accomplishments of other people), Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was actually the first man in space, in April 1961. Russia also put the first woman in space - 20 years before Sally Ride of the U.S. (see also The Rockets' Red Glare and Who Was The First To Fly?)


1965: Charles Woolley died at age 80. The British archaeologist spent over 40 years in the field; he excavated Ur of the Chaldees (birthplace of Abraham; see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees) and discovered the ancient Sumerian civilization.

1984: Harris Shoerats, the oldest man in Britain, died at age 111.

1986: The Soviet space station Mir was launched into Earth orbit. It was the world's first space station.

Mir Space Station

1990: Soviet Parliamentary leaders proposed a draft law which would allow the republics the right to break away from the Soviet Union.

2005: Spain became the first European nation to hold a referendum on ratification of the Constitution of the European Union.


Copyright © Wayne Blank