Armageddon is the place for the last great battle. The armies that gather will come from the east (verse 12) and from across the whole world (verse 14). They will come at the command of their own rulers, but their real leader will be the devil (verse 13). They will come to fight against God and against Christ. The account of how Christ will defeat these evil forces appears in Revelation 19:11-21.
The word Armageddon only appears once in the Bible, here in Revelation 16:16. However, there are many descriptions that seem to refer to this final battle in the books of the prophets. (The prophets were the men who declared God’s messages, often about the future). For example, Isaiah 34:1-4; Psalm 110 and Zechariah chapter 14 clearly describe this battle.
Elsewhere in the Bible, the place called Armageddon is called ‘the valley of Megiddo’. It is a large plain and an important agricultural area in the centre of Israel. It is just south of Galilee and north of Judea and Samaria. It has been the place of many previous battles (Judges 5:19).
One of the most important battles there was the battle in which Saul died (1 Samuel chapter 31). That was an especially terrible battle. A vast army from Philistia had gathered on one side of the valley. Saul gathered his own vast army on the hill called Gilboa, on the opposite side. The battle was fierce, and Saul’s army suffered a terrible defeat. Saul and three of his sons died that day, with very many of their men.
After that awful battle, David, whom God had chosen, became Israel’s king. In the same way, after the last battle of Armageddon, Christ will rule. It is Christ whom God has chosen to rule both Israel, and the whole world (Psalm 2; Psalm 110; Hebrews 1:2). His rule will never end.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.