15“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who remains awake and clothed, so that he will not go naked and let his shame be exposed.” 16And they assembled the kings in the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. 17Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came from the throne in the temple, saying, “It is done!” – Revelations 16:15-16

 

The word “Armageddon” is synonymous with end of days. Even people who have no knowledge of the Bible refer to events about the earth ending as “Armageddon”, but what exactly is it?

Armageddon is a Greek word, translating the Hebrew “har Megiddo” or “hill of a place of crowds”. This is actually an incorrect term, as Megiddo is not actually that tall of a hill, but a tel, or a place where people would build upon ruins for generations. In all, at least 26 layers of civilization make up the “hill”, dating back to 4500 BC, although there is evidence of inhabitation since 7000 BC. The “hill” gradually built up, layer by layer, now overlooking the Jezreel Valley, while technically it is apart of it.

The Bible states that the final battle is to take place in this valley near Megiddo, but it will be far from it’s first; actually, it WAS the first.

The Battle of Megiddo is the first recorded battle on earth, taking place in 15th century BC. It took place between Egyptian Pharoah Thutmose and Canaanite King Kadesh. The Egyptian victory had long last effects as the empire expanded quickly after. This battle was just the start of this valley’s importance in military history.

From that battle on, history has played out in this valley, hosting some of the most known battles and history makers and serving as the site of the most battles in history. Jezebel was killed in the valley (2 Kings 9:10). King Josiah was killed in this valley (2 Chronicles 35:20-25). The Battle of Ain Julat between the Mongols and the Mamluks in 1260 AD. Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Ottomons here in 1799. Even a battle of WW1 was fought here between Gen. Allenby and the Turks and Germans. In all, somewhere around 200 battles have taken place in this valley, making it arguably the bloodiest battlefield in history.

Today, the valley looks anything like it’s violent past, or future. Today it is a fertile agricultural valley, known as the breadbasket of Israel, who raises much of its own food. When you are visiting the Tel and overlooking the valley, it is hard to believe that it has been anything but peaceful. Yet, there is a weight to the area there that can’t be denied. Someday, God will meet the armies of the earth there and His glory and power will be revealed. Amen!