Volume 25, New Series, August 1964
The word ARMAGEDDON occurs but once in the Scriptures at Revelation 16:16. The name is derived from the Hebrew HAR—hill or mountain and MEGIDDO (place of God), a city in Issachar or Manasseh in the plain of Jezreel to the South East of Mount Carmel. Its Biblical and its secular history is of no importance in the study of the reference to it prophetically, except to say that in the past it had great strategic value as a fortified city in relation to its position as guarding the passage from North to South or from East to West. Its height is about 500 feet above the Mediterranean Sea level and it overlooks the great plain of Esdraelon, commanding a clear view over the plain of over ten miles radius from Harosheth over against Mount Carmel in the North West, Nazareth and Mount Tabor in the North East, Jezreel and the Jordan to the East and Mount Gilboa and Engannim to the South East. It guarded the pass through the Southern sparr of Mount Carmel and so held an unrivaled position in time of war, and in the defence of Israel and Judah from attacks from the North. This great plain which it commanded is, probably, the most fertile area in the whole of Israel, is an ideal area to be held as a base of operations throughout the land. It is unparalleled as a rendezvous and as a camping site for a large force, and as such it is the place to which the forces of the kings of the earth are brought together "to the battle of that great day of God Almighty," Now, this is as far as it goes. There is no actual battle spoken of in the Scriptures, but it is clear that they are brought there with a view to their destruction by God Himself. This appears to be the import of the prophecy of Zechariah 12 and 14.
There is an exception to references in the O.T. to this city, which is not apparent on the surface, for in the middle of the prophecy of Isaiah 10:20-34, the LXX reads "He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Maggedo (instead of Migron), at Michmash he hath laid his carriages (LXX stores) (frequently vessels, armour or weapons)." This prophecy relates to that very time, and might well be studied for light on the subject.
This gathering together is antecedent to the coming of the Lord to the Mount of Olives and the prophecy of Zech. 12 and 14, at which time there are going to be great earthquakes and upheavals and changes in the contours of the land. The Mount of Olives will cleave in twain, the whole of the Mountains of Judah, "all the land shall be turned (as on a hinge) as a plain; and it shall be lifted up," The Salt Sea will be filled with living waters which will be teeming with fish, for fishermen at En Gedi even unto En Eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the Great Sea (Mediterranean), exceeding many. Further, at this time the bed of the Gulf of Suez will be raised at least 300 feet, for that is the deepest part of it today, in order that Isaiah 11:15 may be fulfilled. Ezekiel 29:2-16 tells us of the desolation in Egypt from Syene (modern Asswan) to Migdol (at the mouth of the Delta), and unto the border of Ethiopia. Evidently by the Nile ceasing to flow Northward from somewhere near that locality: It would be effected by the raising of the land of Egypt also, and with a further fissure the Nile would flow into the Red Sea in the vicinity of Osisir(?).
As all these convulsions are to take place at the Northern end of the Great Rift, which runs from the Taurus Range, through the Jordan valley, the Dead Sea, the Gulf of Aqaba, across and down the Red Sea. If the line of the Jordan and Gulf of Aqaba be produced across the Egyptian desert it cuts the River Nile exactly at Syene, this emphasises the possibility of such a happening. May be that man's present effort to build the raised dam across the Nile at this place will have its part to play in the catastrophe when the day arrives, in deflecting the waters to the East. At the same time it is interesting to note that the water of the great River Euphrates is also dried up, by some means, brought about by the sixth angel pouring out his vial.
All these events take place at the 'end of the age,' see Matt. 24:3, also Matt. 13:39, 40. Ezekiel, in chapter 38 and 39 prophecies concerning the attack by Gog and his confederates upon the open towns and cities of Israel (verses 10-16). This is to take place 'in the latter days' (verse 16), Hebrew ACHARITH, a study of which word reveals roughly speaking a period between Israel's restoration according to Deuteronomy 30:1-10 and Ezekiel 20:33-44 and many other passages and that SUNTELEIA TOU AIONON that has already been referred to. This period is covered typically by the Feasts of the Lord, or the first seven months of the Jewish year.
The Exodus is the type of the greater Exodus from all the Nations of the world, and this started on the 14th day of the first month. Even so will that greater Exodus commence shortly after the beginning of God's new administration of the Jews. But, in that interval between the removal of the Church, the body of Christ from this scene, the end of the present administration of grace, and the beginning of the Exodus, Gog and his allies, freed from the control of Christian influence and seeing their opportunity, will seize it and invade the land from the North, devastate it and destroy all the villages, towns and cities, that even the ancient city of Jerusalem will be rased to the ground and left in ruins. The present inhabitants of the land will be driven into the sea or massacred, a remnant only escaping to tell the tale. This will so shock Israel of the dispersion that they, seeing the possibility of the extension of anti-semitism and further massacres throughout the world will prostrate themselves in sackcloth and ashes—before the Lord their God, and pour out their confession on the lines of the prophet Daniel (Daniel 9:3-19), to which contrition God will immediately give answer (a) in the destruction of Gog and his confederates in the land and (b) by "turning their captivity, and having compassion upon them, and will return and gather them from all the Nations, whither the Lord their God had scattered them" (Deut. 30:3). Thus it is clear that one must not fail to distinguish between the war at the beginning of 'the latter days' and that in the day of the Lord at the end of that period. The one takes place during the dispersion and before the return of Israel to the land and the other takes place when Israel are in possession of the Land, with the temple built and the daily sacrifices being offered and just before the return of their Redeemer to establish them finally in the Land in accordance with the promise made to and the Covenant made with Abram four Millenniums ago.
(Typed by AT)
Last updated 24.9.2005
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