It’s not every day that I wake up excited for Armageddon!
Today, we left our hotel in Tiberias and traveled to the Valley of Armageddon.
This valley is well-known for the reference in Revelation 16:16 which describes the kings of the world coming together “to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon” for “the battle in the great day of God Almighty (16:14).”
The word “Armageddon” has become representative of the destructive events that surround the parousia, the return of Christ. It is often used to describe pure destruction.
Never mind that the return of Christ is the greatest hope of all the faithful and a time of great renewal and the restoration of all things–Armageddon is not a word for destruction, but the name of a specific place. Namely the valley of the city of Megiddo, also known as thas Jezreel Valley.
The Jezreel Valley is a fertile plain surrounded by the mountains of Galilee, Samaria, and Mt. Carmel. One of the major ancient roads, known as the Via Maris, entered the Jezreel Valley by the City of Megiddo.
That’s where the fearsome name “Armageddon” comes from! The Mountain of Megiddo, in Hebrew, is Har Megiddo or Harmegiddon. Hence, the Latinized “Armageddon.”
Now this valley does have a fearsome reputation. Because of its geography and strategic location, it was a fitting place for nations to hold their battles. Many nations did, including the Egyptians, the ancient Israelites, and even a WWI battle in 1918.
It’s reputation makes it’s mention in Revelation 16:16 quite fearsome indeed.
It is interesting to see runways for the modern, national military in the Jezreel Valley.
Tel Megiddo overlooks the Jezreel Valley. A tel is a human-made mountain or hill resulting from the continual building of new structures on top of destroyed ones. The current excavation of Tel Megiddo reveals the remnants of an early Canaanite city, buildings from King Solomon’s era on top of them, and construction from King Ahab’s era on top of that.
As we walked Tel Megiddo, we walked across stones that date far back into the time of the Old Testament.
One of the more adventurous experiences was traveling down the well tunnel that King Ahab had dug to protect the water supply that was located outside the city gates.
The experience is unreal. To stand on the place that Joshua desired in Joshua 17; the place fortified by Solomon himself in 1 Kings 9:15; and represents the clash of nations from Revelation–it is inspiring.
Look for some personal reflections interspersed with these posts in the days to come.