Armageddon will be the last great world war of history and will take place in Israel in conjunction with the second coming of Christ. The battle, or campaign, of Armageddon is described in Daniel 11:40-45; Joel 3:9-17; Zechariah 14:1-3; and revelation 16:14-16. It will occur in the final days of the tribulation when, as John tells us, kings of the world will be gathered together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty in a place known as “Har-Magedon” (Revelation 16:14,16).
The term “Armageddon” comes from the Hebrew language. Har is the word “mountain,” and often appears with the Hebrew definite article “H.” Mageddon is likely the ruins of an ancient city that overlooks the Valley of Esdraelon in northern Israel. The site for the converging of the armies is the plain of Esdraelon, around the hill of Megiddo. The area is located in northern Israel about 20 miles south-southeast of Haifa.(3)
Armageddon is a Hebrew word that means “hill of Megiddo” (har, which means “mountain or hill” plus mageddon meaning “Megiddo;” in English it becomes Armageddon). You will find the word only once in the Bible:
Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
Then they gather the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is galled Armageddon. (Revelation 16:13-14, 16) (2)
The hill of Megiddo overlooks a wide fertile plain called the plain of Esdraelon (ez-dra-lon), or the valley of Jezreel. The Bible pinpoints that area as the location of “the battle of the great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14). The plain of Esdraelon is located in the northern part of the land of Israel about twenty miles southeast of present-day Haifa
Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum has compiled the various Armageddon passages of the Bible to arrive at this sequence of events:
- The Antichrist’s allies assemble. The ten nation confederacy assembles with the intent to wipe the Jews off the map (Revelation 16:12-16).
- Babylon is destroyed. While the Antichrist is with his armies at Armageddon, the invading forces from the east destroy his capital city of Babylon, which is in present-day Iran (Jeremiah 50-31; Revelation 18).
- Jerusalem falls. Instead of moving eastward to protect his capital city of Babylon, the Antichrist will move his forces south to the city of Jerusalem. The Jews will resist, but the Antichrist will prevail. There will be devastating loss of life (Zechariah 12:1-3; 14:1,2).
- The Antichrist moves south against the remnant. After he has captured Jerusalem, the Antichrist will disperse his armies to the south in an attempt to capture and kill Jews who are hiding in the outlying areas-“the remnant” (Jeremiah 49:13, 14).
- The regeneration of Israel. When the forces of the Antichrist descend on the Jews in the wilderness, the Jews will turn back to God. Two-thirds of the Jewish population will have been killed during the tribulation, but the remaining one-third, “the remnant,” will acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah (Jeremiah 3:11-18).
- The second coming of Jesus Christ. The repentant Jews will plead the Messiah to rescue them from the attacking Antichrist. Their prayers will be answered when Jesus Christ returns to earth with His angelic army and Christian saints to battle the Antichrist (Jude 14. 15; Revelation 19:11-16).(1)
(1) Bickel, Bruce., and Jantz, Stan. “Bible Prophecy 101: A Guide to the End Times in Plain Language”. Harvest House Publishers. 1999.
(2) Connelly, Douglas. “Bible Prophecy For Blockheads”. Zondervan. 2002.
(3) Ice, Thomas., and Demy, Timohty. “Fast Facts on Bible Prophecy”. Harvest House Publishers. 1997.