by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
"And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon." Revelation 16:16
Believe it or not, this is the only verse in the entirety of scripture that references "Armageddon" and even there, it has been mistranslated. The actual Hebrew reads:
"And they assembled them into the place being called in ivrit, har megiddo." Revelation 16:16
Since there is no character for the Hebrew "h", the Greek rendering became "Armageddon." But, "har" (click on highlighted words to view content). is the Hebrew word for mountain, the exact opposite in meaning from a valley, and is the ancient site of Tel Megiddo. The location is NOT in Israel's largest valley, 50 miles north of Jerusalem, as is commonly thought. Yet this 20-mile long and 14-mile wide valley (presently known as the Valley of Jezreel or the Plain of Megiddo) remains one of the popular stops on most tours of Israel. The name of the battle to occur there is NOT "Armageddon" or "the battle of Armageddon." It's an assemblage for battle on "the great day of YHVH Almighty" (Revelation 16:14). Armageddon is simply the location of the battle. This battle is part of the whole prophecy of the book of Revelation. According to Revelation itself, its whole prophecy were things that "would shortly take place" because "the time is near" and were obeyable, heedable, keepable in the lives of this book's original recipients in that 1st Century time frame (Revelation 1:1-3, Revelation 22:7). Likewise, the whole of this prophecy was not to be sealed up (Revelation 22:10). But Christians have, in essence, sealed it up for over nineteen centuries and counting via their postponement interpretation. Now, however, they want to unseal it by claiming that these events will finally and soon occur in our day and time.
A strong case can be made that the book of Revelation was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 CE. There is a strong tradition that, since the apostle John lived until the end of the first century, that he wrote Revelation near his death, which would seem to date the completion of the canon to about 96 to 98 CE. There have been, however, a good number of scholars over the past hundred and fifty years who have leaned heavily toward the late 50s or early 60s CE for the composition of the Book of Revelation simply because the historical indications within the book point more appropriately to that time. And true enough, if John were recording historical events contemporary with the writing of the book, then the composition must be dated to near 60 CE Let us look at some of the reasons for this: John describes the Temple at Jerusalem as being in existence in Revelation 11:1–2 and this would demand a pre-70 CE period before the Temple was destroyed. John's indication that Jerusalem had a population of about 70,000 persons in Revelation 11:13 could only apply to the time before the war. In fact, the Tenth Legion occupied the central area of Jerusalem after 70 CE and in no way could the population then be about 70,000. Further, John references that some of the people who actually pierced the Messiah at his crucifixion would seemingly be alive at his return in Revelation 1:7 (see the Ascension). Whether one looks at Rome or Jerusalem as the political power being discussed in the Book of Revelation, we find the historical indications are almost parallel to the years of Nero's rule. The most monsterous of Roman rulers, he blamed the Hebrews for the burning of Rome and, consequently, had them thrown to dogs, nailed to crosses in his gardens and burned alive (the traditional punishment for arson) to serve as living torches in the night (Tacitus, XV.44 - see the Mark of the Beast). Thus, the date for its writing was somewhere in the period 54 to 68 CE. But there is a further factor that could help pinpoint the time even closer. There is given a clear reference to the city of Laodicea as being rich and prosperous in Revelation 3:17–18. But in 60/61 CE, Laodicea suffered a devastating earthquake (the Annals of Tacitus, ca 55 - ca 117 CE). It is hardly possible that Laodicea could have been rebuilt and once more rich and prosperous by the beginning of the Israel/Roman War in 66 CE - or even before the death of Nero (68 CE).
|...the end - or is it?|
History records that a great slaughter took place on a mountain in Israel within the lifetime of the original recipients of the book of Revelation. In 70 CE the Roman armies of Titus totally destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. According to Eusebius, 1.1million Jews were killed. Even more perished in the Galilean fighting, died of starvation or disease, and/or were taken into captivity. This event was certainly a judgment of YHVH and was in keeping with YHVH's many comings "on the clouds" in day-of-the-Lord judgments recorded in Old Testament times: judgment of Babylon (539CE), judgment of Edom (late 6th century CE), judgment of Egypt (568 CE), judgment of Nineveh (612 CE), judgment of Judah (586 CE), and judgment of the northern kingdom (722 CE). Secondly, since the Messianic Writings state that all judgment has been given by the Father to the Son (John 5:22), I submit that this 70 CE coming in judgment was the coming of Yeshua "on the clouds". Yeshua used exactly the same language of the Prophets (cosmic-darkening and collapsing, earth-shaking), described it exactly the same way ("on the clouds"), for exactly the same purpose (judgment), to accomplish exactly the same thing (destruction of a nation), and employed exactly the same instrumentality (foreign armies). In summation, this decisive battle of the "last days" period in which they were living back then and there was totally relevant to, took place during, and was fulfilled within the lifetime of Revelation's original readers. Hence, Revelation's "Armageddon" took place in Jerusalem. Historically, its fulfillment is behind us, and not ahead of us. It is past, and not future. A strong case is made that all of the literal and symbolic end-time details portrayed in the book of Revelation were precisely fulfilled during these same events and in keeping with the time-restricted context this last book of the Bible imposed upon itself (see The Coming of Messiah series).
"...but in these last days YHVH has spoken to us by His Son,|
whom He (YHVH) appointed the heir of all things..." Hebrews 1:2
Please feel free to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to share with you what the Spirit is uncovering.