|Mount Megiddo ....||Bob Moore|
The Bible chronicles the death of Josiah, king of the Jews. It says, "In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo" (2K 23:29). This battle has prophetic significance. In Revelation John predicts a great battle at the end of the world, which he calls Armageddon (Rev 16:16). Armageddon means "mount Megiddo." The final conflagration described in the Apocalypse is symbolized in the battle between Josiah and Neco.
The Jewish historian Josephus gives more information about the battle at Megiddo. He says, "Now Neco, king of Egypt, raised an army and marched to the river Euphrates, in order to fight with the Medes and Babylonians, who had overthrown the dominions of the Assyrians, for he had a desire to reign over Asia." 1 Assyria had controlled much of the middle east. They had defeated the northern kingdom of the Hebrews and exiled their inhabitants in the cities of the Medes. Many of the exiled Hebrews developed into the Scythian nation. By 673 BC the Scythians were able to resist Assyrian rule, sometimes even holding their conquerors in subservience. In 616 BC the Medes and Babylonians revolted from the Assyrians. They besieged Nineveh, Assyria's capital in 614 BC. Scythia finally supported the revolution and was instrumental in the victory.
Neco, king of Egypt, attacked the trilateral alliance. Modern Jewish scholars maintain that his purpose was to aid the Assyrians, 2 but Josephus unequivocally states that it was to seize the territory Assyria had lost. Either way, he attacked the exiled Hebrews. Although Israel was exiled to northeastern Assyria, they had maintained their relationship with Judah. Josiah had even sent Jeremiah to persuade them to return to their former lands. 3 Some came and established a center at Beth-Shean. 4 Men from that city initially formed most of the Scythian army that helped defeat Nineveh. Since Scythia and Judah were brothers, Josiah came to their aid when Neco threatened them. While he lost his life in the battle, his allies were victorious. After the victory the Medes and Babylonians slew the Scythian leaders as the lie drunk in celebration. This meant that the Assyrian Empire was divided between two conquerors instead of three.
By calling the final battle of the world "Armageddon," John implies that the history of the conflict at Megiddo symbolizes this future event. Today descendants of the southern kingdom, Judah, live in the land of their forefathers. Descendants of the northern kingdom, Israel, live in northwestern Europe and the isles of the sea, including America. Since this land was given to Jacob and, in turn, passed on to Joseph and his descendants, they live in the land of their forefathers, too. Great Britain, America, and the nations of northwestern Europe have protected and aided the Jewish state.
Ezekiel prophesied that in the last days Gog, Magog, and their confederates will attack Israel. He said, "Thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars or gates, to take spoil, and to take a prey" (Ez 38:11-12). Many commentators think that Ezekiel is predicting an invasion of the Jewish state, Israel, but that nation does not fit the description given by him. It is not a land of unwalled villages. It is not at rest. Its citizens do not dwell safely. It is full of bars, barricades, gates, walls, and check-points. On the other hand, America has no walls about its towns, cities and villages. It is at rest. Its citizens dwell safely. It has no bars, barricades, gates, walls, or check-points. The midst of its land is full of goods and cattle (Ez 38:12).
Someday, events will cause Gog, Magag, and their confederates to attack America. The entire world will be filled with war. Like king Josiah, the modern Jewish state will try to help their Israelite brethren in the conflict. They will suffer great loss. Zechariah predicts, "In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon" (Zech 12:11). This mourning is caused by the appearance of the Savior. Armageddon will begin with the invasion of America, heighten as Israel fights the invaders in the middle-east, and end with the return of Jesus. Then, peace will be restored and the Anointed reign on earth.
The reign of the Anointed after Judah is cleansed is further foreshadowed by the death of Ahaziah. This Jewish king, who lived before Josiah, preferred the false religion Ahab was spreading in the northern kingdom. Elisha had anointed Jehu to cleanse the land. As Jehu attacked Ahab, he discovered Ahaziah who had come north to further his devotion to idolatry. Jehu ordered his men to pursue Ahaziah. He was wounded at Gur and died at Megiddo (2K 9:27). Jewish disbelief in Jesus as the Messiah will end at Armageddon. The righteous effort among descendants of the northern kingdom, particularly in America, to end the rise of paganism will prevail. Idolatry, disbelief, and invasion will end as Jesus returns to reign on earth.
1. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Bk 10, Ch 5:1.
2. Yair Davidy, The Tribes, p 30.
3. Ibid. p
4. Ibid. p 28.