What is Armageddon?

In the Book of Revelation, we read about a bowl of God’s wrath that will be one day poured out upon the enemies gathered to fight God’s people in the place called Armageddon. The verse explicitly states that while its name is spelled out in Greek, the word is actually Hebrew (Rev.16:16).

Magiddon as it is known in Zechariah 12:11 was once a Canaanite city southeast of Mount Carmel (modern Haifa). It was eventually conquered by Joshua (Joshua 12:21) and assigned as a territory of the tribe Manasseh (17:11), son of Joseph. Since then the valley has been a place of numerous military conflicts. Solomon’s cavalry stood stationed there, ready to be dispatched to defend Israel’s northern borders from invaders at any time. (Entire ancient Israel was a passage that connected the trade roads between Europe, Africa and Asia. Whoever controlled that region would have a powerful upper hand in economy. The word in Hebrew for a “road” is still connected with the root for “conquer”.)

The word Armageddon is two Hebrew words spelled in Greek (har and magido). First word is הר (pronounced har) means simply mountain/hill and second word מגידו (pronounced Magido) has an uncertain meaning, but the most-likely explanation is that it comes from the Hebrew root גדד (pronounced gadad), which carries a basic meaning of “invasion”.

The powerful Jewish imagery of Armageddon foreshadowed in Book of Revelation a time when Gentile kings of the world as represented by the first century Roman Empire would be solidly defeated by Israel’s God in his Jewish Christ. Through judgement of God the Great Roman Empire was soon to be no more.