Definition: The Greek Har Ma·ge·donʹ, taken from Hebrew and rendered “Armageddon” by many translators, means “Mountain of Megiddo,” or “Mountain of Assembly of Troops.” The Bible associates the name, not with a nuclear holocaust, but with the coming universal “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” (Rev. 16:14, 16) This name is applied specifically to “the place [Greek, toʹpon; that is, condition or situation]” to which earth’s political rulers are being gathered in opposition to Jehovah and his Kingdom by Jesus Christ. Such opposition will be shown by global action against Jehovah’s servants on earth, the visible representatives of God’s Kingdom.
Will humans be permitted by God to ruin the earth by what some call a “thermonuclear Armageddon”?
Ps. 96:10: “Jehovah himself has become king. The productive land [Hebrew, te·velʹ; the earth, as fertile and inhabited, the habitable globe] also becomes firmly established so that it cannot be made to totter.”
Ps. 37:29: “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.”
Rev. 11:18: “The nations became wrathful, and your own [Jehovah’s] wrath came, and the appointed time . . . to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”
What is Armageddon, as referred to in the Bible?
Rev. 16:14, 16: “They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty. And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Har–Magedon [Armageddon].”
Will Armageddon be fought only in the Middle East?
Rulers and armies of all nations will be assembled in opposition to God
Rev. 16:14: “They go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty.”
Rev. 19:19: “I saw the wild beast [human political rulership as a whole] and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage the war with the one seated on the horse and with his army.”
Jer. 25:33: “Those slain by Jehovah will certainly come to be in that day from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth.”
Use of the name Armageddon (Har–Magedon) cannot mean that the war will be fought at a literal Mountain of Megiddo
There is no literal Mountain of Megiddo; only a mound about 70 feet (21 m) high where ruins of ancient Megiddo are found.
The kings and military forces of “the entire inhabited earth” could not fit into the literal Plain of Esdraelon, below Megiddo. The plain is triangular, only 20 miles (32 km) long and 18 miles (29 km) wide at the eastern end.—The Geography of the Bible (New York, 1957), Denis Baly, p. 148.
The name is fitting because of Megiddo’s role in history; the plain below Megiddo was the site of decisive wars
Thutmose III, pharaoh of Egypt, said: “The capturing of Megiddo is the capturing of a thousand towns!”—Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (Princeton, N.J.; 1969), edited by James Pritchard, p. 237.
The reference to Megiddo (meaning “Assembly of Troops”) is appropriate because Armageddon is a world situation in which the troops and other supporters of the rulers of all nations will be involved.
Who or what will be destroyed at Armageddon?
Dan. 2:44: “The God of heaven will set up a kingdom . . . It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite.”
Rev. 19:17, 18: “I saw also an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice and said to all the birds that fly in midheaven: ‘Come here, be gathered together to the great evening meal of God, that you may eat the fleshy parts of kings and the fleshy parts of military commanders and the fleshy parts of strong men and the fleshy parts of horses and of those seated upon them, and the fleshy parts of all, of freemen as well as of slaves and of small ones and great.’”
1 John 2:16, 17: “Everything in the world—the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life—does not originate with the Father, but originates with the world. Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.”
Rev. 21:8: “As for the cowards and those without faith and those who are disgusting in their filth and murderers and fornicators and those practicing spiritism and idolaters and all the liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This means the second death.”
Will the destruction be forever?
Matt. 25:46: “These [who refused to do good to Christ’s “brothers”] will depart into everlasting cutting-off.”
2 Thess. 1:8, 9: “Those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus . . . will undergo the judicial punishment of everlasting destruction.”
Will there be survivors?
Zeph. 2:3: “Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, who have practiced His own judicial decision. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you may be concealed in the day of Jehovah’s anger.”
Rom. 10:13: “Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.”
Ps. 37:34: “Hope in Jehovah and keep his way, and he will exalt you to take possession of the earth. When the wicked ones are cut off, you will see it.”
John 3:16: “God . . . gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”
Rev. 7:9, 10, 14: “I saw, and, look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands. And they keep on crying with a loud voice, saying: ‘Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ . . . ‘These are the ones that come out of the great tribulation.’”
What will happen to young children at Armageddon?
The Bible does not directly answer that question, and we are not the judges. However, the Bible does show that God views the young children of true Christians as “holy.” (1 Cor. 7:14) It also reveals that in times past when God destroyed the wicked he likewise destroyed their little ones. (Num. 16:27, 32; Ezek. 9:6) God does not want anyone to be destroyed, so he is having a warning sounded now to benefit both parents and children. Would it not be wise for parents to pursue a course that would result in their children being looked on with favor by God both now and at Armageddon?
Is the love of God violated by destruction of the wicked?
2 Pet. 3:9: “Jehovah . . . is patient with you because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance.”
Luke 18:7, 8: “Shall not God cause justice to be done for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night, even though he is long-suffering toward them? I tell you, He will cause justice to be done to them speedily.”
2 Thess. 1:6: “It is righteous on God’s part to repay tribulation to those who make tribulation for you [his servants].”
Is it possible to take a neutral position?
2 Thess. 1:8: “He brings vengeance upon those who [by choice] do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus.”
Matt. 24:37-39: “Just as the days of Noah were . . . they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.”
Matt. 12:30: “He that is not on my side is against me, and he that does not gather with me scatters.”
Compare Deuteronomy 30:19, 20.
Whose influence is pushing the nations to the world situation that will result in war against God?
Rev. 16:13, 14: “I saw three unclean inspired expressions that looked like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan the Devil; Rev. 12:9] and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty.”