Questions From Readers
● What is the “place that is called in Hebrew Har–Magedon” (Rev. 16:16), and how can it be said that Jehovah’s witnesses are assembled at that place now, and since when?—See The Watchtower as of November 1, 1956, page 671.
During the ancient kingdom of Israel, when it exercised its greatest dominion from the river Euphrates up north down to the torrent valley of Egypt to the south, there never was a place called Har–Magedon, nor has there been such a place there since. But a place used to exist called Megiddo, a city in the plain of Jezreel, to the southeast of Mount Carmel. The king of Megiddo was defeated by Joshua when Jehovah brought his people into the land of Canaan and miraculously aided them to take possession of the land. (Josh. 12:7, 21) However, there was no Mountain of Megiddo, which is what the Greek word Har–Magedon means. There was no such place literally even in the days of the apostle John when he received The Revelation. Evidently, then, the “place” is symbolic, but it draws some of its meaning from the name Magedon or Megiddo, together with all its associations down till John’s day.
At Megiddo Joshua battled and whipped its king. At the “waters of Megiddo” Judge Barak, accompanied by Deborah the prophetess, defeated the military forces of Sisera, King Jabin’s general. At Megiddo King Ahaziah of Judah, after being mortally wounded by Jehovah’s anointed king Jehu, died. At Megiddo Pharaoh Nechoh of Egypt battled with King Josiah and wounded him to death. (Judg. 5:19; 2 Ki. 9:27; 23:29, 30) Thus at Megiddo decisive battles were fought, and deaths of public importance were caused there. In Revelation 16:14, 16, therefore, Har–Magedon is suitably associated with a decisive battle of the future, “the war of the great day of God the Almighty,” and at this place there should then occur a great mortality affecting all the national governments of this world.
The three symbolic frogs, or the three inspired utterances that come out of the mouths of the Devil, his beastly governing agency on earth and the Anglo-American world power acting as a false prophet, gather the visible rulers of this earth and their armies to Har–Magedon. Why? Well, the kings or rulers are too practical to be gathered to a mere unoccupied place or battlefield, just for the march that it would take to get there, Rulers could be induced to go with their troops to a certain place or location only because there was an object of united attack for them. The kings or rulers know whom they are attacking; it is not something imaginary or symbolic. The worldly rulers are natural men and do not discern spiritual things. So they must have some visible, tangible enemies there to attack. Whom?
The name Megiddo means “rendezvous or assembly of troops.” Har–Magedon would consequently mean “the mount of the assembly of troops.” This explains why the armies of the “kings of the entire earth” move there. They march to attack the troops that are already assembled at Mount Megiddo. Megiddo used to be in the land of Jehovah’s chosen people. So the people or troops already assembled there must be the remnant of the anointed followers of Jesus Christ, in this time of the world’s end, for they are the object of hatred by all the nations of the world and are the target of their attack. (Matt. 24:9) They are engaged in a spiritual warfare as they advertise God’s kingdom, and are equipped with the complete suit of the armor from God. This is why all the nations and their rulers feel emboldened to attack them in order to stop their proclamation of God’s established kingdom. Jehovah’s remnant of spiritual Israel, the remnant of anointed footstep followers of Jesus Christ, are thus identified with Har–Magedon. They are really represented by Har–Magedon, the place, or the Mount of the Assembly of Troops. The place is not what is under attack; it is the people that are there on their own territory, Jehovah’s people. This is why the book Light, Volume 2, published in 1930, said:
“The fact that it is Satan and his unclean instruments that are doing the gathering of all the kings of the earth unto Armageddon clearly implies that the troops are Jehovah’s troops and that they are now already gathered into the mountain or hill. In the vision John [the apostle] saw Christ and the 144,000 assembled on Mount Zion. (Rev. 14:1) These are troops of the Lord. (Mic. 5:1) Armageddon therefore symbolically represents God’s mountain, that is to say, Mount Zion, his organization which he has built up and at which he appears; therefore Satan is directing all of his forces against God’s organization. It is against the Lord’s troops that Satan makes war; therefore saith the Lord, ‘Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops; he hath laid siege against us.’—Mic. 5:1. (See Watch Tower, 1928, p. 376 [¶33].)”—Page 56.
Satan the Devil had been cast out of heaven and down to this earth by the year 1918. It is after this event that he by his inspired utterances through his visible worldly agencies gathers all earthly kings and their armies to Har–Magedon, to attack those who preach the good news of God’s kingdom and who therefore stand for that established kingdom. Ever since Jehovah’s remnant of anointed witnesses were restored from their Babylonish captivity to their theocratic place in His ministry in 1919, they have been assembling to the place called Har–Magedon. The particular assembling of the remnant class continued on till 1931, in fulfillment of Matthew 24:31. By then a full remnant were gathered to Har–Magedon.
Because of the spiritual prosperity and expansion that they enjoy, all the nations yield to Satan’s influence to attack the remnant at Har–Magedon. Since 1931 the Kingdom message has gone forth in increasing volume, and due to this enlarged proclamation the Lord’s “other sheep” have been assembled to Har–Magedon to the side of the remnant, to become with them one flock under one Shepherd. (John 10:16) All nations resent having some of their citizens flock to the spiritual remnant at Har–Magedon. The nations readily submit to being gathered by the inspired utterances coming forth from Satan and his visible agencies. Those inspired utterances gather them to Har–Magedon. The purpose of the nations is to inflict at Har–Magedon a defeat upon the remnant and their companions, just as Pharaoh Nechoh of Egypt inflicted defeat on King Josiah of Judah.
However, the nations will be the ones to suffer the Armageddon defeat. Jehovah’s remnant and their companions will depart from that Mountain of Assembly of Troops to devote themselves to the peaceful arts of Christ’s thousand-year reign. They will then not have to fight “against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places.” Armageddon will reach its climax in the abyssing of those devils with their wicked machinations. (Eph. 6:12, 13; Rev. 20:1-3) Then the war footing or embattled position symbolized by Har–Magedon will pass away from Jehovah’s witnesses on earth.