posted on Oct, 7 2016 @ 05:02 PM
So why is the supreme battle in Revelation named after a battle which took place in 2 Kings?
The battle of Megiddo, the first of that name, was fought by King Josiah.
The most important point, here, is that Josiah was very much the Lord's king.
It was during his reign that the "book of the Law", frequently identified with Deuteronomy, was "discovered" by the priests of the Temple.
Josiah took steps to proclaim the Law, and to renew the nation's covenant with the Lord. He made a point of removing anything that might be
considered idolatrous from the territories under his control. He was the king who abolished the provincial altars of Yahweh, and centralized the
worship and the celebration of the Passover at Jerusalem.
"Before him, there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to the Law
of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him." - 2 Kings ch23 v25
But this achievement was thrown away in one moment of madness.
The Pharaoh Necho was on his way to fight great wars further to the north.
2 Chronicles says that he was “going to fight at Carchemish”, and the 2 Kings passage, in the AV, says that he was going up to “fight against”
the king of Assyria.
More modern translations omit the words “fight against”, because that translation gets the politics the wrong way round.
We learn from other sources that Necho was actually advancing to fight alongside the Assyrians, because the Assyrian empire was being destroyed
by a coalition of forces which included the Babylonians.
Josiah chose to intercept him, at Megiddo.
If Josiah was hostile to Assyrian supremacy, that does at least explain the political motivation in his attempt to block the passage of an Assyrian
It doesn’t explain what he was doing trying to fight this particular battle..
Megiddo has been the site of several battles in ancient history and even modern history, because it stands on the most convenient route for an army to
travel between Egypt and the top of the Fertile Crescent.
It is a natural place for opposing armies to meet.
But it is not a Pass of Thermopylae. It is not a place where a small army can hold off a much larger one.
Previous kings of Judah felt no shame about retreating behind city walls when Judah was invaded by the armies of great monarchs.
If Necho was simply passing through by the coastal route on his way north, then Josiah’s sensible course of action would have been to stay in the
hills, out of the way, keeping a careful watch, until the Egyptian expedition had passed through.
What on earth possessed him to take on a mighty army on his own, without any allies- and without instructions from God, or at least none that we know
Indeed Pharaoh himself was claiming (2 Chronicles ch34 v21) that Israel’s God wanted Josiah to let him through.(though we may doubt that he had any
real way of knowing this).
It does rather look rather like a repetition of Numbers ch14 vv40-45, when the Israelites went out to fight in defiance of the prohibition given
through Moses, and got thrashed.
Josiah was defeated and killed in this battle.
The ultimate sequel, and perhaps the consequence, was the destruction of his kingdom at the hands of the king of Babylon, a couple of decades
The immediate sequel was that one of his sons became king, briefly, before being deposed and taken away by Necho.
Under another son, the kingdom was tributary to Egypt, until the Babylonian king came up and took control.
Then two kings in succession decided to rebel against Babylon and that was enough to trigger the final disaster.
In what way might all this be the “consequence” of the battle?
Not so much, I think, because the battle weakened the strength of Judah.
Judah would never have been strong enough in any case to resist the overwhelming power of Babylon.
I believe the real effect of Megiddo was on the minds of the people of Judah and their sense of judgement.
The king of Babylon would have had no reason to destroy Jerusalem, if he had not been provoked by rebellion.
Josiah's children would not have rebelled against Babylon, if they had not been expecting support from the Egyptians.
And I suspect that the overwhelming defeat at Megiddo was one reason for their failure to grasp the realities of declining Egyptian power.
Unfortunately, their confidence in Egypt was misplaced. Rabshekah had once called Egypt a "broken reed", and he was right. The Egyptian army did
nothing effective to relieve the siege of Jerusalem, and the city fell to the Babylonians.
If the battle of Megiddo was partly responsible for the self-delusion which encouraged the rebellion, then it was also, indirectly, responsible for
the destruction of the Temple of Solomon.
The loss of Josiah was deeply mourned; the "laments" which were written around the event were still sung long afterwards - "to this day", as the
Chronicler puts it.
Much hope must have been invested in this king, by those who followed the Lord.
The disappointment of the battle would surely compare with the sense of loss of the disciples on the road to Emmaus; "We had hoped that he was the
one to redeem Israel".
In effect, the death of Josiah was the Good Friday of the Old Testament period.
I believe that the resemblance between Megiddo and Armageddon should be sought not in the location, but in the parallel between the two sets of
In the one corner, ladies and gentlemen, God's anointed king, the champion of God's people.
In the other corner, the power of oppression, as represented by the Egyptians, and by the "kings of the earth".
The first time this battle was fought, at Megiddo, the result was a catastrophe.
Therefore the same battle must be fought all over again, with Christ as the new champion, so that the result can be reversed.
It would symbolize, at the same time, the reversal of all the other apparent setbacks to God’s rule, from the Fall of man to the supremacy of the
Beast in its "war on the saints".
Armageddon signifies God resuming control of the world.
That “battle” is God having the Last Word.