Is the Jezreel Valley the Stage for the Final Battle of Armageddon?
First, before we get into whether or not the Jezreel Valley is the location of the final battle of Armageddon, let’s introduce some of its history.
Jezreel Valley, also referred to as the heart of the promised land, is located in the North Central region of Israel. It’s beautiful plains are abundant in rich, fertile fields and winding roads surrounded by rolling mountains that offer spectacular views. From North to South is the lower Galilee and Samaria and to the West and East is Mount Carmel and Tiberias. From hiking to bird watching to archeological sites, this valley offers much when it comes to its history and visitor attractions. Home to some of the greatest farmlands, its central location was one of the most traveled through regions in centuries past, which meant that whomever was in control of the Jezreel was also in control of its trading.
Parallel to its nickname ‘heart of the promised land’ but opposite in its polarity is its other nickname, Valley of Armageddon. In the book of Revelation, a future battle is mentioned in the place of Armageddon. ( …and they assembled at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon Rev. 16:14-16) Note that Armageddon is actually a place, not an event like those in Hollywood have portrayed. In Hebrew, Armageddon means mountain and Megiddo, thus providing reference to the mountain or city of Megiddo. This definition has led many to believe that Megiddo is the location of the final battle of Armageddon.
The city of Megiddo flourished when King Omri was in reign but was later destroyed by Tiglath Pileser the Third. Today, Megiddo is an archaeological site. As far back as 1903, archaeologists have excavated twenty levels of discovered inhabitations, identifying it as the ancient Canaanite city. Nations that controlled the Jezreel Valley controlled Megiddo and because of its viewpoint they were able to keep a watchful eye on all traffic within the valley. Its geographical location brought in a constant source of trade making security of utmost importance.
Furthermore, when visiting the Jezreel Valley, you will find many modern facilities that speak of its long history. A tour into its ancient watering tunnels is a common stop for visitors. Here they can see first hand what would have been considered advanced technology in Canaanite times. The water systems in Megiddo were developed to enable those who dwelled in the city to draw water within the safety of its walls. Even if only one well was available outside the city, inhabitants could safely draw water from the inside. This once sophisticated and powerful city dates back as far as 9000 years.
Location of the Final Battle of Armageddon?
Some believe that John envisioned the city of Megiddo in the Jezreel Valley as the place where the worlds final battle known as Armageddon would take place. Others say that Megiddo is not the location of the final battle of Armageddon because they don’t consider it a mountain which the word Armageddon is partially defined as, and still others believe that Jerusalem is the location of the worlds final showdown. Wherever the location may be, we know that the Jezreel Valley was riddled with war and violence. At least thirty four battles have occurred in and around this region as recorded in the Bible and historical writings. It was here that King Josiah was killed by Pharaoh Neco and where the Crusaders fought four separate battles in the 12th century. Napoleon himself called the Jezreel Valley the most natural battleground of the whole earth.
In conclusion, it’s not something one can exactly predict as the Bible clearly states that He will come like a thief in the night, (1Thess. 5:2, Rev. 16:15) With this understanding we know that as much as we can be prepared, God is in control of His plans and when and where He will execute them.