Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 16:16

And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Armageddon;   Good and Evil;   Temple;   Wicked (People);   The Topic Concordance - Day of the Lord;   Gathering;   Israel/jews;   Nations;   War/weapons;   Wrath;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Armageddon;   Babylon;   Gog and Magog;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Megiddo;   Millennium;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Armageddon;   Dead Sea Scrolls;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Armageddon;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Josiah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Armageddon;   Babylon, Mystical;   Idol;   Jehoshaphat, Valley of;   Jezreel (1);   Josiah;   Megiddo;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Armageddon;   Esdraelon;   Har-Magedon;   Megiddo;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Esdraelon;   Har-Magedon;   Plagues of Egypt;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Angels;   Earthquake ;   Har-Magedon;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Armageddon ;   Jezreel ;   Vials;   Wars;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Armageddon;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Armaged'don;   Har'-Magedon;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Armageddon;   Gog and Magog;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Armageddon;   Esdraelon, Plain of;   Har-Magedon;   Hebrew;   Revelation of John:;   Tongue;   War;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Hebrew;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Armageddon - The original of this word has been variously formed, and variously translated. It is הר־מגדון har, "the mount of the assembly;" or גדהון חרמה chormah gedehon, "the destruction of their army;" or it is הר־מגדו har, "Mount Megiddo," the valley of which was remarkable for two great slaughters: one of the Israelites, 2 Kings 23:29, the other of the Canaanites, Judges 4:16; Judges 5:19. But Mount Megiddo, that is Carmel, is the place, according to some, where these armies should be collected.

But what is the battle of Armageddon? How ridiculous have been the conjectures of men relative to this point! Within the last twenty years this battle has been fought at various places, according to our purblind seers and self-inspired prophets! At one time it was Austerlitz, at another Moscow, at another Leipsic, and now Waterloo! And thus they have gone on, and will go on, confounding and being confounded.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And he gathered them together - Who gathered them? Prof. Stuart renders it “they gathered them together,” supposing that it refers to the “spirits” - πνέυματα pneumata- in Revelation 16:13, and that this is the construction of the neuter plural with a singular verb. So DeWette understands it. Hengstenberg supposes that it means that God gathered them together; others suppose that it was the sixth angel; others that it was Satan; others that it was the beast; and others that it was Christ. See Poole‘s Synopsis, in loco. The authority of DeWette and Prof. Stuart is sufficient to show that the construction which they adopt is authorized by the Greek, as indeed no one can doubt, and perhaps this accords better with the context than any other construction proposed. Thus, in Revelation 16:14, the spirits are represented as going forth into the whole world for the purpose of gathering the nations together to the great battle, and it is natural to suppose that the reference is to them here as having accomplished what they went forth to do. But who are to be gathered together? Evidently those who, in Revelation 16:14, are described by the word “them” - the “kings of the earth, and the whole world”; that is, there will be a state of things which would be well described by a universal gathering of forces in a central battlefield. It is by no means necessary to suppose that what is here represented will literally occur. There will be a mustering of spiritual forces; there will be a combination and a unity of opposition against the truth; there will be a rallying of the declining powers of paganism, Mohammedanism, and Romanism, as if the forces of the earth, marshalled by kings and rulers, were assembled in some great battlefield, where the destiny of the world was to be decided.

Into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon - The word “Armageddon” - Ἀρμαγεδδών Armageddōn- occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, and is not found in the Septuagint. It seems to be formed from the Hebrew הר מגדּו har MegidowHar Megiddo - Mountain of Megiddo. Compare 2 Chronicles 35:22, where it is said that Josiah “came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.” Megiddo was a town belonging to Manasseh, although within the limits of Issachar, Joshua 17:11. It had been originally one of the royal cities of the Canaanites Joshua 12:21, and was one of those of which the Israelites were unable for a long time to take possession. It was rebuilt and fortified by Solomon 1 Kings 9:15, and thither Ahaziah king of Judah fled when wounded by Jehu, and died there, 2 Kings 9:27. It was here that Deborah and Barak destroyed Sisera and his host Judges 5:19; and it was in a battle near this that Josiah was slain by Pharaoh-Necho, 2 Kings 23:29-30; 2 Chronicles 35:20-25.

From the great mourning held for his loss, it became proverbial to speak of any grievous mourning as being “like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon,” Zechariah 12:11. It has not been found easy to identify the place, but recent searches have made it probable that the vale or plain of Megiddo comprehended, if it was not wholly composed of, the prolongation of the plain of Esdraelon, toward Mount Carmel; that the city of Megiddo was situated there; and that the waters of Megiddo, mentioned in Judges 5:19, are identical with the stream Kishon in that part of its course. See Biblical Repository, vol. 1, pp. 602,603. It is supposed that the modern town called Lejjun occupies the site of the ancient Megiddo (Robinson‘s Biblical Researches, vol. 3, pp. 177-180). Megiddo was distinguished for being the place of the decisive conflict between Deborah and Sisera, and of the battle in which Josiah was slain by the Egyptian invaders; and hence it became emblematic of any decisive battlefield - just as Marathon, Leuctra, Arbela, or Waterloo is.

The word “mountain,” in the term Armageddon - “Mountain of Megiddo” - seems to have been used because Megiddo was in a mountainous region, though the battles were fought in a valley adjacent. The meaning here is, that there would be, as it were, a decisive battle which would determine the question of the prevalence of true religion on the earth. What we are to expect as the fulfillment of this would seem to be, that there will be some mustering of strength - some rallying of forces” - some opposition made to the kingdom of God in the gospel, by the powers here referred to, which would be decisive in its character, and which would be well represented by the battles between the people of God and their foes in the conflicts in the valley of Megiddo.

As this constitutes, according to the course of the exposition by which we have been conducted, an important division in the Book of Revelation, it may be proper to pause here and make a few remarks. The previous parts of the book, according to the interpretation proposed, relate to the past, and thus far we have found such a correspondence between the predictions and facts which have occurred as to lead us to suppose that these predictions have been fulfilled. At this point, I suppose, we enter on that part which remains yet to be fulfilled, and the investigation must carry us into the dark and unknown future. The remaining portion comprises a very general sketch of things down to the end of time, as the previous portion has touched on the great events pertaining to the church and its progress for a period of more than one thousand eight hundred years. A few general remarks, therefore, seem not inappropriate at this point:

(a) In the previous interpretations, we have had the facts of history by which to test the accuracy of the interpretation. The plan pursued has been, first, to investigate the meaning of the words and symbols, entirely independent of any supposed application, and then to inquire whether there have been any facts that may be regarded as corresponding with the meaning of the words and symbols as explained. Of this method of testing the accuracy of the exposition, we must now take our leave. Our sole reliance must be in the exposition itself, and our work must be limited to that.

(b) It is always difficult to interpret a prophecy. The language of prophecy is often apparently enigmatical; the symbols are sometimes obscure; and prophecies relating to the same subject are often in detached fragments, uttered by different perseus at different times; and it is necessary to collect and arrange them, in order to have a full view of the one subject. Thus the prophecies respecting the Messiah were many of them obscure, and indeed apparently contradictory, before he came; they were uttered at distant intervals, and by different prophets; at one time one trait of his character was dwelt upon, and at another another; and it was difficult to combine these so as to have an accurate view of what he would be, until he came. The result has shown what the meaning of the prophecies was; and at the same time has demonstrated that there was entire consistency in the various predictions, and that to one who could have comprehended all, it would have been possible to combine them so as to have had a correct view of the Messiah, and of his work, even before he came. The same remark is still more applicable to the predictions in the Book of Revelation, or to the similar predictions in the book of Daniel, and to many portions of Isaiah. It is easy to see how difficult it would have been, or rather how impossible by any human powers, to have applied these prophecies in detail before the events occurred; and yet, now that they have occurred, it may be seen that the symbols were the happiest that could have been chosen, and the only ones that could with propriety have been selected to describe the remarkable events which were to take place in future times.

(c) The same thing we may presume to be the case in regard to events which are to occur. We may expect to find:

(1)language and symbols that are, in themselves, capable of clear interpretation as to their proper meaning;

(2)the events of the future so sketched out by that language, and by those symbols, that we may obtain a general view that will be accurate; and yet.

(3)an entire impossibility of filling up beforehand the minute details.

In regard, then, to the application of the particular portion now before us, Revelation 16:12-16, the following remarks may be made:

(1) The Turkish power, especially since its conquest of Constantinople under Muhammed II. in 1453, and its establishment in Europe, has been a grand hindrance to the spread of the gospel. It has occupied a central position; it has possessed some of the richest parts of the world; it has, in general, excluded all efforts to spread the pure gospel within its limits; and its whole influence has been opposed to the spread of pure Christianity. Compare the notes on Revelation 9:14-21. “By its laws it was death to a Mussulman to apostatize from his faith, and become a Christian; and examples, not a few, have occurred in recent times to illustrate it.” It was not until quite recently, and that under the influence of missionaries in Constantinople, that evangelical Christianity has been tolerated in the Turkish dominions.

(2) the prophecy before us implies that there would be a decline of that formidable power - represented by the “drying up of the great river Euphrates.” See the notes on Revelation 16:12. And no one can be insensible to the fact that events are occurring which would be properly represented by such a symbol; or that there is, in fact, now such a decline of that Turkish power, and that the beginning of that decline closely followed, in regard to time, if not in regard to the cause, the events which it is supposed were designated by the previous vials - those connected with the successive blows on the papacy and the seat of the beast. In reference, then, to the decline of that power, we may refer to the following things:

(a) The first great cause was internal revolt and insurrection. In 1820 Ali Pasha asserted his independence, and by his revolt precipitated the Greek insurrection which had been a long time secretly preparing - an insurrection so disastrous to the Turkish power.

(b) The Greek insurrection followed. This soon spread to the Aegean isles, and to the districts of Northern Greece, Epirus, and Thessaly; while at the same time the standard of revolt was raised in Wallachia and Moldavia. The progress and issue of that insurrection are well known. A Turcoman army of 30,000 that entered the Morea to reconquer it was destroyed in 1823 in detail, and the freedom of the peninsula was nearly completed by the insurgents. By sea the Greeks emulated their ancestors of Salamis and Mycale; and, attended with almost uniform success, encountered and vanquished the superior Turkish and Egyptian fleets. Meanwhile the sympathies of Western Christendom were awakened in behalf of their brother Christians struggling for independence; and just when the tide of success began to turn, and the Morea was again nearly subjected by Ibrahim Pasha, the united fleets of England, France, and Russia (in contravention of all their usual principles of policy) interposed in their favor; attacked and destroyed the Turco-Egyptian fleets in the battle of Navarino (September, 1827), and thus secured the independence of Greece. Nothing had ever occurred that tended so much to weaken the power of the Turkish empire.

(c) The rebellion of the great Egyptian pasha, Mehemet Ali, soon followed. The French invasion of Egypt had prepared him for it, by having taught him the superiority of European discipline, and thus this event was one of the proper results of those described under the first four vials. Mehemet Ali, through Ibrahim, attacked and conquered Syria; defeated the sultan‘s armies sent against him in the great battles of Hems, of Nezib, and of Iconium; and, but for the intervention of the European powers of England, Russia, Prussia, and Austria, by which he was driven out of Syria, and forced hack to his proper pashalic, Egypt, he would probably have advanced to Constantinople and subdued it.

(d) There has been for centuries a gradual weakening of the Turkish power. It has done nothing to extend its empire by arms. It has been resting in inglorious ease, and, in the meantime, its wealth and its strength have been gradually decreasing. It has lost Moldavia, Wallachia, Greece, Algiers, and, practically, Egypt; and is doing nothing to recruit its wasted and exhausted strength. Russia only waits for a favorable opportunity to strike the last blow on that enfeebled power, and to put an end to it forever.

(e) The general condition of the Turkish empire is thus described by Mr. Walsh, chaplain to the British ambassador to Constantinople: “The circumstances most striking to a traveler passing through Turkey is its depopulation. Ruins where villages had been built, and fallows where land had been cultivated, are frequently seen with no living thing near them. This effect is not so visible in larger towns, though the cause is known to operate there in a still greater degree. Within the last twenty years, Constantinople has lost more than half its population. Two conflagrations happened while I was in Constantinople, and destroyed fifteen thousand houses. The Russian and Greek wars were a constant drain on the janizaries of the capital; the silent operation of the plague is continually active, though not always alarming; it will be no exaggeration to say that, within the period mentioned, from three to four hundred thousand persons have been swept away in one city in Europe by causes which were not operating in any other - “conflagration, pestilence, and civil commotion.”

The Turks, though naturally of a robust and vigorous constitution, addict themselves to such habits as are very unfavorable to population - the births do little more than exceed the ordinary deaths, and cannot supply the waste of casualties. The surrounding country is, therefore, continually drained to supply this waste in the capital, which, nevertheless, exhibits districts nearly depopulated. We see every day life going out in the fairest portion of Europe; and the human race threatened with extinction in a soil and climate capable of supporting the most abundant population” (Walsh‘s Narrative, pp. 22-26, as quoted in Bush on the Millennium, 243,244). The probability now is, that this gradual decay will be continued; that the Turkish power will more and more diminish; that one portion after another will set up for independence; and that, by a gradual process of decline, this power will become practically extinct, and what is here symbolized by the “drying up of the great river Euphrates” will have been accomplished.

(3) this obstacle removed, we may look for a general turning of the princes, and rulers, and people of the Eastern world to Christianity, represented Revelation 16:12 by its being said that “the way of the kings of the East might be prepared.” See the notes on that verse. It is clear that nothing would be more likely to contribute to this, or to prepare the way for it, than the removal of that Turcoman dominion which for more than four hundred years has been an effectual barrier to the diffusion of the gospel in the lands where it has prevailed. How rapidly, we may suppose, the gospel would spread in the East, if all the obstacles thrown in its way by the Turkish power were at once removed!

(4) in accordance with the interpretation suggested on Revelation 16:13-14, we may look for something that would be well represented by a combined effort on the part of paganism, Mohammedanism, and Romanism, to stay the progress and prevent the spread of evangelical religion. That is, according to the fair interpretation of the passage, we should look for some simultaneous movement as if their influence was to be about to cease, and as if it were necessary to arouse all their energies for a last and desperate struggle. It may be added that, in itself, nothing would be more probable than this; but when it will occur, and what form the aroused enemy will assume, it would be vain to conjecture.

(5) and in accordance with the interpretation suggested on Revelation 16:15, we are to suppose that something will occur which would be well represented by the decisive conflicts in the valley of Megiddo; that is, something that will determine the ascendency of true religion in the world, as if these great powers of paganism, Mohammedanism, and Romanism should stake all their interests on the issue of a single battle. It is not necessary to suppose that this will literally occur, and there are no certain intimations as to the time when what is represented will happen; but all that is meant may be, that events will take place which would be well represented by such a conflict. Still, nothing in the prophecy prevents the supposition that these combined powers may be overthrown in some fierce conflict with Christian powers.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And they gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew [Har-Magedon].

ARMAGEDDON

Note that there is no "battle" of any kind mentioned here. "Not a word is said about the Lord God's army."[45] Why should Almighty God need an army? "There is no such place as Har-Magedon. The name is symbolic. It signifies a conflict, not carnal, but a spiritual conflict."[46] Beckwith's comment on this, described by Strauss as "the best anywhere,"[47] states that "the name is unquestionably purely mystical, an imaginary name."[48] "John means the place of the final struggle between the powers of evil and the kingdom of God."[49] And where is any such place if it is not in the hearts of people?

The entire unscriptural concept of the so-called "Battle of Armageddon" as some kind of a super-colossal showdown on some earthly battlefield is totally illogical, and contrary to the whole teaching of Christ. Even writers who generally maintain their spiritual understanding of this prophecy have a tendency to "go literal" here. Why? Could it ever be supposed that the Almighty God will fight a literal battle on earth? Remember who God is. He needs no army.

Respect for the general opinions on this by many sincere people suggests that we list some of the places which have been suggested as the site of this battle:

The battle is to take place in Rome.[50] All the armies and leaders are gathered in Palestine.[51] It is every battle when need is greatest, and the Lord suddenly reveals his power, as when Sennacherib was slain.[52] It will be on the greatest natural battlefield in the world, in the valley of Jehoshaphat to the north of Palestine among the hills of Megiddo.[53] Etc., etc.

It is difficult to understand how such a literal earthly battle could decide either the victory or the defeat of righteousness. Even if such a battle were to take place, how could the place of a literal battle make any difference? Eller, with his usual humor, suggested that, "Some might like to know just where it is to take place in order to be able to sell tickets!"[54] No actual place of this name is known, and the term is surely symbolical."[55] "If one expects this to be a literal, material battle, he must expect Satan's army to be headed by a committee of three frogs! Both figures are symbolical; neither is literal."[56] This battle is between the truth in Christ and the evil propaganda of Satan, and the truth of Christ will win.

There is no waving of banners, no prancing of horses' hoofs; the warfare is spiritual, so there is in sight no camp, no foe. It is a conflict that arises out of various opinions and diverse principles. It is a war of principles and of morals.[57]

Har-Magedon ... is the way this word appears in our ASV; and it seems to be associated with the plain of Esdraelon in Israel."[58] "There Israel achieved some of her greatest victories and suffered some serious defeats."[59] It may not, therefore, be associated with either victory or defeat. Perhaps it suggests "the place of decision." That place, of course, is in the hearts of men, of every man, of all people.

[45] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 479.

[46] Frank L. Cox, Revelation in 26 Lessons (Nashville: The Gospel Advocate Company, 1956), p. 97.

[47] James D. Strauss, op cit., p. 266.

[48] Isbon T. Beckwith, op. cit., p. 685.

[49] George Eldon Ladd, A Commentary on the Revelation of John (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1972), p. 216.

[50] J. W. Roberts, The Revelation of John (Austin, Texas: The R. B. Sweet Company, 1974), p. 131.

[51] W. A. Criswell, op. cit., p. 176.

[52] William Hendriksen, op. cit., p. 196.

[53] M. R. DeHaan, M.D., Revelation (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1946), p. 211.

[54] Vernard Eller, op. cit., p. 151.

[55] Leon Morris, op. cit., p. 199.

[56] Ray Summers, op. cit., p. 189.

[57] W. Boyd Carpenter, op. cit., p. 609.

[58] W. B. West, Article, Armageddon, in Gospel Advocate (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1978), February 23, p. 113.

[59] Ibid.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he gathered them together,.... Or rather "they gathered them together", as the Syriac version renders it; for though the verb is singular, a noun plural goes before it, as in Revelation 16:14 and the same spirits that are there said to go forth, to gather the kings gether, these will gather them together; will persuade the Papal, Pagan, and Mahometan powers, the remains of them in the several parts of the world, to join together, and make one effort for the reviving of their declining, and almost ruined interests: for which purpose they will be brought together,

into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon; which may be the same with Har-megiddo, the mountain of Megiddo; for the Hebrew word הר is read "Ar" by the Greeks; so the city Argarize is interpreted the mountain of the most HighF4Euseb, Prepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 17. p. 419. : and this refers either to the slaying of Josiah in the valley of Megiddo, which occasioned such mourning, that it became proverbial for any great sorrow; see 2 Chronicles 35:22 where it is called the valley of Megiddon; or rather to the slaughter of Sisera's army at the waters of Megiddo, by Barak, Judges 5:19 suggesting that the same would be the fate of these united powers. Some derive the word from גדהון and חרמא, which signify "the destruction of their troops", or "armies"; and so designs not any place, that has been or is, but which will be so called from the issue of this battle; and since it is an Hebrew name that will be given it, it may lead us to conclude it will be somewhere in Judea, and very likely no other than the valley of Jehoshaphat, where all nations will be gathered; and which is called the valley of decision, where will be the day of the Lord, and multitudes will be slain, Joel 3:2 though the name will suit any place where there will be a defeat of these enemies; but this vial only brings them together; the utter destruction of them is reserved for the next.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-16.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

19 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue 20 Armageddon.

(19) Namely the angel, who according to the commandment of God, was to do sacrifice: nonetheless that those impure spirits do the same wickedly, as servants not to God, but to the beast that has seven heads.

(20) That is, (to say nothing of other expositions) the mountain itself, or mountain places of Megiddon. Now it is certain by the Holy Scripture, that Megiddon is a city and territory in the tribe of Manasseh, bordering on Issachar and Asher, and was made famous by the lamentable overthrow of king Josias; (2 Chronicles 35:22) ; (Zechariah 12:11). In this mountain country God says by figure or type that the kings of the people who serve the beast shall meet together; because the Gentiles did always cast that lamentable overthrow in the teeth of the Church of the Jews, to their great reproach and therefore were persuaded that that place should be most fortunate to them (as they speak) and unfortunate to the godly. But God here pronounces, that that reproach of the Church and confidence of the ungodly, shall by himself be taken away, in the same place where the nations persuaded themselves, they should mightily exult and triumph against God and his Church.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-16.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

he — rather, “they (the three unclean spirits) gathered them together.” If English Version be retained, “He” will refer to God who gives them over to the delusion of the three unclean spirits; or else the sixth angel (Revelation 16:12).

ArmageddonHebrew, “{(Har},” a mountain, and “Megiddo” in Manasseh in Galilee, the scene of the overthrow of the Canaanite kings by God‘s miraculous interposition under Deborah and Barak; the same as the great plain of Esdraelon. Josiah, too, as the ally of Babylon, was defeated and slain at Megiddo; and the mourning of the Jews at the time just before God shall interpose for them against all the nations confederate against Jerusalem, is compared to the mourning for Josiah at Megiddo. Megiddo comes from a root, {gadad}, “cut off,” and means slaughter.) Compare Joel 3:2, Joel 3:12, Joel 3:14, where “the valley of Jehoshaphat” (meaning in Hebrew, “judgment of God”) is mentioned as the scene of God‘s final vengeance on the God-opposing foe. Probably some great plain, antitypical to the valleys of Megiddo and Jehoshaphat, will be the scene.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-16.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

They gathered (συνηγαγενsunēgagen). Second aorist active indicative of συναγωsunagō singular (the three unclean spirits), like εκπορευεταιekporeuetai in Revelation 16:14.

Har-Magedon (αρΜαγεδωνHaṙMagedōn). John proceeds now after the interruption in Revelation 16:15. Perhaps “the mountains of Megiddo” though not certain. Megiddo is in the valley of Esdraelon, and by the waters of Megiddo (the Kishon) Israel gained a decisive victory over Sisera (Judges 5:19), celebrated in Deborah‘s song. See also Revelation 20:8. and Ezekiel 39:2, Ezekiel 39:4.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-16.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Armageddon

The proper Greek form Ἃρ Μαγεδών . The word is compounded of the Hebrew Har mountain, and Megiddon or Megiddothe mountain of Megiddo. On Megiddo standing alone see Judges 1:27; 1 Kings 4:12; 1 Kings 9:15; 2 Kings 9:27. See also Judges 5:19; Zechariah 12:11; 2 Chronicles 35:22; 2 Kings 23:30. “Bounded as it is by the hills of Palestine on both north and south, it would naturally become the arena of war between the lowlanders who trusted in their chariots, and the Israelite highlanders of the neighboring heights. To this cause mainly it owes its celebrity, as the battle-field of the world, which has, through its adoption into the language of Revelation, passed into an universal proverb. If that mysterious book proceeded from the hand of a Galilean fisherman, it is the more easy to understand why, with the scene of those many battles constantly before him, he should have drawn the figurative name of the final conflict between the hosts of good and evil, from the 'place which is called in the Hebrew tongue Harmagedon'” (Stanley, “Sinai and Palestine”).

Megiddo was in the plain of Esdraelon, “which has been a chosen place for encampment in every contest carried on in Palestine from the days of Nabuchodonozor king of Assyria, unto the disastrous march of Napoleon Buonaparte from Egypt into Syria. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Christian crusaders, and anti Christian Frenchmen; Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors of every nation that is under heaven, have pitched their tents on the plain of Esdraelon, and have beheld the banners of their nation wet with the dews of Tabor and Hermon” (“Clarke's Travels,” cit. by Lee). See Thomson's “Land and Book” (Central Palestine and Phoenicia), p. 208 sqq.; and Stanley, “Sinai and Palestine,” ch. ix.

Two great slaughters at Megiddo are mentioned in the Old Testament; the first celebrated in the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:19), and the second, that in which king Josiah fell (2 Kings 23:29). Both these may have been present to the seer's mind; but the allusion is not to any particular place or event. “The word, like Euphrates, is the expression of an idea; the idea that swift and overwhelming destruction shall overtake all who gather themselves together against the Lord” (Milligan).

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-16.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

And they gathered them together to Armageddon — Mageddon, or Megiddo, is frequently mentioned in the Old Testament. Armageddon signifies the city or the mountain of Megiddo; to which the valley of Megiddo adjoined. This was a place well known in ancient times for many memorable occurrences; in particular, the slaughter of the kings of Canaan, related, Judges 5:19. Here the narrative breaks off. It is resumed, Revelation 19:19.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-16.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Armageddon. The meaning of this name is not understood, although various conjectural explanations of it have been attempted.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-16.html. 1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Armageddon

i.e. Mount of Slaughter.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 16:16". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-16.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Ver. 16. And he gathered] God hath an overruling hand in that which the frogs of Rome do at the courts of kings, and ordereth the disorders of the world to his own glory.

Called in the Hebrew Armageddon] That is, they shall receive such a famous foil, such as Sisera did at the waters of Megiddo, 5:19.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-16.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

He, that is, Almighty God, by his permissive providence suffered the kings of the earth to hearken to antichrist's missionaries, who, like frogs, hop abroad even into kings' palaces, and persuade them to assemble and gather together, as Jabin and Sisera gathered together against Israel, to their own destruction: and whereas the place of their gathering together is called Armageddon, this is so named from the event of the battle; signifying such a place where the enemies of the church shall be destroyed.

Learn hence, That the event and success of that battle, which the adherents of antichrist shall fight for him, will be desperate destruction to themselves, joyful victories and triumphs to the churches of Christ.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-16.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 16:16. καὶ συνηγαγεν, and he gathered them together) We cannot here suppose that a singular verb is used for a plural (as the Syrian Version expresses it), because the neuter noun πνεύματα. precedes by so long an interval, Revelation 16:13-14; and in Revelation 16:14 itself, the plural verb εἰσὶ is used. Who was it therefore that gathered together the kings? The sixth angel. Throughout the whole of this chapter, the noun angel is often understood. Without inconvenience this verse is connected by a leap with Revelation 16:12. See Franc. Junius and E. Schmid.— ἀρμαγεδὼν) Thus many MSS.;(184) but some few, ΄αγεδὼν, which is also the reading of the Alex. MS. in 2 Chronicles 35:22, ἐν τῷ πεδίῳ ΄αγεδών. Magedon or Megiddo was a city, of which there is frequent mention in the books of the Old Testament. The copyists, as it appears, had reference to these passages, who took away the first syllable from the word ἀρμαγεδὼν in the Apocalypse: but on account of this very syllable, in particular, the word ἑβραϊστὶ appears to be used. Armagedon signifies either ער, the city Megiddo, as Hiller teaches in Syntagmatis, p. 229, or הר, the mountain Megiddo. for where there is בקעה, a valley, as the valley of Megiddo, 2 Chronicles 35:22, there is also a mountain. We do not equally inquire, whence Megiddo itself is derived; for it is used as the proper name of a place in Palestine, very well known, on account of the great occurrences which had there taken place in ancient times. Nor, in a word, is it mentioned with this allusion on account of the mournful slaughter of Josiah, but on account of the slaughter of the Canaanite kings: Judges 5:19.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-16.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Either the devil brought them together, or God by his providence ordered that they should be gathered together, into the place where God designed to destroy them and their armies, for so the word

Armageddon signifieth, say some; but others make it to signify the mountain of the gospel, or the mountain of apples, or fruits; but the first etymology in this place seems best. The word doth not signify any particular place; but here is an allusion, as some think, to that Megiddo, mentioned Jude 5:19, where Barak overcame Sisera with his great army, and where Josiah was slain, 2 Kings 23:30. Of the issue of this last battle with the enemies of the church of Christ we shall read more, Revelation 19:1-21.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-16.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Армагеддон Еврейское название горы Мегиддо (Хар-Мегиддо), которая находится в 60 милях (96 км) к северу от Иерусалима. Сражение развернется на близлежащих равнинах. Это место победы Варака над Ханааном (Суд. 4) и победы Гедеона над Мадианитянами (Суд. 7). Наполеон назвал эту долину величайшим полем сражения, которое он когда-либо видел. Но сражение произойдет не только на равнине Мегиддо, оно развернется по всей Палестине (см. пояснение к 14:20).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-16.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

He gathered them; or, as the idiom of the original Greek admits, they gathered them; the three unclean spirits, namely, "which go forth"-the verb in the original is here also singular-"unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them," verse Revelation 16:14.

Armageddon; that is, the mount of Megiddo. The Hebrew word Megiddo seems to mean a place of troops. Megiddo was celebrated as the place of two memorable overthrows: that of the kings who oppressed Israel, Judges 5:19; and that of Josiah and his army, 2 Chronicles 35:22-24 Zechariah 12:11. Hence Armageddon, like "the valley of decision," Joel 3:14, is a symbolic name for a place of great slaughter. Compare Revelation 19:17-21.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

(3) The gathering forces of Armageddon--16:16. The outpouring of the seventh vial into the air, verses sixteen and seventeen symbolized the sphere of life and influence in contradistinction with the earth as the place of nations, and with the heaven, which denoted the ruling authorities.

In this context the great battle of Armageddon was envisioned : And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. The name Armageddon was derived from mount Megiddo, which was located in a valley now known as the plain of Esdraelon. It was the battlefield of nations in Jewish history. It was in this valley of Megiddo that Deborah and Barak overthrew Sisera and annihilated the hosts of Midianite oppressors. (Judges 5:19) It was in "this valley of Jehoshaphat" where he triumphed over the ambushments of the combined armies of Ammon and Moab and "the fear of the Lord was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the Lord fought against the enemies of Israel." (2 Chronicles 20:22-30) In this valley (designated in later history as the plain of Esdraelon) the Jews and the Saracens and the Egyptians, the Druses and the Turks and the warriors of many hostile nations, pitched their battles; and thus the battlefield of mount Megiddo became a universal proverb.

Under the word Armageddon, the original Bible Dictionary of Philip Schaff states that it was "a name used figuratively in Revelation 16:16, and suggested by the great battlefield noted in the Old Testament and now known as the Plain of Esdraelon." This figure in the text of the apocalypse was employed not for the physical location but for the battle imagery. The deepest affliction of Jerusalem could be symbolized in no stronger terms of mourning, as prophesied by Zechariah in chapter 12:11: "In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon."

The personage designated Gog in connection with this battle imagery, was the king of a country that sustained relations of hostility to Israel. The names Gog and Magog were used identically and are associated in chapter 20:7-9 as a type of the enemies of Christ. It becomes evident that the symbolic adaptation of Armageddon rises above the physical slaughter that overwhelmed Jerusalem and Judah to the hostile forces of evil surrounding the church, personified as Gog and Magog. It was therefore symbolic of the battle against Christianity--the forces of Judaism on the one side and of heathenism on the other. But the Rider of the white horse was the Conqueror; the Son of man appearing on the white cloud was the Victor; the saints robed in white garments were the Overcomers; in all of the symbols and imagery of the visions and in surviving the persecutions, the church emerged in victory to make the kingdoms of this world (chapter 11:15) become the kingdoms of the Lord and his Christ by the universal sway of the gospel.

This is consistent with the repeated emphasis of the early chapters of the apocalypse in the letters addressed to the seven churches, that the period through which they were passing was the tribulation era of the church.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-16.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

"And" (Gr. kai) resumes the exposition of the sixth bowl judgment from Revelation 16:14. The demons will assemble the kings of the earth and their armies. They will go to what in Hebrew is called "Har-Magedon" (lit. mountain of Megiddo, Megiddo meaning either "place of troops" or "place of slaughter"). John was writing to Greek-speaking readers who were generally unfamiliar with Palestinian geography (cf. Revelation 9:11).

This mountain may refer to the small hill on the south-central edge of the Jezreel (Esdraelon) Valley in northern Palestine on which the town of Megiddo stood. Alternatively, "Har-Magedon" may refer to the mountain closest to Megiddo, namely, Mt. Carmel. There God humiliated the host of prophets of Baal who gathered to oppose Him in Elijah"s day (cf. 1 Kings 18:16-40). God and Elijah slaughtered them in the Valley of Jezreel. Mt. Tabor is another prominent hill (1,850 feet high) at the east end of this valley. Some believe it is the mountain in view here. [Note: Newell, p260.] Probably Har-Magedon refers to the hill country surrounding Megiddo that includes all the mountains that border the approximately14by20-mile Valley of Jezreel. Earlier Deborah and Barak had defeated the Canaanites in this valley ( Judges 4-5), and Gideon had routed the Midianites ( Judges 7). King Josiah also died there when he opposed Pharaoh Neco ( 2 Chronicles 35:22-23).

"The plain of Megiddo is admittedly not large enough to contain armies from all over the world, so this must be the assembly area for a much larger deployment that covers a two hundred mile distance from north to south and the width of Palestine from east to west (cf. Revelation 14:20). Some decisive battles against this massive force will probably occur around Jerusalem ( Zechariah 14:1-3)." [Note: Thomas, Revelation 8-22, pp270-71. Cf. Walvoord, The Revelation . . ., pp238-39; and William Sanford Lasor, The Truth about Armageddon, p146.]

Ironically, the first battle in the history of military warfare took place at Megiddo, and the last one will take place there too. Less literal views see the name standing for an event rather than any single locality. [Note: E.g, Beasley-Murray, p246.] Some see it as representing the entire world. [Note: E.g, Beale, p838.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-16.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 16:16. And they gathered them together into the place which is called in the Hebrew tongue Har-Magedon. The ‘they’ spoken of in these words refers to neither God nor the angel, but to the unclean spirits of Revelation 16:14. These spirits had gone forth to gather together all who had submitted themselves to the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. They now accomplish their mission, but the conflict does not yet take place. The spot where the hosts assemble is mentioned only by anticipation. The battle itself is that of chap. Revelation 19:19-21.

By the mention made of the fact that the name of the place is in the Hebrew tongue Har-Magedon, we are invited to think of the meaning of that compound term, and of the associations connected with it. There can be no doubt as to the composition of the word,—Har, a mountain, and Magedon, or Megiddon, or Megiddo, the name of an extensive place in the north of Palestine which has been in all ages the battlefield of the Holy Land, and derived from the Hebrew verb signifying to destroy; so that, apart from any particular associations, the simple meaning of the word is ‘the mountain of destruction.’ In addition to this, however, we have to recall to mind two great slaughters at Megiddo mentioned in the Old Testament. The first is that celebrated in the Song of Deborah and Barak ( 5:19), and again alluded to in Psalms 83:9. The second is that in which King Josiah fell (2 Kings 23:29), a fall which produced the striking lamentation described in 2 Chronicles 35:25, and which is afterwards referred to by the prophet Zechariah (chap. Revelation 12:11). It is not easy to say which of these two slaughters is most probably present to the mind of St. John in the words before us. In one respect the first may seem most suitable, because there the enemies of Israel were completely overthrown. In another the second appears to be the more appropriate, owing not only to the fact that the mourning is recorded with so much pathos in 2 Chron., but that it becomes in Zechariah the type of mourning on that day when the Lord ‘will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem’ (chap. Revelation 12:9). There is no improbability in the supposition that both slaughters may be in the mind of the Seer; and it is at least evident that Megiddo was a name associated with the thought of the sudden and terrible defeat of the enemies of God. In this sense then the word Har-Magedon is to be understood. No particular place either in Palestine or elsewhere is pointed at; nor is any particular event referred to. The word, like Euphrates, is the expression of an idea,the idea that swift and overwhelming destruction shall overtake all who gather themselves together against the Lord. In Joel 3:2 we have a similar use of the name ‘Jehoshaphat.’ The meaning of Jehoshaphat is ‘God judges;’ and, when the heathen are summoned to that valley, they are really summoned to meet God in judgment.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-16.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Armagedon. That is, the hill of robbers. (Challoner)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-16.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

"Armageddon," or Har-Magedon, means Mount of Megiddo. The city of Megiddo sat on a hill and this may be the place intended, but it is nowhere else called Mount of Megiddo in the Bible. The Bible speaks of Megiddo which "was at the Wadi Ara, guarding Aruna Pass, a vital connection between Africa and Asia," according to McCord. Joshua slaughtered the king of Megiddo. (Joshua 12:21) Deborah and Barak conquered Sisera there. (Judges 5:19-21; Judges 4:13) Kings Ohaziah and Josiah died there. (2 Kings 9:27; 2 Kings 23:29-30; 2 Chronicles 35:22) The latter instance came to symbolize a great nation wide grief. (Zechariah 12:11) This fortress city was on a hill over looking the main road through the Plain of Jezreel, or Esdraelon. The Midianites assembled there when Gideon defeated them. (Judges 6:33-40; Judges 7:1-25) The battle which led to Saul"s death was also fought there. (1 Samuel 29:30)

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-16.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

a = the.

the. Omit.

tongue. Omit.

Armageddon. Greek. harmagedon, as most texts. The word = mount of Megiddo. Therefore in Palestine, not Europe. See Judges 5:19, &c. In Isaiah 10:28 the Septuagint reads "Maggedo", for Migron.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-16.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

He - rather, 'they (the three unclean spirits) gathered them together.' "He" (if retained) will refer to God giving them over to the delusion of the three unclean spirits, or else the sixth angel ( Revelation 16:12).

Armageddon - Har, a mountain, and Megiddo, in Manasseh of Galilee, the scene of overthrow of the Canaanite kings by God's miraculous interposition under Deborah and Barak; the great plain of Esdraelon. Josiah, too, as ally of Babylon, was defeated and slain at Megiddo; and the mourning of the Jews just before God shall interpose for them against all nations confederate against Jerusalem, is compared to the mourning for Josiah at Megiddo (Zechariah 12:11). [Megiddo comes from gaadad (Hebrew #1413), 'cut off' - i:e., slaughter. Compare Joel 3:2; Joel 3:12; Joel 3:14, where "the valley of Jehoshaphat" (i:e., 'judgment of God') is mentioned as the scene of God's vengeance on the God-opposing foe. Probably some great plain, antitypical to the valleys of Megiddo and Jehoshaphat, will be the scene.]

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-16.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) And he gathered . . .—Better, He gathered them together to the place which is called in Hebrew Armageddon. Armageddon is the mountain of Megiddo. It is the high table-land surrounded by hills which was the great battle-field of the Holy Land. There the fortunes of dynasties and kingdoms have been decided; there the cause of liberty has triumphed; there kings fought and fell; there Gideon and Barak were victorious; there Ahaziah and Josiah were slain. The old battle-ground becomes the symbol of the decisive struggle. It is raised in meaning: it is a type, not a locality. The war of principles, the war of morals, the war of fashion culminates in an Armageddon. The progress of the spiritual struggle in individual men must lead in the same way to a mountain of decision, where the long-wavering heart must take sides, and the set of the character be determined. “There is no waving of banners and no prancing of horses’ hoofs; the warfare is spiritual, so that there is in sight neither camp nor foe.” It is that conflict which emerges out of various opinions and diverse principles: “the religious tendencies of the times” are (as we have been reminded) powers marshalling themselves for the battle of Armageddon. We must not look for great and startling signs: the kingdom and the conflict of the kingdom is within and around us (Luke 17:20-21).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
he
17:14; 19:17-21; Judges 4:7; Joel 3:9-14; Zechariah 14:2,3
the Hebrew
9:11; John 5:2; 19:13,17; Acts 26:14
Armageddon
Judges 5:19; 2 Kings 23:29,30; Zechariah 12:11
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 10:21 - And they came;  1 Chronicles 7:29 - Megiddo;  2 Chronicles 35:22 - Megiddo;  Ezekiel 38:15 - and many;  Joel 3:2 - also;  John 19:20 - in;  Acts 21:40 - Hebrew;  Revelation 16:14 - to gather;  Revelation 19:19 - I saw

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-16.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

ARMAGEDDON.

Revelation 16:16. — "And He gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew Armageddon." The pronoun he no doubt refers to God. He is behind the scenes and the actors in this judicial judgment and course of dealing. It is God Almighty, therefore, Who effects, in righteous retribution, this vast gathering of the nations, employing the dragon, His declared enemy, and the great apostate chiefs of earth to carry out His purpose. Why is the gathering place Armageddon? There the Canaanitish kings gave battle to Israel, but Jehovah fought with and for His people, and the signal victory granted to Israel is celebrated in glowing and triumphant strains by Deborah, the prophetess (Judges 5:19-20). Now one great object which the assembled nations have before them is to crush and overthrow Israel (Psalms 83:3-5), but God intervenes, and effectually destroys them and delivers His own, as He did in the early days of the Judges. The early victory is here alluded to as a pledge and earnest of the latter. It is not that the actual hill of Megiddo or its valley is to be the gathering centre of the nations; its circumscribed area must forbid any such notion. But the simple meaning is that God will have gathered by satanic agency many of the nations of the earth to Palestine, their object being to overthrow and crush Israel, and fling themselves in their combined might against Jehovah. But, alas for them, they do so only to their own destruction. God pours upon the assembled nations His fury (see the prophets Joel and Zephaniah). It has been remarked that the valley of Jehoshaphat is the place of slaughter, and Armageddon the place of gathering by the nations. Both places, however, are intended to present in principle certain closing scenes in the last days. Both the mountain and valley point to a future assembling of kings and peoples in the land of Palestine, and probably in the vicinity of Jerusalem. There the great governmental question of the sovereignty of the earth is to be decided in the complete overthrow of the nations, and in the establishment of the world kingdom of our God and of His Christ; in the settlement, too, of Israel in perpetual possession of her land, and in headship and supremacy of the nations in the millennial earth.

RETROSPECTIVE VIEW.

But now we must retrace our steps somewhat. It will be observed that verse 16 naturally follows, and indeed completes the subject of verse 14, hence the passage between (v. 15) forms a parenthesis of great moral value. "Behold I come as a thief." The kings and peoples gathered by satanic agency shall in the moment of apparent success and victory be suddenly surprised by the Advent of the Lord in glory (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3). The whole world will be asleep in midnight moral darkness, and congratulating itself on "peace and safety," when suddenly the Lord Himself bursts in upon the scene, unexpectedly, as a thief in the night. That aspect of the Coming neither forms our hope not causes fear (v. 4). We are not of the night, nor of darkness, and hence can never be so overtaken. To us, ere the day breaks, He appears as the bright and morning star. Then the parenthesis closes with a serious word of much-needed instruction at all times, but especially at the moment and occasion of this latter-day prophecy. The believer who in that day "watches and keeps his garments" is pronounced "blessed." It is not here a question of life or salvation, but of walk. How needful then, as at all times, to look carefully to one's ways, lest there be exposure in sight of the enemy, and they see our shame and moral nakedness.

VIAL AND TRUMPET COMPARED.

In bringing our remarks on the sixth Vial to a close we would briefly note the correspondence between it and the sixth Trumpet. In both the Euphrates is named. In both, too, the Asiatic powers take their part in conflict; various other points of resemblance may be noted by careful readers. We may further remark that the sixth Vial in itself does not present a scene of conflict by the various powers, nor does it unfold a universal slaughter; it rather points to the general gathering of the peoples from all parts of the earth, so that they are there when the Lord comes in power (Revelation 19:1-21). Other Scriptures, however, enable us to fill in details. One or two statements to emphasise points of prophetic truth are important to grasp. Judea, especially in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, is the final gathering place of the nations and peoples of the earth. Most of the nations, particularly those in the north and east, seek to destroy the Jewish commonwealth, then politically restored and in measure upheld by the western powers. All the nations are more or less combined in undying hatred to God and to His Christ, and all are judged and punished at the Lord's Advent in power (Revelation 19:1-21; Isaiah 66:1-24; Zechariah 14:1-21).

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-16.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Armageddon is the Greek word of the original text spelled with English letters. The literal meaning of the word as defined in Thayer's lexicon is "destruction." It is the action referred to by "battle" in verse14which means war in general, not merely a single fight. This will be commented upon at length at chapter20.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-16.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 16:16

Revelation 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Hebrews, that Isaiah, the dragon, called the devil, and his three unclean wicked spirits, called the spirits of devils. { Revelation 16:13-14} See the exposition thereof: See KNOLLYS: Revelation 16:13 & See KNOLLYS: Revelation 16:14

Gathering them together;

that Isaiah, the kings of the earth and their armies against Christ and his army, { Revelation 19:19} (as before)

into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon;

that Isaiah, the place of the utter destruction of the Turk's great army; which the Jews shall so name after they have gotten the victory (which God Almighty will give them) over their enemies, both Turk and Pope; as the people of Israel had over Sisera the chief captain of Jabin and all his mighty host at the waters of Megiddo, { Judges 5:19-31} not a man left. { Judges 4:16}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-16.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 16:16. And he gathered them together into the place, which is called in the Hebrew Armageddon. The subject is God the Almighty. At the close of Revelation 16:14, every thing was already connected with the divine agency: "of that great day of God the Almighty." It was, too, God the Almighty that was substantially the subject in Revelation 16:15. For Christ, who there announced his coming, comes in his name. For this reason also God must be the subject, because otherwise the overthrow of the enemies would not be placed in a determinate point of view; the close would therefore be an unsatisfactory one. We are led to think of God as the subject also by the fundamental passage, Joel 4:2, "And I gather all peoples and bring them into the valley of Jehoshaphat," (Vitringa, "the place of conflict, which Joel calls the valley of the judgment of God, the Spirit calls here Armageddon,") comp. Ezekiel 38:4, Ezekiel 39:3, where also the Lord leads the enemies of his church into his land, in order to judge them there; Ezekiel 38:16, "bring him upon my land, that the heathen may know me, when I am sanctified in thee, Gog." Another subject would have required to be more definitely marked. The three unclean spirits are at too great a distance, and the verb joined to them, in Revelation 16:14, is in the plural; they are. The agency cannot be ascribed, with Bengel, to the angel of the sixth vial; for the angels have nothing more assigned them, than the pouring out of the vials. Armageddon means the mountain of Megiddo. In the valley of Megiddo, Pharaoh, the type of the ungodly power of the world, had once killed the pious Josiah, who in Zechariah 12:10-11, appears as a type of Christ, "And I pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of gracious supplication, and they look on me whom they have pierced, and they lament for him like the lamentation for an only son, and mourn for him like the mourning for the first-born. At that time there shall be a great lamentation in Jerusalem, (over Jesus, who, like Josiah, was slain by the hand of the heathen, on account of the sins of his people,) like the lamentation of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo." The fact of its being God who gathers them together, does not exclude the mind of the heathen themselves, but pre-supposes it, in unison with Revelation 16:12, where they desired to pass the Euphrates, and by means of the vial the Euphrates was dried up for them. What they once accomplished there against Josiah, they would now again accomplish against Jesus; He, the risen one, must there receive from them the stroke of death, and his church must go down with him to the grave, as formerly the theocracy was borne to the grave with Josiah. But that they shall not succeed in this, that the ancient deed of heathenish wickedness shall not be renewed in Armageddon, but be avenged (comp. 1 Kings 21:19, 1 Kings 21:23; 2 Kings 9:33, ss)., is evident alone from the circumstance, that it is God, who gathers them together into this place, to which they themselves also hasten; and still more determinately from Revelation 16:14, by which the great day of God the Almighty breaks in at Armageddon. It makes no material difference, that here, not the valley, but the mountain of Megiddo, is mentioned, as mountain and valley are inseparably connected together, (comp. Deuteronomy 8:7, Deuteronomy 11:11). The change was not, however, adopted merely for the sake of a better sound. Armageddon has more of strength in it, and the moun1ain is as natural an emblem of victory, as the valley was of defeat, (comp. Psalms 23:4).

The objection that has been raised against the reference to the death of Josiah on account of the result here being a happy one for the church, has been obviated by the remarks already made. It arises from not perceiving the human design that lies in the back-ground, for which the place carried an inviting aspect, as it had been the theatre of an earlier overthrow of the church and of its former head, who by name and position typified the present head. From failing to perceive this, it has often been thought, that Medgiddo comes into notice here as the place, at which Deborah and Barak gained the victory over the Canaanites. So, in particular, Bengel. But Megiddo is not mentioned there in the historical narrative; it is only in a passing way introduced in the song of Deborah (Judges 5:19). Nor is the subject there the valley of Megiddo, but Taanach by the waters of Megiddo. Mention is made of the valley of Megiddo only in the passages which refer to the death of Josiah. Nothing properly corresponds to the valley, but the mountain, and a close relation of this sort is necessary to exclude all guesswork. Further, only some event could be referred to as having happened at Megiddo, which had rivetted itself most deeply to the remembrance of the people of God; so that every one would immediately think of that, as soon as he heard the name of Megiddo. Now, there can be no doubt, that the death of Josiah, as the later and more important event, would overshadow all earlier reminiscences. Zechariah 10:10-11, in particular, shews this quite plainly. This passage, besides, is expressly cited by John in his Gospel, John 19:37, and in this book, ch. Revelation 1:7, an allusion is made to it. Finally, the reference to the victory of Pharaoh suits admirably to the Egyptian character of the whole group.

Others (Vitringa, Bengel) have conceived, on the same ground, that Megiddo is mentioned here, not with reference to any historical fact, lint in respect to its etymology. But such a consideration does not obviously present itself here, as it does in the case of the name, the valley of Jehoshaphat, in Joel; and the prophet would, in that event, have left us (what he never does) to uncertain conjecture. If it turned on the signification of the name, this would, as in ch. Revelation 9:11, have been rendered also into Greek. Its being said, "which is called in the Hebrew," shews, that not simply a proper name is brought forward, that the word has an element in it, which must be explained out of the Hebrew. That no Greek explanation is appended, shews, in connection with the fact of Megiddo presenting no obvious derivation, that this Hebrew element can only stand in the syllable, Ar (the Heb. הר), which required no explanation.[Note: The ἑβραϊστὶ in the New Testament is found only in the writings of John, in the Gospel, ch. 5:2, 19:13, 17, 20, and in the Apoc. Besides here, ch. 9:11.]

The sixth vial must of necessity break off here—must stand at what immediately prepares for the final catastrophe. Otherwise, there would be no room for the seventh. With the actual irruption of the great day of God the Almighty. with the overthrow of the kings of the earth, which suddenly takes place, all—the drying up of the Euphrates, and also the fatal parole Armageddon, which announced the overthrow of Christ—all is out, nothing more remains as an object for the avenging severity of God. As regards the substance, it is reported in the seventh vial on this overthrow. Still, the clothing there is of a different description.

It is incorrectly remarked by Bengel, "Here the delineation of the conflict is broken off, which afterwards is carried out by the true and faithful one, who sits upon the white horse." The seven vials form of themselves a separate whole, and there can be no continuation of what is broken off here. Add to this, that the battle in ch. Revelation 19:11, ss., is only a partial one, only a particular phase of the conflict described here, in which all the conflicts of the worldly power against Christ and his church are comprised into one whole.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-16.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16.And he—Rather they, referring to the spirits of devils, Revelation 16:14. It is the three demons who go as envoys to the kings of the earth, to form alliance and compact their forces against the divine invasion.

Gathered them—The success is gained, the alliance formed, and the armies are gathered.

Armageddon—A symbolic name invented by St. John and nowhere else found. Ar is the Greek form of the Hebrew har, mountain; and Mageddon is the Greek form of the Hebrew Megiddo. Megiddo was the scene of the great defeat of Sisera by Deborah and Barak, celebrated in Hebrew poetry by the song of Deborah, and thence traditionally glorious as the scene of a great victory for Jehovah. Our seer elevates it, though a plain, into a mountain, as symbol of the pre-eminence of the future conflict.

All this indicates that the place is symbolical. When the day of this battle comes, the world will include not Europe alone, but America, Asia, and even Africa. The cities of the nations, Revelation 16:19, fall in the catastrophe with Babylon. We are not at all required to expect that such a contest will be decided in a single spot on the plain of Esdraelon or anywhere else.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-16.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 16:16. A double thread of tradition is woven into this strand of prophecy, (a) that of a last conflict of the world-powers with God and the messianic people (cf.Revelation 17:14, Revelation 19:19) and (b) that of Rome’s ruin by the Parthians under Nero redivivus. The two were originally distinct, but the apocalyptist naturally twists them together, although he never clears up their relationship. Here 13–16 is an enigmatic summary of what is variously depicted further on. But, though an erratic block in its present setting, it may have been placed here by the final editor, in his characteristically proleptic manner. Strictly speaking, the sixth plague is confined to Revelation 16:12.— , where the messianic Josiah will triumph, is (a) either to be located in mythology rather than in geography, as a mount where the final conflict of the gods is to be fought out (so fallen angels in En. vi. 5, 6 at mount Hermon)—in which case the phrase is a survival of some apocalyptic myth no longer intelligible to John (Gunkel, Bousset)—or (b) to be taken as an allusion to the hills near the plain (in the light of Judges 5:18-19; Judges 4:6; Judges 4:12; Judges 4:14; Ezekiel 38:8; Ezekiel 38:21; Ezekiel 39:2; Ezekiel 39:17). By gematria the name is equivalent to (Ewald, Hausrath), but neither this nor the proposal to take as a corruption of (city, so Hitzig, Hilgenfeld, Forbes), much less of (Aram. = , Völter), is natural. Cf. for further etymological and mythological suggestions, Nestle (Hastings, D. B. ii. 304, 305), Cheyne (E. Bi. i. 310, 311), and Legge and Cheyne in Proc. Society of Bibl. Arch. 1900, ii. 2. Bruston’s interpretation ( = , , cf.Numbers 14:45; Numbers 21:3; Judges 20:45) is far-fetched, but there may be some link between this obscure fragment of tradition and the cycle of Gog and Magog (cf. Cheyne in E. Bi. ii. 1747, 1748).

17–21: the seventh bowl and plague as the climax of all.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 16:16". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-16.html. 1897-1910.