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 Vol. 6, No. 4 

April 2004

~ Page 12 ~

Zechariah and Armageddon

By D. Gene West

Image Those who are enamored with the Dispensational Premillennial view of the "end of time" believe that the 14th chapter of the great prophecy of Zechariah deals with a description of the present and future enemies of the present nation of Israel and the salvation of the city of Jerusalem during the reign of Christ on earth. While we thoroughly understand that Christ will never reign on earth, and the Bible nowhere speaks of such, the Premillennialists, nevertheless, insist that he will. They assert that Zechariah 14:1-3, which reads,"Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle" (Zechariah 14:1-3 NKJV), contains a description of an approaching battle they call Armageddon (a word found nowhere in the Greek New Testament), which will come to an end when Christ descends upon the Mount of Olives to overthrow his enemies and begin his millennial reign. Let us test this interpretation to see if it is in harmony with the rest of this great chapter.

Since we do not have space to insert the entire chapter, we will summarize as follows: (1) Zechariah prophesied at a time contemporary to Haggai (c. 516 B.C.) during the rebuilding of the Temple after the return from Babylonian exile. (2) The prophet foretold what he called a coming "day of Yahweh" when the nations would gather against Jerusalem to do battle. (3) The horrors of this conflict would be interrupted when the Lord intervened to defend the faithful against the heathen attackers. (4) The Mount of Olives, which is east of Jerusalem, would divide moving north and south to provide a safe passageway for the faithful to escape. (5) The enemies of God were to be punished with terrible plagues. (6) Jerusalem would dwell in safety. (7) From year to year, the people would worship the King who is over all the earth. This passage is obviously symbolic and should not be taken literally, which is a common mistake made by Premillennialists.

This refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70, called a day of the Lord, or Yahweh. In order for the Christians who were in the city to escape, God would provide a miraculous path, what Zechariah called the dividing of the Mount of Olives. Jesus spoke of the same thing in Luke 21:20. The enemies of God being punished with terrible plagues speaks of the horrors coming on the Jews who rejected Jesus, had him crucified and persecuted the infant church for the first forty years of her existence. National Israel did suffer those terrible plagues of war, death, famine, misery and death. The "Jerusalem" that would dwell in safety cannot possibly refer to the literal city because it was to be destroyed. Hence, it refers to the New Jerusalem which John saw descending from heaven in Revelation 21:2. It refers to God's people -- Christians. The idea that the people would from year to year worship God refers to the perpetual worship of Christians offered to the God of heaven since the kingdom (church) was established on the first Day of Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ. Again, the Premillennialists fail to teach the truth because they ignore history!

This passage refers to nothing called "Armageddon," and that word is not even found in the passage. As a matter of fact, it is found only once in the KJV (Revelation 16:16) where it is translated from the Greek word "Magedon." This is the Greek for the Hebrew word, Megiddo, a valley where several important battles in Israelite history were fought, and the valley in which Josiah was mortally wounded in his battle against Pharaoh Neco. Friends, if you separate the Bible from history, it really does not teach anything, because then it teaches only what men want it to teach. Deal with it in history and these terrible erroneous interpretations will never exist.Image

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