Why does WLC claim that 'Armageddon' is Har Mo'ed when the word is actually Har Megiddon?

Question: In the video "Armageddon" you state that the word Armageddon comes from Har Mo'ed.  Armageddon is used only once in Scripture (Revelation 16:16) and when I looked it up (#717 in the Greek) it said that "Armageddon" is actually Har Megiddon and comes from two Hebrew words:

#2022 - Mountain

#4023 - Megiddo (which itself means rendezvous).

Why does WLC claim that "Armageddon" is Har Mo'ed when the word is actually Har Megiddon?  It is not honest to do a word-switch and make a substitution just to prove your point.  If there are more of these "substitutions" on your website just so you can make a point, you will open yourself up to people questioning your integrity.

Answer: WLC is well aware that Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and other books reference #4023, Megiddon, as the "true" root of Armageddon.  Please be assured that WLC will never knowingly substitute a false word just for the sake of "making a point."  Such sloppy scholarship is dishonest and the truth does not need such manipulation to support it.

WLC maintains that the true intended meaning of "Armageddon" in Revelation 16:16 is Mount Mo'edim.  Extensive research was done into the origins of Armageddon and it was discovered that Mount Megiddo is far from being an absolute definition.  While all agree that the first word of the phrase, har, does mean mountain, scholars are quite divided over the root meaning of the second word.

The first obvious problem with the phrase being Mount Megiddo is that no such place exists in Scripture. 

Instead of Armageddon, the NRSV and a few others use the designation Harmageddon which would mean "the Mountain of Megiddo."  But here a difficulty arises: there is no Mt. Megiddo.  (Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, Revised, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eermans Publ. Co., 1998, p. 301, emphasis supplied.)

Megiddo is a place in Scripture, but it is a valley! There is no mountain there at all!  "Megiddo" is used eleven times in Scripture and is translated once as "Megiddon."  But none of these texts ever refer to a mountain at Megiddo.  Instead, there is a plain or a valley:

Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, and did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of . . . [Yahuwah].  So he came to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.  (2 Chronicles 35:22)

In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddon.  (Zechariah 12:11)

It is possible that Joel 3:14, which itself is an apocalyptic passage, is referring to Megiddo/Megiddon, but it again emphasizes that it is a valley, and not a mountain: "Multitude, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of  . . . [Yahuwah] is near in the valley of decision."

It is for this reason that many scholars lean toward the true root word being mo'ed rather than Megiddo.

Gregory K. Beale is one scholar that supports the original root being Megiddo. 

Megiddo is where righteous Israelites were attacked by wicked nations . . . The Judges passage [Judges 5:19] provides the most probable OT [Old Testament] typological pattern for Rev. 16:16, since there . . . [Yahuwah] defeats a overwhelmingly powerful foe who has oppressed defenseless Israel . . . . (G. K. Beale, The New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Book of Revelation, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eermans Publishing Co., 1999, page 840.)

But even Beale agrees that there are grounds for har mo'ed being the correct root phrase.  In a footnote, he admits:

An exception to the objection that the har mô'ēd proposal is not supported by the surrounding context is to be found in M. G. Kline, "Har Magedon: The End of the Millennium," who demonstrates organic parallels with the immediate and broad contexts.  Presupposing the correctness of deriving "Armageddon" ultimately from har mô'ēd, Kline's contextual analysis of Revelation is quite plausible.  (Ibid., footnote 112, emphasis supplied.)

World's Last Chance is not alone in linking Armageddon as Har Mo'ed to Lucifer's boast in Isaiah 14:13 that he would sit on the Mount of the Congregation.  Many scholars see Isaiah 14 as a compelling reason why the true meaning of Armageddon is har mo'ed.

According to Isa. 14:13, the gods come together on a har mô'ēd, where at one time the Babylonian king sojourned.  This passage became the mythical prototype for the eschatological Har Magedon (Armageddon) of Revelation 16:16.  Exegetes unanimously take the sense of this expression to be "mount of assembly (of the gods)" . . . and the OT [Old Testament] contexts suggest rather a "fixed time for the assembly (of the gods)"; . . . to regularly recurring occasions which presumably are to be celebrated concurrently as festivals on earth as well.  (Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, G. J. Botterweck, H. Ringgren & H. J. Fabry, eds., Vol., 8, p. 171, emphasis supplied.)

R. E. Loasby is another scholar that argues for the underlying Hebrew being har mo'ed stating further that it is also a reference to Mount Zion. (See " 'Har-Magedon' According to the Hebrew in the Setting of the seven last plagues of Revelation 16," AUSS, 27 [1989], pp. 129-132.)

It is true that mo'ed simply does not sound like Megiddon.  However, in George Wigram's Englishman's Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament (originally published in 1874 and recently republished by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., in 1996), on page 672, mo'ed is given the following pronunciation:


Another explanation for the variation in how the word is said, is simply that Hebrew contains sounds that do not exist in Greek or English.

[In] Isaiah 14:13 . . . we find the Hebrew phrase har moced, usually rendered "mount of assembly."  The main problem here is again a linguistic one.  The g of magedon [in Armageddon] is absent from moced,as well as the ending on.  The vowels are not exactly the same, but that is not a major problem, because the Hebrew script did not have vowels. The g is not a major problem.

Confused?  Let me explain.  The raised c in moced represents a sound absent in English and Greek languages.  When writing Hebrew names the Greeks tended to use the letter gamma (English: g) to represent it [the missing sound].  Therefore, maged could be the way moced was written in Greek.  . . .

What about the on ending (Armageddon)?  It is argued that the ending was added to the Hebrew word in order to make the noun sound like a Greek word.  Possible, but we cannot be absolutely certain that John had that in mind when he used the word "Armageddon."      

However, that interpretation of the term nicely fits the context. Isaiah 14:13 describes Lucifer's intention to sit enthroned on the "mount of assembly," that is to say, in . . . [Yahuwah's] heavenly dwelling, as if he were . . . [Yahuwah].  Revelation uses that language in order to demonstrate that Lucifer has not given up his plans and that he will try again to occupy . . . [Yahuwah's] place on this planet. The battle of Armageddon is Lucifer's last attempt to occupy the mount of assembly, to be like . . . [Yahuwah].  (Dr. Ángel M. Rodríguez, "The Battle Over 'Armageddon'," Biblical Research Institute, February 8, 2001.)

Although Mount Megiddon, or Mountain of Rendevous, has a different root source than the Mount of the Congregation, or Mount Mo'ed, both terms reach the same basic interpretation and both are compatible with the usage of Revelation 16.  In which case, it is probably best not to be dogmatic about it. 

Constraints of time and space within an 8-minute video, however, did not allow a full study of this term and so the decision was made to use Mt. Mo'ed as being the most directly in agreement with the intent of the text.  This was not an attempt to sneak in an entirely different word for the sake of making a point by dishonestly stretching the text to say what we wanted it to say.  Rather, it is an interpretation widely accepted by many as the true definition of Armageddon. 

For further study on this vitally important topic, readers are invited to study Armageddon: The Battle Over Worship.