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ARMAGEDDON, name of the site, in Christian eschatology, of the final battle between the forces of Good and Evil. The name Armageddon is not mentioned prior to the New Testament but is believed by some to be a corrupt spelling of *Megiddo , a city mentioned many times in Scripture. According to this explanation the first syllable ar would stand for ir ("city") or har ("mountain"). Indeed, the Valley of Megiddon (bikat megiddon) is referred to once in the Old Testament in the prophecies of Zechariah (12:11). Others suggest that Armageddon is a corruption of the Hebrew Har Mo'ed ("mount of assembly"; cf. Isa. 14:13) or of Har Migdo ("God's fruitful mountain") which is taken to refer to Mount Zion. This last suggestion is said by some to be supported by several passages in Revelations (9:13; 11:14; 14:14–20; 16:12–16), the imagery of which resembles that of Joel, who envisages the power of God proceeding from Mount Zion to battle against the forces of Evil (Joel 2:1–3; 3:16–17, 21). However, the author of Revelations was probably combining the strategic fame of Megiddo with the idea of an eschatological final conflict on the "mountains of Israel" (Ezek. 38:8, 21).

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.