Tag Archives: Revelation

Jezreel Valley panorama

The header I am currently using is a panorama composed of three photos I made from the tell of Megiddo. The Jezreel Valley lies before us to the north (and slightly east). Nazareth is located in the mountains of lower Galilee. The valley continues east between the Hill of Moreh and Mount Gilboa to Beth-Shean, the Jordan Valley, and the mountains of Gilead. The valley was known by the Greek name Esdraelon in New Testament times.

Panorama of Jezreel Valley from Megiddo. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Panorama of Jezreel Valley from Megiddo. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Click on the photo for a hi-res image of this great plain for use in teaching. If you prefer a photo without labels, click here.

The vicinity of the Valley of Megiddo (Jezreel/Esdraelon) was the scene of many significant historical battles.

  • Thutmose III of Egypt fought Syrian forces – 1468 B.C.
  • Joshua defeated the King of Megiddo – Joshua 12:21.
  • Deborah and Barak defeated the Kings of Canaan – Judges 5:19.
  • Gideon defeated the Midianites – Judges 7.
  • Saul was defeated by the Philistines – 1 Samuel 28-31.
  • Ahaziah, king of Judah, died there – 2 Kings 9:27.
  • King Josiah was slain in a battle against Pharaoh Neco of Egypt – 2 Kings 23:29-30; 2 Chronicles 35:20-27.

Megiddo, the tell overlooking the valley, became typical of national grief and a symbol of decisive battles, similar to modern Waterloo, the Alamo, or Pearl Harbor. No wonder it provides the symbolism for the decisive battle in Revelation 16.  John’s Greek Har-Magedon becomes the English Armageddon.

The NAU transliterates harmagedon as Har-Magedon. Other English versions use something similar to the ESV.

And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon. (Revelation 16:16 NAU)

And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. (Revelation 16:16 ESV)

This valley has been significant even in modern times.

  • Napoleon advanced against the Turks in 1799.
  • General Allenby and the British defeated the German-Turkish coalition in 1918.
  • British officer Orde Wingate trained Jewish defense forces in this valley in the 1930s. Later leaders of the War of Independence (1948-1949), including Moshe Dayan and Yigal Alon, were trained by Wingate.

General Allenby read the historical survey about the importance of the valley in G. A. Smith’s Historical Geography prior to his battle against the German-Turkish coalition in 1918. Smith included that battle in later editions of his book.

On the road in the Steps of Paul and John

Tuesday afternoon, May 6, our group should land in Istanbul, Turkey, to begin a tour that I have called Steps of Paul and John. This area of travel has been one of my favorites for many years. My first visit here was in 1968. We will visit Istanbul, a city rich in church history. It has been called Constantinople and Byzantium.

From Istanbul we plan to fly to Izmir, the site of biblical Smyrna. There we begin a visit to the sites of the seven churches of the book of Revelation (chapters 2-3), and a few other sites (Hierapolis, Colossae, Miletus, and Aphrodisias). We will be discussing important themes from the book of Revelation during this portion of the tour.

Our group will then spend 3 days cruising the Aegean Sea in order to visit some of the islands associated with the travels of Paul and John. Our first stop will be at Patmos (Revelation 1:9). Then Rhodes (Acts 21:1) and Crete (Acts 27; Titus 1:5). There is also a stop at Santorini.

Upon arrival in Athens, Greece, we will visit the city of Athens (Acts 17). We have planned a visit to ancient Corinth also (Acts 18).

We hope you will join us for these visits. I will do my best to write a post each day of the tour.

Resources on the Book of Revelation

Yesterday I received an Email from Dr. Georg S. Adamsen in Denmark, asking that I change the link to his Revelation Resources page on my Biblical Studies Info Page. First, let me say I appreciate his notifying me of the change. Many individuals ask to include a link but never notify us when they close down the page.

Revelation Resources is now presented in blog format. Adamsen describes the blog this way:

Revelation Resources – about 250 hand-picked references on valuable resources for the study of the Book of Revelation. Many topics have separate introductions…

My Old Testament in the Book of Revelation has been included at Revelation Resources for several years. I was pleasantly surprised this evening when I was checking the URL to see that the book is featured on this page (January 7).

Because the current publisher of the book does not have a marketing strategy many people think the book is out of print. You may secure a copy from the Florida College Bookstore. I wasn’t able to locate the book on the website, but you can send an Email to bookstore@floridacollege.edu for information. I think the book now sells for $4.95. I saw a used copy on Amazon recently for $59.96!

Jenkins, The Old Testament in the Book of Revelation

Florida College also recently reprinted my Studies in the Book of Revelation. It sells for $5.99. In my judgment this is an excellent source for a class study of the Revelation.

Jenkins, Studies in the Book of Revelation

Studies in the Book of Revelation (90 page paperback) is composed of these sections.

Introducing the Book at the End of the Bible
Worthy Is the Lamb
Saints Victorious
Does Revelation Teach Premillennialism?
Letters to the Seven Churches
Emperor Worship in the Book of Revelation

If you prefer to call Florida College Bookstore and speak to one of the friendly staff, use their toll free number (1-800-423-1648).

What does this have to do with travel, you wonder. The Revelation was written to the seven churches of Asia, the Roman province of Asia Minor, in the late first century A.D. The seven cities were Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Several of them have significant ruins that can be visited. We have included them on several study tours we call Steps of Paul and John, including Turkey, Greece, and the Aegean Islands. During the course of this tour we spend some time lecturing on the setting of the Book of Revelation. We plan to do that in May when we again visit these and other cities associated with Paul and John.

Temple of Roman Emperor Trajan at Pergamum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

This photo shows the reconstruction of the Temple of (Roman Emperor) Trajan ( A.D. 98-117). This was the second temple in Pergamum dedicated to the Emperor. The first temple in all of Asia was erected to Augustus in 29 B.C. Altogether Pergamum had three imperial temples.