Sabbath: Babylon and Armageddon

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Read for This Week’s Study: Rev. 14:8; Rev. 16:19Isa. 52:9; Rev. 18:1-10; Rev. 16:12-16; 1 Kings 18:1-40; 1 Cor. 15:1-2.

Memory Text: “On her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Revelation 17:5, NKJV).

The book of Revelation, as we already have noted, comes filled with images and language taken directly from the Old Testament. For instance, the name Babylon appears six times in Revelation. But it is not talking about the ancient kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar, which had passed from world history hundreds of years earlier. Instead, John was using Old Testament imagery to express a truth. In this case, Babylon — a massive political and religious power that had oppressed God’s people — now describes the massive religious and political powers that will seek to do the same in the end times.

Something similar occurs with the word Armageddon, which occurs only in Revelation but is based on a Hebrew phrase that seems to mean “Mount of Megiddo”, a reference to a location in ancient Israel. A great deal of speculation exists about Armageddon, with many people looking for a massive military battle to take place there, in Megiddo, near the end of the world.

This week, we will look at Babylon and Armageddon, and seek to learn what the Bible is telling us with these images.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, June 23.

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons