Okay, so what are we to make of this verse? By this time in the Revelation the rapture of the Church has already taken place. It might be a reminder to the Church reading this prophecy to get ready. Some commentators also see another rapture taking place during the Tribulation of the 144,000 Jewish witnesses, and therefore this is intended for them.
We don’t know for certain. So, given that we are reading this verse together as the Church, let’s apply it to ourselves. Perhaps it will be better discerned later by those reading it during the Tribulation.
v.16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
The word “Armageddon” is a compound of the two Hebrew words, “Har” and “megiddo”, meaning “Mountain of Megiddo”. It lies to the west of Jordan about sixty-eight miles north of Jerusalem near the town of Nazareth in the vast plains of Esdraelon, which is a Greek modification of the name Jezreel, or “God sorrows,” and is an area roughly fourteen miles wide and twenty miles long.
Traditionally, the plains of Esdraelon have been a popular battlefield throughout Israel’s history. Including wars against such mortal enemies as the Canaanites, Midianites, Philistines, and Egyptians; and under the command of such notables as Deborah (Judges 4:4-10; 5:19), Gideon (Judges 7:1-25), Saul (1Sam.31:1-3), and Josiah (2Chron.35:22).
Given its capability to be a bivouac area for sizeable troops, along with Israel’s historical connection with it, Armageddon seems to explain why God has chosen it as the epicenter to defeat His enemies and those of His people once and for all.
v.17-21 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, every hailstone about the weight of a talent. And men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
This “seventh judgment” is poured into the air; perhaps because the devil is “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph.2:2). It is the final outpouring of God’s great wrath and brings to an end the Tribulation judgments.
The words “It is done!” are clearly those of God because they are spoken from within the temple where God has remained alone during the judgments (see notes—Rev.15:8). It signifies that the mystery of God has finally been answered, the bowls of wrath have fully been poured, and His judgment work on earth is done.
As a result, there will be a great earthquake of such magnitude that the earth is said to be “violently broken…split open…shaken exceedingly” (Isa.24:19). By it, Jerusalem (“the great city”) will divide into three parts, the remains of Babylon will be completely disposed of, cities will be toppled, and virtually every island and mountain range around the globe will be leveled.
Moreover, there will be “hailstones” (or a “hail of stones”, the literal Greek meaning) weighing seventy-five pounds that will plummet from heaven “as fruit falling from a fig tree” (Isa.34:2-4) that will virtually stone the wicked. As one commentator points out, this is an appropriate ending to the judgments considering that God has made blasphemy punishable by stoning (Lev.24:11-16).
[There is one battle yet remaining. Man will make war against Christ Himself at His Second Coming (Rev.19:19) and ultimately bring to an end life on this planet as we know it]