An ancient Christian mosaic floor is at the center of a controversy in Israel. Should an 18 or 19 centuries-old decorated mosaic floor, which is near the site of the prophesied Armageddon, be uprooted and loaned to a U.S. museum?
The proposed loan to the Museum of the Bible in Washington underscores the deepening ties between Israel and evangelical Christians in the U.S, whom Israel has come to count on for political support and tourism dollars.
The Megiddo Mosaic is from what is believed to be the world’s earliest Christian prayer house that was located in a Roman-era village in northern Israel. It was discovered by Israeli archaeologists in 2005 during a salvage excavation conducted as part of a planned expansion of an Israeli prison that was on the site.
Armageddon is a term used to describe the final battle between good and evil before God’s Day of Judgment. It is also the name of the Biblical hill of Megiddo, an archaeological site southeast of present-day Haifa in Israel. The word Armageddon does not appear in the Hebrew Bible and appears only once in the Greek New Testament, in Revelation 16:16. Armageddon is a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew har məgiddô (הר מגידו). Har in Hebrew means “a mountain or hill”.
Back in May 1980, televangelist and Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson startled and alarmed many people when — contrary to Matthew 24:36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven…” (and not even Jesus himself); Robertson informed his “700 Club” TV show audience that he knew when the world would end. “I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world,” Robertson said. Thank God it did not happen.
Christian and Muslim religious “End Times” preachers tend to focus only on future negative upheavals. Rabbis usually focus on the positive descriptions of the Messianic Age in the Hebrew Bible.
For example the Prophets of Israel envisioned a world full of Prosperity and Peace including even the animals: Isaiah 2:4 and Michah 4:3: “…they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift a sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more.” [Michah 4:4 continues: “Each person shall sit under his vine and under fig-tree, and none shall make them afraid…”]
Hosea 2:20: “…I shall break from the earth the bow, the sword and warfare, and I shall make them lie down securely.”
Zechariah 9:10: “…the bow of war shall be cut off, and (all) shall speak peace to the nations…”
And Isaiah 11:6-9 states: “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie with the kid, and a calf with a lion’s cub all together, and a small child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze, their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like cattle. An infant shall play over the hole of an asp, and the weaned child shall put out his hand over the eyeball of an adder. They will not harm or destroy on all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea.”
Also Isaiah 65:25 states: “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like cattle, dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not harm nor destroy in all My holy mountain, says God.”.
If we all can live up to the ideal that religious pluralism as the will of God we will help fulfill the 2700 year old vision of Prophet Isaiah: “In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt, and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will join a three-party alliance with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing upon the heart. The LORD of Hosts will bless them saying, “Blessed be Egypt My people, Assyria My handiwork, and Israel My inheritance.”…(Isaiah 19:23-5)