12 And [kai] the sixth [hektos] angel [aggelos] poured out [ekcheo] his [autos] vial [phiale] upon [epi] the great [megas] river [potamos] Euphrates; [Euphrates] and [kai] the water [hudor] thereof [autos] was dried
up, [xeraino] that [hina] the way [hodos] of the
kings [basileus] of [apo] the east [anatole][helios] might be prepared. [hetoimazo] KJV-Interlinear
12 And the
sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river, the Euphrates; and its
water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the east.
The sixth angel pours out his judgment, which is merely a preparatory judgment. In this action, the way is being set for what is to come next.
The Euphrates River is the eastern boundary of the land which God gave to Israel, Gen. 15:18, Deut. 1:7, 11:24, Josh. 1:4. It stretches about 1800 miles running from Turkey, south into the Persian Gulf.
It is typically identified as the boundary between civilization and non-civilization, between truth and barbarian, between good and evil. The nation of Israel, being Gods chosen, representing the better of the two, and the outer regions beyond the river representing the evils that have long since been prevented from entering into Gods domain.
But now, the path to the ruin of evil is being set. And if you guessed it, yes this is a trap, set by God, to lead the evil forces of the world, into His hand for their final destruction.
There is a great deal of symbolism here as described above, and not only is their symbolism, but there will be actual forces who will invade the region from the east.
Remember that the actual battle does not begin with an attack from the east, but from the south, then from the north, and then from east and west as they all collapse around the nation of Israel.
In John's day, the river was great and nearly impassable, but not impossible to cross. It does not need to be dry before anyone can cross it, and certainly not in our modern military era.
So the drying out of the river suggests something else entirely.
We have already seen that the worlds water supply has been ruined beyond use. The oceans are filled with death and all fresh water is gone. This also suggests that rain has ceased to fall for quite some time, contributing even more to the misery of life on planet earth.
In ancient times, the Euphrates represented the life blood of the region, as well as representing a barrier. And now with it totally gone, that indicates that the lifeblood of the earth is now totally gone, as well as all barriers between good and evil, between civilization and barbarianism, and so forth, are now non-existent.
The world has gone way off the deep end of degeneracy and evil. Any good morals that might have existed, are now non-existent.
The last the greatest battle of Armageddon is coming up and with all restraint on humanity gone, with all the misery inundating daily life, people will turn to extreme violence, rather than turning to God.
And that violence will cause people to seek relief by killing everyone else in order to save ones self. In short, the world will have gone completely mad.
The only people who will be safe, will be those believers who saw all of the signs, earlier in the Tribulation, and who have taken to the hills and the mountains and caves and so forth, and are in hiding, waiting for the Second Advent.
They will be safe that is, if they hold on to their fears and remain in hiding, such that no one can locate them, or find them, or discover their presence. Secrecy, silence, isolation, and stealth will be their allies.
And as for the rest of the world, the kings of the east, represent actual leaders and armies from the east, but they also represent the onslaught of all evil, advancing on Israel, in one last and desperate and final attempt to destroy Gods ability to keep His promise of deliverance.
The final barrier has been removed by God, and the trap is now set.
Complete Daily Bible Studies in e-book format for your computer or e-book reader are available