The Euphrates River is Drying Up!

The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the East.

Revelation 16:12

Symbolically Important

At the time of this writing, in December 2022, people are posting pictures of the dry riverbed of the Euphrates River. The Euphrates has historically been a major river system in the Mideast–and it’d be news if any major river dried up. But its location in the Mideast and its symbolic meaning are the real news.

It Drained the Waters of the Garden of Eden

Mentioned Early

The Euphrates River is mentioned in the second chapter of the Bible. It was one of the rivers that formed from the main river that watered the Garden of Eden:

A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four rivers …. The name of the third river is Tigris; it goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates (Genesis 2:10, 13-14).

Only if “One of” Means the First

Some news sources that cover this story say this river is where “one of the oldest civilizations was birthed.” According to the Bible, it was where Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, lived. So, their statement is close to accurate but not precise enough: There was no other “civilization” when God created Adam and Eve. They were the first. 

The Euphrates Forms the Border of the Promised Land

A Center of Activity

The Mideast is the center of activity in both the Old and New Testaments. The Euphrates is located to the north and east of Israel and forms the border of the Promised Land, the land God promised to Israel:

“On that same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great Euphrates River (Genesis 15:18).”

Prominent in the Bible’s History

The Euphrates is so prominent in the Bible that the writers don’t always mention it by name. They refer to it as “the Great River” and expect their readers to know they mean the Euphrates. 

A Key to Prophecy

It was renowned throughout Bible history but is also crucial in future prophecy. And that’s what has people stirred up. As shown in the opening verse quoted in this article, the book of Revelation says the sixth angel will pour out his bowl (of judgment). When he does, the Euphrates water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the East. (We’ll come back to this).

God’s Wrath

The Sixth Bowl

The bowl the angel poured out was the sixth bowl in the series of seven bowls of God’s wrath that will be poured out by God’s angelic servant in the future time of tribulation:

“Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth (Revelation 16:1).”

The Sixth Trumpet

Earlier in the tribulation, as part of God’s wrath, a sixth angel blew a trumpet:

The Army from the East

The sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice (say), “Release the four angels who are bound at the great Euphrates River.” And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. The army of horsemen numbered two hundred million. (Revelation 9:13-16).”

Prophetically God will take action to dry up the Euphrates to allow the two hundred-million-man army from the east to have easier access to the final battleground in Israel. This prediction is amid other ongoing and unprecedented horrors as God pours out His righteous judgments against sin.

What does it Mean?

But does this drying mean we’re in this seven-year time of God’s wrath? Or is this a foretaste of what will happen when God’s wrath is poured out? These are good questions. None of the horrors we’re experiencing now are of Biblical proportions, and if we were in the time of God’s wrath, they would be. 

A Herald?

However, it could be a herald of things to come, of what’s on the horizon. It sure has captured peoples’ attention. God often forewarns people who fear Him so they can repent and avoid judgment:

“Know this first, that there shall come scoffers in the last days who walk after their own lusts, and say,

Where is the promise of His coming (2 Peter 3:3)?” 

A Warning?

“The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness. But He is patient with us, because He does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).” 

Take shelter by believing in Jesus’ Name.

The mountains quake before Him, and the hills melt; the land rises up before Him, the earth and everything that dwells on it. Who can stand before His anger? Who will rise up before His burning wrath. His heat is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken up before Him. The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of distress; and He knows those who take refuge in Him (Nahum 1:5-7).

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