Bozrah or Petra: The Refuge in Jordan
Bozrah or Petra
Within the Campaign of Har-Mageddon
Petra is the Greek word for a city in Southern Jordan today that was know in Old Testament times as Bozrah. The Word Petra means rock and the word Bozrah means sheepfold and/or fortress. It is located in the ancient region of Edom which is southeast of the Dead Sea in modern day Jordan. Edom is the name given to Jacob’s brother Esau (Genesis 25:30) whose name means red (Genesis 25:25). The rock in Petra is red and the city entrance (the siq) and interior have characteristics of a sheepfold. This city has great importance since it is the city where the Jews will flee for safety during the last half of the seven (7) year tribulation. This city meets all the requirements that Jesus gave for the location where they should flee. Further, it is where Jesus will come back initially, just before He finishes the tribulation at the Mount of Olives, which just outside Jerusalem. This is the same location where He told several of His Apostles what the events would be surrounding His return to earth. (Matthew 24-25)
The Campaign of Har-Mageddon is an eight (8)-stage event, not one as some teach. It is important to first understand the basis for the second coming and this is found in Leviticus 26; Jeremiah 3:14-18; Zechariah 12:10; Hosea 5 and Matthew 23:37-39. In these chapters we see the Jews condemned for their national unbelief beginning with and through their leaders. The reason that they were not saved prior this is due to their national rejection of Jesus (Luke 19:42-44) on the basis of demon possession (Matthew 23:37-39). The principal reason for the second coming of The Lord Jesus then is The Jews finally confessing His name and begging for His return.
Stage 1 The Armies of the Anti-Christ Assemble
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon (KJV).
At the beginning of the first stage the armies of the Anti-Christ assemble themselves with the seven (7) other allied kings (Revelation 17:10). The Anti-Christ issues the decree to the seven kings to gather together at a specific location within Israel. Demonic spirits go out to make sure the kings perform as instructed. There were originally ten (10) but, three have been killed. The great river Euphrates is dried up. Babylon is built on both sides of that river. The place of gathering is Har-Mageddon. This is also known as “the Mountain of Megiddo. This is on the Western end of the Valley of Jezreel. This where the Anti-Christ meets with his 7 kings (Revelation 17:10). They are spread out over the entire valley. So from all parts of the world the allied leaders will brings their armies It is sort of like the situation in England during WW II. Just prior to D-Day the allies gathered there to get ready to go to Normandy for the fighting. The armies themselves are spread out over the valley. There will be no fighting in the valley, it all occurs elsewhere. The real title of the battle is “The war of the Great God Almighty.” Is given to us in Revelation 16:14.
The nations prepare for war and in these verses and God discusses His view of these events. God’s perspective on this is found in Joel 3:9-11 and in Psalm 2:4. In Joel His view is one of mockery and in Psalm 2 it is laughter.
Joel 3:9-11 (God is speaking)
Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I [am] strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD (KJV).
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying], Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision (KJV).
Satan’s purpose is to wipe out the last 1/3 of the Jews. 2/3rd’s have died already (Zechariah 13:8).
Stage 2 is the Destruction of Babylon
The Second Stage is the destruction of Babylon described in six (6) chapters. They are: Is 13 & 14; Jeremiah 50 & 51 and Revelation 17 &18. For brevity we will focus on Isaiah and Jeremiah.
he burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see. Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles. I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, [even] them that rejoice in my highness. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, [even] the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land (KJV).
Jezreel Valley also called the Valley of Armageddon from http://2014-israel.iflblog.com/category/locations/megiddo/
The Antichrist’s allied armies assemble in Jezreel to destroy Israel. These armies are different. They are sent to Babylon to destroy that city. The Lord calls these armies His Sanctified ones. It is the capital city of the Anti-Christ and the rest of Isaiah 13 to 14:23 put the event in the “Great tribulation” or the “Day of Jehovah” which is mid-way through the seven (7) year tribulation. Verse three of Isaiah 13 which calls the army God’s sanctified ones are believers that accept Christ and deny the Anti-Christ during the tribulation.
Jeremiah saw a group of armies gathering to destroy Babylon, just as Isaiah saw 100 years ago.
For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows [shall be] as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain. And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD (KJV).
Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth (KJV).
Revelation 18 says that Babylon is destroyed quickly, suddenly, and massively.
Jeremiah 50:43 describes the king’s reaction to the believers armies coming up against Babylon.
Jeremiah clearly implies that the king of Babylon is not in the city when it is destroyed.
The king of Babylon hath heard the report of them, and his hands waxed feeble: anguish took hold of him, [and] pangs as of a woman in travail.
One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at [one] end, And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted (KJV).
Here a messenger is sent to the king, but he is not in the city. The enemies of the king quickly destroy Babylon.
Today, Babylon has been rebuilt and is ready to become the capital city of the Anti-Christ and his one-world government. Saddam Hussein spent many years and millions of dollars to restore the city to the splendor it enjoyed under Nebuchadnezzar (cir 600 B.C.).
Stage 3 is The Attack and Fall of Jerusalem.
One would think that Satan would help his armies in Babylon, but that is not the case. Satan is in control and his goal is not to save the Anti-Christ but to save himself and destroy the Jews. So instead of moving east to defend Babylon they move south to attack Jerusalem
The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it (KJV).
Zechariah here says that the attack will be on Jerusalem. Satan wants to destroy the Jews. Vs 2 a cup of trembling and a burdensome stone show that all nations are gathered together against Jerusalem. From Zechariah 14:1-2 we see that at this point God energized the Jewish forces as recorded in the following two passages, Micah 4:9-5:1 & Zechariah 12:4-9. Here the weak Jews fight like valiant King David did and the ones like David fight like The Angel of Jehovah causing a tremendous decimation in the ranks of the enemy. Because of the superior numbers of the Antichrist’s allies, Jerusalem falls anyway. Micah 5:1 makes this comment on the situation: Smitten with a rod upon the Cheek” which is a Jewish symbol for defeat in idiomatic phrase form. So once again gentile armies trample Jerusalem down.
The Fleeing to Bozrah
In Micah Chapter 2 the Jews are fleeing the land and we have the clues as to where they go from Matthew 24:15-16 and Revelation 12;6. There are three clues,
1) It is into the mountains,
2) It is in the wilderness; and
3) It is a place prepared in advance. Micah 2 tells us it is Bozrah, or Greek Petra in present day Jordan. The land is called Edom, near Ammon and Moab. Edom is outside the dominion of the Anti-Christ. There is only one way in and it is a wadi or gorge about 1.25 miles long. There is water and good grazing land there and presently no body lives there. A Roman amphitheater there can seat 3000 or so. So the purpose of the third stage is to destroy the Jews but, they flee to Petra or Bozrah for safety. (Jeremiah 49:13-14).
The Flight of the Remnant from Jerusalem at Mid-Tribulation
Revelation 12 is a symbolic overview of all of Israel’s history. In Revelation 12:6 we read, “The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.”
And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth (KJV).
The woman is symbolic of Israel. 1260 days is exactly three- and one-half years. The Bible always uses calendar measures using the standard lunar (prophetic) years of 360 days in each year. It corresponds to a 30-day month we find in Scripture.
This also corresponds to Jesus’ warning in His Olivet Discourse, a sermon by Jesus to his disciples known as the “Olivet Discourse”–so-called because Jesus was seated with his disciples on the Mt. of Olives opposite the Second Temple when he gave this sweeping outline of the future. The use of the symbolic terms flood and its counterpart, sea is representative of masses of people and in particular armies.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before (KJV).
Jerusalem Surrounded by Armies
The parallel passage in Luke 21 adds what Matthew does not tell us, that Jerusalem will be surrounded by hostile armies at the time of the end.
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (KJV).
This same scene is depicted by the Old Testament prophet Zechariah, which we examined earlier. (Zechariah 14:1-3)
Flight of Jews from Judea
The Lord through the prophet Joel foretold this calamity.
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for [it is] nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, [even] to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land [is] as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them [is] as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.
Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and [when] they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.
The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining (KJV):
There are going to be thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of believing Jews who are warned to flee from Jerusalem. Those Jews in Israel who have come to know Yeshua personally during the first half of the tribulation will be responsive and it is to this believing remnant that Jesus makes His appeal.
Petra – The Prepared Place
The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims. The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the LORD gave unto them (KJV).
Edom’s long-standing enmity against Israel ultimately brought God’s judgment on Edom. Obadiah the prophet devotes his short but potent message to the judgment of Edom, telling us of her pride and arrogance and the reasons for God’s final judgment on these people. Amos, the shepherd of Tekoa, wrote of impending judgment on Edom:
Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath forever: But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah (KJV).
Several writers have written fine descriptions of Petra and the history of that region of ancient Edom. The Nabateans displaced the descendants of Esau probably in the 6th Century BC. They controlled the entire region as far North as Damascus until the First Century. The Greeks and Romans built extensively in Jordan and the area around Bozrah or Petra was well populated as late as Roman times. Today the area is desolate and sparsely populated because of the very low rainfall and scarcity of natural resources there. Some say it is waiting to become a Jewish neighborhood.
Petra was the capital city of the Nabateans. Tourists to this vast mountain-enclosed ancient city in the Wadi Musa generally enter from the east on foot or on horseback through El Siq, an 6000 feet long narrow cleft (width: 12-30 feet) with 100-500 foot high cliff walls. Tombs and houses carved into the bed-rock over a vast area at Petra would be suitable for temporarily housing many thousands of people. Mt. Hor is nearby, where Aaron died after Moses passed the high priestly garments of Aaron on to Eliezer in the sight of the congregation (Numbers 20:23-29). An Islamic shrine marks the probable tomb site.
Not to be conquered by Antichrist
The route of escape for the Jewish believing remnant from Antichrist’s military pursuit as he seeks to annihilate them, has been made ready by the Lord: This area is off limits to the Anti-Christ as per Daniel 11:41.
He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many [countries] shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, [even] Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon (KJV).
A hiding place
Evidently Jordan is given special protection during the last great invasion of Israel which will in fact devastate the Land. Isaiah the Prophet instructs the believing remnant of Israel to find a safe hiding place during the time of Jacob’s trouble when God’s judgment will fall on the whole earth,
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain (KJV).
During the second half of the tribulation period there will be no safe place to hide anywhere on the earth–except in the refuge God has provided at Petra. Since Petra meets the qualifications of the place prepared in advance we believe that Petra is the O.T Bozrah. We gain glimpses of how terrible life will become for non-believers in those days from many passages in the Book of the Revelation. For example, at the opening of the Sixth Seal of judgment John notes:
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand (KJV)?
Forth Stage is the armies of Anti-Christ coming from Jerusalem to Bozrah.
The Jews are pressured by the armies of the Anti-Christ and they finally understand the reason for all of this. They rejected Their Messiah on the basis of Demonic Possession. The Decree issued in Hosea 6:1-3 begins the last three (3) days of the tribulation just before the second coming. In Isaiah the first 2 days are a national confession and the third day is the salvation. (Isaiah 64:1-9)
On the third day all of the Jews are saved. Both Isaiah 66 and Romans 11:25-17 describe this event. All Israel will being saved. That is, those that are still alive.
Fifth stage is the Jews national Salvation
They then begin pleading with God for Him to come. This fulfills the second part of the basis for the 2nd coming, The Jews national salvation.
Sixth Stage is the 2nd coming. Jesus comes to Bozrah first is found in Isaiah
Who [is] this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this [that is] glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore [art thou] red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people [there was] none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance [is] in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and [there was] none to help; and I wondered that [there was] none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.
Edom; where the sword strikes, and the sacrifice in Bozrah.
I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of [the multitude of] men. The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them (KJV).
It is important to realize that many modern translations of the Bible translate the word Bozrah (Strongs #1224) as sheepfold instead of simply transliterating the Hebrew word Bozrah. That is, they translate the meaning instead of the actual word. ( e.g. NIV; NKJV;NSAB etc.)
Isaiah 63:1-6. Who is this from Edom? This is a rhetorical question. The answer of course is Jesus!
Red-Blood stained clothes from the Battle.
The seventh stage is The Relocation of the Fighting
Joel 3:12-13 and Revelation 14:17-20. The fighting starts at Bozrah and moves to Jerusalem where it ends at the Valley of Je. When the fighting is over the Bible describes that blood has reached a depth of up to the horses bridles in the valley. This is about 5-6 feet deep.
The Valley of Jehosaphat is not shown on modern maps of Jerusalem. It is actually between the valley of the sons of Hinnom and the Kidron Valley. Older maps have Jehosaphat clearly detailed.
The eighth stage is the victory assent to the Mount of Olives
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee [to] the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee (KJV).
So the tribulation closes with 1/3 of the prior Jewish world population safe, saved and Har-Mageddon comes to a close. This ushers in the 1,000-year Kingdom (Revelation 20) which Jesus spoke of during The Sermon on the Mount. At that time, He was instructing His disciples on proper methodologies for prayer.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (KJV).
Daniel E. Woodhead
Sources: Clarence Larken, Daniel & Revelation
Rabbi David Kimchi (AKA Radak), Book of Zechariah
David Cooper, Bible Prophecy
Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come
Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Footsteps of the Messiah
David Hocking, Revelation
Mal Couch, Revelation
Charles Feinberg, Book of Zechariah
Merrill Unger, The Great Neglected Bible Prophecies, Book of Zechariah