Why Does The Euphrates River Dry Up In Revelation?

Name: Estella
Question: Dear Brandon thank you for the wonderful work you're doing! I have a question about the river Euphrates where it has dried up would you please expound on that give us some information on that please thank you and God bless.

Answer: You are very welcome Estella, and thank you for the question. Our Heavenly Father makes it all possible.

In order to properly explain this subject, we are going to lay some groundwork and provide some examples before we bring it all together in the end.

The Seven Vials

There are Seven Vials in God's Word.

The Fifth Vial is poured on “the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness”, (Revelation 16:10).

What beast are we talking about?

The two “beasts” of Revelation 13 which are symbolic of Satan and his kingdom, (Revelation 12:9, 13:1, 11).

The Fifth Vial is poured out during the Tribulation, specifically, at or just after the Midst of the Week. No doubt, this will be brought about due to The Testimony of the Saints and the Two Witnesses.

Now let's see what happens when the Sixth Vial pours out.

The Euphrates River In The Bible

Please turn your Bible with me to,

Revelation 16:12
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.

The prophecy we just read is merely symbolic in nature.

Think about it, kings or leaders of nations no longer need a river to dry up in order for their armies to cross it. They have planes to fly over it, boats to float over it, and bridges to drive over it.

When the Sixth Vial is poured out, we are literally on the doorsteps of Christ's return.

Symbology: The Euphrates River

As rivers divide states and nations today, the Euphrates River divided Israel and Babylon.

This would become a symbolic line between “righteous” and “unrighteous”.

I say that, as God told Abraham his family would inherit the land “from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates,” (Genesis 15:18). That describes the land West of the Euphrates River, the land of Israel where the Israelites live.

Since the Israelites were God’s chosen people, West of the Euphrates River can be considered the “righteous” land, the “righteous” side of the river, (Deuteronomy 7:6). The Israelites were chosen by God to bring His Word to the world, though they continually fell into sin themselves, (Neh 9:16-38, Mat 28;19, Mar 16:15).

Babylon Divided By Euphrates River
Babylon Divided By Euphrates River -
Uppsala University

Now, East of the Euphrates River, we primarily have the “unrighteous” land of Babylon. This was a heathen nation full of idolatry and certainly symbolic of Satan.

At the same time, Babylon was actually located on both sides of the Euphrates River, though primarily to the east of it.

Biblically speaking, when the Euphrates River dries up, essentially the line between “righteous” and “unrighteous” becomes blurred, and/or is no longer present.

In 2 Timothy 3:1-7 and Isaiah 5:20, we are told in the Last Days men would become wicked, and people would “call evil good, and good evil”. We see these things today, but the events of the Sixth Vial are reserved for the Tribulation.

Now let’s take a look at a historic example.

History: The Euphrates River

Historically, Cyrus and the Persians (second kingdom) diverted the Euphrates River in order to bring the water level down which helped them conquer Babylon (first kingdom, see: The Scarlet Beast With Seven Heads And Ten Horns).

Remember, Babylon was located on both sides of the Euphrates River which made this tactic possible.

"In 539 BCE the empire fell to the Persians under Cyrus the Great at the Battle of Opis.

Babylon’s walls were impregnable and so the Persians cleverly devised a plan whereby they diverted the course of the Euphrates River so that it fell to a manageable depth. While the residents of the city were distracted by one of their great religious feast days, the Persian army waded the river and marched under the walls of Babylon unnoticed."

Ancient History: Babylon

This historical account reminds me of prophecy yet to be fulfilled in Jeremiah 51 concerning Babylon, (see: The Epic Battle Of The Saints).

The Present: The Euphrates River Drying Up

I am also reminded of an article I recently (2018) read.

I want to share a few excerpts from it with you.

“The Tigris-Euphrates basin is losing groundwater faster than any other place on earth except India.”


By the 2020s,” Moutaz Al-Dabbas, a professor of water resources and the environment at the University of Baghdad, told me, “there will be no water at all during the summer in the Euphrates. It will be an environmental catastrophe.”

Smithsonian Mag

The article continues explaining, people are not thinking about water, they are thinking about the war that has plagued Iraq for decades. If the government does not start focusing on conserving water,

The Euphrates will soon be reduced to a barren, dusty riverbed, and the countless Iraqis who depend on it will find their very survival jeopardized. “This is a crisis,” he said, “but nobody is paying attention to it.”

While I opened by explaining Revelation 16:12 is symbolic, that is not to say God would not send us a physical sign, something we can see with our own eyes and reference.

Prophetically speaking, and considering where we are today, I found this to be an interesting read.

As I update this study, the Euphrates River is still drying up, evident by this article written five days ago, 'Desert': drying Euphrates threatens disaster in Syria.

Prophecy: The Euphrates River Dried Up

Now we can bring our mind back to Revelation 16:12.

  • Why is the Euphrates River dried up (symbolically) in Revelation?

So the kings of the “east” can cross over.

  • Who are the kings of the “east” then?

First, we must understand the word “east” means “rising of light” which is the “rising of the sun” from the “east”. So this does not necessarily mean these kings will literally come from the east.

Remember, we are dealing with prophecy and symbology, and “the whole world lieth in wickedness”, not just a part of it, (1 John 5:19).

Further, one of Satan's many names is “Lucifer” which means, the “morning star” which also references the sun, the “rising of light”, (Isaiah 14:12).

Understanding that, this tells us the kings of the “east”, the kings of the “rising of light” are the kings of the “morning star”. They are the kings of Satan, the Clay kings of the sixth kingdom from Daniel 2:33-45, those we learned about in The Scarlet Beast With Seven Heads And Ten Horns.

Satan will make a covenant with these kings at the beginning of the Tribulation, the beginning of the final week of Daniel’s 70 Weeks, (Daniel 9:27, see: The Hour Of Temptation).

  • Why are the kings of the east going to symbolically cross over the Euphrates River?

Revelation 16:14 explains,

To gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

I have no doubt in my mind, before the Two Witnesses are killed, they will tell the inhabitants of the earth they will resurrect from the dead in 3 1/2 days. Upon their resurrection, Jesus Christ and His Angels will appear to end Satan's reign, (Revelation 11).


When the Sixth Vial is poured out, that means the Euphrates River is symbolically dry.

This will be the time when Satan successfully rallies “the kings of the earth”, (Revelation 16:14). The same “kings of the east”, the same Clay kings, along with the Iron kings that Satan brings with him, to battle against Jesus Christ and His Armies, (Daniel 2:33-45, Revelation 12:9).

Yet, the Seventh Vial will pour out, “and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done”, (Rev 16:17-18, 21, 17:12-14).  This brings about the defeat of Satan and his armies with the appearance of Jesus Christ and His Armies, (Revelation 19:14-20, Ezekiel 38, 39).

This will be the moment in time, when the people of God, finally obtain ‘victory through Christ’, (1 Corinthians 15:57).

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