Why Does The Euphrates River Dry Up In Revelation?
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.
Name: Brandon T. Ward
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, we are going to lay some ground work and provide some examples before bringing it all together.
The Sixth Vial And The Euphrates River
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). The Fifth Vial is poured on the two “Beasts” of Revelation 13, which are symbolic of Satan and his kingdom, (Revelation 12:9, 13:1,11). This event will transpire at or just after the “Midst of the Week”, during the Great Tribulation, no doubt due to “The Testimony” of the Saints and the Two Witnesses, (see: The Silence In Heaven And The Two Witnesses).
Please turn your Bible with me too,
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.”
What 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.
With respect to the Euphrates River, Biblically we can think of it as a semi-symbolical line between “good” and “bad“.
West of the Euphrates River, we have the land of Israel where historically the Israelites lived, we consider them to be “good” since they were chosen by God to bring His Message to the world, (see: Are The Jews God’s Chosen People?).
East of the Euphrates River, we primarily have the land of Babylonia, and Babylon was a heathen nation full of idolatrous practices and certainly symbolic of Satan. I said “semi” and “primarily” as Babylon was located on both sides of the Euphrates River, but east of Israel.
Biblically speaking, when the Euphrates River dries up, essentially the line between “good” and “bad” becomes blurred, and/or is no longer present. In the great book of Timothy we are told in the last days men would become wicked, and right would be turned wrong, (2 Timothy 3:1-7). We see these things today, but the events of the Sixth Vial are reserved for the Tribulation.
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).
Modern Day Example
I am also reminded of an article I recently 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.”
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.” – Smithsonian Mag
While I opened by explaining Revelation 16:12 is symbolic in nature, that is not to say our Father 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.
Now we can bring our mind back to Revelation 16:12.
- Why is the Euphrates River symbolically dried up 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” (Strong’s: G395) 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 symbology, and “the whole world lieth in wickedness“, not just a part of it, (1 John 5:19).
Further, we know one of Satan’s many names is “Lucifer” (Strong’s: H1966) which means, “the morning star” (Isaiah 14:12) which also references the sun, the “rising of light“.
Understanding that, we now know 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 that 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 Seventy 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).
The Sixth Vial having now been poured out means the Euphrates River is symbolically dry. This will be the time when Satan successfully rallies “the kings of the earth”, the same “kings of the east”, the same Clay kings along with the Iron kings to battle against Jesus Christ and His Armies.
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“, (Revelation 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 the victory through Christ, (1 Corinthians 15:57).