Is the drying up of the Euphrates a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy?

Apparently the Euphrates River is drying up. Images online show how severe drought in the region has significantly reduced the water levels in the river and the canals fed by it. The Euphrates river flows through Syria and Iraq into the Persian Gulf. This river is one of the two major rivers surrounding the Fertile Crescent where human civilization is first recorded to have flourished. The Euphrates River was important to the great Empires of the ancient world, including the Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian Empires. Abraham the father of Israel was born and grew to manhood in a city along the banks of the Euphrates.

The Euphrates continues to be important today and it will play a major role in the events at the end of the world. Revelation 16:12 foretells of a catastrophic drying up of the Euphrates which will allow a massive army to march from the east into Israel. Right now the areas feeding the Euphrates have suffered a drought and the river’s water volume has dropped considerably. Is this a fulfillment of the prophecy of Revelation?

This question can be answered in one word. No. Most of the book of Revelation (chapters 4-19) describes events in Heaven and on Earth that will occur during a period of time known as the Tribulation. The Tribulation will last for seven years and will begin with the rise of the Antichrist to worldwide power. The Tribulation is marked by catastrophes unlike anything the world has experienced since the day’s of Noah’s flood. The drying up of the Euphrates mentioned in Revelation 16 takes place well after the beginning of the tribulation.

Revelation describes three series of seven judgments that will strike the earth during the Tribulation. The drying up of the Euphrates is the sixth judgment of the second series. Before the Euphrates dries up there will be massive earthquakes, devastating war, worldwide famine, the death of billions of people and other equally horrific catastrophes. Since none of those natural disasters have happened yet and since the world is not currently under the dominion of a single tyrant the present drying up of the Euphrates can be declared with certainty to not be the event prophesied in the Bible.

Asking if certain events fulfill Biblical prophecies is not a bad thing. However, we must be careful to avoid hysteria over these events. All must beware of people who sensationalize dramatic world events. If you read or listen to someone who says the equivalent of, “The Euphrates dried up and you won’t believe what happened next” or, “you won’t believe what they found,” then be on guard. Phrases like that are usually the words of a charlatan more concerned with selling something or gaining subscribers than declaring God’s truth.

The Bible does not tell about future events so readers can pinpoint when Jesus is going to come back. The Bible tells us about coming events so all will know the character of God and so people will prepare themselves for the return of Jesus. To be ready for the return of Jesus two things must be done. First, you must trust Jesus as your Savior from your sin. Second, after salvation you must live in holiness so your life will be pleasing to Him when He returns.