"Go, Daniel! For the matters are obscured and sealed until the
time of the End. They will be elucidated and clarified and refined by many
[people]; the wicked will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will
understand; but the wise will understand." Daniel 12:9-10 1
Many who study Bible prophecy believe that the world's next imminent
prophetic event is the destruction of Damascus prophesied in Isaiah 17.
This document presents a hypothetical scenario for the fulfillment of this
prophecy based on biblical research and current events. Please note that
Isaiah made this prophecy approximately 2800 years ago. It is possible
that this prophecy will not be fulfilled for many centuries. It is also
possible that God relented or will relent from fulfilling this prophecy,
depending on the actions of the people of Damascus. In studying Bible
prophecy, times and dates generally elude us, and 20/20 hindsight is the
general rule. However, it is interesting to speculate as to our current
location on the prophetic timeline as presented in the interwoven
prophecies of the Bible. With that in mind, I present this document.
Please do not take my reasoning in this document too seriously, as my
premises may be incorrect; please test and refine this document with your
own study of the scriptures; and please remember that one of the primary
duties of all believers is to spread the good news that Jesus paid for our
sins on the cross so that we can live forever in the presence of God.
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority
has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make
disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I
commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the
age." (Matthew 28:19-20, New American Standard Version)
With perfect accuracy, the Bible predicted such events as:
The 70-year Babylonian captivity of the Jews.
"And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment,
and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years."
(Jeremiah 25:11 NKJ) 2The
military campaigns of Alexander the Great.
"And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the
west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground;
and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. Then he came to the ram
that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at
him with furious power." (Daniel 8:5-6 NKJ)
"The ram which you saw, having the two horns -- they are the kings
of Media and Persia. And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large
horn that is between its eyes is the first king." (Daniel 8:20-21
NKJ)The crucifixion of the Messiah.
"For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has
enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My
clothing they cast lots." (Psalms 22:16-18 NKJ)The
destruction of the second Temple after Messiah's first appearance.
"And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not
for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the
city and the sanctuary." (Daniel 9:26 NKJ)The
international exile and dispersion of the Jews.
"So I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed
throughout the countries; I judged them according to their ways and their
deeds." (Ezekiel 36:19 NKJ)The spread of the good news of
the Messiah to all nations.
"Indeed He says, 'It is too small a thing that You should be My
Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones
of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You
should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.'" (Isaiah 49:6
NKJ)Jewish persecution, the Holocaust, and related events.
"And I will pursue them with the sword, with famine, and with
pestilence; and I will deliver them to trouble among all the kingdoms of
the earth -- to be a curse, an astonishment, a hissing, and a reproach
among all the nations where I have driven them, because they have not
heeded My words, says the LORD, which I sent to them by My servants the
prophets." (Jeremiah 29:18-19 NKJ)The dispersed Jews'
return from the nations to the land of Israel.
"In the latter years you will come into the land of those ...
gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been
desolate; they were brought out of the nations..." (Ezekiel 38:8
Three Chronological Prophetic Events
Although many Bible prophecies have happened, others have not. Can we
determine when prophecies will happen chronologically with respect to
other prophecies? Many prophecies give clues that appear to link them to
other prophecies. Isaiah 17, an oracle concerning Damascus, is such a
prophecy. It gives clues that link it to Ezekiel 38-39, the prophecy of
the 'Gog/Magog war,' a multinational attack against Israel. Ezekiel, in
turn, seems to have written chapters 36-43 in the sequence the events in
those chapters will happen.3 That sequence indicates that the third Temple
will be standing after the Gog/Magog war. Let us now look at these three
future events: the destruction of Damascus, the Gog/Magog war, and the
construction of the third Temple. These events appear to be chronological
and, perhaps, imminent.
Event 1. Isaiah 17: An Oracle Concerning Damascus
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
"Among ancient cities of the world, Damascus is perhaps the
oldest continuously inhabited. Its name, Dimashq in Arabic ... derives
from Dimashka, a word of pre-Semitic etymology, suggesting that the
beginnings of Damascus go back to a time before recorded history."4Isaiah,
however, prophesied that in the future Damascus will no longer be a city.
Isaiah chapter 17 reads:
"An oracle concerning Damascus: 'See, Damascus will no longer be a
city but will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer* will be
deserted..." (Isaiah 17:1-2 NIV)5
* Aroer is in south central Jordan.6
"...and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make
them afraid. The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,"* (Isaiah
17:2-3 NIV) * The land of Ephraim is the central West Bank.7 Currently,
Palestinian Arabs populate this area."...and royal power from
Damascus; the remnant of Aram* will be like the glory of the Israelites,"
declares the LORD Almighty." (Isaiah 17:3 NIV)
* Aram refers to the Syrians.8"In
that day the glory of Jacob will fade*;…" (Isaiah 17:4 NIV)
* 'Jacob' represents the Israelites.
"...the fat of his body will waste away. It will be as
when a reaper gathers the standing grain and harvests the grain with his
arm— as when a man gleans heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. Yet
some gleanings will remain, as when an olive tree is beaten, leaving two
or three olives on the topmost branches, four or five on the fruitful
boughs," declares the LORD, the God of Israel. In that day men will look
to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will
not look to the altars, the work of their hands, and they will have no
regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have
made. In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the
Israelites*,9 will be like
places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth." (Isaiah 17:4-9 NIV)
* This highlighted statement indicates that the Israelites are
combatants in this prophecy.
" And all will be desolation. You have forgotten God your Savior;
you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.*" (Isaiah 17:9-10
NIV) * This may be the reason God allows the events of this chapter to
happen."Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant
imported vines, though on the day you set them out, you make them grow,
and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud, yet the
harvest will be as nothing* in the day of disease and incurable pain."
(Isaiah 17:10-11 NIV)
* This passage may give a clue to the time of year this prophecy will
happen.The next verses describe an ensuing uproar of
many nations and God's judgment on those nations:
"Oh, the raging of many nations— they rage like the raging
sea! Oh, the uproar of the peoples— they roar like the roaring of great
waters! Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he
rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the
hills, like tumbleweed before a gale. In the evening, sudden terror!
Before the morning, they are gone! This is the portion of those who
loot us, the lot of those who plunder us." ( Isaiah 17:12-14
NIV)The above final verses of the chapter transition
Isaiah's oracle concerning Damascus into a prophecy of a multinational
alliance that rises against Israel to "loot and plunder."
Event 2. Multinational Attack (Gog/Magog
Isaiah's clues indicate that the multinational attack that follows the
destruction of Damascus is the Gog/Magog war of Ezekiel 38-39.
"The word of the LORD came to me: 'Son of man, set your face
against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal;
prophesy against him and say: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am
against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you
around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole
army--your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large
and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and
Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all
its troops, and beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops--the
many nations with you.'" (Ezekiel 38:1-6 NIV)"Gog"
is a man. He is the political leader of the leading nation of the
multinational alliance. The only clue we have concerning his identity is
found in the book of 1 Chronicles.
"...the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu,
Hezron and Carmi. The descendants of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog
his son..." (1 Chronicles 5:4 KJV)10Gog
was a descendant of Reuben, the firstborn of Jacob, the patriarch of the
twelve tribes of Israel. It is possible that the commander of the
multinational attack is a direct descendant of Gog, a descendant of
Reuben, son of Jacob.
Ezekiel describes Israel's condition at the time of the invasion,
through God's prophetic words to Gog.
"Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hords gathered about you,
and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms. In
future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose
people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which
had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and
now all of them live in safety." (Ezekiel 38:7-8
NIV)The people of Israel now seem to fit the above
description for the first time in history, but with one major exception:
they do not yet live in safety. Terrorist attacks continue, and hostile
neighbors border Israel. However, if the threat of invasion by Israel’s
neighbors ceased, and if the Palestinian unrest ceased, Israel would
probably fit the above description. This will may be Israel's situation
after the prophecy in Isaiah 17 is complete (described in the previous
Gog, the leader of the multinational alliance, devises a scheme and
"I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against
the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in
livestock and goods, living at the center of the land." (Ezekiel 38:12
NIV)The reason for Gog's multinational attack is to
plunder and loot Israel. At the time of Gog's attack, Israel will have
recovered from war. After the war in Isaiah 17 in which Damascus is
destroyed, many nations will rise against Israel to loot and plunder.
These clues may indicate that Isaiah 17 transitions into Ezekiel 38 and
39. After Damascus is destroyed, the Gog/Magog war may happen next.
Isaiah 18's Mystery Nation--China?
Isaiah 18 gives further insight into the Gog/Magog war. Jewish
commentators agree that Isaiah 18 concerns the Gog/Magog war.
"Isaiah... speaks to the nations involved in the wars of 'Gog and
Isaiah summarizes the Gog/Magog war at the end of Isaiah 17, he further
explains the war in chapter 18, discussing two nations involved. One is
along (or beyond) the rivers of Cush (Ethiopia). This could be the Sudan.
"Woe to the land of whirring wings along the rivers of Cush,*
which sends envoys by sea in papyrus boats over the water." (Isaiah 18:1-2
* Cush is the upper Nile region, south of Egypt. The Sudan and
Ethiopia are located there. Cush is an ally in the Gog/Magog war: "Persia
[Iran], Cush [vicinity of Sudan and Ethiopia], and Put [Libya] will
be with them..." (Ezekiel 38:5 NIV; the brackets [ ] are
mine).Isaiah then describes a mystery nation to which
Cush will send messengers. Although the mystery nation is not named, a
riddle is given that helps us deduce the identity of this nation.
"Go, swift messengers, to a people tall and smooth-skinned, to a
people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose
land is divided by rivers." (Isaiah 18:2 NIV)The above
translation does not accurately translate the Hebrew text. Using a
computerized Hebrew Masoretic Text, I did an exhaustive computer
cross-reference of each word that describes the mystery nation. Here is a
better description of the mystery nation:
"...a nation led along according to someone else's will, smooth
(or hairless), a people feared from himself and beyond, a nation that
stretched measuring lines and subjugated, whose land the rivers
plundered." (Isaiah 18:2, translated by exhaustive computer
cross-reference of the Hebrew Masoretic Text) 12Let
us try to identify this 'mystery nation.' We will assume that the
description of this nation is its condition in the future, when messengers
from Cush arrive.
The first clue is based on the Hebrew word "mushach."13 This word
means "led along according to someone else's will." It indicates that the
people of this nation are led to do things not by their own free will, but
by the will of someone else. The people of this nation are not free.
The second clue, "smooth-skinned" (or hairless), comes from the Hebrew
word "morat,"14 This word
probably means smooth, or hairless. The people of this nation are either
clean-shaven, or, more probably, they do not naturally grow facial hair
and body hair.
The third clue is that its people are "feared from himself and beyond."
The Hebrew phrase reads, "nora min-hu vahalea." The descriptive Hebrew
root-words are "yare" and "min...halea."15 The people of
this nation are afraid of their own government and the nation is feared
worldwide. Their nation may be a world power.
The fourth clue, "a nation that stretched measuring lines and
subjugated," is from the Hebrew words "kav-kav" and "mevusa."16 he
combination of these words indicates that this nation stretched measuring
lines (like a carpenter does before he cuts a piece of wood) and then
subjugated, or subdued [people].
The fifth clue, "whose land the rivers have plundered" is based on the
Hebrew word "bazu." The verb "bazu" is found nowhere else in the Old
Testament except in this chapter in Isaiah. The word, however, is similar
to the noun "baz,"17 which means
"loot," or "plunder." The verb "bazu," therefore, probably means "looted,"
or "plundered." The passage indicates that rivers will have plundered, or
carried off the wealth of this nation's land before messengers from Cush
arrive. The rivers of the 'mystery nation' will have severely flooded.
Let us review all the clues. When messengers from Cush go to this
'mystery nation,' the nation has the following characteristics:
If this prophecy is imminent, China may be the modern nation
that best fits the Biblical description of the mystery nation of Isaiah
- The nation is not a free (or democratic) society.
- The nation's people are smooth-skinned (have little or no facial and
- The nation is a world power.
- The nation stretched measuring lines and then subjugated or subdued
- The nation will have just experienced massive river flooding.
Isaiah 18 continues, giving further insight into the Gog/Magog war.
"All you people of the world, you who live on the earth, when a
banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet
sounds, you will hear it. This is what the LORD says to me: "I will remain
quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the
sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." For, before the
harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, and cut down and take away
the spreading branches."* (Isaiah 18:3-5 NIV)
* This sentence may give a clue to the time of year of the Gog/Magog
defeat."They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey and
to the wild animals; the birds will feed on them all summer, the wild
animals all winter. At that time gifts will be brought to the LORD
Almighty from a people tall and smooth-skinned, from a people feared far
and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by
rivers*— the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of
the LORD Almighty." (Isaiah 18:6-7 NIV)
* again the 'mystery nation' passage is better translated: "...a
nation led along according to someone else's will, smooth-skinned (or
hairless), a people feared from himself and beyond, a nation that
stretched measuring lines and subjugated, whose land the rivers
plundered." (Isaiah 18:2 & 7)Isaiah 17
transitions into the Gog/Magog war at the end of the chapter. Isaiah 18
continues, giving further insight into the Gog/Magog war and describing a
nation that may be China.
Event 3: The Third Temple
The prophet Ezekiel described a Jerusalem Temple in chapters 40-43. The
passage opens with a vision.
"…I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in
the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. The man
said to me, 'Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears and
pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you
have been brought here. Tell the house of Israel everything you see.'"
(Ezekiel 40:3-4 NIV)As the vision unfolded, Ezekiel saw
and described, in detail, a Temple that had never been built, nor has it
ever been built. Two temples have been built in Jerusalem to
date—Solomon’s temple, and the post-Babylonian exile temple that King
Herod later renovated. Ezekiel had a vision of the third, future Temple.
Modern Jewish Temple movement groups are currently planning to build this
'Ezekiel Temple' when the opportunity arises.19 (endnote #18
In chapters 36-43, Ezekiel gave a chronology of three major future
events in Israel.20 The first is
in Ezekiel 36-37. These chapters describe Israelite people coming out of
all nations and returning to Israel. This prophecy has already happened
and is still happening as Jews return to Israel.
"For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from
all the countries and bring you back into your own land." (Ezekiel 36:24
"…'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites
out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all
around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one
nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel…'" (Ezekiel 37:21-22
NIV)The second major event is in Ezekiel 38-39. It is
the Gog/Magog war, discussed above.
"Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the
chief prince of Meshech and Tubal…" (Ezekiel 38:2 NIV)The
third major event is in Ezekiel 40-43. In these chapters, Ezekiel
described the future third Temple in Jerusalem. Based on Ezekiel's
chronology, Israelites will return to Israel (this has already happened
and continues to happen), then the Gog/Magog war will be fought, then the
third Temple will be standing.
The Prophet Joel: The Porch and the Altar
The prophet Joel, in chapter two, further describes the Gog/Magog
invasion (see endnote 21 for an
explanation). In Joel chapter two, Joel indicates that before the
Gog/Magog war ends, two components of the Temple will exist: the porch and
the altar. The altar is the brazen altar used for sacrificing animals.
"Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the
porch and the altar..." (Joel 2:17 KJV)
This passage indicates that efforts to rebuild the Temple may begin
before the Gog/Magog war ends.
How Imminent Are These Prophecies?
IIn the 20th century, with the establishment of the state of Israel
came the beginning of the fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy that the
Israelites would be gathered from the nations and would resettle the land
of Israel, which had long been desolate (Ezekiel 36-37; Ezekiel 38:7-8).
Now that this prophecy is being fulfilled, the following prophecies appear
to be upcoming events. Here they are, in their probable chronological
How imminent are these events?
- Damascus will be destroyed (Isaiah 17).
- The Gog/Magog multinational war will be fought against Israel
(Ezekiel 38-39, transition at end of Isaiah 17, Isaiah 18, Joel 2).
- The third Temple will stand in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40-43).
The Third Temple
The Red Heifer
Before Israel can hold ceremonies in the third Temple, an unblemished
red heifer must be sacrificed when it is in its third year of life
(between its second and third birthday).
"The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 'This is a requirement of the
law that the LORD has commanded: tell the Israelites to bring you a red
heifer without blemish and that has never been under a yoke…'" (Numbers
19:1-2 NIV)The red heifer's ashes must be mixed with
water, and this mixture must be sprinkled on Temple priests to purify
In the late summer of 1996, a red heifer was born in Israel to a black
and white cow and a brown bull.22 This red
heifer, named Melody, was not born as a result of red heifer breeding
efforts. Its birth was a surprise. Initially, this heifer was thought to
be the first flawless red heifer to be born in Israel in over 1,900 years,
and the 10th in the history of the Jewish people.23 According to
the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, to qualify as 'flawless' under Halacha
(Jewish law), a red heifer cannot have two white or two black hairs
growing from the same follicle. This red heifer was originally thought to
meet this requirement. Melody, however was proven to be flawed and
inappropriate for sacrifice.
Israeli Temple movement groups later set their hopes on a herd of Red
Heifers bred in Nebraska, the United States.24
Are red heifer breeding efforts an indication that Temple construction
is imminent? If so, then even more imminent are the two events that
precede the third Temple's existence: the destruction of Damascus, and the
The Temple Institute
In the mid 1980s, the Temple Institute was founded in Jerusalem. As of
autumn, 1997, this institute has built a collection of...
"...vessels, implements and musical instruments associated with
service at the Temple in Jerusalem. These artifacts are not mere models.
They have been created in strict accordance with Halacha (Jewish Law) and
historical sources. Each one represents close collaboration of the
Institute's rabbis and scholars with respected artists and craftsmen. They
have been reconstructed to be eligible for use in holy service at the
Temple in Jerusalem, G-d willing. Of 93 artifacts used in the Temple
service, 60 have been recreated."25The
remaining 33 artifacts are being recreated. The Temple Institute expects
the 93 artifacts to be used in the third Temple once it is built.
The Dome of the Rock
At the present, Israel cannot build the third Temple without sparking a
war. This is because the third holiest shrine of the Muslims sits on the
Temple Mount in Jerusalem. That shrine is the Dome of the Rock. However,
if the military forces of many Muslim nations are severely weakened, there
will be little, if any, resistance to keep Israel from building the
On an interesting note, in January, 1998, I phoned the Temple
Institute, Jerusalem, Israel and asked whether the brazen altar (the altar
of animal sacrifice mentioned in Joel 2:17, and quoted in "The Porch and
the Altar" section above) has been built. A representative from the
institute told me that the altar has not yet been built because it must be
built in place on the Temple mount, which is currently occupied by Muslim
buildings. I then asked whether the Israelis now had the capability to
construct the altar. The representative answered, "No problem." He also
said that a metal replica of the future altar is currently being used for
It appears that one could argue that the prophesied destruction of
Damascus, the prophesied Gog/Magog war and the prophesied erection of the
third temple may be chronological events. If recent movements in Israel to
prepare for the construction and dedication of the third temple indicate
that its erection is imminent, then the destruction of Damascus and the
Gog/Magog war may also be imminent.
Perhaps these events will take place soon. Perhaps they will not take
place for centuries. Perhaps the reasoning in this article is flawed and
the events are not chronological. Perhaps God will prevent the destruction
of Damascus from happening if its people repent. Perhaps the city was
completely destroyed at one time and the archaeological record has not yet
produced the evidence. Through further prayer and Bible study, may the
Lord help us to refine our understanding of the meanings of His
Appendix: Related Bible Prophecies That Need Further Research
A Related Damascus Prophecy?
Probably all Bible passages need further research, but another passage
that may be related to Damascus' future destruction is Amos 1:3-5. That
passage may provide further insight into the upcoming destruction of
Damascus. I have not studied that passage, so I do not know whether it is
about the past, future, or both. That is why I did not discuss it. Some
people think that the passage indicates that if Syria offensively attacks
Israel one more time, God will destroy the city of Damascus. Those people
think that Syria's offensive attacks against Israel in 1948, 1967, and
1973 are the first three sins mentioned in the passage below. Here is the
"This is what the LORD says: 'For three sins of Damascus, even for
four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because she threshed Gilead with
sledges having iron teeth, I will send fire upon the house of Hazael53 that will
consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.54 I will break
down the gate of Damascus; I will destroy the king who is in the Valley of
Aven and the one who holds the scepter in Beth Eden. The people of Aram
will go into exile to Kir,' says the LORD." (Amos 1:3-5
Someone may want to study the chapters in Isaiah surrounding Isaiah 17.
Those chapters prophesy against several of Israel's neighbors. Amos
chapter 1 and Micah 5:5-6 also prophesy against several of Israel's
neighbors. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt are not mentioned in
Ezekiel's prophecy in chapters 38-39 of the Gog/Magog multinational
attack. Yet Ezekiel, in chapter 38:5, mentioned Libya (Put), Iran
(Persia), and what appears to be the Sudan (Cush), all of which now have
one or two nations between their borders and Israel. In Ezekiel 38:8 and
38:14, Israel is described as living in safety before the Gog/Magog war.
Can this be possible unless Israel's hostile neighbors' military forces
are neutralized? Why didn't Ezekiel mention Israel's immediate neighbors?
Perhaps the chapters surrounding Isaiah 17 and Amos 1 give clues.
Further Gog/Magog Considerations
Someone may want to study Ezekiel 39:11. Here it is:
"Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use
the weapons for fuel and burn them up... For seven years they will use
them for fuel." (Ezekiel 39:11 NIV)The above passage
indicates that during the seven years after the Gog/Magog war, the
Israelites will burn the weapons of the multinational alliance. This
brings up some questions: Does this seven-year period continue through the
final half of Daniel's 70th 'week,' or does it end before the 70th 'week'.
In considering the prophecy concerning Israel's burning of Gog/Magog
weapons for seven years, one must note that several prophecies indicate
that a remnant of Israelite people will go into exile in the wilderness
during the final half of Daniel's 70th 'week.' This may indicate that the
Israelites will be unable to "go out and use the weapons [of the Gog/Magog
armies] for fuel..." during that exile. The most famous prophecy that
predicts this exile is in Revelation, and reads:
"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." (Revelation 12:6
NIV)Another possibility is that the seven year period for
burning weapons after the Gog/Magog war concerns a second Gog/Magog war
that happens after the Messiah's millennial reign.
"When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his
prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the
earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. They marched across the
breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he
loves." (Revelation 20:7-9 NIV)
After Two Days
Someone may also want to study the following two prophecies:
"After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will
restore us; that we may live in his presence." (Hosea 6:2 NIV)
"For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just
gone by..." (Psalm 90:4 NIV)
The passage above from Hosea mentions two things God does for us so
that we may live in his presence: He revives and restores us. The portion
that states, "…on the third day he will restore us,” was probably
fulfilled when Jesus was resurrected on the third day. Perhaps the part
that states, "After two days he will revive us,” combined with the above
passage from Psalms indicates that He will resurrect ("revive") us after
2000 years from a start-point that needs to be determined. Could that
start-point be the day Jesus ascended into heaven?
Or perhaps "after two days he will revive us that we may live in his
presence" refers to the time when Jesus reigns on earth and we physically
live in his presence here on earth. In trying to determine a start-point
and end-point for a possible 2000-year interval, one may want to consider
the following: around the Spring of AD 31, Jesus ascended into heaven.
This event may have marked the beginning of a 2000-year period before the
Messiah's physical return when we will live in his presence on earth. Of
course, based on the words of Jesus, nobody but the Father knows the day
or the hour in which Jesus will return. But it’s fun to speculate.
For more information on prophecy and Damascus, browse the World Wide
Web, using combinations of such keywords as 'Damascus', 'Isaiah', 'Syria',
'War', and 'Prophecy.' Please test every article with the Bible.
1 The Stone
Edition Tanach. Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications Ltd. 1996 (A Jewish
Translation of the Bible).
(To return to your place, click
your browser's "back" arrow or the endnote number.)
2 NKJ: New King
James Version. Biblical texts researched in producing this document were
the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia BHS (Hebrew Masoretic Text), the
Byzantine/Majority textform Greek New Testament, and the following English
Versions: King James, New King James, New International, Revised Standard,
the Stone Edition Tanach, and the New Jewish Publications Society
Translation of the Tanakh. Many texts were accessed via Bushell, Michael
S., BibleWorks for Windows. Big Fork, Montana: Hermeneutica
Software, 1996 and Logos Bible Software 2.0c, The Logos Library
System, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996. In several
instances, vague translations were clarified by extracting certain Hebrew
words' meanings through exhaustively cross-referencing the words
throughout a computerized Hebrew Masoretic Text of the Tanach (Old
Testament) and viewing the words in various contexts.
3 The central
themes of each of the major events in (1) Ezekiel 36-37, (2) 38-39 and (3)
40-43 appear to be in chronological order. Those central themes are, in
sequence, (1) the repopulating of Israel by the Jewish people, (2) the
Gog/Magog war, and (3) the existence of the third Temple in Jerusalem.
There appears to be overlap between events. Event (1) appears to overlap
into events (2) and (3). Joel 2:17 ("…porch and the altar…") indicates
that event (2) may overlap into event (3). Event (3) appears to overlap
into future prophecies that are beyond the scope of this document.
Encyclopedia Britannica on the World Wide Web, at http://www.eb.com/cgi-bin/g?keywords=Damascus+is+the+oldest+continuously
5 NIV: New
6 Achtemier, Paul
J., Th.D., Harper's Bible Dictionary. San Francisco: Harper and
Row, Publishers, Inc., 1985.
Bible Dictionary. Chicago, Ill: Moody Press, 1985, map 4.
8 Achtemier, Paul
J., Th.D., Harper's Bible Dictionary. San Francisco: Harper and
Row, Publishers, Inc., 1985.
underlined and italicized print in this and other passages in this
document are added for emphasis.
10 KJV: King
11 The Stone
Edition Tanach. Brooklyn, NY: Mesorah Publications Ltd. 1996, p. 984
(a footnote on Isaiah 18:1).
Masoretic Text accessed via: Bushell, Michael S., BibleWorks for
Windows. Big Fork, Montana: Hermeneutica Software, 1996.
13 The word
"mushach" is found in Genesis 37:28 "So when the Midianite merchants
came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold
him..." (NIV); Exodus 12:21 "Draw out and take you a lamb
according to your families, and kill the passover." (KJV); and
Deuteronomy 21:3 "...take an heifer, which hath not been wrought in,
and which hath not drawn in the yoke." (KJV). (These passages
are quoted from the NIV or KJV as annotated. They are cross-references for
the Hebrew word "mushach" in the Hebrew Masoretic Text).
14 The Hebrew
verb "morat" means to remove hair (shave): Ezra 9:3 "When I heard this,
I... pulled hair from my head and beard...". The Hebrew
adjective "morat" means "polished", "smooth", or "burnished": 1 Kings 7:45
"the pots, shovels and...bowels...were of burnished bronze"
(These passages are quoted from the NIV. They are cross-references for the
Hebrew word "morat" in the Hebrew Masoretic Text). Therefore, when the
adjective "morat" is used to describe a person, it probably means
"clean-shaven", "smooth-skinned", or "hairless" (little or no facial or
references for "yare:" Genesis 28:17 "And he was afraid, and said, How
dreadful is this place!"(KJV); Exodus 15:11 "...who is like
thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises..."(KJV). Cross
references for "min...halea:" 1 Samuel 20:22 "...the arrows are
beyond you..."; Ezekiel 39:22 "From that day
forward..."(NIV) (These passages are quoted from the KJV or
NIV, as annotated. They are cross-references for the Hebrew words "yare"
and "halea" in the Hebrew Masoretic Text).
references for "kav:" Isaiah 44:13 "The Carpenter measures with a
line and makes an outline with a marker...;" 2 Kings 21:13
"I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used
against Samaria..."; Job 38:4-5 "Where were you when I laid the
earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its
dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across
it?." Cross reference for "mevusa:" Isaiah 22:5 "The Lord, the LORD
Almighty, has a day of tumult and trampling and terror in the
Valley of Vision..." (These passages are quoted from the NIV. They are
cross-references for the Hebrew words "kav" and "mevusa" in the Hebrew
17 The word
"baz" is found in Isaiah 10:6 "...I dispatch him against a people who
anger me, to seize loot and snatch plunder..."; and Isaiah
33:23 "Then an abundance of spoils will be divided and even the lame
will carry off plunder" (These passages are quoted from the
NIV. They are cross-references for the Hebrew word "baz" in the Hebrew
19 An Orthodox
Jewish Rabbi (name withheld) in Wheaton, Maryland (the United States),
informed me that there is a strong push within current Temple movement
groups to build the Ezekiel Temple. Some people, however, disagree, and
want to build a replica of one of the ancient versions of the
20 Please see
21 Since the
focus of this document is to show why Isaiah 17 (Damascus' destruction)
may be imminent, I do not want to discuss in detail why Joel 2 further
describes the Gog/Magog invasion. Here is a summary of Joel 2: A huge army
(verse 2), with aircraft (verse 5), invades Israel using battle tactics
currently used by Russia and Russia's allies (verses 3, 7, 8). The army
originates from the north (verse 20), attacks from the west (deduced from
verse 20), and retreats after an act of God (verse 20). The army's leading
forces retreat east toward the Dead Sea (verse 20), and its trailing
forces retreat west toward the Mediterranean (verse 20). God defeats the
army when the nation of Israel returns to God, which happens during this
invasion (verses 12-20). After the war, God pours his Spirit onto the
people of Israel (verses 28-29) and performs wonders in the heavens and on
earth (verses 30-31). Then the Day of the Lord begins, and God judges the
military forces of all nations in a final end-of-the-age battle in the
Middle East (chapter 3). By comparing Joel chapter 2 events with other
prophecies, and by noting the Joel chapter 2 invasion's setting with
reference to the surrounding sequence of prophetic events, one can deduce
that Joel 2 describes the Gog/Magog invasion. This war appears to be
extremely important in God's eyes, perhaps because it marks the time when
the Israelite nation finally returns to God forever. Perhaps this is why
the war appears in several prophecies.
22 The Boston
Globe, 4/6/97, p. A1. Article by Ethan Bronner, Globe Staff. http://users.aol.com/mkneisler/noah/naredhef.htm
1997 Shavuot Update. "Has the Red Heifer Appeared in Israel?"
Messianic Times, Volume 8, number 4, Winter, 1998, page 12. Rosen,
David. "Unblemished" Red Heifer will be shipped to Israel. The
Messianic Times, P.O. Box 1180, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. http://www.messianictimes.com/
25 The Temple
Institute's home page on the Web, at http://www.temple.org.il/
answers can be found in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21.
reference: Revelation 6:13 (NIV) "and the stars in the sky fell to the
earth..." Note that two verses later, Revelation 6:17 indicates that
these events mark the time of God's wrath: "For the great day of their
wrath has come, and who can stand?"
references: Isaiah 13:13 (NIV) "Therefore I will make the heavens
tremble...;" Haggai 2:6 (NIV) "...In a little while I will once
more shake the heavens..."
reference: Daniel 7:13 (KJV) "I saw in the night visions, and, behold,
one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven..."
references: Leviticus 23:24 (NKJ) "Speak to the children of Israel,
saying: 'In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall
have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy
convocation;" 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NIV) "...we will all be
changed--in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
trumpet;" Revelation 11:15-14:20 (NIV), beginning with "The
seventh angel sounded his trumpet..."
references: Revelation 14:16 (NIV) "So he who was seated on the cloud
swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested;" Joel
3:13 (NIV) "Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe;" Mark
4:26-29 (NIV) "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters
seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed
sprouts and grows...All by itself the soil produces grain...As soon as the
grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has
32 Jesus was
quoting Psalms 118:22-23
Flavius, The Works of Josephus (Wars of the Jews, 6:3:4). Oak
Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997.
means "Christian." Both words describe a people who are "followers of
God's Anointed One." "Messianic" is an anglicized Hebrew word. "Christian"
is an anglicized Greek word.
William Ph.D. The Ascendance of "Messianic Judaism" in the Context of
"Hebrew Christianity" http://mcu.edu/papers/mess_jud.htm and Chernoff, Yohanna. Born a Jew… Die a Jew. Hagerstown,
MD: EBED Publications, 1996, page 131.
William Ph.D. The Ascendance of "Messianic Judaism" in the Context of
"Hebrew Christianity" http://mcu.edu/papers/mess_jud.htm
Messianic Jewish Congregations are listed on the Internet at http://www.messianic.com/pchome.htm
Chernoff passed away on October 27, 1985 (Chernoff, Yohanna. Born a
Jew… Die a Jew. Hagerstown, MD: EBED Publications, 1996, page
39 What is
Beth Messiah Synagogue? Beth Messiah Web site
41 See endnote
45, below, for a description of the exact calculation. On the Gregorian
(modern) calendar, an average year is 365.2425 days. This accounts for one
leap year every four years minus three leap years every four centuries.
The mean solar (tropical) year is actually closer to 365.24219878 days
long (see The Babylonian Calendar, The Proceedings of the Friesian
School, Fourth Series, at http://www.friesian.com/calendar.htm paragraph 7).
Paul J., Th.D. Harper's Bible Dictionary. San Francisco: Harper and
Row, Publishers, Inc., 1985 (Accessed via Logos Bible Software
2.0c, The Logos Library System, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research
Systems, Inc., 1996).
Cambridge Ancient History, Second Ed., Vol V, The Fifth Century BC.
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992 (Library of Congress card
#75-85719), "…the death of Xerxes, recently firmly dated to August 465…"
(page 13) "…somewhere between 4 and 8 August" (page 13, footnote 47). See
also Stolper, M. W. "Some Ghost Facts About Achaemenid Babylonian Texts,"
Journal of Hellenic Studies 108 (1988), pp. 196-8. See also Parker,
Richard A., and Dubberstein, Waldo H., Babylonian Chronology 626 BC -
AD 75. Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 1956 (Library of
Congress Catalogue # 56-10735), "(Aug. 4? - 8?, 465), Death by murder of
Xerxes…" "The day number is imperfectly preserved…" (page 17).
44 A lunar month
is the time from one new moon to the next. It is approximately 29.53059
days. The Jewish Passover, which happens on 14 Nisan, cannot fall before
the spring (vernal) equinox. The spring equinox falls around March 21 at
the moment the sun passes directly over the equator, moving from South to
North. At that time, the length of time in a day and night are
approximately equal. The first 'fourteenth day of a lunar cycle' on or
after the spring equinox is Passover, and its lunar month is Nisan. For
further reading, see Bushwick, Nathan, Understanding the Jewish
Calendar. Brooklyn, NY: Moznaim Publishing Corporation, 1989, p.
45 On the
Gregorian (modern) calendar, adding 173,880 days to a date in the spring
of 446 BC is the same as adding 476 years and 24 days. This accounts for
116 leap years (from February, 445 BC to February, AD 28). On the
Gregorian calendar, 101 BC, 201 BC, and 301 BC were not leap years. 1 BC
and 401 BC were leap years. One year passed between 1 BC and AD 1. The
calculation is (7 'weeks') + (62 'weeks') = (69 'weeks') X (2520
days-per-'week') = 173,880 days = (376 years) X (365 days-per-year) + (116
leap-year-days) + (24 additional days).
46 I plan do an
astronomical computer calculation to determine the new moon of the month
of Nisan at the time of Artaxerxes' decree, and the new moon of Nisan 476
years later. These calculations would allow us to obtain a one-month range
for the time of "Messiah the Prince" by adding 476 Gregorian years and 24
days to both the first and last days of Nisan, the year of the command.
The calculations and values obtained must account for and show scientific
47 Jesus was
crucified in the spring, Passover, 14 Nisan on the traditional Jewish
lunisolar calendar upheld by the Pharisees.* The spring equinox is around
March 21. Passover falls between the spring equinox and 29 days later.
Passover fluctuates from year to year with reference to the equinox
because Passover is the first 14th day of a lunar cycle after the spring
equinox. *A calendar discovered at Qumran suggests that a minority
Jewish first-century sect used a 364-day solar calendar. This may account
for the Passover discrepancy between the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark
and Luke) and the gospel of John. The minority sect always held Passover
on a specific Tuesday, regardless of the majority's Passover day. I do not
know how the minority sect dealt with the approximately 1.25-day
discrepancy between their year and a true solar year. Nor have I found any
information that interpolates their new years days to the Gregorian
calendar. (see Talmon, Shemaryahu, The World of Qumran from Within:
Collected Studies. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1989, pp. 147-185; see
also The Calendar (Mishmarot) of the Community at Qumram, Baltimore
City Community College, at http://www.erols.com/bcccsbs/dsscal.htm).
48 Tanakh The
Holy Scriptures. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society,
49 According to
the rules of grammar, a pronoun refers to the noun that is the nearest
evangelical scholars affirm that Revelation was written in AD 95 or 96.
This is based on accounts of the early church fathers that the Apostle
John had been exiled on Patmos Island during the reign of Domitian who
died in AD 96. John was then allowed to return to Ephesus." Walvoord, John
F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Wheaton,
Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc., 1983, 1985.
51 One month
equals 29.53059 days, the amount of time in a lunar cycle.* Therefore, 42
lunar months equals 1,240.28 days (about 3 years and 4 ¾ Gregorian
[modern] months). Note also Revelation 13:5 (NIV): "The beast was given a
mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority
for forty-two months." *Some have hypothesized that before the
Flood, an ancient month (lunar cycle) may have been exactly 30 days, based
on the following passages: "...on the seventeenth day of the second
month...all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates
of the heavens were opened." (Genesis 7:11 NIV); "The waters flooded the
earth for a hundred and fifty days." (Genesis 7:24 NIV); "At the end of
the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth
day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat."
(Genesis 8:3-4 NIV) Based on the above three passages, some think that 5
pre-Flood months passed in 150 days, thus an ancient month may have
equaled 30 days. This may mean that during the Flood, the earth's
rotational period slightly decreased and/or the moon's orbital period
slightly increased. For a theory that may lead to a logical explanation
for these possible phenomenon, see the Hydroplate Theory at
www.creationscience.com, and consider the physical effects on the earth of
the Genesis 7:11 event: "...on that day all the springs of the great deep
burst forth..." (NIV).
52 This rabbi
lives in Wheaton, Maryland, in the United States. His name is
reference: 1 Kings 19:15 (NIV) "The LORD said to him, "Go back the way
you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint
Hazael king over Aram" (Aram refers to the people of Syria.).
references: 2 Kings 6:24 (NIV) "Some time later, Ben-Hadad king of Aram
mobilized his entire army and marched up and laid siege to Samaria"
(Aram refers to the people of Syria); Jeremiah 49:27 (NIV) "I will set
fire to the walls of Damascus; it will consume the fortresses of