:: "Taken Away
From Being a City.."
Many who study Bible prophecy believe that one of the soon to be
fulfilled events may be the destruction of Damascus as prophesied in Isaiah
17. Damascus is the capital of Syria.
Syria is finding their way into the News Headlines
more and more lately. Whether it is because of their extremely
harsh stance against Israel, or the fact that Damascus is the home to
numerous terrorist organizations, or even more recently because of
the trouble they are stirring up in the Iraqi war. Suffice it to say, they
are getting some attention.
The purpose of this article is to focus on some prophecies in God's
Word concerning Syria ... more specifically their capital Damascus. The
most obvious reason that we believe these prophecies are yet future, is
because Damascus exists! It has NEVER ceased to be a city!
Let's look at the History, Facts, and most importantly ... the
:: "The Oldest
Continuously Inhabited City"
Damascus is named 60 times in 55 verses in the King James Bible.
The first time we see it mentioned is right at the beginning in Genesis
Later, we see the prophet Isaiah declaring;
definitive language regardless of translation)
taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous
NKJV-"Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city,
And it will be a ruinous heap."
NASB-"Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from
being a city. And will become a fallen ruin."
NIV-"See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will
become a heap of ruins."
NLT-"Look, Damascus will disappear! It will become a
heap of ruins."
Yet as irony would have it, today Damascus has a "claim to fame"
which is, that it is "the oldest continuously inhabited city in the
On CNN Presents March 15, 2003 ... "Lines in the Sand".
Shelia Macvicar, CNN Senior International Correspondent, took a trip
the Middle East to see how a war with Iraq would play in the Arab
From the transcripts ... "When you talk about
civilization, Syrians like to remind you their capital Damascus is the
oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, an old culture that
has slowly started to embrace reform. For nearly 20 years, Syria has
been on the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terror and
it has not yet made peace with Israel...." Here's a few more ...
I think it has been established that
Damascus has been a city for quite some time,
- "Located in a strategic gap commanding the Barada River and
transdesert routes, Damascus has been inhabited since prehistoric
times and is reputedly the oldest continuously occupied city in the
world. There was a city on its site even before the time (c.2000 BC)
of Abraham..." encyclopedia.com
- "Damascus is known to be the oldest continuously inhabited
city in the world. There is firm evidence that in the third
millennium BC, Damascus was a population center of a civilization that
was considerably prosperous and economically influential. The earliest
reference to the city was found in the archaeological site of Ebla in
1975; where the word "Damaski" was found on one of the clay tablets.
Some historians believe that the city actually dates back to the seventh
millennium BC..." damascus
- "Said to be the world's oldest inhabited city, Damascus
today is a thriving modern capital. Three thousand years ago it was the
capital of the Aramean Kingdom and was later conquered by Alexander the
Great, when it became an important Greek city. It was also a major city
of the Roman Empire and fell to the Muslims in 635A.D ..." arab.net
- "The capital and largest city of Syria, in the southwest part of
the country. Inhabited since prehistoric times ..." dictionary.com
- "Damascus (Sham or Dimashq as we call it) has the reputation
of being the oldest city in the world. More recent discoveries
suggest that Damascus was first settled ca. 6,000 B.C. but some
discoveries suggest that it is older than 8,000 B.C. but we don't know
exactly who ruled Damascus at that time. An old story says that its name
"Sham" was derived from "Shem" the eldest son of Noah because he chose
to live there after the flood...." arabicnet
- "Damascus is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited
cities, and reports run back at least 3,500 years. Many claim
that Damascus is the oldest continued inhabited city in the world.
While modern Damascus is a standard Middle Eastern city, it was
famous for centuries, and often referred to as the "pearl of the
and indeed remains as
:: Prophecy or
"For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not."
33:14 One of the intriguing things about Bible Prophecy is that
very often we find there is an immediate smaller or partial
fulfillment foreshadowing a larger or complete fulfillment yet to
come. Some use the phrase short and long term prophecy regarding this.
Where as, some of what is being described in a given passage was
applicable to the time period in which it was written ... further study
may reveal a broader future fulfillment in these last days.
"When the prophets wrote, they were using a telescoping
perspective, like a zoom lens with dynamic focal length. They would
prophesy about something that would not be far away, and then, in the
same breath, talk about something that would happen centuries later.
That also resulted in double references, like an echo in advance. For
instance, Daniel wrote of a particular king, but he was also referring
to events in the final days..." (Learn the Bible in 24 Hours, pg. 126
- Dr. Chuck Missler)
One of the reasons that God may have designed Prophecy in this manner,
could have been so that His true prophets would be validated by having
their prophecies come to pass in their own lifetimes. (Deuteronomy
18:21-22) Then in doing this, also declare much more than was
immediately apparent. Of course in hindsight, we can look at the bigger
picture, and see - from our last days viewpoint - how incredibly God
arranged these events. To be true. Then true again.
For a great example of this, let's take literal Babylon (Iraq)
"the land of the Chaldeans" ... The destruction described in
several passages is quite detailed, and it has not yet occurred. The Bible
says it would be destroyed like Sodom & Gomorrah and would never be
inhabited again etc. (Isaiah
14:19-22 ... Jeremiah
50:39-40) Babylon in fact, was conquered in 539 B.C. by Cyrus
the Persian. But he took it without a battle and of this he
bragged! "... without any battle, he entered the town, sparing any
calamity..." (The Stele of Cyrus, The British Museum in London)
There is clearly some unfinished business concerning Babylon.
Many believe this is also the case with the Damascus prophecies. While
many prophecy students believe this event is yet future ... you may find
multiple commentaries mentioning how Isaiah 17 was fulfilled in 2 Kings
16:9 when Tiglath-pileser "went up against Damascus". But, the city
never ceased to exist. The strong wording of the passages that
predict this city's dramatic and final judgment we believe are yet future.
(Recently we found a website, trying to discredit the Bible ... as
coincidence would have it, one of the arguments they presented was that
this prophecy in Isaiah 17 was never fulfilled! ... Stay
:: On the Naughty
Syria's blatant hatred for Israel is common knowledge. Their leaders
usually pepper their speech with Anti-Semitic language every chance they
get. Just recently Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with
a Lebanese newspaper that as long as the Jewish state exists it will be a
"As long as Israel exists, the threat exists. As long as there is
aggression against an Arab country, and as long as there is a war close
to our borders, the danger continues. Anyone who does not worry in such
circumstances does not see reality. Worry does not mean fear, but
readiness for the confrontation. ..."
This view is nothing new ... right after Israel became a Nation
(May 14, 1948) fulfilling Bible Prophecy and kick-starting the last of the
last days ... Damascus radio was calling on all Arabs to: "undertake
the liberation battle that will tear the hearts from the bodies of the
hateful Jews and trample them in the dust" - quoted in
TIME, June 2, p. 20
"... None of us and none of the Arabs trust Israel. It is natural
that we should always expect an Israeli attack, even when it does not
threaten. It should be known that Israel is based on treachery. This is
a point to be considered thoroughly. We are dealing with treachery and
threats, which accompanied the establishment of Israel. Since its very
inception, Israel has been a threat. It is the Israeli nature, and for
that Israel was established." (Syrian President Bashar
Assad --> more)
Syria is a charter member of the list of "state sponsors of
terrorism"--appearing on the first such list in 1979--and it has kept its
spot on that list ever since. According to the State Department, the
Syrian government has not been directly engaged in terrorism since it was
implicated in the attempted bombing of an El Al flight in 1986.
Nevertheless, Syria has retained its status as a state-sponsor of
terrorism because it meets the criteria outlined in the Arms Export
Amendments Act of 1989, which in part defines terrorist states as those
that allow their territory to be used as a sanctuary; provide logistical
support to terrorists or terrorist organizations; provide safe haven or
headquarters for terrorists and their organizations; plan, direct, train,
or assist in activities; and/or provide financial support for activities.
According to the 1998 edition of the State Department's annual report,
Patterns of Global Terrorism, Syria provides safe haven and logistical
support to terrorists. Specifically, says Patterns 1998, Damascus
permits numerous terrorist groups -- headed by Hamas, the Palestinian
Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
- General Command (PFLP-GC)--to maintain their headquarters in
Damascus and Syria-controlled territory in Lebanon, and it allows
Hizballah to receive military supplies via Syrian territory.... the Peace Encyclopedia
"Syria, a fierce foe of Israel, hosts 10 radical Palestinian
factions in its capital, Damascus."
March 1, 2003 - jerusalem
Damascus = a sack full of blood; the similitude of burning
... Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary
:: 4 Strikes -
"...For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four,
not turn away the punishment thereof..." Amos 1:3
Frequently referenced, is the above passage in Amos, concerning coming
judgment on Damascus. Many are aware that Syria, has attacked Israel in 3
major wars since Israel became a nation again in 1948. Could it be that
Syria, will actually attempt a 4th time to do great harm to Israel and in
turn be dealt this extreme judgment from the God of Abraham, Issac and
The War of Independence
- The War of
Independence, 1948 - Peace Encyclopedia
The 6 Day War
- Israeli War for
Independence - ADL
- The Six-Day
War - Peace Encyclopedia
The Yom Kippur War
- The 1967 War - ADL
- The Yom
Kippur War, 1973 - Peace Encyclopedia
- The 1973 Yom
Kippur War - ADL
:: Too Close for
For those of you who think this horrific event could not occur, brace
On at least one occasion it almost did ...
On February 16, 2001 ... There was a combined American-British air raid
against the Command/Control center in Iraq, 20 miles North of Baghdad. The
intention was to pre-empt Saddam Hussein.
There were 2 US AWACS, 4 Hawkeye-A2C Spy Planes and 36 other US/British
aircraft that took off from the Incherlik base in Turkey heading for Iraq.
The Israeli Air Force was also involved. There were 35 JSOW missiles
fired. They all missed their targets due to software problems. This simply
strengthened Saddam's resolve.
A few days later U.S. satellites pick up 6 Iraqi divisions moving
westward, including ground-to-ground missiles with launching equipment.
The U.S. intelligence community estimated they would be ready for launch
by Thursday evening, February 22, 2001. Israel placed their security
forces and the Northern Israeli towns on alert.
Syrian President Bashar Assad granted permission for these 6 Iraqi
divisions to be deployed on the Syrian-Iraqi border. He gave the Hizballah
an OK to unleash a long-range rocket attack against northern Israel. The
U.S. and Israeli governments issued grave warnings to the Syrian
government. There were also massive Palestinian terrorists attacks being
programmed as a signal for regional flare-up. Yassir Arafat arranged his
personal evacuation contingences to Baghdad.
A message was sent thru Tony Blair warning Iraq that Israel was
preparing a preemptive strike:
There would be Neutron bombs on 6 Iraqi
divisions and Nuclear strikes on Damascus & Baghdad.
The button was to be pushed at 7:30 PM Thursday Eve.
Iraqi surface missiles remained stationary; 7:30 PM: everyone stands
down ... for the time being!
For more info check out: "Red
Sky At Morning - Strategic Trends Update" from Koinonia House.
See Also: "On
the Precipice of Armageddon" ... World Net Daily, February 24, 2001
... All-out conflagration nearly engulfed Mideast this week ...
You can also view our News Archives for February
:: The Road To
(Recent News Commentary from Roger Oakland - Understand The Times
When most people familiar with the Bible think of the road to Damascus
, they are reminded of the location where the Apostle Paul was transformed
from an enemy of Jesus Christ to one of His most zealous promoters.
However with regard to current events and their relation to Bible
prophecy, there is another meaning to the phrase “road to Damascus ” many
may not be aware of.
Based on a growing conflict between Israel and Syria , the destiny of
Damascus , may soon be fulfilled according to Isaiah 17: 1-14. Consider
the following news items that seem to provide the catalyst that could
bring about and fulfill the very scenario Isaiah foretold.
Haaretz.com reported on January 21, 2004 that “ Israel considered
bombing Syrian targets in response to a deadly missile attack by Hezbollah
on an Israeli Defense Forces bulldozer". [Syria
completes CW warheads]
However, instead of attacking Syria , Israel struck at targets in
Southern Lebanon in retaliation. The article also mentioned that U.S.
Secretary of State Collin Powell condemned Hezbollah for the missile
attack and warned Syria about their association with Hezbollah. “I would
hope the Syrians should once again understand that any support – whether
it is vocal support of allowing their leadership to stay in Damascus or
whether it is serving as a transshipment point for weapons to Hezbollah –
is destabilizing in the region and is not in the interests of peace,” he
While the world watches whether or not Israel will strike back, another
news item posted on January 20, 2004 helps explain Israel ’s reluctance to
attack Syria directly, at least at this time. According to a Middle East
Newsline article titled “Syria Completes CW Warheads,” we read:
Syria has completed chemical warheads for its arsenal of Scud-based
missiles. U.S. officials said Syria , with help from North Korea , has
succeeded in designing and installing CW warheads for the Scud B, Scud C
and Scud D missiles. This provides Syria with warheads that can reach
distances from 250 to nearly 700 kilometers. The chemical agent deployed
in the CW warheads is sarin, regarded as the most toxic of material. [Israel mulled
striking Syria in response to Hezbollah attack]
Keep your eyes focused on the Middle East – particularly Damascus .
Remember when it comes to Bible Prophecy, you can be certain when God
tells us about future events, the certainty of the event happening is 100
per cent. Someday Damascus will be leveled - perhaps current events are
paving the way.
:: The Bible
Tells Me So ...
God promised Abraham (speaking of the Nation of Israel):
"I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth
3:2Yet the confederacy of nations that presently surround Israel
are united by their hatred for her.
"For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee
have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy
people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and
let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be
no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one
consent: they are confederate against thee..." Psalm 83:2-5
Notice in the above passage Israel needed to be a nation (post 1948).
The common bond that would unite these surrounding nations in their hatred
of Israel was their Islamic
religion which was not in existence until around the 7th century AD
... long after this Psalm was written. In history, this joint
confederation, united against Israel, did not exist like this.
Many think these passages; Isaiah 17
49:23-27, Amos 1,
9 and so on ... refer to a future judgment of some of Israel's
immediate neighbors and may be fulfilled on the near horizon. This would
then allow Israel to live under the allusion of "peace &
We also know there will be a betrayer who pretends to be their friend
who will eventually "by peace destroy many" (Daniel
8:23) ... he will "divide the land for gain". (Daniel
11:39) (See Also: profile of the
At some time in this chain of events this will cause an "evil
thought" to enter the mind of Gog of Magog. (Ezekiel
38:10) He will align yet another confederacy against those (Israel)
with unwalled villages who dwell in peace & safety. But God
will intervene. (Ezekiel
38:11) (*Note: Israel is in some sort of "security" at the time of
the Magog Invasion, which suggests that Isaiah 17, and the "Palestinian
problem" etc ... has already been dealt with!) ... (See Also: Gog & Magog)
However, in the above scenario, we hold to the view that the Rapture of the Church must
occur before the Magog Invasion (Ezekiel
38) and before the "The Man of Peace" (Antichrist) is revealed. (2 Thessalonians
We don't claim to know exactly how these events will play out,
but we do know that God's Word is true. What it declares will happen, of
this we are certain. The important issue is knowing The One who
declares the end from the beginning! (Isaiah
13:19) God prewarned us - out of love - what these last days would be
like. As we see Prophecy being fulfilled with lightening speed before our
eyes, it is certainly a wake up call!
If you don't know
Jesus you need to!
Because Ready or Not - Here He Comes!
So, Come Lord Jesus!