The rebels took control of the town of Rawyahina, and pursuing Syrian government forces actually entered the buffer zone during the fighting. This prompted Israel to file a stern complaint with the UN. As a result, Israel has gone on heightened alert along its northern border. There is also talk of the possibility of Bashar Assad initiating an attack on Israel, that would solidify his legacy with many Muslims. It has been known for years that Syria has a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, something that was actually admitted by the Bashar Assad regime this past Monday July 23, But while they acknowledged their stockpile of such weapons of mass destruction, the Assad regime added they will use them if foreign troops are dispatch to help the rebels.
My intent this morning is not to spend much more discussing the current uprising in Syria, but rather to explore what the Bible says about the future of Syria and her capital Damascus. Today, the heart of the city of Damascus is the Old City. Even under Islamic rule, the ancient heart of the Old City remains divided into three quarters, Muslim, Jewish and Christian.
And between the Jewish and Christian quarters is a biblical street — Strait Street.
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Today it is called Bab Sharqi. And, in Arabic, the name of the city is Dimashq.
In a vision, God speaks to Ananais, telling him to go to the house of Judas, located on Strait Street to see a man named Saul of Tarsus, who later became the apostle Paul. Parts of that road are still visible in northern Israel. The city of Damascus is considered by many to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. The second time it is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis It has been conquered many times, but always remained intact to this day.
Genesis NKJV. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward. But, although Damascus is the oldest city in the world, one day, according to Isaiah , it one day will cease to be a city. Damascus will one day become a heap of rubble. Over the last couple of decades, the unrest between Syria and Israel has continued to escalate. In July , a chemical warhead exploded at a Syrian missile facility while being fitted to a Scud missile, killing several dozen of Iranian and Syrian technicians.
The only significant target within the range of the Scud would have been Tel Aviv. Just two months later, in September , the Israeli bombed a secret Syrian nuclear facility deep inside the country. The bombed Syrian nuclear facility was being operated in conjunction with North Korea. Syria followed by spending more than 3 billion dollars to strengthen their military, anticipating an eventual conflict with Israel. Much of this has been aided by support from Russia. Tiglath Pileser captured Damascus and killed king Rezin.
So, could this prophecy in Isaiah 17 be already fulfilled? Not if you take Scripture literally. Isaiah prophesied that Damascus would cease to be a city, and would become a heap of ruins. That has never happened to this city, even by the Assyrians. And why would Isaiah mention Assyria 37 times in his book of 66 chapters, but never mention it in chapter Damascus survives to this day as the second most populated city of Syria, behind Aleppo.
The prophet Jeremiah also spoke of the demise of the city of Damascus. Jeremiah lived a century after Assyria conquered Damascus. So, the prophecy given by Isaiah could not have already occurred when conquered by the Assyrians. As mentioned earlier, the city of Damascus has never become a heap of rubble.
So, if Isaiah is to be taken literally, the demise of Damascus remains an unfulfilled prophecy. Again, Damascus is destined for destruction, causing it to cease from being a city. In verse two we find another name associated with the destruction of Damascus. There are actually three places in the Bible called Aroer. Aroer Judah , 12 miles southeast of Beersheba. Aroer Gad is mentioned in the Bible as being located near Rabbah. Rabbah is mentioned 15 times in the Bible and is the capital city of the Ammonites. Today it is called Amman, the capital city of the nation of Jordan.
Amman is located in northern Jordan and is only miles from Damascus. Aroer Gad is probably the one signified by Isaiah It is the area where most Jordanians live today. Since Aroer becomes, according to Isaiah , a place for flocks to graze, it is thought that whatever caused Damascus to cease to be a city, necessitated the inhabitants of Aroer to flee from their homes. But Aroer is not sited as being destroyed like Damascus.
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Neither was it reduced to a heap of rubble. The same idea of destruction of not only Damascus, but the surrounding area is continued in the Jeremiah prophecy. Jeremiah NIV. They are disheartened, troubled like the restless sea. Notice the first two places mentioned — Hamath and Arpad.
Hamath today is called Hamah. Hamah is the fourth largest city in Syria today, with about , people. It is located 29 miles directly north of the city of Homs, which is where the current rebel uprising was centered. It is 75 miles north of Damascus, located on the Orontes River.
Hamah is where the headquarters of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is located today. Arpad is believed to be a region in northern Syria rather than a city. The full destruction of Damascus does not seem to reach all the way to Hamath and Arpad because Jeremiah does not say that these places are destroyed. He says they heard the bad news concerning Damascus.
The destruction just 75 miles to their south does, however, cause them to be troubled. Before going to Amos 1, the third prophecy against Damascus, I want us to notice who receives a harsh prophecy just prior to mentioning Damascus. Has she no heirs? Why then has Molech taken possession of Gad?
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Why do his people live in its towns? Do you remember anything about the city of Rabbah? I mentioned it once earlier in this lesson. Four hundred years prior to the time of Jeremiah, David committed adultery with Bathsheba. David had her husband, Uriah, sent to the front of the battle, where he was killed. That battle took place in this city — Rabbah. I have twice been to the citadel in Rabbah, where it is believed that battle took place.
Again, the name of that city is Amman, the capital of the country of Jordan. This question also become interesting because of the place we read in the second verse of Isaiah If we accept Aroer as being the one in the territory of Gad, which makes the most sense it is located quite close to the city of Rabbah — Amman. And we noted earlier that because of what happened to Damascus, the cities of Aroer were forsaken — Isaiah Amos would have been a contemporary of Isaiah, although his prophetic ministry probably begins a decade or two before that of Isaiah.
Unlike so many of the personal names of people, no other person bears the same name in the Old Testament. There is an Amos mentioned among the genealogy of Jesus mentioned in Luke This N. Amos is otherwise unknown. Amos NIV. Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth,. I am not going to go through each of the names in these verses, but make a few comments. Amos was a shepherd from Tekoa, located 6 miles south of Bethlehem. Hazael and Ben-Hadad are names of ancient Syrian kings. Aram is a reference to the people of this area.
Amos agrees with the other prophets in writing that Damascus and much of Syria is destroyed. People leave their homes for fear of what it coming. Amos gives us a place to where the Arameans are exiled — a place called Kir. Many Bible scholars that I have read believe it may have been located in eastern Jordan or Iraq. One believes it is in present-day Iran. There is also mention of the Valley of Aven.
The ancient city of Baalbek is located in this valley. This valley is also the stronghold of the modern day Hezbollah rebels. Although some of these three prophecies concerning Damascus and the surrounding area may have partially fulfilled, I am confident that a great portion is yet unfulfilled. It will be so devastating that it will virtually be left uninhabited. From where I sit, there are at least three possibilities as to when these prophecies will be fulfilled.
The demise of Damascus initiates the war mentioned in Psalm It occurs prior to the war mentioned in Ezekiel 38, involving Russia and Iran and others. One Nation Under God? Be the first to write a review. Skip to main content. Email to friends Share on Facebook - opens in a new window or tab Share on Twitter - opens in a new window or tab Share on Pinterest - opens in a new window or tab.
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