Damascus, Capital of Syria
Marc Arseneault had the following in an LCG commentary today:
“Damascus will cease…”
Over the past several months, the nation of Syria—especially its capital, Damascus—has come to the forefront of the news. For many of us, “Syria” is just another name of another place in the Middle East that is going through upheaval. So, what can we learn if we look more closely at conflict in Syria, its place in history and what the Bible says about it?
Last month, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking of a “sweeping new international agreement” to bring the Syrian conflict to a peaceful close, said, “There is no guarantee that we are going to be successful. I just hate to say that.” What is behind her statement? Is she right?
Syria’s future—and that of Damascus, its capitol—may be in doubt. But the history is long and complex. Notice: “Founded in the 3rd millennium B.C., Damascus was an important cultural and commercial centre, by virtue of its geographical position at the crossroads of the Orient and the Occident, between Africa and Asia. The old city of Damascus is considered to be among the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world.”
The Bible supports this account, for we are told very early in Scripture that Damascus was already established. You may recall Abram coming into the land of Canaan with Lot. Strife arose between them, resulting in the separation of their families. Time passed, and Lot was taken captive. Abram gave chase and attacked by night, and we read that he pursued his attackers “as far as Hobah, which is north of Damascus” (Genesis 14:15). In the next chapter, we are told that Abram had family in that area. In fact, he was Abram’s only heir before the birth of Isaac: “The heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus” (Genesis 15:2). We can determine from Scripture that Abram was alive around 2000bc, which is consistent with accounts of Damascus having been founded ca. 3000bc-2500bc.
The historical record reveals that, although Damascus was attacked many times by many different enemies, this city that is now “among the oldest continually inhabited” was never abandoned. And it is mentioned 60 times in the pages of your Bible.. Starting with Abram’s account, we can find the city mentioned again and again throughout history. David, who lived between 1010-970bc, encountered Syrians from Damascus (2 Samuel 8:5-6). Solomon, Amos, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah all mention Damascus as being inhabited and doing well.
The New Testament shows that Damascus was thriving in the time of Jesus Christ and the apostles. In the book of Acts we find Saul (who would later become Paul) asking for “letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem” (Acts 9:2). Later, the governor of Damascus wanted to arrest the converted Paul, who was lowered in a basket to escape (2 Corinthians 11:32) ca. 56ad.
But what should this matter to us today? Damascus was inhabited since the third millennium before Christ—but, “So what?” Consider that the same Bible that recounts the past, corroborated by history, also contains prophecy that reveals the future! We read: “The burden against Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap” (Isaiah 17:1).
Damascus has never been destroyed, so we know this is a prophecy for the future. So, how will its destruction come about? To learn more about end-time prophecy and how it will affect not just those in Syria but indeed all those alive at the end of this age, read our powerful booklets, The Middle East in Prophecy and The Bible: Fact or Fiction? They will help you see more clearly than ever that the Bible is not just a verifiable account of the past—it is a sure and accurate warning of our future!
Interestingly, I also received the following in an email yesterday:
One reason Damascus will be destroyed?…Fate of Syrian Chemical Weapons May Trigger WarThe chemical-weapons depots are among the best-secured locations in all of Syria. One of the facilities lies northeast of Damascus, another near Homs, and a third — where the nerve agents VX, sarin and tabun are allegedly manufactured — is located near Hama.Military leaders are even more concerned about the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons. They could be slipped into Lebanon by Hezbollah or fall into the hands of terrorists in Syria. Or, as a last resort, Assad could launch missiles armed with poison gas at Israel, as well as at Jordan and Turkey. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/israel-prepares-plans-to-neutralize-syrian-chemical-weapons-a-847203.html
More on Syria’s chemical weapons is included in the articles Israel Declares Another “Red Line” That Would Cause it to Take Military Action Against Syria and Syrian Official Acknowledges Having Chemical Weapons and Declares Syria Will Use Them If Attacked.
Partially because of the internal civil war, Syria’s President may decide that attacking Israel, probably in conjunction with support from Iran, is his best option. It will not be, though he may do that. The Bible suggests that Syria will support the coming final King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43; Ezekiel 30:1-8) and a change in or from the Assad regime will be necessary for this to happen–and it will come to pass.
Whether or not it will be related to its chemical weapons, Syria’s capital Damascus will become a ruinous heap (Isaiah 17:1).
France apparently believes that war in the Middle East is coming and it is evacuating its citizens:
France Prepares For An Evacuation Of Its Nationals Living In IsraelAug 9, 2012
JERUSALEM – France has prepared a contingency plan to evacuate its citizens from Israel, La Tribune has learned.
According to diplomatic sources, a plan to evacuate the 200,000 French nationals living in Israel has been drafted to prepare for the eventuality of conflict between Iran and Israel. http://www.worldcrunch.com/france-prepares-evacuation-its-nationals-living-israel/6084?
Trouble is coming to Damascus.
“And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:37).
Some articles of possibly related interest may include:
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi? What does the Bible say?
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?