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Destruction in Damascus

Isaiah 17 Prophesies the Destruction of Damascus

Isaiah 17 prophesies the destruction of Damascus but not the death of its people.

1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
3 The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.
4 And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.
5 And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim.
6 Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel.
7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.
9 In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.
10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:
11 In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
12 Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
14 And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.

The Prophecy Is a Future Event

Damascus (Dimashq) is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. It was on the road to Damascus that Paul, then named Saul, met Jesus and became a Christian (Acts 9). Salvation spread to the Gentile world a lot with the help Paul after he journeyed to Damascus in the beginning of the spread of Christianity. Now in the end, the Bible tells us it will be taken away from being a city. As Damascus is still here today, we know that this must be a future event. In days gone by it would take a major invasion to destroy such a city but times have changed. War can come about at noon and catastrophe that evening. They could be attacked with a nuclear device or they could suffer a conventional attack that brings about a chain reaction devastating what may already be on the ground. Currently Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, Fatah, Hamas, America, Israel and more all interact in a complex way and now a civil uprising has placed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in what appears to be a no win situation. How will he react? We do not know the details but Damascus will be destroyed.

The Number That Perish Is not Set

Readers assume with the destruction comes death. Instead, it is important to note that the passage does not talk of a million people dying. The good news is that it is possible for people to flee, to run or to escape what is coming. Pray for the safety of Syria. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9).

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