[Disclaimer: This is not a Christian Fundamentalist page and in no way promotes Bible. This article is being shared only to present some curious facts related to present day world events and is not meant to hype any doomsday theories or prophecies]
In the last days, the Bible tells us of a horrible series of events that will take place in the lands of Israel and Syria. One of these events is the disappearance of Damascus as one of the premiere cities in the world. The oldest continuously inhabited city on the planet, Damascus has witnessed at least 5,000 years of human history, and some historians believe the city actually dates back to the seventh millennium BC. In fact, Paul was on the road to Damascus when Christ first appeared to Him, an event that transformed not only his life, but the course of human history.
In the very near future, Damascus will once again play a major role in human events. The prophet Isaiah provides us with God’s commentary on a future conflict between Damascus and Israel, and in so doing, he reveals certain prophecies which have been partially fulfilled in the past. However, the ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah 17 remains in the future. The current existence of Damascus, which will one day cease to be a city, as well as the historical absence of the coalition of nations prophesied to attack Israel and be destroyed by God, is proof that Isaiah 17 prophesies events yet future.
There are actually two key Biblical prophecies that explain that at unspecified time in the future, the city of Damascus will be completely destroyed — judged by God — and will not be inhabited again.
* Isaiah 17:1-3 — “The oracle concerning Damascus. ‘Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin. The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be for flocks to lie down in, and there will be no one to frighten them. The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and sovereignty from Damascus….’”
‘Look, Damascus will disappear! It will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer will be deserted. Sheep will graze in the streets and lie down unafraid. There will be no one to chase them away. The fortified cities of Israel will also be destroyed, and the power of Damascus will end. The few left in Aram will share the fate of Israel’s departed glory,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Isaiah 17:1-3 (NLT)
* Jeremiah 49:23-27 — “Concerning Damascus. ‘Hamath andArpad are put to shame, for they have heard bad news; they are disheartened. There is anxiety by the sea, it cannot be calmed. Damascus has become helpless; she has turned away to flee, and panic has gripped her; distress and pangs have taken hold of her like a woman in childbirth. How the city of praise has not been deserted, the town of My joy! Therefore, her young men will fall in her streets, and all the men of war will be silenced in that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ’I will set fire to the wall of Damascus, and it will devour the fortified towers of Ben-hadad.’”
These prophecies have not yet been fulfilled. Damascus is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth. It has been attacked, besieged, and conquered. But Damascus has never been completely destroyed and left uninhabited. Yet that is exactly what the Bible says will happen. The context of Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 are a series of End Times prophecies dealing with God’s judgments on Israel’s neighbors and enemies leading up to — and through — the Tribulation.
This prophecy was only partially fulfilled when the Assyrians defeated the Arameans and Damascus, in 732 BC. Today Damascus is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city with a 5000-year history yet Isaiah 17:1 indicates that it will one day cease to exist. Some authorities believe the phrase “cities of Aroer” should be rendered “the cities thereof shall be forsaken.”
Let’s look at what is going on in Syria as of December 2012:
Residents say entire sections of mostly Sunni enclaves in northeastern Damascus have been bulldozed to the ground by government troops. WSJ’s Sam Dagher reports from the Syrian capital.
DAMASCUS—All that remains of Abu Mohammed’s ancestral home here in Syria’s capital are two small adobe brick rooms and a few fig, loquat and mulberry trees.
It was bulldozed as part of a government slum-clearance program that appears to have a political motive: isolate neighborhoods sympathetic to Syria’s armed insurrection, and then obliterate them, according to critics, human-rights groups and even some officials within the government itself. “We are like gypsies now,” says Mr. Mohammed, who took his wife and five children to another part of the city after sections of his neighborhood, Qaboun—one of the first to rise up against Syria’s regime—were flattened and ringed by military posts.
The campaign stands in contrast to the all-out urban warfare in the northern city of Aleppo. Here in the capital, Damascus, the strategy appears designed to cripple and disperse the rebels through the destruction and encirclement of communities where they operate.
For the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the stakes in Damascus are nothing short of retaining control of the nation itself. “If they lose Damascus, they lose the state,” says Patrick Seale, a British author and Syria expert.
Senior security officials within the Assad regime say partial demolitions of pro-rebel neighborhoods in and around Damascus are a key element of an ambitious counterinsurgency plan now unfolding.
On a recent morning in mid-October, soldiers from the Syrian Army’s Fourth Division, commanded by Mr. Assad’s brother Maher, oversaw demolition in Zulaikha, a patch of nearly 24 acres of apartments in the Tadamoun neighborhood on the capital’s southern fringe.
“Go, go!” shouted a soldier as a grim-faced family packed into a pickup truck weighed down with belongings—furniture, foam mattresses, a satellite dish—they salvaged from their apartment. “We are going to blow up a building now!” the soldier said as the truck pulled away.
Another soldier nearby said the residents were among the lucky ones. “Not everyone is being allowed in to take their possessions,” he said. Security and army checkpoints now ring Tadamoun.
Is Syria slowly being demolished?
Today many believe that Syria will soon try to provoke a Jewish response, and if that escalates things further it can easily result in the destruction of Damascus in the final fulfillment of Isaiah 17.
We all assume Israel will do the deed but it really could be anyone, even God as He smote Sodom and Gomorrah. It could be NATO. It could be Turkey. It could happen as rebels get a hold of chemical weapons of mass destruction and unleash – accidentally or on purpose – a holocaust that destroys the city.
It could be that rebels with Libyan weapons that had gone missing from Libya make an attack and things get out of hand. No matter, the fact is, as Damascus becomes increasingly belligerent and the Middle East hotbed that is the epicenter of last days prophecies climbs over the horizon and hurtles toward us, we are closer than ever to that final obliteration of the city of 6 million Isaiah prophesied 2700 years ago. The city of Damascus will become a heap of ruins, utterly destroyed. Few, if any, buildings will be left standing. The once great city will be devoid of human life and will become home to all manner of wildlife in the absence of humans to chase them away.