The Destruction of Damascus Syria Isaiah 17. An Oracle Concerning Damascus: “See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no one to make them afraid. (Isaiah 17:1-2)
Damascus commonly known in Syria as ash-Sham (Arabic: الشام ash-Shām) and nicknamed as the City of Jasmine (Arabic: مدينة الياسمين Madīnat al-Yāsmīn), is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo. It borders Quneitra, Daraa and As-Suwayda to the south, Jordan to the east, Homs to the north, and Lebanon to the west. It is also the capital city of one of the country’s 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural and religious center of the Levant. The city has an estimated population of 1,711,000 (2009 est.)
God tells Isaiah that Damascus will no longer be a city, but will become a heap of ruins. Today in the prophetic community many believe at some point in the near future Israel will destroy this city by a massive all out nuclear attack. If we ignore the heart of this prophecy then it would be easy to assume Israel could wipe-out this city by the use of nuclear weapons. But this is not the case.
Scripture declares that God has something else in mind for the residents.
Verse 13, Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale.
Rebuke does not mean that God intends to destroy the people of Damascus or her surrounding communities. Rebuke means: “Express sharp disapproval or criticism because of behavior or actions. “Verse 12, Woe to the many nations that rage—they rage like the raging sea! Woe to the peoples who roar— they roar like the roaring of great waters!
It’s obvious that before Damascus is destroyed God rebukes them in some manner, which will cause them to flee far away; driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale.
It’s not God intentions to destroy the people of Damascus, but rather, save them from the coming judgment: Verse 7. “In that day people will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.”
How can these people look to their maker, and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel (God the Almighty) if He intends to destroy them!
Why does God spare the people?
Verse 10. “You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.
Why does God destroy the city of Damascus?
Verse 12, Woe to the many nations that rage—they rage like the raging sea! Woe to the peoples who roar—they roar like the roaring of great waters!
The keyword in the above passage is (nations) not just the nation of Syria, but all Israel’s neighbors.
One possible reason the city is destroyed?
A report surfaced a few years back with the help of Russia, Iran has built a type of Command and Control center located somewhere within the city of Damascus. This CNC compound is required to coordinate offensive missile and rocket attacks at strategic targets inside Israels boarder.
Given the current turmoil in the Middle East today, at least on the surface, it’s possible that this prophecy could come to fulfillment soon, scripture is clear that judgment is coming to the city of Damascus, but the exact timeline in which this prophecy will be fulfilled is unknown. Many believe that this prophecy is on the horizon, some believe that this prophetic event will occur at the end of the seven-year tribulation as the Lord not only judges but, destroys Damascus.
With the headlines of today it appears that the time is ripe for the fulfillment of this prophecy. Iran continues to work hard developing nuclear weapons, the news of chemical weapons used on Syria citizens, their continued civil war that threatens to spill over their boarder. Only time will tell.