Damascus –Alternative Thoughts :: By Terry James

Like so many signals of these being the last days of this fleeting Church Age, the destruction of Damascus, Syria, is a matter we cannot do other than see blazing across hourly headlines.

Again, Isaiah the prophet Foretold the following.

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isa 17:1).

Every day, news of military action and diplomatic maneuverings is reported from this, the oldest occupied city in recorded history. It is the city on the road to which Saul of Tarsus had his life-changing encounter with the Ascended Jesus Christ. It is a city steeped in great Biblically Prophetic import.

One most recent news item demonstrates the significance of Damascus in the ongoing Middle East machinations that we who “Watch” know is leading to Armageddon and to Christ’s Second Advent.

Israeli aircraft have reportedly attacked a location on the outskirts of the Syrian capital of Damascus late Thursday (local), a security source told Reuters.

Widely circulating images have emerged on social media showing plumes of smoke rising high over buildings which were struck. Syrian state media subsequently said that eight army soldiers were injured in the attack.

The fresh Israeli aggression could be another targeted assassination operation against Iranian generals or IRGC officers and certainly would also be intended to signal Israel remains undeterred by Iran’s April 13th attack, which was in retaliation for the prior Israeli attack on Iran’s embassy in Damascus…

This new attack demonstrates also that Iran-Israel tensions, which last month nearly led to a major regional war, are not over.

[Source: Israeli Warplanes Strike Damascus As Iran Tensions Still On Edge by Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge, May 2, 2024]

To write that the tensions that nearly led to war are not over is a profound understatement when thinking in terms of Bible prophecy. Damascus has become central in those tensions as the stage is being set for the Gog-Magog War of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.

Bible prophecy watchers, including the great scholars, have most often thought that the destruction of this ancient city in its modern form will be nuclear in nature. This makes sense to those who observe from the view of Biblical prophecy because it indicates the city will not be habitable again. I am one who has held to this understanding –that the destruction of Damascus will be due to a nuclear weapon of some sort being used.

And this brings me to the title of our commentary: Damascus –Alternative Thoughts.

A long-time fellow watchman on the wall, who is a frequent visitor to Raptureready.com, emailed this past week. He has an alternative view of the Isaiah 17:1 prophecy. I find it most compelling, thus will share it with you here in its entirety.

Dear Terry James,

I do very much enjoy the rich bounty of articles you provide, yet I feel compelled to address a common error being touted by several scholars in regard to the destruction of Damascus.

Many scholars today have speculated that the destruction of Damascus as a ruinous heap will be the result of an Israeli nuclear weapon. For a city the size of Damascus, that would make sense in committing such devastation in a short period of time. The problem with such speculation, however, is verse 2 of Isaiah 17. “The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”  It is assured that flocks will not graze on soil contaminated with nuclear radiation.

When examining this Prophecy in full, we can also identify that it is the hand of God that brings Damascus to a ruinous heap for His Glory. “At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel” – Isaiah 17:7. In addition, we see also within the context of this Prophecy the presence of a confederation that is rebuked by the Hand of God in verses 12 thru 14 of Isaiah 17.

I often wondered, who is the “he” of Isaiah 17:14? “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.” It is, therefore, my personal opinion that this “he” is Gog of Ezekiel 38/39. We know from examining the Prophecy of Gog/Magog that it is the Hand of God that gathers this mighty confederation from the north against Israel for His Glory.

It is clear, as prophesied Gog/Magog comes from the north against the borders of Israel, there is little doubt that they will assemble in southern Syria along the Golan frontier. In Ezekiel 39:5, we are informed that this confederation will fall upon the open field or plain. In southern Syria, there is a vast plain known as the Plain of Hauran adjacent to Damascus and the Golan Heights. This fertile plain also happens to be a volcanic plateau with many dormant volcanic cones. Interesting when we consider the fire and brimstone brought upon this confederation by the Hand of God, as detailed in Ezekiel 38:22.

One of the key elements that scholars miss today is the great earthquake of Ezekiel 38:19-20 that shakes the Land of Israel. It is my belief that this great earthquake’s epicenter will be directed against the main contingent of the Gog/Magog confederation assembled in southern Syria. I further believe that it is this great earthquake that brings Damascus and surrounding cities to a ruinous heap in fulfillment of Isaiah 17:1.

In conclusion, I will say that there is little doubt that the “he” of Isaiah 17:14 is none other than “Gog” of Ezekiel 38:2. And that Day of Isaiah 17:7 is the same Day of Ezekiel 39:8, 13.  Thank you for your time and the opportunity to address these things.

In Christ alone,

Rodney Dezar

It is heartening to know fellow watchmen and watchwomen are observing these times so near our Lord’s Call to us in the Rapture. Recognizing the stage-setting for the Damascus prophecy fulfillment, to those who obey Christ’s Command to “Watch” (Mark 13: 37) means they are looking for “the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).

Again, Jesus said: “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).