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Damascus Of Syria
Damascus, the capital of Syria, is one of the most ancient cities of the world. It was well known in the time of Abraham, as recorded in the book of Genesis.
"14:13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew [see Hebrew to understand the correct Biblical definitions of "Hebrews," "Israelites" and "Jews"]; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. 14:15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 14:16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people." (Genesis 14:13-16 KJV)
If the LORD (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and 'The God Of The Old Testament') had not given Abraham and Sarah actual children of their own (see Abram and Sarai), a man of Damascus would have inherited Abraham's estate.
"15:2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?" (Genesis 15:2 KJV)
"The Syrians of Damascus"
After King David (see also David, Future King Of Israel) defeated "the Syrians of Damascus" in war, David occupied the city and installed garrisons throughout Syria. Israel reached its greatest territorial extent during the imperialistic era of David and his son Solomon (see The United Kingdom and the map in Solomon's Kingdom).
"8:5 And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.
After Israel divided (see The Division Of Israel), the two kingdoms (see The Northern Kingdom Of Israel and The Southern Kingdom Of Judah) were not only limited to within their own "Dan to Beersheba" borders, Israel and Judah were at times actually at war with themselves i.e. there were times when Israel was at war with the Jews e.g. "12:21 And when Rehoboam [see Rehoboam Of Israel And Judah] was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel" (1 Kings 12:21 KJV). Sometimes, the "king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus" was allied with Judah, against Israel, as in this example when King Asa of Judah was allied with Syria against King Baasha of Israel.
"15:16 And there was war between Asa [see Asa Of Judah] and Baasha king of Israel [see Baasha Of Israel] all their days. 15:17 And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
By the time of the New Testament, Damascus was already an ancient city. It was while he was "on the road to Damascus" that the Pharisee Saul (see also Was Paul Among Them?) was struck down by Jesus Christ; Saul, later to become known as Paul, became a Christian in Damascus.
"9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Fact Finder: What Greek king of Syria committed the original "abomination of desolation" in the Temple in Jerusalem?