.


. Make a Donation

Index Page
Contact
About The Author
Sermons
Bible Quiz
Holy Day Calendar
Free Online Bibles
Bible Reading Plan

Question?
Quick Search the thousands of Bible studies on this website.
Just type in topic word(s) or a question.
Get Daily Bible Study on Facebook
Get Daily Bible Study on Twitter
Thursday, April 19 2012

Damascus In History And Prophecy

Damascus, the present-day capital of Syria, has existed for more than 4,000 years. Located about 220 kilometers / 135 miles northeast of Jerusalem, Damascus was recorded frequently in the Holy Scriptures.

Abraham stopped in Syria for some time on his journey from Ur (in what is today Iraq; see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees) to the land of Canaan (where Abraham lived the remainder of his life as a foreign resident). A part of Abraham's family remained in Syria (where the wives of Isaac and Jacob/Israel would later be found; see The Syrian Marriage Wells), while Abraham's family group, which included his nephew Lot, continued on into what much later became known as the land of "Israel," after Abraham's grandson Jacob, who the LORD God (i.e. Jesus Christ; see Appearances Of The LORD God and What Does Word of God Mean To You?) renamed as "Israel" while Jacob himself was on a journey from Syria (see Where Jacob Became Israel).

After Abraham and Lot parted company because their herds became too great for them to remain together (see The Herds Of Abraham, Isaac And Jacob), Lot made the unwise choice of living near, and then in, Sodom (see also Why Did Lot's Wife Look Back?). When northern kings invaded the land and looted Sodom (the "men" of Sodom weren't very good at defending themselves), Lot was taken away by them. When he heard of it, Abraham pursued the invaders all the way to Syria where he rescued Lot in the area around Damascus. It was on his return from Damascus that Abraham had his famous meeting with Melchizedek (see A History Of Jerusalem: Melchizedek's Salem).

Damascus

"14:11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. 14:12 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

14:13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; 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.

14:17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.

14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine ["bread and wine"; see also Nisan 14: The Messiah's Manna]: and he was the priest of the most high God. 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all." (Genesis 14:11-20 KJV)

While Abraham was yet without children, his designated heir was a man from Damascus - an obvious statement of Abraham's high regard for people of Syria.

"15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

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? 15:3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.

15:4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." (Genesis 15:1-6 KJV)

"The head of Syria is Damascus"

The Kingdom of Israel reached its greatest territorial extent during the time of King David when Israel became an empire that extended far into the northeast - in which Emperor "David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus."

Map of Solomon's Kingdom

"8:1 And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Methegammah out of the hand of the Philistines.

8:2 And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.

8:3 David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates. 8:4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David hocked all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots.

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. 8:6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went." (2 Samuel 8:1-6 KJV)

The Empire of David began to decline in the time of David's son Solomon because Solomon was unfaithful to the LORD (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Glory Of Solomon). For that reason, the LORD permitted Israel's enemies to become strong and free to attack - from both Egypt and Syria.

"11:14 And the LORD stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king's seed in Edom. 11:15 For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom; 11:16 (For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom:) 11:17 That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father's servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child. 11:18 And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land.

11:19 And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. 11:20 And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh's household among the sons of Pharaoh.

11:21 And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.

11:22 Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country?

And he answered, Nothing: howbeit let me go in any wise.

11:23 And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: 11:24 And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus. 11:25 And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria." (1 Kings 11:14-25 KJV)

The united kingdom of Israel divided into "Israel" and "Judah" because of Solomon's unfaithfulness to the LORD (see Rehoboam's Answer). From that time on, Israel and Judah even fought wars against one another - while acquiring foreign allies. In this example, Asa of Judah (see Asa Of Judah) allied himself with "Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus" against Baasha king of Israel (see Baasha Of Israel; see also Kings of Israel and Judah).

Damascus

"15:16 And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. 15:17 And Baasha king of Israel [see Israelite Monarchy - The Northern Kingdom and No Levites In The Lost Ten Tribes?] went up against Judah [see Israelite Monarchy - The Southern Kingdom], and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 15:18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Benhadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying, 15:19 There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; come and break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.

15:20 So Benhadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of the hosts which he had against the cities of Israel, and smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abelbethmaachah, and all Cinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali. 15:21 And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building of Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah. 15:22 Then king Asa made a proclamation throughout all Judah; none was exempted: and they took away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and king Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah." (1 Kings 15:16-22 KJV)

The aftermath of the foreign-allied wars of Israel and Judah involved the prophets of the LORD. In this incident, the prophet Elisha was involved in the reigns of Syrian kings in Damascus.

"8:7 And Elisha [see The Prophets: Elisha] came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither. 8:8 And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?

8:9 So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels' burden, and came and stood before him, and said, Thy son Benhadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?

8:10 And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath showed me that he shall surely die. 8:11 And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept.

8:12 And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord?

And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.

8:13 And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing?

And Elisha answered, The LORD hath showed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.

8:14 So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master; who said to him, What said Elisha to thee?

And he answered, He told me that thou shouldest surely recover.

8:15 And it came to pass on the morrow, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned in his stead." (2 Kings 8:7-15 KJV)

In this example, Ahaz, the king of Judah became a subservient "ally" of the king of Assyria, against the allied kings of Israel and Damascus.

Damascus

"16:7 So Ahaz [see Ahaz Of Judah] sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me. 16:8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. 16:9 And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.

16:10 And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof. 16:11 And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus. 16:12 And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon. 16:13 And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar. 16:14 And he brought also the brazen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar." (2 Kings 16:7-14 KJV)

One of the most famous Messianic prophecies, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel," was given within a prophecy of those wars of divided Israel and Judah, with their foreign allies, including Damascus i.e. "the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken."

"7:1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.

7:2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind.

7:3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field; 7:4 And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. 7:5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, 7:6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: 7:7 Thus saith the Lord GOD,

It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. 7:8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people. 7:9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established.

7:10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 7:11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.

7:12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.

7:13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 7:15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 7:16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. 7:17 The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria." (Isaiah 7:1-17 KJV)

Fact Finder: How was Damascus involved in the conversion of the apostle Paul?
See Straight Street; also The Passed Over Pharisees


.
Bible Quiz Daily Bible Study Library
Thousands of Studies!

Jesus Christ
Bible History
Prophecy
Christian Living
Encouragement
Eternal Life
By The Book
Bible Places
Curiosities
The Spirit World

This Day In History, April 19

65: Milichus betrayed Piso’s plot to assassinate the Emperor Nero (see also Nero's Torches).

1012: Aelfheah, the 29th Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered by Danes who had been ravaging the south of England.

1529: In Germany at the Diet of Spires (Speyer), a document signed by Lutheran leaders lodged a "protest" that demanded freedom of religion and the right of minorities. From then on, the German Lutheran Reformers were known as "Protestants."

1539: Holy Roman Emperor Charles V signed the Truce of Frankfurt with rebellious Protestant princes (see The Holy Roman Empire).

1587: English Admiral Sir Francis Drake entered Cadiz harbor and sank the Spanish fleet, an action he referred to "as singeing the king of Spain's beard."

1689: Queen Christina of Sweden died. Queen from 1644-54, she gave up the throne because of her secret conversion to Roman Catholicism, which was outlawed in Sweden.

1713: Holy Roman emperor Charles VI issued the Pragmatic Sanction, giving women the rights of succession to Hapsburg possessions.

1770: Captain James Cook sighted the eastern coast of what is now Australia.

1802: The Spanish reopened the port of New Orleans to U.S. merchants (the U.S. then consisted of the former New England colonies).

1809: The Battles of Abensberg-Eckmuhl began. Over the next 4 days, a series of defeats for Austria, which cost it the support of other German states in the 1809 campaign against Napoleon. The battles were fought in Bavaria between 190,000 Austrians under Archduke Charles and 176,000 French and allied troops under Napoleon.

1839: The Treaty of London was signed, establishing recognition of the new Kingdom of Belgium, which had separated from the Netherlands, by all the states of Europe.

1850: The Clayton-Bulwer agreement was signed under which Britain and the U.S. agreed not to obtain exclusive control of a proposed Panama Canal (the U.S. later did anyway).

1882: Charles Darwin, English naturalist who developed the theory of evolution, died (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).

1906: Pierre Curie, French chemist and physicist, was run over and killed in Paris. With his wife, Marie, he had made numerous discoveries involving magnetism and radioactivity.

1933: President Franklin Roosevelt issued a proclamation removing the U.S. from the gold standard - in effect, money became nothing more than printed paper with "nothing to back it up," which enabled governments to print as much money as they wanted, thereby reducing its declared value even more each time.

1938: General Francisco Franco declared victory in the Spanish Civil War.

1943: The Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazi occupation began.

1993: Over 80 members of the "Branch Davidian" group, including their leader David Koresh, died when U.S. federal agents stormed their compound in Waco, Texas.

1995: The worst act of terrorism in U.S. territory (until September 11 2001, if one doesn't include the many documented incidents of genocide of native American men, women and children through the 1800s) occurred when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed by the terrorist Timothy McVeigh (a white, "Christian," U.S. Army veteran who demonstrated that anyone can be a "terrorist"). 168 people, including infants, were killed.

2005: After the death of Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope of the Church of Rome. The new Pope assumed the name Benedict XVI.





editionDBSx201702et

Copyright © Wayne Blank