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Sunday, July 5 2015
Isaiah 17: The Syrian Connection
"Surely thou art my bone and my flesh"
Damascus, the capital of Syria, has been in existence for over 4,000 years. The city and nation's key location on the "Fertile Crescent" (see second map below) between the Tigris-Euphrates valley of Iraq (see also The Medes And Chaldees Prophecies) and the land of Israel made it a major element of the origin and history of Israel - geographically, linguistically and of the Israelite people of Syria themselves.
When Abraham's family group, led by Abraham's father Terah, left their native land in Iraq, they stopped in Syria, at Haran - where some remained, while Abraham, Sarah and Lot later continued on to the land of Canaan (see A Biography Of Abraham: The Genealogy Of Abram and A Biography Of Abraham: From Ur To Canaan).
"11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah:
Years later, when Abraham sought a wife for his son Isaac, it was in Syria that Rebekah was deliberately found (see The Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah).
"24:58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man?
When Isaac and Rebekah's sons Jacob and Esau (see The Birth of Jacob and Esau) became involved in what would have been a deadly conflict between them (see Esau's Blessing Taken By Jacob), Rebekah sent Jacob away to her home town in Syria (see Jacob In Syria).
Jacob remained with his Syrian uncle Laban ("And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh" verse 14 below) for over 20 years - where he married and had children with 4 Syrian women - his cousins Leah and Rachel, and their servants Bilhah and Zilpah. Most of Jacob's children, including Judah, who would become the Israelite tribal patriarchs, were born in Syria (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria) and grew to adulthood speaking the Syrian language (the same language as did Jesus Christ centuries later - see the Fact Finder question below). It was on his return journey from Syria that the LORD renamed Jacob as "Israel" (see The Origin Of Israel).
"29:12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son: and she ran and told her father. 29:13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things. 29:14 And Laban said to him, Surely thou art my bone and my flesh." (Genesis 29:12-14 KJV)
As we read, people of Syria weren't merely neighbors of Israel - they were the primary people from which "Israel" was created. As such, their place in prophecy is also more directly connected to Israel.
"17:1 The burden of Damascus.
Fact Finder: What was the Messiah's primary language?
This Day In History
This Day In History, July 5
328: "Constantine's Bridge" over the Danube River was opened. Constantine was the primary creator of the Church of Rome and its "Sunday" doctrine (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1295: Scotland and France made the "Auld Alliance" against England.
1610: Forty colonists, led by John Guy, departed Bristol, England to settle in what is today Newfoundland (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1687: Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica was published by The Royal Society in England (see also Einstein's Holy Spirit Formula and Rescuing Charles Darwin From The Atheists).
1770: The Battle of Chesma began between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1809: The Battle of Wagram. It was the largest battle of the Napoleonic Wars.
1811: Venezuela declared independence from Spain.
1830: France invaded Algeria.
1865: William Booth founded the "Christian Mission" in London, England. It was later renamed the "Salvation Army."
1932: Antonio de Oliveira Salazar became the leader of Portugal.
1934: Police opened fire on striking longshoremen in San Francisco in what became known as "Bloody Thursday."
1940: In France, Henri Petain's "Vichy" government (that cooperated with the Hitler's invasion forces) severed diplomatic relations with Britain.
1943: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the battle of Kursk began between the armies of Germany and Russia. It was the largest full-scale battle in history, and the world's largest tank battle.
1950: The Knesset (Parliament) of Israel passed the Law of Return. It granted all Jews (see Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings) the right to immigrate to Israel (unfortunately, for many of the people of Judah to this day, the most famous Jew of all, Jesus Christ, is still not welcome to them; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism).
1959: President Sukarno of Indonesia dissolved Parliament and proclaimed dictatorial powers.
1963: The Roman Catholic Church granted permission for Catholics to be cremated (see also Is 'Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust' Really In The Bible?).
1994: Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat traveled to the "West Bank" (see Jordan's West Bank Invasion) after 27 years in exile, determined to turn the self-rule areas of Gaza and Jericho into a "Palestinian state" (see Where Is Palestine?) with its capital in East Jerusalem.
1996: A sheep (named Dolly) became the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell.
1998: Japan launched an unmanned spacecraft to Mars, thereby becoming the third nation, along with the U.S. and Russia, to have exploration vehicles in space.
2009: The largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found, over 1,500 items, was found near Hammerwich, England.