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:
Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.
11:28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
11:29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
11:32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran." (Genesis 11:27-32)
"12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
12:2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
12:4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
12:5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
12:6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
12:9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south." (Genesis 12:1-9 KJV)
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?
And she said, I will go.
24:59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham's servant, and his men.
24:60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
24:61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
24:62 And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country.
24:63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels were coming.
24:64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
24:65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us?
And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.
24:66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.
24:67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death." (Genesis 24:58-67 KJV)
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)
"35:23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:
35:24 The sons of Rachel; Joseph, and Benjamin:
35:25 And the sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid; Dan, and Naphtali:
35:26 And the sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid; Gad, and Asher: these are the sons of Jacob, which were born to him in Padanaram." (Genesis 35:23-26 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.
Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
17:2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.
17:3 The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.
17:4 And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.
17:5 And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim.
17:6 Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel.
17:7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
17:8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.
17:9 In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation.
17:10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:
17:11 In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.
17:12 Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
17:13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
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." (Isaiah 17:1-14 KJV)
Fact Finder: What was the Messiah's primary language?
See The Syrian Tongue Of Jesus
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.