Current Crisis in Syria a fulfillment of end times Bible prophecy?

I keep seeing headlines like this in the news and they all refer to a verse in Isaiah 17:1:

The oracle concerning Damascus. “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city And will become a fallen ruin.

With the civil war in Syria that’s been going on for a couple of years and the potential for a bombing campaign by the US in Damascus, people are wondering if this prophecy is about to become fulfilled. Well, the short answer is NO.

Joel Richardson, who co-wrote God’s War on Terror with Walid Shoebat, has recently blogged about this and explains why this prophecy is one that won’t happen until Armageddon, or the Day of the Lord:

This is an updated version of an older article, that I thought was relevant to repost in light of the potential looming US attack of the Assad regime in Damascus.

“Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city, and it will become a fallen ruin.” —Isaiah 17:1

 With the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria this past week, and now the Obama administration’s claims that they are about to respond militarily, many students of prophecy are wondering if Isaiah’s oracle concerning Damascus is about to be fulfilled. It is certainly understandable that many students of Scripture are looking to Isaiah 17 and asking if its fulfillment could be imminent. But if we simply examine the actual text a bit more carefully, then we will see that what Isaiah describes is not something that is imminent.

Lets consider the actual text of Isaiah 17 to examine what it really says:

The oracle concerning Damascus. “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin. The cities of Aroer are forsaken; They will be for flocks to lie down in, and there will be no one to frighten them…. sovereignty [will disappear] from Damascus and the remnant of Aram —Isaiah 17:1-3

According to the text, there are a few things that this judgment will bring about. All of them must be taken into consideration.

First, Damascus will be removed from being a city as well as all of “Aram”. Aram speaks of the greater region of southern Syria.

Second, “the cities of Aorer” will be so adversely affected by the Isaiah 17 judgment, that they will be “forsaken”. A survey of the opinions of commentators, Biblical scholars and Bible atlases tell us that Aorer is a reference to the region of northern modern day Jordan. This would include the capitol city of Amman.

Third, “Ephraim”, which speaks of the ancient northern kingdom of Israel, or simply modern day northern Israel, will also become virtually desolate:

The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim… Now in that day the glory of Jacob will fade, and the fatness of his flesh will become lean… Yet gleanings will be left in it like the shaking of an olive tree, two or three olives on the topmost bough, four or five on the branches of a fruitful tree,” declares the LORD, the God of Israel… In that day their strong cities will be like forsaken places in the forest, Or like branches which they abandoned before the sons of Israel; and the land will be a desolation. —Isaiah 17:3-7

Beyond northern Israel, the text is also clear that “in that day” the “glory of Jacob will fade”. “Jacob” of course, is simply a reference to all of Israel. So Israel’s glory will fade to the point of being sparsely populated. Isaiah likens Israel to the fields after harvest. He then says that Israel’s “strong cities will be like forsaken places in the forest”.

Yet despite the fact that the prophecy speaks not only of the destruction of Damascus, but also of a major desolation of all of Israel, in none of the popular discussions of this text does anyone ever bring attention to Israel’s desolation. It is as if they read only the first verse and ignore the remainder of the passage!

In conclusion then, this passage is not speaking of an imminent attack of Damascus. Isaiah 17 is simply one piece of the larger section of Isaiah’s prophecy (chapters 13-23) which speaks of judgment not only against Israel, but all of her adversarial Gentile neighbors.

When will all of this occur? If one examines this larger portion of Isaiah’s prophecy in its proper context, rather pulling out a single verse here or there, then it is clear that its ultimate context is the Day of the LORD, the judgment against the nations, and the return of Jesus.

Context is everything. You should really check out Joel’s blog. He does great work.

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  • JoelDick

    “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city And will become a fallen ruin.”
    Yeah right, with what Obama’s proposing.

  • milmarm

    Here’s a much better understanding of end-time prophecy…

  • Conservative_Hippie

    Even so Come Lord Jesus!  I believe we are getting close!

  • PVG

    Conservative_Hippie Amen CH!

  • ryanomaniac

    Here is some context…no will know when its gonna happen. People thought with Israel coming back into existence that the end was here. Still waiting. This whole thing could happen decades or even a century or more from now. As the Lord says…a thousand years is a day and a day is a thousand years.

  • ryanomaniacThessalonians 5:2 – 4 “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While
    they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon
    them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will
    not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief…”
    Nobody knows the day or the hour. It doesn’t say we won’t know when it’s coming…at least those of us who are in the light.

  • colliemum

    Dear friends – pray and pray and pray! 
    Because the Lord hears us, and He will come in His time, not ours, may we look ever so much for clues and hints. He will not forsake us, nor condemn innocents nor even villains and sinners until they have had time to repent.
    What if this time is one to test our faith and our will to pray and pray to Him who can make all things right, and who can write even on crooked lines? What if we are asked to pray to Him with all our strenght and love, and let him find the ways we cannot see?
    What if we are not to despair and look for the end – when He has other plans?
    See what happened today:
    “19.05 (14.05) The idea that Assad could hand over his weapons – a theme now bouncing around capitals across the world – began as a flippant remark by Kerry this morning in London. The White House is refusing to say whether they coordinated the line with the secretary of state but one administration official told CNN it was “a major goof”.
    18.48 (13.48) The diplomatic maneuvering over Kerry’s remark that Assad could avoid strikes by destroying his chemical weapons stock piles is getting ever more complicated. After Russia said it would try to get Assad to agree the Syrian government is suddenly making positive noises.
    Here’s Walid al-Moualem, the Syrian foreign minister, a little earlier:
    I state that the Syrian Arab Republic welcomes the Russian initiative, motivated by the Syrian leadership’s concern for the lives of our citizens and the security of our country, and also motivated by our confidence in the wisdom of the Russian leadership, which is attempting to prevent American aggression against our people.”

    As always – Thy Will be Done, Oh Lord. we know you will give us the strength to bear and endure what we must, and we trust in Your Love, the Love that saves all innocents. Strengthen us so that our trust in You is perfect, lighten our way so that we do not give in to despair and to the insinuations of the dark Powers.
    Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory.

  • Dejonn

    Hello, I must  say that this article is not right.  Please if you are
    interested in this subject go to this page and download or order this
    book (free either way) and read it then study it.  I guarantee you will
    understand why the author of this article is wrong.

  • MiltonBassHayek

    Let’s not wish for the end of the world yet, people! I still haven’t caught a double digit bass!

  • Conservator1

    After just listening to Hillary Clinton repeat what SOS Kerry stated earlier today, I must disagree – the end times have arrived. Of course I jest because it’s clearly recorded in Mt 24:36:
    The Day and Hour Unknown
    36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father.
    But that doesn’t mean Obama’s incompetence and impotency in the global arena won’t be the end of the America we love and treasure. Let’s not forget Ronald Reagan’s warning:
    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

  • ryanomaniac

    therightscoop ryanomaniac I’m just saying its been thought to be the end of the world by very smart people for over a couple thousand years. I used to get wrapped up in end times stuff really hardcore but finally came to the conclusion that the Lord would rather me use the time I have left trying to expand what he started.

  • steveangll77

    milmarmArticle does not refute this article.  It is generally about the end times and does not refer to Syria.  I agree with the article.  It explains why we are in the last days.  But does not indicate when Christ will return.
    These verses can not be taken in isolation.  They will have to all happen in fairly quick succession within a few years.  Very close to Christ Coming.
    In the end Christ will defend Israel so if this happens it will be Christ most likely.  Other scripture related to this also indicates Iran will be made desolate.

  • steveangll77

    JoelDick No because of the response it could cause on Israel.  If forced Israel will use it’s nuclear arsenal.  Only a Nuke could cause this damage and if it goes that far most likely the entire seven verses will be fulfilled.
    I pray we are not there yet.

  • Conservative_Hippie

    PVG Conservative_Hippie 🙂

  • njmom

    Thanks Scoop because there are so many differing opinions where Bible prophecy is concerned. The Bible says in the last days Satan is going to be running rampant because he knows his time is short and IMO this is what we’re seeing right now. However, God’s plan cannot and will not be changed and as written in Isa 55 His Word will not return void so no matter how Satan tries to make things appear doesn’t necessarily mean they are as they seem. Are we close? Sure, closer than we were yesterday but not as close as tomorrow. However, I will agree the Lord is coming soon and I look forward to that day rejoicing in Him.

  • tinlizzieowner

    I think we should all quit worrying about THE ‘End Of Times’, (that we can’t do anything about) and get back to worrying about ‘the end of (Obama’s) times’, that we can.

  • kong1967

    I don’t predict or try to tie anything to biblical prophesy.  I don’t believe in it.  However, I must admit that when I hear the similarities between what’s happened over the years to prophesy, it does give me chills.

  • famouswolf

    I don’t believe in it enough to speculate or guess when it might start. It wouldn’t surprise me any more, though.
    I’ll just work on me and God, the rest will take care of itself.

  • Exxe

    It’s amazing how many people fall for prophecies.  Even Jesus didn’t know when the end would come, but for whatever reason, people still want to speculate, or believe in “prophets”.
     Matthew 24:36
    36″But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 
    37 For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark.39 They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man.40 Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.42 Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. 43 Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into.44 So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. (Matthew (NAB) 24)
    The teaching of this passage?  Live a holy life, because death will come one day, and if you’re not prepared, your soul will either go to heaven or hell.  It’s as simple as that.

  • Susanb958

    Exxe Where in the Bible does it say anyone is going to Heaven?

  • kong1967

    tinlizzieowner Great idea!!

  • DoloresLorenzoRichardson

    kong1967 It gives you something to think about..Maybe I don’t believe all the phophesies but it makes you take notice how some of them are really close. JUST KEEP AN OPEN MIND..

  • GiantM

    Well then…get-r-daawn mista!
    Although I don’t wish for the end, I sure do look forward to where I’ll going. And frankly the world doesn’t need to end for me to get there. It’s all in “HIS” timing.
    No go get that 30 pound’er before time runs out. Besides we have Comet ISON coming in November and who knows what that will bring.

  • kong1967

    DoloresLorenzoRichardson I will, I promise.

  • DoloresLorenzoRichardson

    Conservator1 It might not all end tomorrow, But this president is doing to this country what no other president has done. But you must remember he is not an American, he does not love this country, He was planted here by Saudia Arabia to bring this country down and that is exactly what he is doing. If you don’t believe that you are more senile than me..And then the stupid people who voted him the second time, just gave him the time he needed to destroy it completely, boy look at the damage he can do in 3 more years. Jesus please save us from this none believer, I asked this in your name, Amen

  • Laurel A

    tinlizzieowner Well said…and it seems to me if we don’t do something about ending the wickedness of the Obama times then we are going to see the end times that much faster.

  • Laurel A

    njmom I don’t think we are seeing end times. What we are seeing now runs an exact parallel to the first four decades of the 20th century…and that most especially includes the culture. The original hippies were the Bohemians* who were quite into homosexuality, bestiality, drug abuse, sex slavery among other things. The 20’s didn’t get labeled the Roaring 20’s for nothing…don’t get me started on the creation of the mob. What we are seeing is history continually repeating. Take note that with each decade the government expands as a direct result of immorality.

    *Woodrow Wilson’s oldest daughter was a Bohemian.

  • bluerose3335

    This is such a JOKE….you know what AND IF IT IS WHAT THE H ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT???  Nothing…so GROW UP and stop wasting time about a bunch of FALSE PROPHETS from some Roadside Carnival Act with a guy that has not BATHED IN A YEAR and is high on WEED!!  Gee do people even realize that EVERY SINGLE LINE in Scripture can be MANIPULATED and TWISTED to mean whatever someone wants it to mean…and CHARLATANS have been doing it for 1000s of years and guess what EARTH is still here and so is man.  GOD will decide if and when and not some MAGGOT with an AGENDA or Some Fool of a Man of the Cloth or some Wired Hippie. 
    I could care less about Fundamentalists Either who ALWAYS tell everyone the END IS TOMORROW..problem is they just NEVER GET THE YEAR, CENTURY or MILLENIA RIGHT!!   GOD IS GOD FOR A REASON WE ARE NOT!

  • 12grace

    National Day Of Prayer And Repentance 9/11/2013

    David Jeremiah on the National Day of Prayer –

  • tinlizzieowner Tight on. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at the time.

  • Laurel A njmom’ People do the darnest things’. yes we are all a real work of art aren’t we?

  • GiantM MiltonBassHayek All quiet in Syria?

  • colliemum Never despair, and never give up. ( I was going to say hope, but that word has been denigrated now)

  • AdamMaarschalk

    I believe that current events in Syria have nothing to do with Isaiah 17 (or Isaiah 7-8 and Amos 1). Isaiah and Amos were contemporary prophets, and both predicted that Syria and Israel would soon be destroyed by the same opponent, Assyria. II Kings 16 shows in detail that their prophecies were fulfilled, and this is validated by historical records as outlined in this article:

    One of the biggest keys pointing to the fulfillment of Isaiah 17 in Isaiah’s own time period is the phrase “in that day” in verse 4. Isaiah clearly prophesied that Damascus and Syria would fall in the same “day” that Israel would fall. And we know that Israel (the northern kingdom) fell in 722 B.C.

  • DawgfanInFL

    Now and forever, Colliemum!

  • dneuwen

    the article is right in many points about the timing of the prophecy in isaiah i.e the events refer to the day of the lord leading to Christ’s second  coming. but it misses the most crucial point in all these prophecies – the identity of ephraim. ephraim was prophesied to be a commonwealth of nations (gen.8:19) but the northern portion of today’s  state of Israel (the ancient location of ephraim)is very very far from that. guess which nation in the history of the world became a commonwealth of nations? only great britain in its heyday ruling a fourth of the world, blessed with the abundance of the earth and the skies and possessing the gates of their enemies as also prophesied to happen to Ephraim, and also manasseh, two of joseph’s sons who inherited the birthright promises of God to abraham for his steadfast obedience (gen 48).

  • Dr. Strangelove

    I’ve been convinced the world was coming to an end since I was about 10. Might be coincidental but that was around the time of the Cuban missile crisis.

  • DHardy

    I think it’s sad. Most of these Islamic Citizens are politically ignorant, they have been conditioned and brain washed and pushed around all their lives. What’s sad is these people didn’t stand a chance at birth and Islam seen to that. These people are so ignorant and brainwashed by that barbaric faith that they will no nothing but war and hate and death. Don’t believe in Hell?…You need to take a good look at some of these cities and countries that Islam has taken root in…

  • Valin

    Or Not.

  • Conservator1

    DoloresLorenzoRichardson I must disagree; Obama wasn’t “planted here by Saudia Arabia to bring this country down” as you suggest. The blame lies with low information voters and the leftist MSM who supported Obama over their beloved Hillary.
    BTW, I didn’t vote for him once and you can pray to Jesus for our salvation also, but Obama’s presidency has fundamentally changed America as he promised. And it will take decades of common-sense conservatives to restore America.

  • LongJohn

    therightscoop ryanomaniac AMEN scoop, Amen!

  • Conservator1 DoloresLorenzoRichardson You left out a fair amount, if not a great amount of voter fraud and intimidation.