What will become of the prophesied war in Damascus?
By Tani Shrabel
“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. Isaiah 17:1
Isaiah 17 clearly prophesies the destruction of Damascus, Syria. With the recent turmoil in Syria, where almost 7,000 have been killed over the past eleven months, many are wondering if we could be on the brink of the prophecy’s fulfillment right now.
Since Syria considers Israel her number one enemy, it is very likely that Israel will be the destroying power whenever the destruction does take place.
Could Israel do it?
On June 28, 2006, just before dawn, a deafening explosion rocked the palace of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Assad was jolted awake with his heart pounding. While the windows were still rattling from the concussion, the doors to his sleeping chamber crashed open. His personal guards grabbed him by the arms and whisked him toward the palace safe room. Again, he heard the loud buzz of jet fighters on approach and another ear-piercing boom. Gripped with fear, Assad asked, “Are we under attack?” One guard said, “Sir, we are communicating with intelligence right now. They think it’s the Israelis.”
Sometime later Assad learned that Israeli fighters crossed the Syrian border in retaliation for rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel. The sonic booms caused by the Israeli fly-over were a warning to Assad, “Stop supporting Iranian sponsored Hamas terror attacks against Israel. We can and will enter your airspace anytime we deem it necessary.” Bashar Assad understood very well that, if Israel had chosen to drop live bombs that night, he would now be dead.
So does Israel have the ability to destroy Damascus? Ask Mr. Assad!
When will it happen?
There are two major wars prophesied for the area of Syria in the not-too-distant future. One is the Sixth Trumpet war prophesied in Revelation 9:13-21. This war will result in the killing of one-third of mankind (over 2 billion people) and will take place before the time called the Great Tribulation. Since verse 14 specifically states that this unprecedented war will emanate from the Euphrates River and since the Euphrates only passes through Turkey, Syria and Iraq, it is almost certain that Syria will be involved in the Sixth Trumpet war in one way or the other. However, we have no biblical proof that the prophesied destruction of Damascus will occur at this time.
The other major war that will involve Syria is the prophesied Battle of Armageddon. This war will take place at the end of the Great Tribulation. The scriptures actually teach that the world government armies, which will invade northern Israel at the beginning of Armageddon, will invade by way of Damascus. This being true, it becomes very likely that this war will see the fulfillment of the destruction of Damascus.
Invasion by way of Damascus
One of the prophecies foretelling the Battle of Armageddon is found in Revelation 16:12-16:
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
The prophecy states that the Euphrates River will be dried up to facilitate the invasion of Israel by the kings of the East as they make their way toward Jerusalem for the Battle of Armageddon.
We know from Ezekiel 38 that Russia will be the leading force in the world government army that launches the world’s final battle. Russia will come down against Israel between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, cross the Euphrates, and then proceed through Syria toward Israel. There is one and only one highway that leads from the Euphrates River to the plain of Megiddo where the battle will begin. That highway passes straight through Damascus. It is obvious that Syria will be cooperating with the international forces as they make their way toward Israel.
Other scriptures imply the destruction of Damascus during Armageddon
The place where Damascus sits is within the borders of the Promised Land as described throughout the Bible. Those borders extend all the way to the Euphrates River. The only time Israel has possessed the entire Promised Land was during the time of King David and King Solomon. The area of Damascus was part of the nation of Israel during that time. We know that the present location of Damascus will be part of Israel during the 1,000-year reign of Jesus on earth because God will restore all of the Promised Land to Israel at that time.
The Prophet Zechariah spoke about the Battle of Armageddon as much as any other biblical writer. He recorded God’s words in Zechariah 14:2, “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle.”
Isaiah 17:13 appears to speak of the same invasion of Israel, “The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them.”
Ezekiel also recorded the rebuking of the nations by God at Armageddon:
“So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.” Ezekiel 39:7
The prophecy said that Damascus would no longer be a city. It would become a ruinous heap. Could Israel become so desperate that she would use nuclear weapons against Damascus? Zechariah 14:12 lets us know that nuclear weapons will be used against the enemies of Israel at Armageddon:
“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” Zechariah 14:12
This passage is an incredibly accurate description of the effects of nuclear radiation upon a human being. It’s painful to think about, but the possibility is very real that Damascus could be destroyed by a nuclear attack during the Battle of Armageddon.
Let’s look at the prophecy one more time:
Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. Isaiah 17:1
From this 2,500-year-old prophecy, we know the destruction of Damascus is coming. Since we now understand it will happen at the time of Armageddon and that Armageddon is drawing near, will anyone make a final, desperate effort to reach the people of Damascus with a chance to know Jesus and to receive the gift of eternal life? We know it’s not God’s will that anyone perish. Is God calling anyone to carry the gospel to Damascus? Is anyone listening?