We read Chapter 39 of Joel C. Rosenberg’s book, Damascus Countdown this week. It was absolutely amazing to read this in light of the current events in Syria. I’m opening to page 337 so you can listen in on the musings of the blind old scholar, Birjandi:
But now that he was here [Damascus], and now that the Lord had opened his eyes and allowed him to see a glimpse of what was coming, it was all beginning to make sense, and Birjandi’s fragile heart was racing.
“‘The oracle concerning Damascus,'” Birjandi muttered to himself, reciting Isaiah 17:1. “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin,” the Lord God Almighty had declared through his prophet. The next few verses then revealed that the “fortified city” and the “sovereignty” of Damascus would “disappear” and “fade.”
Souri had once read to him another translation of the first few verses of Isaiah 17, and these were even more clear.
A Message concerning Damascus: “Watch this: Damascus undone as a city, a pile of dust and rubble! Her towns emptied of people. The sheep and goats will move in and take over the towns as if they owned them–which they will! … Not a trace of government left in Damascus.”
As Birjandi then recalled the prophecies of Jeremiah 49:23 – 27 from memory, he found them just as chilling.
Concerening Damascus. “Hamath and Arpad are put to shame, for they have heard bad news; they are disheartened. There is anxiety by the sea, it cannot be calmed. Damascus has become helpless; she has turned away to flee, and panic has gipped her; distress and pangs have taken hold of her like a woman in childbirth. How the city of praise has not been deserted, the town of My joy! Therefore, her young men will fall in her streets, and all the men of war will be silenced in that day,” declares the Lord of hosts. “I will set fire to the wall of Damascus, and it will devour the fortified towers of Ben-hadad.”
Not once but twice in the Holy Scriptures, the Lord had foretold the utter and complete future destruction of Damascus. The second of the prophecies clearly indicated the destruction would come by fire. Yet neither prophecy had ever been fulfilled. Yes, Damascus had been attacked and conquered numerous times throughout history, but it had never been utterly destroyed and made uninhabitable. To the contrary, Birjandi knew that Damascus was one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on the planet, if not the oldest.
We know from the news that chemical warfare is going on within the city, that would certainly make it uninhabitable, too.
Please be in prayer for Damascus and Syria. More than 110,000 Syrian have been killed during their civil war. One third of the population is displaced: more than two million Syrian refugees have fled their country while an estimated five million Syrians have been “internally displaced” from their homes to other areas within Syria.
We could be very close to the fulfillment of these two prophecies!
- “Damascus, commonly known in Syria as ash-Sham and nicknamed as the City of Jasmine, is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo.” (Wikipedia)
- Read more posts on The Sovereign regarding material from Joel C. Rosenberg
- Read what Rosenberg is currently saying about Syria on his blog, Flash Traffic.
- Syria in Context: Understanding the War (Reuters)
- The photo of Damascus at night is a view from Mount Qasioun and is available on Wikimedia Commons.