Isaiah 17

A friend of mine called me up from the Netherlands a few days ago. We talked about what we were up to and mutual friends that were still in Israel. Then we stumbled onto the subject of eschatology, and I said that the next big thing that’s going to happen is Gog and Magog and the salvation of Israel.

“No it’s not,” he responded.

I was taken aback. Here I was, incredibly knowledgeable about Israel and the bible and eschatology, and this… this… Dutch person DARES to disagree?

“Why?” I growled menacingly.

“Damascus hasn’t been destroyed yet,” he replied – blissfully ignorant of how close he was to being rhetorically torn limb from limb.

I sat and blinked for a moment. I remembered reading something in the bible about Damascus being destroyed, but I thought that it had already happened – and that the prophecy didn’t apply to the future.

I sputtered a bit in deflated indignation before flitting through the scriptures that referred to Damascus. Sure enough, it needed to be destroyed.

Once THAT was clear, I did a quick search of the history of Damascus and found that it had NEVER been destroyed – at least as far as we could tell.

That is an incredibly serious problem.

Why?

Well, if Damascus has never been completely destroyed, then it is going to be completely destroyed in the very near future. (There’s not a whole lot of future left in our ‘future’ – if you know what I meant.)

But, there’s worse.

It appears that a lot of Israelis are killed also. A LOT of Israelis. In fact, I can see how this fits with Zechariah 13 when it speaks about the same time frame:

Zechariah 13:8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith Jehovah, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.

If there is anyone out there that can prove that all of this has already happened, and that there is going to be no massacre of Israelis in the future…

Well, my joy would be boundless.

However, until someone can prove that Isaiah 17 and Zechariah 13:8 have ALREADY been fulfilled, I live in dread of the future.

But, let’s start working through the terrible predictions of Isaiah 17.

Isaiah 17

1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.

3 And the fortress 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 Jehovah of hosts.

4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.

5 And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the standing grain, and his arm reapeth the ears; yea, it shall be as when one gleaneth ears in the valley of Rephaim.

6 Yet there shall be left therein gleanings, as the shaking of an olive-tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost branches of a fruitful tree, saith Jehovah, the God of Israel.

THIS is utter destruction, an utter destruction that has never happened, except POSSIBLY during the Assyrian conquest. However, it is my understanding that Damascus was not made a ruinous heap by the Assyrians, and that they left much of it intact as a city. It was certainly a city when Alexander the Great was rampaging through the Middle East. So, as I said before, it doesn’t appear that Damascus has ever been utterly destroyed.

But, if the Damascus is to be utterly destroyed, who destroys it? Who destroys Damascus?

Israel?

Does the Assad regime use chemical weapons against Damascus?

Does Gog and Magog do this?

What does it mean when verse 4 says, “the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean”?

This sounds like Israelis being killed – lots and lots of Israelis being killed. And that is beyond disturbing. It’s horrifying.

Unless someone can prove to me, beyond the shadow of doubt, that all of this has happened already and that there is no possibility that this will happen in the future – I will live in dread of the near future.

This could even happen before the end of this year, 2012.

7 In that day shall men look unto their Maker, and their eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.

8 And they shall not look to the altars, the work of their hands; neither shall they have respect to that which their fingers have made, either the Asherim, or the sun-images.

9 In that day shall their strong cities be as the forsaken places in the wood and on the mountain top, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel; and it shall be a desolation.

To me, this confirms my understanding that this is in our future, because the Assyrian captivity did not result in Israel looking to God.

Furthermore, do you remember these verses from Ezekiel 38?

Ezekiel 38:10 Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: It shall come to pass in that day, that things shall come into thy mind, and thou shalt devise an evil device:

Ezekiel 38:11 and thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates;

Ezekiel 38:12 to take the spoil and to take the prey; to turn thy hand against the waste places that are now inhabited, and against the people that are gathered out of the nations, that have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the middle of the earth.

Both verse Isaiah 17:9 and Ezekiel 38:10-12 indicate that Israel will be rendered defenseless. Could it be that Israel will be forced to use nuclear weapons against Syria after suffering horrific civilian casualties – and that the terrible devastation in both Israel and Syria will cause the world to demilitarize the whole area?

Which would explain why Gog and Magog say that Israel is a country of unwalled villages.

But, there is a very, very important and positive development in verse 7:

7 In that day shall men look unto their Maker, and their eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.

Almost any amount of horror is worthwhile if it ends in redemption, but you will forgive me if I do not look forward to seeing people that I care deeply about suffering and dying.

10 For thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength; therefore thou plantest pleasant plants, and settest it with strange slips.

11 In the day of thy planting thou hedgest it in, and in the morning thou makest thy seed to blossom; but the harvest fleeth away in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.

12 Ah, the uproar of many peoples, that roar like the roaring of the seas; and the rushing of nations, that rush like the rushing of mighty waters!

13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but he shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like the whirling dust before the storm.

14 At eventide, behold, terror; and before the morning they are not. This is the portion of them that despoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.

Both verses 13 and 14 sound like Gog and Magog.

Again, if anyone can prove to me that I have the wrong interpretation of Isaiah 17, I would be truly, truly grateful.

Truly.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Worried About Damascus | israeloutlook.com

  2. Pingback: Disaster Incoming | OmegaShock

  3. Pingback: Last Night’s Painful Speech on Syria | OmegaShock

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.


Hey, CAPTCHA this, first! *