Damascus a Ruinous Heap?

Written by 
Dear Sir,

Isaiah chapter 17:1-3: “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. 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.”

Is Damascus/Syria taken away from existing as a city (a ruinous heap) only referring to the Assyrian conquest of 732 BC? When was it rebuilt? Is 17:1-3 also a reference to a coming complete devastation of Damascus still to come?

-F. Rodeman, WI


Arno's Answer:



Damascus has been a “ruinous heap” many times since that prophecy was uttered. Archeology has not discovered any significant part of Damascus dating from 726 B.C. Take as an example Jerusalem. Some historians report it was destroyed 14 times. As a matter of fact, there is scarce archeological evidence of the existence of the Jewish Temple on Mt. Moriah. This precisely fulfills the Lord’s statement, “There shall not be left here one stone upon another.”

When reading the prophetic Word, we must analyze the past, the present, and the future to distinguish the details. One fitting example often used is Revelation 6:4, “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” Virtually all prophecy scholars place this in the future. I don’t think so. Why? Because there has been no peace on earth since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. How about “kill one another”? That has never stopped since Cain killed his brother Abel. This prophecy is given from heavenly perspectives and encompasses human history from the beginning to the end.

Midnight Call - 12/2013


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Arno Froese

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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