The Burden of Damascus (Isaiah 17:1, 4, 14)
v.1: “A message concerning Damascus. Observe! Damascus is about to be undone as a city.”
v.4: “In that day it shall come to pass that the glory of Jacob will wane, And the fatness of his flesh grow lean.” (Israeli casualties)
v.14: “At evening tide, lo, terror! Before morning they are gone. Such is the fate of those who pillage us and the lot of those who plunder us.”
FACT: Damascus, the capital of Syria, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, population approximately 1.7 million.
Although Damascus was conquered many times in history, and the city was partially destroyed in 732 BC when the Assyrians defeated the Armenians, the city was never totally destroyed.
Syria is the state sponsor of the terror group Hezbollah.
“Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, And do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more. With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you “
(The battle cry of the alliance is conspicuous in its similarity to Israel’s enemies today)
“For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:
6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites;
Moab and the Hagrites;
7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot.”
The Psalm 83 Alliance Today – Israel’s enemies have not changed:
The tents of Edom – (Edom is Esau Gen 36:1) originally Mt. Seir (southern Jordan) until the 6th century BC when Esau’s descendants were forced to change locations by a Nabatean tribe. Edom today is represented by the Palestinians of the West Bank.
Moab and Ammon – Palestinians of central and northern Jordan also called the children of Lot (Gen. 19:30-38)
The Ishmaelites – Ishmael settled in the Arabian Peninsula or modern-day Saudi Arabia
The Hagrites – Hagar, mother of Ishmael, was from Egypt
Amalek – Eternal enemy of the Israelites (Ex. 17:16) Arabs of the Sinai (ISIS)
Gebal – Northern Lebanon
Philistia – Palestinians of Gaza (Hamas)
The inhabitants of Tyre – Southern Lebanon (Hezbollah)
Assyria – Syria and northern Iraq
The Great Debate: Is Psalm 83 a Lament or Hot War?
The evidence for lament:
- Psalm 83 is a prayer and no actual conflict is prophesied
- Psalm 83 has been on-going since Israel’s rebirth in 1948
The evidence for war: The first clue
Psalm 83:9-10 – the Lord will deliver the enemies in the same way He did when the Israelites were in the Exodus to the Promised Land; combat victories:
“Deal with them as with Midian, As with Sisera, As with Jabin at the Brook Kishon, Who perished at En Dor, Who became as refuse of the earth.”
The second clue Ezekiel’s invasion (38-39) takes place when Israel is living in a false peace
- Ezek. 38:11 “You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates”
- Israel has had no peace since its rebirth in 1948 – a victory over an Arab invasion as prophesied by Obadiah 1:18, could provide the false security.
“Jacob (Israel) will be a fire and Joseph a flame; Esau (descendants are Palestinians of today) will be stubble, and they will set him on fire and destroy him. There will be no survivors from Esau.” (Isaiah 63:1-3)
The War of Gog and Magog
Ezek. 38:1-3 “Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.”
There is agreement among Dispensational prophecy scholars:
- Gog is a prince of (Rosh) Russia; a title of a strong leader.
- Magog is the 2nd son of Japheth (a son of Noah) who settled in what is today Russia
- Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, identified the offspring of Magog as the Scythians (Edomites from Judea and Persia) who were known as brutal, horse-riding nomads that resided in the area of modern-day southern Russia and East Ukraine.
- Meshech and Tubal, once a part of Turkey.
Ezek. 38:4 “I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.”
Ezekiel 38:5 NIV “Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.”
- Persia is modern day Iran.
- Cush (eldest son of Noah’s son Ham) is the area of Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia
- Put (Son of Ham) Libya, possibly Tunisia and Algeria
- Gomer, Beth Togarmah, Meshech, Tubal are ancient names for Turkey
- Many nations with you: possibly additional North African Islamic allies
Is the War of Gog and Magog Pre-Tribulation?
Ezek. 38:8 “After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword (Hebrew- charab/ synonymous with war) and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.”
(Latter years – just preceding the Day of the Lord – Tribulation period)
(Israel will be living in a false peace after Psalm 83)
Ezek. 38:11 “I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates to take plunder and to take booty.”
Where Are Britain and America?
Ezek. 38:13 “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?”
- Sheba and Dedan are cities in Saudi Arabia
- Merchants of Tarshish represents Spaniards who sailed from Spain to bring back tin (Britain)
- The lion is the symbol for Britain – young lions may then represent America and colonies. (All three nations are depicted as powerless)
Motive for attack: Great plunder, possible fulfillment of Genesis 49:25 “By the God of your father who will help you, And by the Almighty who will bless you With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.”
December 29, 2010 Israel announces giant natural gas find in Levant
Israel’s natural gas find is the most prominent field ever found in the sub-explored area of the Levantine Basin making Israel a net exporter of energy and threatening Russian dominance in supplying energy to Europe and Baltic states.
Deuteronomy 32:12-13 “The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him. He made him ride on the heights of the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields. He nourished him with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag”
October 8, 2015 Israel Finds Oil in Golan
Israel’s oil find is in one of the most contested pieces of real estate in the world and is said to be 10 times the size of average finds.
Two days before the announcement, Vladimir Putin ordered troops and heavy artillery into Syria.
Isaiah 45:3 “I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”
Ezek. 38:18-23 “I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who ãsanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”
Is the War of Gog and Magog Nuclear?
Two Clues: Ezekiel 39: 9, 12
- Ezek. 39:9 “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years.“
(Indicating nuclear reactors – which could last longer than 7 years but will become unnecessary with the return of Jesus)
- Ezek. 39:12 “For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land.”
(Indicating careful burial due to nuclear contamination)
The Jews Recognize God’s Hand in Victory and the Diaspora Ends
Ezek. 39:22 “I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day forward.”
(God, but not Jesus. Many will follow Antichrist until the mid-way point of the tribulation)
Isaiah 28:15 “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.”
Ezek. 39:28 “Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.”
The Tribulation begins