What does the future hold concerning Damascus in relation to Bible prophecy.
There are actually two key Biblical prophecies that explain that at a unspecified time in the future, the city of Damascus will be completely destroyed — judged by God — and will not be inhabited again.
* Isaiah 17:1-3 — “The oracle concerning Damascus. ‘Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin. The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be for flocks to lie down in, and there will be no one to frighten them. The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and sovereignty from Damascus….’”
Damascus was the leading city of Syria, and it still is that today. Many have called it the oldest city in the world. "Damascus" in this chapter refers to the entire nation of Syria.
Ephraim is the name of a tribe of Israel, it is the name of a city, it is the name of a mountain, and it is the name of a man. Ephraim is often used in Scripture to refer to the ten northern tribes of Israel. The prophets used it in that way: "For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer.... Ephraim is joined to idols..." (Hos. 4:16-17).
* Jeremiah 49:23-27 — “Concerning Damascus. ‘Hamath andArpad 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 gripped 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.’”
Damascus was one of the principal cities of Syria. It was taken by David, 2 Samuel 8:6, was retaken in the reign of Solomon, 1 Kings 11:24, and regained its independence. Its kings were often at war with the ten tribes, and once it joined with them for the destruction of Judah. To defend himself against these powerful enemies Ahaz made a league with the king of Assyria, who besieged Damascus, took, and demolished it. From that time we hear nothing of Damascus till we meet with it in this prophecy. It appears to have been rebuilt and restored to some consequence. It made an obstinate resistance to Nebuchadnezzar; but was at last taken and sacked by him. At present it is both a large and populous city, with considerable commerce.
These prophecies have not yet been fulfilled. Damascus as previously stated, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth. It has been attacked, besieged, and conquered. But Damascus has never been completely destroyed and left uninhabited. Yet that is exactly what the Bible says will happen. The context of Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 are a series of End Times prophecies dealing with God’s judgments on Israel’s neighbors and enemies leading up to, and through, the Tribulation.
How exactly will Damascus be destroyed? When will exactly it be destroyed? What will that look like, and what will be the implications for the rest of Syria, for Israel and for the region? The honest answer is that the Bible does not say.
The events in Damascus and Syria need to be closely monitored, and christians need to pray much for the Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy on the people of that great city. The blood shed by the Assad regime is reprehensible, and heart-breaking and is setting the stage for a terrible judgment. The believers in Christ there are being horribly persecuted, but some are still boldly preaching the Gospel and teaching the Word of God. Let’s pray that they reach all of the people of Damascus and Syria before the judgment comes.