By Hal Lindsay
|There is some dispute as to whether the prophecy
concerning the destruction of Damascus has already been fulfilled, or is
a future event. Good arguments exist for both positions. Indeed, it
appears that Damascus has already been largely reduced to rubble in its
modern era existence, so it could be reasoned that it is already a ruinous
heap. This, I think, is one of those "time will tell" prophecies.
A stunning report published
by Jane's Defense Weekly confirms rumors of a July explosion at a Syrian
military base at al-Safir, near Aleppo, in which reportedly "dozens"
of Iranian engineers were killed along with their Syrian counterparts.
Syria had originally dismissed reports of the explosion by
saying the blast was generated by the desert heat causing the accidental
detonation of a stockpile of explosives.
Jane's reported that the explosion was actually triggered
while the engineers were fitting a chemical warhead onto a Scud-C missile. The
explosion and fire released containers of the deadly nerve agents VX and sarin
gas, as well as a mustard gas blistering agent.
Israeli Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter told
reporters this week, "Iran has entered into strategic cooperation with
Syria on conventional and nonconventional weapons development," adding,
"The Iranians are very big in Syria."
Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is preparing Syria to cover
his flank, should war break out between Israel and Iran over Tehran's nuclear
arsenal. Ahmadinejad is evidently gambling on Syria taking out Israel while
Iran squares off against the United States. Were Iran and Israel to face each
other head-to-head, one or the other would inevitably cease to exist. Israel
would have no choice but to annihilate Iran before Iran annihilated Israel.
Israel's "Samson Option" is named after the
biblical judge who sacrificed himself in order to take his enemies with him. In
the event of its impending destruction, Israel's retaliatory plan involves
taking the Middle East along with it.
As the Iraq experience has proved, war with the United
States is survivable. The terms of Israel's "Samson Option" mean war
with Israel involving first-use weapons of mass destruction is not.
To Ahmadinejad's way of thinking, if somebody has to be
martyred to the Mahdi's cause, why not Syria? Twenty-five hundred odd years
ago, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah prophesied of the destruction of Damascus. This
prophecy is made more fascinating by the fact it remains unfulfilled in
Damascus is the oldest continually inhabited city on
earth. Although conquered many times, its status as an economic and cultural
center of antiquity preserved it intact to this day.
But Isaiah predicted Damascus would one day face utter
destruction: "Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city
and it will become a fallen ruin," he writes in Isaiah 17:1.
The prophet also predicts Damascus' destruction will come
at a time when "the glory of Jacob" had begun to fade (verse 4), at a
time when Israel is in great peril of being "shaken like an olive
tree," leaving only a few "on the topmost bough."
Isaiah prophesies that, when Damascus' destruction comes,
there will be "an uproar of many peoples" and "the rumbling of
nations" but that they will flee at God's rebuke.
It seems clear from recent events that Syria is preparing
chemical and biological weapons, and possibly some form of nuclear weapon for
use in some future war against Israel. Syria and Iran have been outfitting
Hezbollah with the latest in offensive weaponry since the war of June 2006.
Israel is unlikely to sit back and wait for a first-use
chemical or gas attack from Damascus. Neither is it likely to wait until
Ahmadinejad can use Syria to flank them in the event of conflict with Iran. So
the number of Israeli raids against Syrian targets is likely to escalate until
either Israel has destroyed the threat or Syria responds militarily. If Syria
attacks with weapons of mass destruction, it can expect a massive, in-kind
Bible prophecy doesn't make allowances for a full-scale
unconventional war of annihilation of Israel by Iran, however. Ezekiel predicts
Iran's participation of the Gog-Magog invasion as part of a Russian-led
alliance, not a regional alliance with Syria. Both Iran and Israel are listed
as participants in that future conflict.
But Syria isn't.
Syria isn't numbered among any of the various protagonists
prophesied to participate in the conflicts of the last days.
Isaiah describes the destruction of Damascus in much the
same terms that would be used today to describe the effects of all-out,
no-holds-barred Israeli retaliatory strike against a Syrian gas attack.
"At evening time, behold,
there is terror! Before morning, they are no more" (Isaiah 17:13-14).