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  • Question about Isaiah 17 from Fisherman

    Fisherman
    To
    Lou Newton
    Today at 10:30 AM
    Reading this yesterday. And wanted to share with you since you are definitely blessed with a really good understanding of scripture

    Id sent Isaiah 17. Damascus is warned. In the destruction of Damascus was wondering if that prophecy had already occurred or if it had not happened yet.

    Isaiah 17 New International Version (NIV)

    A Prophecy Against Damascus


    17 A prophecy against Damascus:

    “See, Damascus will no longer be a city
    but will become a heap of ruins.
    2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted
    and left to flocks, which will lie down,
    with no one to make them afraid.
    3 The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
    and royal power from Damascus;
    the remnant of Aram will be
    like the glory of the Israelites,”
    declares the Lord Almighty.

    4 “In that day the glory of Jacob will fade;
    the fat of his body will waste away.
    5 It will be as when reapers harvest the standing grain,
    gathering the grain in their arms—
    as when someone gleans heads of grain
    in the Valley of Rephaim.
    6 Yet some gleanings will remain,
    as when an olive tree is beaten,
    leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches,
    four or five on the fruitful boughs,”
    declares the Lord, the God of Israel.

    7 In that day people will look to their Maker
    and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
    8 They will not look to the altars,
    the work of their hands,
    and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles[a]
    and the incense altars their fingers have made.

    9 In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation.

    10 You have forgotten God your Savior;
    you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.
    Therefore, though you set out the finest plants
    and plant imported vines,
    11 though on the day you set them out, you make them grow,
    and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud,
    yet the harvest will be as nothing
    in the day of disease and incurable pain.

    12 Woe to the many nations that rage—
    they rage like the raging sea!
    Woe to the peoples who roar—
    they roar like the roaring of great waters!
    13 Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters,
    when he rebukes them they flee far away,
    driven before the wind like chaff on the hills,
    like tumbleweed before a gale.
    14 In the evening, sudden terror!
    Before the morning, they are gone!
    This is the portion of those who loot us,
    the lot of those who plunder us.

    Please post any understanding you may have about this chapter.
    Last edited by Baruch; April 10, 2017, 11:55 PM. Reason: protecting Lou :) removed his email address

  • #2
    1 - First of all let me say that prophecy is NOT for us to know the future. It is for us to see that God knew what was going to take place before it happened. It may also be for us to be looking at places and events and to keep us reading the scriptures.

    2 - Let us now look at the passage:

    17 A prophecy against Damascus:

    “See, Damascus will no longer be a city
    but will become a heap of ruins.

    NOTE:
    The Lord does not say that Damascus will cease to be a city, never to be rebuilt again, as He did about Babylon. So one could argue that Damascus may cease to be a city and then still be rebuilt later. The Lord clearly said Babylon would be destroyed never to be rebuilt.( Babylon never has been rebuilt since it was destroyed. Saddam Hussein started to rebuild Babylon and where is he today? ) Some say that Damascus was destroyed back in the 700 BC, by the Assyrians, but was later rebuilt. One thing for sure it is not a heap of ruins today. Damascus has a population of about 1.7 million people in the city proper but 2.6 million in the metropolitan area. But it is a very small city in area, only about 40 square miles. Madison, Wis. only has about 230,000 people but has an area of about 94 sq miles. That means that one nuke may be able to destroy the city and leave it in a heap of ruins and uninhabitable. Some claim that present day Damascus is the oldest continually inhabited city in the world today. But others claim that it was destroyed and the people carried away, to be rebuilt later.

    2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted
    and left to flocks, which will lie down,
    with no one to make them afraid.
    3 The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
    and royal power from Damascus;
    the remnant of Aram will be
    like the glory of the Israelites,”
    declares the Lord Almighty.

    NOTE:
    The Lord says the Royal power will disappear from Damascus. Is Assad a King ? He claims to be a President and was elected to his position. But others claim this election was farce and he is the son of the last president. So some claim that the Royal power disappeared from Damascus long ago, and others claim that Assad is King. I might lean on the side that the royal power of Damascus disappeared long ago. Since that day many foreign rulers claimed to be King, but this is not known for sure.


    4“In that day the glory of Jacob will fade;
    the fat of his body will waste away.
    5 It will be as when reapers harvest the standing grain,
    gathering the grain in their arms—
    as when someone gleans heads of grain
    in the Valley of Rephaim.
    6 Yet some gleanings will remain,
    as when an olive tree is beaten,
    leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches,
    four or five on the fruitful boughs,”
    declares the Lord, the God of Israel.

    NOTE: In that day the glory of Jacob will fade. Well the glory of Jacob did fade long ago when the same people that destroyed Damascus destroyed northern Israel.

    7 In that day people will look to their Maker
    and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.

    8 They will not look to the altars,
    the work of their hands,
    and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles
    and the incense altars their fingers have made.

    NOTE: In the day Damascus was destroyed and the 10 tribes of Jacob carried away. Judah did repent and look to it's maker. If we see the Jews of modern Israel turn to The Lord Jesus then one may argue that they may nuke Damascus soon after. This could not be talking about the people of Damascus, for I do not think God would destroy a people that just turned to Him ?

    9 In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation.

    10 You have forgotten God your Savior;
    you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.

    Therefore, though you set out the finest plants
    and plant imported vines,
    11 though on the day you set them out, you make them grow,
    and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud,
    yet the harvest will be as nothing
    in the day of disease and incurable pain.

    NOTE: This seems to contradict verse 7, but we know God never contradicts Himself. It seems that one people ( or one age of time) will look to their Maker, and another people ( or age of time ) will forget their Savior.

    12Woe to the many nations that rage—
    they rage like the raging sea!

    Woe to the peoples who roar—
    they roar like the roaring of great waters!
    13 Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters,
    when he rebukes them they flee far away,
    driven before the wind like chaff on the hills,
    like tumbleweed before a gale.
    14In the evening, sudden terror!
    Before the morning, they are gone!

    This is the portion of those who loot us,
    the lot of those who plunder us.

    NOTE: Could this mean woe to the many nations that rage against modern Israel, or is The Lord taking about the nations that raged against Israel back in 700 BC ? One could argue that verse 14 says they are all gone in a day. If one takes that literal, then that person would think they are destroyed by nukes. But The Lord uses the word day as a period of time. We do know it happens quickly. But Assyria conquered Damascus quickly back in the 700's BC.

    We also are pretty sure that Israel has nukes. It is reported that they are willing to use them as a last resort. It is also reported that when Israel thought they may be overrun in the 1973 war that they had nukes loaded on planes to stop the attack.

    Here is food for thought: From 1948 to 1973 Israel was in many wars. But since then they have had no major wars. WHY ?

    It could be because although the Muslims claim they want to die for Allah, that they really want to live and are afraid Israel would nuke them if they are close to victory in an attack. Why attack if you can not win because Israel will nuke you if you are close to victory.

    Israel destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor before Iraq could load it with fuel. Israel destroyed the North Korean built nuclear reactor in Syria before it was finished. Israel is not afraid to go against world opinion for their survival.

    EDIT: Now some may think that it is the US that will destroy Damascus. I sure hope we would not destroy it until it ceased to be a city and was nothing but a heap. But if Syria gets nukes from Iran, North Korea, or now even Russia, then Israel may destroy Damascus before they could be used, OR nuke Damascus after Syria tries to nuke Israel and Israel shoots them all down with it's Iron Dome. If Syria sends nukes into Israel, I have little doubt that Israel would answer with nukes.

    What are your thoughts about this ?
    Last edited by Lou Newton; April 10, 2017, 11:22 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Isaiah 8New International Version (NIV)

      Isaiah and His Children as Signs


      8 The Lord said to me, “Take a large scroll and write on it with an ordinary pen: Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.” 2 So I called in Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah as reliable witnesses for me. 3 Then I made love to the prophetess,and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the Lord said to me, “Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. 4For before the boy knows how to say ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria.”

      5 The Lord spoke to me again:

      6“Because this people has rejected
      the gently flowing waters of Shiloah
      and rejoices over Rezin ( Note - Rezin was the king of Damascus )
      and the son of Remaliah,
      7 therefore the Lord is about to bring against them
      the mighty floodwaters of the Euphrates—
      the king of Assyria with all his pomp.
      It will overflow all its channels,
      run over all its banks

      8 and sweep on into Judah, swirling over it,
      passing through it and reaching up to the neck.
      Its outspread wings will cover the breadth of your land,
      Immanuel!”

      9 Raise the war cry, you nations, and be shattered!
      Listen, all you distant lands.
      Prepare for battle, and be shattered!
      Prepare for battle, and be shattered!
      10 Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted;
      propose your plan, but it will not stand,
      for God is with us.

      11 This is what the Lord says to me with his strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people:

      12 “Do not call conspiracy
      everything this people calls a conspiracy;
      do not fear what they fear,
      and do not dread it.
      13The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
      he is the one you are to fear,
      he is the one you are to dread.

      14 He will be a holy place;
      for both Israel and Judah he will be
      a stone that causes people to stumble
      and a rock that makes them fall.
      And for the people of Jerusalem he will be
      a trap and a snare.
      15 Many of them will stumble;
      they will fall and be broken,
      they will be snared and captured.”


      16 Bind up this testimony of warning
      and seal up God’s instruction among my disciples.
      17 I will wait for the Lord,
      who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob.
      I will put my trust in him.


      Above is another prophecy from The Lord through Isaiah about Damascus.

      There is no doubt in this prophecy that Assyria is the nation that will destroy Damascus and also carry away the people. That took place in 732 BC. However that does not prove that the prophecy in Isaiah 17 could not be about 732 BC and modern days. But I see nothing in this prophecy to think it was not fulfilled in 732 BC.

      BUT this prophecy also makes it clear that Israel will forget their Savior and they will stumble over Him. Both Samaria and Damascus were defeated and the people were carried away to Assyria never to return.

      Comment


      • #4
        Isaiah 17 Damascus no longer a city

        This statement about Damascus, Syria is contained in a section of Isaiah which is about the nations which composed the enemies of Israel.

        Isaiah 13:1 -14:27 Babylon and the Day Star
        Isaiah 14:28-32 Philistia
        Moab 15:1-16:14
        Isaiah 17:1-18:7 Damascus & Cush - The Syria-Israel alliance (17:1-18:7)
        Isaiah 19:1-20:6 Egypt

        If the Damascus passage is literal there are two known historical possibilities (provided after these comments). The period after 572 BC seems most likely to fit a period of time where Damascus ceased to be a city of importance. This date is more than a hundred years after the Isaiah prophecy. As has already been pointed out, the prophecy against Damascus may not have been intended to be permanent. Historically, we know the survival of Damascus is historical data.

        The context of the chapters of Isaiah 13-20:6 are the first of the three parts of the section about God's Judgment and Grace for the World: "We Have a Strong City" (13:1-27:13). This section of Isaiah contains both a spiritual and a worldly future. Interpreters disagree on which is which.

        About the historical record before 200 BC: A history does not exist as understood by moderns. Herodotus (c. 484–c. 425 BC) is considered the first to record history for the purpose of history, but some of what he wrote was hearsay and completely wrong. For instance, many historians have allowed his description of the City of Babylon which he never witnessed. His information was hearsay. This is obvious from the archeological record and the engineering near impossibility of his description of Babylon. The historian Theopompus (c. 380 BC – c. 315 BC) was often quoted by other ancient historians, but the modern Robert Cox described Theopompus to have written slander. The early recorders of history used texts that have since been lost. The purpose of these earliest records was not usually for recording history but for political purposes – much like propaganda – to make the reigning monarch look good.

        Solutions:

        First, Bible students need not be confused. We can just be undecided.

        Second: The previous record for the Bible being found to be accurate by new discoveries is legendary. Opponents of the Bible have been found wrong over and over again. They have used the historical record as it was at the time of their discounting the accuracy of the Bible only to have supporting evidence for the Bible to be discovered.

        Third: Because this section of Isaiah is about both a spiritual and worldly future it is very difficult for modern westerners to decipher which is which. The Prophet is acknowledged as the greatest of the Hebrew poets. If modern westerns could adopt a Middle Eastern Hebrew world view, think and dream in Hebrew, understand the style of Hebrew poetry as well as we understand English rhyme, and have an accurate experience of the situation in the time of Isaiah’, then we would probably have little difficulty discerning these passages in Isaiah.

        Fourth: Faith allows the believer to accept the accuracy of the Bible – regardless of the evidence against it. This faith for believers starts with the impossibility of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Over the duration of the centuries, those who have accepted this position have been vindicated against the wisdom of the world. However, you might have to live with being considered a fool in your own life time.

        Fifth: Recognize that Isaiah is Hebrew poetry and not prose. Just look compare the different style and language between Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles with Isaiah. The KJV does not use a format that recognizes Isaiah as poetry. Many newer version use a poetry format (as in NASB, NIV, NKJV). When reading English poetry there are different allowances than that which is allowed with prose.

        My opinion: The primary purpose of Isaiah 13:1-27:13 is not to predict world history, although it obviously does in some cases. In some passages it describes a future so accurately that liberal scholars re-date parts of Isaiah to a different writer living several centuries latter.

        It seems the Prophet Isaiah sees the coming world events as the foreground scene for the New Jerusalem (or “We have a strong City”) appearing in the background. The Prophet is looking through the coming future to see the establishment of the kingdom of the LORD in much the same way poets have always done in using the visible to describe their hopes or dreams.

        If the Bible student should read these passages as upcoming events which will come and pass while seeing the life of Christ and the spread of Christianity, then the student might see what the Prophet Isaiah was seeing and shout HALLELUYAH or praise YAH. The judgment upon the enemy nations of Israel where the nations are either at peace with Israel or destroyed is an Old Testament type where in the New Testament the kingdom of the LORD is made up of peoples from every tribe nations to become the children of the LORD or in the language of the Old Testament type "all Israel will be saved."

        ___________________________________________

        In 572 BC, all of Syria had been conquered by the Neo-Babylonians, but the status of Damascus under
        Babylon is relatively unknown. Reference: Burns, Ross (2005)
        Damascus: A History pp. 21-23

        My note: In other words, what Burns is using is information derived from a time when there was not recorded records for the purpose of history.

        On 25 August AD 750, the Abbasid Caliphate, having already beaten the Umayyad Caliphate in the Battle of the Zab in Iraq, conquered Damascus after facing little resistance. With the heralding of the Abbasid Caliphate, Damascus became eclipsed and subordinated by Baghdad, the new Islamic capital. Within the first six months of Abbasid rule, revolts began erupting in the Damascus, albeit too isolated and unfocused to present a viable threat. Nonetheless, the last of the prominent Umayyads were executed, the traditional officials of Damascus ostracized, and army generals from the city were dismissed. Afterwards, the Umayyad family cemetery was desecrated and the city walls were torn down, reducing Damascus into a provincial town of little importance. It roughly disappeared from written records for the next century and the only significant improvement of the city was the Abbasid-built treasury dome in the Umayyad Mosque in 789. Reference: Burns, Ross (2005) Damascus: A History pp. 130-131
        Last edited by glen smith; April 11, 2017, 02:20 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by glen smith View Post
          Isaiah 17 Damascus no longer a city

          This statement about Damascus, Syria is contained in a section of Isaiah which is about the nations which composed the enemies of Israel.

          Isaiah 13:1 -14:27 Babylon and the Day Star
          Isaiah 14:28-32 Philistia
          Moab 15:1-16:14
          Isaiah 17:1-18:7 Damascus & Cush - The Syria-Israel alliance (17:1-18:7)
          Isaiah 19:1-20:6 Egypt

          If the Damascus passage is literal there are two known historical possibilities (provided after these comments). The period after 572 BC seems most likely to fit a period of time where Damascus ceased to be a city of importance. This date is more than a hundred years after the Isaiah prophecy. As has already been pointed out, the prophecy against Damascus may not have been intended to be permanent. Historically, we know the survival of Damascus is historical data.

          The context of the chapters of Isaiah 13-20:6 are the first of the three parts of the section about God's Judgment and Grace for the World: "We Have a Strong City" (13:1-27:13). This section of Isaiah contains both a spiritual and a worldly future. Interpreters disagree on which is which.

          About the historical record before 200 BC: A history does not exist as understood by moderns. Herodotus (c. 484–c. 425 BC) is considered the first to record history for the purpose of history, but some of what he wrote was hearsay and completely wrong. For instance, many historians have allowed his description of the City of Babylon which he never witnessed. His information was hearsay. This is obvious from the archeological record and the engineering near impossibility of his description of Babylon. The historian Theopompus (c. 380 BC – c. 315 BC) was often quoted by other ancient historians, but the modern Robert Cox described Theopompus to have written slander. The early recorders of history used texts that have since been lost. The purpose of these earliest records was not usually for recording history but for political purposes – much like propaganda – to make the reigning monarch look good.

          Solutions:

          First, Bible students need not be confused. We can just be undecided.

          Second: The previous record for the Bible being found to be accurate by new discoveries is legendary. Opponents of the Bible have been found wrong over and over again. They have used the historical record as it was at the time of their discounting the accuracy of the Bible only to have supporting evidence for the Bible to be discovered.

          Third: Because this section of Isaiah is about both a spiritual and worldly future it is very difficult for modern westerners to decipher which is which. The Prophet is acknowledged as the greatest of the Hebrew poets. If modern westerns could adopt a Middle Eastern Hebrew world view, think and dream in Hebrew, understand the style of Hebrew poetry as well as we understand English rhyme, and have an accurate experience of the situation in the time of Isaiah’, then we would probably have little difficulty discerning these passages in Isaiah.

          Fourth: Faith allows the believer to accept the accuracy of the Bible – regardless of the evidence against it. This faith for believers starts with the impossibility of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Over the duration of the centuries, those who have accepted this position have been vindicated against the wisdom of the world. However, you might have to live with being considered a fool in your own life time.

          Fifth: Recognize that Isaiah is Hebrew poetry and not prose. Just look compare the different style and language between Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles with Isaiah. The KJV does not use a format that recognizes Isaiah as poetry. Many newer version use a poetry format (as in NASB, NIV, NKJV). When reading English poetry there are different allowances than that which is allowed with prose.

          My opinion: The primary purpose of Isaiah 13:1-27:13 is not to predict world history, although it obviously does in some cases. In some passages it describes a future so accurately that liberal scholars re-date parts of Isaiah to a different writer living several centuries latter.

          It seems the Prophet Isaiah sees the coming world events as the foreground scene for the New Jerusalem (or “We have a strong City”) appearing in the background. The Prophet is looking through the coming future to see the establishment of the kingdom of the LORD in much the same way poets have always done in using the visible to describe their hopes or dreams.

          If the Bible student should read these passages as upcoming events which will come and pass while seeing the life of Christ and the spread of Christianity, then the student might see what the Prophet Isaiah was seeing and shout HALLELUYAH or praise YAH. The judgment upon the enemy nations of Israel where the nations are either at peace with Israel or destroyed is an Old Testament type where in the New Testament the kingdom of the LORD is made up of peoples from every tribe nations to become the children of the LORD or in the language of the Old Testament type "all Israel will be saved."

          ___________________________________________

          In 572 BC, all of Syria had been conquered by the Neo-Babylonians, but the status of Damascus under
          Babylon is relatively unknown. Reference: Burns, Ross (2005)
          Damascus: A History pp. 21-23

          My note: In other words, what Burns is using is information derived from a time when there was not recorded records for the purpose of history.

          On 25 August AD 750, the Abbasid Caliphate, having already beaten the Umayyad Caliphate in the Battle of the Zab in Iraq, conquered Damascus after facing little resistance. With the heralding of the Abbasid Caliphate, Damascus became eclipsed and subordinated by Baghdad, the new Islamic capital. Within the first six months of Abbasid rule, revolts began erupting in the Damascus, albeit too isolated and unfocused to present a viable threat. Nonetheless, the last of the prominent Umayyads were executed, the traditional officials of Damascus ostracized, and army generals from the city were dismissed. Afterwards, the Umayyad family cemetery was desecrated and the city walls were torn down, reducing Damascus into a provincial town of little importance. It roughly disappeared from written records for the next century and the only significant improvement of the city was the Abbasid-built treasury dome in the Umayyad Mosque in 789. Reference: Burns, Ross (2005) Damascus: A History pp. 130-131
          Thanks Glen. Amen a town is not a city and a city is not a town. If Damascus became a small town, it then ceased to be a city.
          Jeremiah 17

          A Message About Damascus

          23 Concerning Damascus:

          “Hamath and Arpad are dismayed,
          for they have heard bad news.
          They are disheartened,
          troubled like the restless sea.
          24 Damascus has become feeble,
          she has turned to flee
          and panic has gripped her;
          anguish and pain have seized her,
          pain like that of a woman in labor.
          25 Why has the city of renown not been abandoned,
          the town in which I delight?
          26 Surely, her young men will fall in the streets;
          all her soldiers will be silenced in that day,”
          declares the Lord Almighty.
          27 “I will set fire to the walls of Damascus;
          it will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad.”



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