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Recently I saw a video clip with pieces of an Christian lecturer telling about a Biblical end time prophecy about Damascus. And it may have some connection with the recent chemical attack happened there. Is there any such prophecy in Bible?

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Can you provide a link to the clip? –  James T Sep 28 '13 at 23:27
    
It was taken from some youtube video by "Pastor Paul Begley". –  Gulshan Sep 29 '13 at 4:01

3 Answers 3

If you partake in in-depth study of the Bible's use of city names, you will realize that each city that comes under judgement symbolically refers to a specific idea or relational context. For example, Damascus, the city you cite, is used in scripture to represent man-made civilization (usually in the context of God judging the errancy of our attempts to define our own sense of civility). Damascus, Syria, is historically the oldest civilization and city on Earth, representing the core of social justice, and how it stems from us making our own rules about how society should operate. God had already set his rules through the 10 commandments, however, man in his sin, has suggested other, more injust means of living.

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As with any symbolic interpretation, this is very much a matter of opinion. Also, you do not have any biblical reference to a judgment on Damascus. If you can find a reference showing that a significant group of Christians interpret prophecy this way, this could be a good answer. You could make clearer if you do not expect any fulfillment against literal Damascus. –  disciple Oct 30 at 1:36

Isaiah 17 English Standard Version (ESV) An Oracle Concerning Damascus

17 An oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins.

Is this the actual prophecy? I don't know. But many of the prophecies in the Bible have all not yet been fulfilled.

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It is being circulated about these days, in certain circles, that there is coming a disaster upon Damascus. Some claim that Isaiah 17 says that Damascus will be destroyed "forever", and since it claims be the one of the oldest cities in existence, it is deemed, by some, to be an unfulfilled prophecy.

Gary Demar, of http://www.AmericanVision.org, notes that this is due to a textual variant in the LXX, the Septuagint. There are some minor differences between the manuscripts of any ancient document, however Biblical Appologists has proven the Bible to be the most accurate of all historical texts by far, and where there are discrepancies, they are not on the subject of any major doctrinal point.

In essence, his article says how the prophecy should not say "forever", but refers rather to the cities of Aroer. He says this prophecy was fulfilled in the eighth century BC.

From the article...

The first item that needs to be discussed in the addition of “forever” to the Isaiah 17:2 that is not found in the majority of Bible translations. The TIME magazine article offers this translation of Isaiah 17:1–2: “See, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. Her towns will be deserted forever.” I’ve checked numerous translations, and only a few include the word “forever.” The Revised Standard reads “her cities will be deserted forever,” while the New American Standard version includes a marginal note based on the Greek Septuagint (LXX) translation that includes the phrase “forever.”

...

The translations that do not include the word “forever” follow the Hebrew text. The LXX uses the phrase εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα (eis ton aiōna = “into the ages”) to translate a disputed Hebrew word. The “forever” translation is based on the Hebrew word “Aroer” which in other contexts is the name of a city. ... So if the Hebrew is followed, there is nothing in Isaiah 17 that indicates that Damascus and its surrounding cities would be destroyed “forever.”

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So if the Hebrew is followed, there is nothing in Isaiah 17 that indicates that Damascus and its surrounding cities would be destroyed “forever.”

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A study of the historical record indicates that Damascus became a heap as Isaiah predicted.

Mr. DeMar then cites classical references such as The Encyclopedia Britannica, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, and William Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, demonstrating that the historical destruction of Damascus appears to fit when reading from the Hebrew text (as opposed to the LXX).

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+1 Great answer, and a good linked article. Including some more info from the article could improve the answer. It's hard to summarize or select references or quotes. Dyer's comments would add weight, translation issues would explain the issue. –  disciple Oct 30 at 1:54
    
Edited, following your suggestions. I may have done it on my own, but for what you mentioned.. I was having trouble selecting representative quotes from the article. I believe the above should do it. –  Benjamin Hoogterp Oct 30 at 2:12

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