Prophecy,  Theology

Syria and the Last Days

As Syria has made the news, I can’t help but think about the correlations to the last days. It is significant that Damascus is a common city in the Bible, but it is noteworthy that Isaiah 17 says it will be obliterated: “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin” (vs. 1). Damascus is the capital of Syria and the second largest city in the country. It is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Some of the earliest, Egyptian records from 1350 BC refer to Damascus (called Dimasqu), and most historians think Damascus was around many hundreds, if not thousands, of years before that. Damascus has never been uninhabited, yet Isaiah prophesies against them predicting their total demise. Being that Damascus has never been destroyed, it is obvious that Isaiah’s prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. When will Damascus be destroyed? How will it be destroyed?

Isaiah 17:14 says, “At evening time, behold, there is terror! Before morning they are no more.” Whatever the means of their destruction, it will take place quickly and decisively. I can only think of two ways this could happen. One could be an earthquake that decimates the city. While this is possible, it is difficult to imagine. The Great Chilean Earthquake in 1960 has been labeled as the most powerful earthquake of all time, yet it did not totally destroy Valdivia, the city at the epicenter. The second possibility is destruction from a modern-day bombing – possibly a nuclear bomb. If there is terror in the evening, and by morning “they are no more,” one can see how a barrage of bombs would bring “terror,” and a nuclear blast would bring total eradication.

Could it be that the events taking place in Syria today are a part of Isaiah’s prophecy from 2700 years ago? What we do know is that one day, Damascus will be destroyed. We will not know that the current conflict is the incident Isaiah is predicting until after Damascus ceases to exist. It will happen, and it is easy to see how the current upheaval could result in Damascus’ destruction.

Now the question is, “Does this mean we are living in the last days?” Just because Damascus might be destroyed, does that have to mean the return of Christ is imminent? I’ll write about that next time. What are your thoughts?


  • Traci Pugh Manderson

    I believe we are living in the final days.If we are following bible prophecy, it seems evident to me! Matthew 24: 32-34 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

    • timriordan

      This is a great question. The Bible refers to the “last days,” but never really qualifies when they begin. Dispensationalists may consider the “Church Age” to be the last days. There are some people who would say the “Last Days” began on May 14, 1948 when Israel became a nation again. Some people think of the last days as the time leading up to the Second Coming of Christ, which will take place at the end of the Tribulation Period. I personally view it from a different perspective. We know the rapture of the Church and the Second Coming of Christ are two different events. In the rapture, the Church will “meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess 4:17), whereas at the Second Coming, Christ will literally touch the earth (Zech. 14:4 & Rev. 19:11-21). While no one knows exactly when the rapture will happen, I think I’m safe to say that most Christians think it will take place either before the Tribulation begins or half-way through the Tribulation Period. While the Bible speaks of the rapture, it is not crystal clear on its timing. As I think about the “Last Days,” I see it in relation to when the Church is going to be raptured. I sort of divide the concept into two sections: the last days before the rapture and the last days before Christ’s Second Coming. We know a lot of detail about some of the events that will take place in the last days before the Second Coming (the Tribulation Period). There are some clues as to events taking place before the rapture, but because the timing of the rapture is not as clear, the events surrounding this key event are not as readily spelled out in scripture. Jesus does say in Matthew 24 the signs of His Second Coming will begin slowly and grow in intensity (the “beginning of birth pains”). We can assume we will feel some of those “birth pains” before the rapture. I realize this is a long answer, but the Bible does not specifically spell out exactly what God considers to be the beginning of the “last days.” What are your thoughts?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.