The destruction of Damascus is still future!

The destruction of Damascus is still future!

Jeremiah prophesied long after Isaiah

By Craig C. White

Please allow me to defend the future fulfillment of the destruction of Damascus. Many Bible scholars claim that the destruction of Damascus has already taken place. They say that the Assyrian conquest of Damascus in 734 BC fulfills the Damascus prophecy. Well Damascus was conquered by Assyria in 734 BC and several cities around Damascus were burned with fire but Damascus has never been completely destroyed. These Bible teachers argue that the Assyrian conquest of Damascus happened shortly after Isaiah gave his prophecy about the destruction of Damascus.

Isaiah 17:1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

It is true that the Assyrians conquered Damascus and wreaked havoc on surrounding towns shortly after Isaiah predicted the event. I am certain that much of Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled in 734 BC, BUT long after Isaiah gave his prophecy the Prophet Jeremiah also predicted the destruction of Damascus.

Jeremiah 49:23-25 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet. 24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. 25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!

Jeremiah was a prophet of Israel around 600 BC. Jeremiah gave his prophecy one hundred years after Assyria conquered Damascus in 734 BC. So the Assyrian conquest of Damascus cannot possibly fulfill Jeremiah’s prophecy. The destruction of Damascus is still future.

I think that Jeremiah is prophesying about an invasion of Damascus that is forming now. Turkey will destroy Damascus!

The destruction of Damascus is still future

Read my verse by verse Bible commentary through Jeremiah 49:23-27 titled The nations are disquieted over Syria

Read my book The complete guide to Syria in end time Bible Prophecy

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Who were the Merchants of Tarshish?

Who were the Merchants of Tarshish?

Tyre’s island fortress

Ezekiel 38:13

By Craig C. White

According to Ezekiel 38:5 Turkey will lead Libya, Iran, and Sudan in an invasion into Israel. All of these nations are fighting in Syria today. I think that Turkey will invade Syria, destroy Damascus, and then lead these nations in an invasion into Israel! Three other nations are also mentioned in Ezekiel 38:13. Two are easy to identify. One is not so easy. They are Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish. Sheba and Dedan are easily identified as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia; but who are the merchants of Tarshish?

There has been a long debate over the identity of the merchants of Tarshish in Ezekiel 38. The fact that they are called merchants leads us to think that they were a major shipping power in ancient days. Some say that the merchants of Tarshish refer to Spain because Tartessos was the name of a harbor city in ancient Spain. Some say that the merchants of Tarshish extend to all of Europe and the United States because Ezekiel 38:13 says that Tarshish is accompanied by its young lions. I don’t know if that is correct. All of the other nations that are listed in Ezekiel 38 are located in the Middle East. Perhaps Tarshish is also located in the Middle East.

Ezekiel 38:13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

In the verse above, the merchants of Tarshish are accompanied by all of their young lions. Most Bible prophecy teachers equate young lions with nations. I think that is a mistake. The Hebrew word Kephiyr translated as young lions primarily means village. So it is much more reasonable to equate the term young lions to mean the regional area of a country such as a county or province. It may be a mistake then to equate the term young lions to refer to several entire countries.

The merchants of Tarshish are mentioned alongside of Sheba and Dedan in Ezekiel 38:13 above. They seem to be excusing themselves from participating in the invasion into Israel. They use a flimsy argument that will excuse them from participating in the invasion but at the same time cheer on its success. They all ask the Turkish led invaders of Israel “Are you going into Israel to rob them?”

The merchants of Tarshish are listed with Saudi Arabia. Perhaps when it comes to the invasion into Israel the merchants of Tarshish have something in common with Saudi Arabia. I would like to point out that all of the rest of the above mentioned nations are also currently fighting in Syria. Perhaps the merchants of Tarshish also have something in common with Saudi Arabia as it is fighting in Syria. Saudi Arabia is the latest entry into the battle for Syria. The Saudi government is supporting Al-Qaeda terrorists from Saudi Arabia as they fight against Syrian President Assad. The main Al-Qaeda force fighting in Syria today is from Libya. There is one other Al-Qaeda faction that has significant representation in Syria; and that has also not yet been identified in Ezekiel chapter 38. That is Al-Qaeda from Iraq! Could Iraq represent the merchants of Tarshish? It is a possibility. Was the region around Iraq a major shipping power in ancient days? Yes it was one of the biggest, and it still is today. The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers were and are both major shipping channels. Today Iraq’s capital city of Baghdad lies on the Tigris River. The ancient Assyrian capital city of Nineveh still lies on the Tigris River in far northern Iraq across the river from the modern city of Mosul. Al-Qaeda in Iraq is headquartered in Mosul in the Nineveh Province.

Is there any biblical evidence of a person or region named Tarshish in ancient Iraq? I think that there is. In Esther chapter 1 below, King Ahasuerus calls a conference together with the seven princes of the Persian Empire. The Persian Empire was actually a dual empire headed by Persia which is today’s Iran, and Media which was located in today’s northern Iraq. One of the princes of the Persia and Media regions was named Tarshish. If Prince Tarshish ruled over a province in Media (or northern Iraq) then he just may be the Tarshish that Ezekiel recognizes. Perhaps Prince Tarshish ruled over the Nineveh Province!

Esther 1:14 And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king’s face, and which sat the first in the kingdom;)

Princes are set over provinces. So Prince Tarshish was the first ruler in his province of ancient Persia or Media, which is today’s Iran and Northern Iraq.

We know from Ezekiel 38:5 that Iran will participate in the Turkish led invasion into Israel. Tarshish accompanies Saudi Arabia in Ezekiel 38:13. They both cheer on the plundering of Israel. Both Saudi Arabia and Iraq play secondary roles in Syria today. It is possible that Saudi Arabia and Iraq are represented in Ezekiel 38:13. It may be that after the fighting in Syria ends then Al-Qaeda from Saudi Arabia and Iraq will both excuse themselves from invading Israel. It is possible that the merchants of Tarshish represent today’s northern Iraq!

I do see some problems with this view. Like I said before we don’t know which Province Prince Tarshish ruled over. Most importantly the merchants of Tarshish are called merchants! Assyria was a shipping destination. But Nineveh was the end of the line. In fact the Tigris River gets very shallow that far north so shipping is limited. There is another town that is almost always referred to as merchant; both in the Bible and also in world history. No, I don’t think that the merchants of Tarshish represent northern Iraq.

Here we go again. This time I think that we really may have gotten it right! There is also biblical evidence that Tarshish was in today’s Lebanon.

Tarshish was the son of Javan. Javan was the brother of Magog. Magog settled in today’s Turkey. Tarshish may have settled nearby in today’s Lebanon.

Gen 10:2 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

Gen 10:4-5 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 5 By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

In Isaiah chapter 23 the city of Tyre (or Tyrus) is prophesied to be destroyed. Tarshish is mentioned several times in this chapter. Tyre was a very busy and wealthy seaport city located in today’s Lebanon. Tyre consisted of a large mainland town plus an impressive fortress just 1000 yards off its shore. The walls of the fortress were said to have been 150’ high! Shipments would be protected by the island fortress of Tyre and warehoused on the mainland. The mainland city of Tyre was besieged by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 585 BC. The siege lasted thirteen years.

There is still a city at Tyre in Lebanon today. Today Tyre is called Sur or Sour meaning rock. It is on Lebanon’s southern Mediterranean coast. Just 1000 yards off of its shore rests the ruins of the ancient island fortress of Tyre. The island fortress was attacked by Alexander the great in 332 BC and wiped flat.

Isa 23:1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.

In Isaiah 23:6 below there is an invasion coming upon the mainland city of Tyre! The residents of Tyre are instructed to pass over into Tarshish. They are fleeing to the safety of the island fortress. We know from history that the citizens of the mainland city of Tyre did in fact flee to the island fortress. Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar besieged the mainland city of Tyre from the land. Tyre’s residents sought refuge in Tyre’s island fortress. It is very possible that Tarshish was the island fortress of ancient Tyre.

Isa 23:6 Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle.

Isaiah 23:14 below illustrates the economic and most importantly the security reliance that the merchants of Tarshish had on the island fortress of Tyre. Tyre’s island fortress protected the shipping industry. So the merchants of Tarshish sailed in and out of port under its protection.

Isa 23:14 Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste.

The merchants of Tarshish play a role in Ezekiel 38’s Turkish led invasion into Israel. They ask the Turkish forces “Have you come to rob Israel?” (Eze 38:13). If Turkey invades Israel from Syria’s southern border then they would pass right by Lebanon. It seems very likely then that the merchants of Tarshish could in fact represent today’s Lebanon.

Eze 38:13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

In the book of Jonah, Jonah tries to escape from God by hightailing it out of the land of Israel. Jonah got on a ship at Joppa to sail his way to Tarshish. Joppa is a city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast just south of Tel Aviv. Tyre or Tarshish in southern Lebanon would have been the ships first stop outside of the land of Israel.

Jon 1:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

We don’t know exactly when Jonah headed for Tarshish but it was sometime around 800 BC. There was probably already a fortress at Tyre. Jonah may have thought that he would be safe from God there. King Hiram of Tyre sent building materials to King David for his palace around 965 BC.

2Sa 5:11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house.

Jonah wanted to make haste for the first city outside of Israel. He may have also sought the protection of the island fortress of Tarshish. This argument seems simple and straight forward to me. I think that it makes more sense to identify the merchants of Tarshish as seagoing merchants from the nation we call Lebanon today. Lebanon will one day ask Turkey and its invading forces from Libya, Iran, and Sudan, “Have you come to rob Israel?”

the merchants of Tarshish

I recommend reading my book Turkey invades Israel – Halfway to Armageddon.

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But of that day and hour knoweth no man

But of that day and hour knoweth no man

What day is this referring to?

By Craig C. White

A lot of Christians point to this verse and conclude that nobody can know the day that Jesus Christ returns for his Church at the Rapture.

Mat 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

But which “day” is Jesus referring to? Jesus is not referring to the day of the Rapture. Jesus is not referring to his second coming. Jesus is telling the Jews living around Jerusalem to watch for the Antichrist approaching. The Antichrist along with his armies will enter Jerusalem and capture or kill the Jews living there. This day begins Jerusalem’s great tribulation.

Jesus warned of great danger in Jerusalem and Judea at a time when its citizens were living their daily lives as usual. He said that it would be like the days of Noah just before the flood. He said that life would be going on normally just like in Sodom before God rained fire upon the city. The following verses do not pertain to Church age believers. They are not describing an abundance of sin on earth. They are not describing the days before the Rapture. They do not refer to Jesus Christ’s second coming. They apply to the region around Jerusalem. It will be life as usual just before the Antichrist invades Jerusalem and Judea during the middle of the seven year tribulation period. This begins Jerusalem’s great tribulation (Mat 24:21).

Luke 17:26-29 And as it was in the days of Noe (Noah), so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Mat 24:37-39 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

In the verse above, the “Son of man” isn’t referring to Jesus Christ. The Son of man is the Antichrist! One minute things will be happening as usual. Then suddenly Israel’s enemies will attack!

Luk 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Read my commentary titled One shall be taken and the other left

If you really want to understand Matthew 24 then read my book Judea Flee! Jerusalem Wait! It was written to the Jews just like Matthew 24.

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Old Damascus neighborhood must be destroyed

Old Damascus neighborhood must be destroyed

The city of my praise

By Craig C. White

Most Christians are familiar with the Bible verse that says that Damascus will become a ruinous heap. But the Bible defines a specific Damascus neighborhood that must be destroyed.

Isaiah 17:1-2 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
Has Damascus already become a ruinous heap? Some outlying neighborhoods have. But the central core of Damascus remains relatively intact. Does this satisfy Bible prophecy? Not yet. Jeremiah chapter 49 identifies the neighborhood of Old Damascus with its Old buildings and ancient renown.

Jeremiah 49:25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!

Two different Hebrew words for city are used in the verse above. The city of praise is a fortified city that has been celebrated in song. When God says “how is the city not left” he could be communicating his astonishment that even after a terrible assault on Damascus, the city has still not surrendered. When God calls Damascus “the city of my joy!” he is specifically saying that he delights in the cities old buildings. So we are looking for the destruction of the old part of the city. The neighborhood of Old Damascus is the seat of Syria’s government as well as its center of ancient history. Damascus is the oldest continually inhabited city on earth. It was founded by the Aramaeans over four thousand years ago, and was inhabited two thousand years before that. Damascus is a living depiction of human history.

Old Damascus neighborhood

Map of Damascus with the neighborhood of old Damascus outlined in red. This is the area of Damascus that the Bible pinpoints!

Old Damascus neighborhood must be destroyed

Video showing the devastation of the al-Dukhania neighborhood east of Damascus

After you view this video you will understand that the Bible does not require Damascus to be destroyed by a nuclear bomb as so many Bible prophecy buffs teach.

Old Damascus

Read my commentary titled The nations are disquieted over Syria

For the entire story read my book The complete guide to Syria in end time Bible Prophecy

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Anticipate The Resurrection

Anticipate The Resurrection

When will the dead be raised?

By Craig C. White

For most people death is the end of life but not for the Christian. Believers living in the forgiving power of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross have three things that most people don’t. They have a promise of renewed life, a guarantee that that promise will be kept, and hope of physical resurrection.

Jesus promised that the dead will rise from the grave.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

God promised the Old Testament Jews that the dead will rise.

Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

So Christians have a promise but they also have a guarantee of resurrection and everlasting life. The Holy Spirit in us is our assurance of salvation and also of resurrection and new life!

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

So the Holy Spirit inside of our hearts is our individual assurance that God will keep his promise to us.

Ephesians 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

I am certain that I will live forever with Jesus because I have the Holy Spirit in my heart. Believe that Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for your sins, and you will be saved from death. When you open your heart to God’s Holy Spirit then you will also receive the assurance of everlasting life.

Christians have a promise and a guarantee. But Christians also have a real reason to hope that God is able to keep his promise.

What hope do we have that we will be resurrected? Because Jesus was raised up bodily from the grave we have confidence that one day we will rise likewise!

Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Jesus Christ’s resurrection is tangible proof that God has the power to also raise us from death. That is a saying a lot.

1Co 15:3-4 Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

When will the dead be raised? I will tell you. When the Turkish Army leads the forces that are now fighting in Syria into the Golan Heights of northern Israel, then Jesus will return. At that time the dead will be raised and Christians will be taken away up into heaven in order to escape the coming time of trouble on earth! It is High Time for Christians to anticipate The Resurrection.

Job was alive long before Jesus rose from the dead. Job knew that one day he himself would be raised from the dead. Not only will believers in Christ rise but their bodies will be changed into everlasting bodies. This is the hope of the believer.

Job 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.

Anticipate The Resurrection

The book of Nahum says that Jesus is coming in a fiery whirlwind to fight on the Golan Heights. This passage concludes with this inscription “The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” I think that Jesus will return to turn back the Turkish Army as they lead the forces that are now fighting in Syria into northern Israel. I think that the Resurrection and Rapture will happen at that time! It is High Time to Awake!

Read my book Jesus will fight on the Golan Heights

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