29 May, 2013

What's Going On In Damascus?

(Written by Jack Kelley)
The city of Damascus is mentioned 60 times in the Bible from Genesis 14:15 to Acts 22:10.  Abraham's chief servant, Eliazer, was from Damascus and Paul spent his first days as a Christian there.  According to Flavius Josephus, Damascus was founded by Uz, the son of Aram who was the patriarch of the Aramean people.  Aram was the 5th son of Shem, and Uz was the first son of Aram. (According to Job 1:1, Job was from the land of Uz.)
Throughout its history Damascus has been conquered many times. Most notably by the Israelites (1000 BC), the Assyrians (732 BC), the Babylonians (605 BC), the Persians (530 BC), the Greeks (330 BC), the Nabateans (85 BC), the Romans (63 BC), the Byzantines (634 AD), the Mamelukes (1250 AD) and the Ottoman Turks (1516 AD). But the city itself has always survived and is now claimed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.           
Several of these conquests are referred to in the Bible. 2 Samuel 8:6-7 describes David and the Israelites. Parts of Isaiah 17 involve the Assyrians, Jeremiah 49:23-27 is about the Babylonian conquest and Zechariah 9:1-2 was fulfilled by Alexander the Great.