There's something of biblical import, again, about Syria just to the north of Israel.
In 701 BC Syria's emperor Sennacherib attacked and controlled Judah and was on the very brink of taking Jerusalem.
(Assyria had already taken Samaria and carried off the northern tribes of Israel in 722BC).
In the face of this bleakness Isaiah prophesied a rebirth of Judah and Israel after Assyria's siege (2Kings19,29-30).
He also prophesied that Assyria would retreat and that the Lord would save Jerusalem for His own sake, and the sake of his servant David. (2Kings19,32-34).
2Kings19,35-36 tells how this happened:
"That same night [ Passover eve] the angel of Yahweh went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. In the early morning when it was time to get up, there they lay, so many corpses. Sennacherib struck camp and left; he returned home and stayed in Nineveh."
This miracle impressed the apocalyptic and faithful separtists of Qumran (that formed in the mid second century BC upon the corruption of the High Priesthood by invalid priests outside the Zadoikite line as demmanded by Ezekiel 44,15) so much that they scoured their Isaiah scrolls for a final prophesy regarding Assyria and all the evil gentile forces against Israel.
They found Isaiah 31,8-9:
"Assyria will fall by the sword, not that of a man, will be devoured by the sword, of no human being, he will flee before the sword, and his young warriors will be enslaved, 9 In his terror he will abandon his rock, and his panic stricken officers desert the standard- declares Yahweh, whose fire is in Zion, whose furnace, in Jerusalem."
This prophecy still stands for God's faithful.
This is the way the Qumran separtists, just before Jesus was born, decribe this endtime miraculous battle in the face of Syria as leader of the "kittim", all the pre-millenial evil nations, aka "Gog." (see Armaggedon Revelation 16,16):
"From ancient timesThou hast fore[told the hour] when the might of Thy hand (would be raised) against the Kittim, saying, Assyria shall fall by the sword of no man, the sword of no mere man shall devour him (Isa. xxxi,8). For thou wilt deliver into the hands of the poor the enemies from the lands, to humble the mighty of the peoples by the hand of bent to the dust, to bring upon the [head of Thine enemies] the reward of the wicked, and to justify Thy true judgement in the midst of all the sons men, and to make for Thyself and everlasting Name among the pople [whom thou redeemed] ... of battle to be magnified and sanctified in the eyes of the remnant of the peoples, that they may know... when Thou chastisest Gog and all his assembly gathered about him..."
The War Scroll section XI, between vv. 10-15, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls In English, Geza Vermes, Penquin, 1997, p. 175
So according to Isaiah 31,8 there is still something about Syria, as a final thorn for Israel, and perhaps a final stumbling block too for the unfaithful nations.
And the Qumran separtists who wrote the War Scroll also capture the idea of "Gog" not just as a group of anti Israel nations, of which Syria is likely to be a leader, but also as an antichrist figure with "all his assembly gathered about him..."
This is very similar to Revelation 17,12: "The ten kings which you saw are ten kings who have recived no kingdom kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast."
This antichrist "Gog" figure heading up the endtimes nations will likely try to change "times and seasons", biblical laws and truths and prophecies, (Daniel 7,24-25), while at the same time present Israel and the world with guarantees of peace in the mideast like Daniel 9,27:
"he will strike a firm alliance with many people for the space of a week.."
But then he will turn on Israel, and Christianity, if Christians are still around.
There's Something About Syria That Brings Us Back To The Word
Anyway, there's something about Syria that has upped the ante of our biblically based future. We all have caught a glimpse of this in the caution the west has demonstrated in regards to this nation.
There is also something about Syria that has raised both the secular and faithful watch level of Israel, and all the nations of the world, not to mention it has also left many world leaders searching for answers as to what comes next.
For a prophetic primer on Israel:
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Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...