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The Provocation for War in Israel Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

“The burden against Damascus. ‘Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap.’” (Isaiah 17:1)

To comprehend the nature of the war that precedes the destruction of Damascus, it is important to understand the mindset of the parties that will be involved: Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Israel, and Lebanon (Hezbollah). In addition to these players, the U.S. and Russia have been drawn into the conflict: the U.S. taking the Sunni Muslim side and Russia taking the side of the Shia Muslims. Each group has a different motive for being there.

Sunni and Shia are the two major denominations of Islam. Their division traces back to a Sunni–Shia schism following the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The present breakdown between the two denominations according to Wikipedia is that 85–90% of the world's Muslims are Sunni and 10–15% are Shia. Shia Muslims make up the majority of the citizens of Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan. Sunni Muslims dominate the rest of the ‘Muslim world’.

While the majority of Syrian citizens are Sunnis, the president of Syria, Bashar Al Assad, is an Alawite Muslim, which is a sect of Shia Islam. The Sunni population rose up in rebellion against Al-Assad and his mostly-Shia army sparking a civil war. Assad, having propped up the Hezbollah group in Lebanon sought support from them and from Iran, a Shia nation.

“Hezbollah”, literally meaning, “Party of Allah" or "Party of G-d", is a Shia Islamist militant group and political party based in Lebanon. Hezbollah has notoriously called for Israel’s annihilation, championing the Palestinian cause as its own. They expanded during the Lebanese civil war through kidnappings, hijackings and violence. The group abducted dozens of foreigners and drove bomb-laden trucks into US targets in Lebanon, killing hundreds of people. Until 9/11, Hezbollah had taken more American lives than any other terrorist group.

Despite its political power in Lebanon, Hezbollah is dependent upon the support it receives from Iran and Syria. Therefore, in 2012, when Syria became embroiled in Civil War, Hezbollah, as an Iranian (Shia) proxy, has focused on a new enemy, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-allied nations. Hezbollah describes the Syrian Civil War as a  “Wahhabi-Zionist conspiracy” (i.e. Saudi Arabian/Israeli conspiracy) to destroy its alliance with Assad against Israel. Hezbollah thus identified the Sunni Arabs as their enemy, highlighting the sectarian nature of the War. Hezbollah’s message is now less focused on Palestinian resistance, and seems to have fixated on a new target: Saudi Arabia, which it has defined as the antagonist in the region.

Israel has taken the Sunni-Muslim side against the Shias of Lebanon, Syria, and Iran who have vowed Israel’s destruction. Israel is concerned that a permanent Iranian and Hezbollah presence would be established at its border under Assad, and that Iran would transport weapons to be used against Israel to Hezbollah’s military bases in southern Lebanon and on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Israel has in recent years bombed such arms shipments, involving itself in the Syrian Civil War. The map below shows the area and proximity of the participants to Israel and to each other. 

So, what could go wrong? Isaiah, chapter 17 along with the destruction of Damascus describes the ruin of the cities of Aroer, thought to be a tract of countryside in Syria called Aueira that was under the jurisdiction of Damascus.

“The cities of Aroer are forsaken; they will be for flocks which lie down, and no one will make them afraid.” (Isaiah 17:2)

                                   The Region Today                                                                                    Ancient Israel

 

Syrian War Map

              Ancient Divided Kingdom Map

In addition to Damascus and the cities of Aroer, Isaiah describes the devastation of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, also known at that time, as Ephraim, which will suffer a great famine as a result of the annihilation of Damascus and all the region abutting the Northern Kingdom as seen in the map of ancient Israel (at left). Israel’s proximity to Damascus should be noted, serving to explain why Isaiah sees both areas affected by an event that promises to change the topography of the area.

“The fortress also will cease from Ephraim… In that day it shall come to pass that the glory of Jacob will wane, and the fatness of his flesh grow lean. It shall be as when the harvester gathers the grain, and reaps the heads with his arm; it shall be as he who gathers heads of grain in the Valley of Rephaim. Yet gleaning grapes will be left in it, like the shaking of an olive tree, two or three olives at the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in its most fruitful branches,” (Isaiah 17:3a, 4-6)

In response to the alliance between Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iran, and Russia (the Shia Coalition), Israel has formed a de facto alliance between Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the U.S. (the Sunni Coalition). All the parties involved claim to be in Syria to destroy the terrorist organization, ISIS a/k/a ISIL.

In truth, the Shias led by Iran, are striving to gain power over the Arab world and eliminate Israel; Assad of Syria is engaged in a struggle to stay in power; the Sunnis are seeking to annihilate the Shias; Russia is pursuing a foothold in the Middle East; and the U.S. desires to protect Israel and the world from a nuclear-weaponized Iran. 

We can deduce that the destruction of Damascus will take place as a result of this Syrian War before the Gog/Magog war as described in Ezekiel 38 because neither Syria nor Lebanon to the north of Israel are mentioned in Ezekiel’s prophecy. And, both Sunni nations and Shia nations take part in the Gog/Magog war, indicating this war is not sectarian and describes a different state of affairs in the world at the time it occurs.

Today, Syria and its citizens appear to be the target of airstrikes and missiles in the region, but Israel is a nuclear nation and Iran is heading in that direction. Both have the capability to reach Syria and each other as well with devastating weapons of warfare. In addition, it is known that Assad of Syria possesses biological and chemical weapons and is not afraid to use them, making the situation in the Middle East volatile. Iran could use a nuclear weapon in Syria if provoked or Israel could use a nuclear weapon in response to an attack on its homeland. Either situation would draw the U.S. and Russia into a deadly confrontation as the two great super-powers.

The destruction of Damascus will bring great change to the world. The Bible indicates that there will be a time of peace in the world that will be necessary for the rebuilding of the Temple of G-d in Israel leading to the day the anti-Christ will be revealed and Yeshua will return. 

“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our L-rd Jesus Christ … Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called G-d or that is worshiped, so that he sits as G-d in the temple of G-d, showing himself that he is G-d.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4)

Peace will have to be established in order to build Israel’s Temple, but it will be a false peace.

“Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace—… (Ezekiel 13:10)

“For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

After the Temple of G-d is built, the anti-Christ will enter it unlawfully, becoming an ‘abomination’:

“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place…then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.…For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:15-21)

As we see the events unfolding in the Syrian Civil War, the provocation for war against Israel is growing. These events must take place, so rejoice and know that our L-rd is coming soon!

“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” (Luke 21:28)

1. After King Solomon died, Israel was split into the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Ephraim) and the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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