Unless otherwise marked, all Scripture quotations are taken from the World English Bible (WEB), which is in the public domain.
"World English Bible" is a trademark of Rainbow Missions, Inc.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The "NIV" and "New International Version" trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by the International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB®, are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. HCSB® is a federally registered trademark of Holman Bible Publishers.

Scripture quotations marked (YLT) are taken from Young’s Literal Translation (1862 / 1898), which is in the public domain.

Daniel and Revelation
Chapter 1
Isaiah 17 - An Oracle Concerning Damascus

The glory of Jacob will be brought low.
The remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel.

I'm writing this chapter soon after the 2012 US elections.  Obama won his reelection.  With regard to the recent US election, consider the following.  I think Obama’s reelection could be prophetically important.  (I voted against him.)

Obama is the first US president who is not really a friend of Israel.   That could have really-big implications in the near future.  Obama says he will protect Israel.  But his actions indicate he is no friend of Israel.  Soon after he was elected the first time, he went to many of the Muslim nations surrounding Israel and made speeches.  But he conspicuously avoided going to Israel.  And today he seems to be very unfriendly with Netanyahu.

One point to consider:  Israel did not have nukes in 1967.  But that war propelled Israel in developing nukes on their own.  They had nukes by the Yom Kippur War of 1973.  And their nuke program did not come about through the help of the US.  The Yom Kippur War began on October 6, 1973.  Three days later, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was awakened twice up in the middle of the night by calls from Simcha Dinitz, the Israeli ambassador to Washington.  Kissinger did a complete turn-around of previous policy when he presumably learned that Israel had armed their nukes.  In his book titled, "The Samson Option," page 230, Seymour M. Hersh writes:

Kissinger was far less casual at the time he learned of Israel's intention.  He told none of his colleagues in the cabinet about the nuclear threat, of course, but changed his mind overnight about the need to get military arms - in huge quantities - to Israel.  "Israel's [ammunition] consumption rate was gauged for a seven-day war," recalled James Schlesinger - a reflection of Washington's confidence in the fighting ability of Israel's army and air force.  "But Kissinger just turned around totally.  He got a little hysterical" in urging an immediate and massive resupply.  "Henry seemed to be more concerned than I was over the possibility of a nuclear exchange" in the Middle East, Schlesinger added.  Kissinger's actions led some senior officials to conclude that Israeli use of a nuclear weapon was not out of the question.  "From where we sat," Schlesinger said, "there was an assumption that Israel had a few nukes and that if there was a collapse, there was a possibility that Israel would use them."  William E. Colby, then director of the CIA, shared the assumption: "We were afraid Israel might go for broke."  IT was believed, Colby added, that nuclear weapons would be used "only in an extreme situation."

The US helped Israel only after Israel rolled out a nuke and made it clear that it would be used if the US didn’t help stop the Yom Kippur attack.  After 1973, peace treaties were signed and Israel has not since been attacked in the same united multi-nation way.  The very existence of Israel has not been seriously threatened since the Yom Kippur War.  I think that people don’t realize how much Israel’s nuclear weapons encourage the US to help Israel and to why former Islamic-nation dictators signed peace treaties and have restrained from attacking Israel.  They know about Israel’s nukes.  But all that is beginning to change.

Today, with the so-called "Arab Spring," we are seeing the Islamic nations getting rid of their dictators and turning to Islamic Brotherhood rule.  The extreme radical Islamic view is to welcome and bring about chaos because they believe the Mahdi will only come when there is chaos in the world.  So they are less afraid of nukes.  They believe Allah will save them from the nukes. 

Again, Obama is the first US president that has not been a friend of Israel.  I think past US presidents, if they were not already friends with Israel, have wound up learning about Israel’s nukes in security briefs after getting elected.  So they try to make peace treaties a priority.  But Obama seems to dislike Israel and yet says he will protect Israel.  Obama has not really tried for a peace treaty like Clinton and Bush.  So I’m sure Obama doesn’t like the fact that they have nukes.  And being a big-time liberal, the first thing Obama would think of is disarmament.  I think Obama wants Israel to abandon their nukes.  If Mitt Romney had been elected, he would have continued our nation’s strong tradition of friendship with Israel.  But I don’t see that in Obama, especially in a second term.

Will Obama secretly put pressure on Israel to abandon their nuclear arsenal?  Would Obama put pressure on Israel to abandon their nukes, especially when asked by Israel to attack Iran because Iran will have nukes?  What if Israel is forced to comply?  Most of the Islamic nations around Israel do not have Israel's modern-day military weapons.  But Turkey is a member of NATO, and has modern-day weapons.  Recently, Turkey has become less a friend of Israel and more of an Islamic nation.  Could all this wind up setting the stage for an Islamic multi-nation attack on Israel which they cannot defend against?

Israel has always needed and wanted our support when attacked.  When the next re-occurrence of 1967 or 1973 comes, Israel might not get the support they need from the US.  I see Ezekiel 38 (not 39) as being just such an event.  I think Israel will be attacked under circumstances that would most-likely lead to her defeat if not for Christ’s direct intervention.  I think Christ will return with the New Jerusalem in orbit around the earth and stop the attacks, as per Ezekiel 38 (not 39).  This, I believe, is the sixth seal.  I think this is the first thing the world will see that’s related to the great tribulation.  And I think the Ezekiel 38 event will happen during Obama’s second term.

But Israel will not be attacked as long as Israel has nuclear weapons.  If the US secretly puts pressure on Israel to give up her nuclear weapons, Israel would refuse.  The pressure would have to be very public.  Also, Israel would never use their nuclear weapons unless their very existence was severely threatened.  Consider this possible scenario:  Perhaps Damascus is destroyed.  Israel would never destroy Damascus unless Israel's very existence were severely threatened.  But perhaps the destruction of Damascus is not really done by Israel, but is blamed on Israel.  The elite globalists, who want a one-world government, would see Israel's nuclear weapons as their number-one obstacle in bringing about a one-world government, controlled by the UN.  In other words, the destruction of Damascus could be a false flag operation. 

Isaiah 17:1-14  [An oracle concerning Damascus]: "Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap(2)  The cities of Aroer are forsaken. They will be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid.  (3)  The fortress shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria. They [Syria] will be as the glory of the children of Israel," says Yahweh of Armies.  (4)   "It will happen in that day that the glory of Jacob will be made thin , and the fatness of his flesh will become lean(5)  It will be like when the harvester gathers the wheat, and his arm reaps the grain. Yes, it will be like when one gleans grain in the valley of Rephaim (6)  Yet gleanings will be left there, like the shaking of an olive tree, two or three olives in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outermost branches of a fruitful tree," says Yahweh, the God of Israel.  (7)  In that day, people will look to their Maker, and their eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel (8)  They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands; neither shall they respect that which their fingers have made, either the Asherim, or the incense altars.  (9)   In that day, their strong cities will be like the forsaken places in the woods and on the mountain top, which were forsaken from before the children of Israel; and it will be a desolation.  (10)  For you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not remembered the rock of your strength. Therefore you plant pleasant plants, and set out foreign seedlings.  (11)  In the day of your planting, you hedge it in. In the morning, you make your seed blossom, but the harvest flees away in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow.  (12)   Ah, the uproar of many peoples, who roar like the roaring of the seas; and the rushing of nations, that rush like the rushing of mighty waters!  (13)  The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters: but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far off , and will be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like the whirling dust before the storm.  (14)  At evening, behold, terror! Before the morning, they are no more. This is the portion of those who plunder us, and the lot of those who rob us.

This is "an oracle concerning Damascus."  The very first sentence of this oracle is the destruction of Damascus. The oracle primarily speaks about things that will happen to Israel.  But the oracle is about the destruction of Damascus. That means everything that happens to Israel in this oracle is a direct result of that destruction.

This destruction could be all about getting Israel to give up their nukes.  And a US president that forsakes Israel is key.  Perhaps Obama will give Israel his assurance of protection.  But after they give up nukes, Israel is attacked.

“Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it will be a ruinous heap” (verse 1).  Damascus has never been destroyed.  This is unfulfilled prophecy.

Damascus is destroyed.  The “the glory of Jacob will be made thin” (verse 4).  Israel is falsely blamed.  “The fatness of his flesh will become lean” (verse 4).  The world will put severe sanctions on Israel.

“The remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel” (verse 3, ESV).  This means the survivors of Syria will be given glory by the world, a glory that is taken away from Israel.

“For you [Israel] have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not remembered the Rock of your strength” (verse 10).  They depend upon nukes instead of Christ.  So the nukes will be taken away.

We will hear the “uproar of many peoples” (verse 12).  Nations will “roar” in their anger.  "The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters" (verse 13).  Many nations will be angry that Damascus is nuked.  They will force Israel to get rid their nukes.  And then they will be glad when the Muslims nations attack Israel (Ezekiel 38).  Israel will not have the help of the US, nor of any other nation.  “But he [God] will rebuke them, and they will flee far off” (verse 13). God will show up with the New Jerusalem and save Israel.  “At evening, behold, terror! Before the morning, they are no more!” (verse 14).  Thus, the New Jerusalem shows up and stops the antichrist’s (false prophet - Gog) attack on Israel.

In summary, we know Ezekiel 38 talks about Israel being attacked by multiple Islamic nations, and that God shows up and stops the attack.  But since 1973, such an attack has been unlikely.  Israel has had to deal with the nuisance of bombs strapped to suicide bombers, and low-tech missiles being fired from Gaza.  But since 1973, Israel has not had its very existence seriously threatened.  Everyone knows Israel can strike back with nukes if their very existence is threatened.   But elite globalists, who want a one-world government, would see this as their number-one problem.  This scenario, as outlined in Isaiah 17, along with Ezekiel 38, might be their only solution.  As long as Israel believes they can defend themselves, and does not need God, Christ will not show up.  But I think God will allow Israel to get into a situation where the very appearance of Christ (their Messiah) is the only thing that will save them.

Philip Brown