Sunday, April 18, 2021

Road to Damascus


And Saul… journeyed, he came near Damascus:

and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Acts 9

Damascus, Dammeśeq (דמשק) in Biblical Hebrew, Dimashq in Arabic, city and capital of Syria.

Located in the southwestern corner of the country, it has been called the “pearl of the East,” praised for its beauty and lushness.

There is much to discover on the road to fascinating!

The people, the history… many things to uncover, we’ll touch on some.

The Gate of Thomas is intriguing among many discoveries!!

Saul/Paul’s encounter from darkness to light!

Oh, what tales can be told on the Road to Damascus.

Damascus is recognized as one of the oldest cities on the earth. The old city is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Ancient roads went through south-western Syria and capital city of Damascus.

The etymology of the ancient name "T-m-ś-q" is uncertain. It is attested as Imerišú in Akkadian, T-m-ś-q in Egyptian, Dammaśq (דמשק) in Old Aramaic and Dammeśeq (דמשק) in Biblical Hebrew

Darmsûq (ܕܪܡܣܘܩ) in Syriac, meaning "a well-watered land".

The nation of Syria and cities of Damascus and Aleppo are familiar names in the daily news as well as noted in the Word of God – Torah. Damascus is noted in the writings of the prophets and in the New Testament.

The early name is derived from the biblical Aram, son of Shem, a grandson of Noah in the Bible (Genesis 10:22). The name Aram can be found from many ancient sources. The term Armi, which is the Eblaite term for nearby Aleppo, occurs frequently in the Ebla tablets (c. 2300 BC). Currently, the Arabic term Sūriya refers to the modern state of Syria,

Coordinates for Damascus: 33°30′47″N 36°17′31″E

Damascus in the time of Abraham, 2000 B.C.

The Bible documents Abram and his family’s journey from Ur to Haran in Genesis 11:29-32.

Damascus appears in 55 Bible verses first mentioned in Genesis 14:15.

Damascus was a great city in the ancient world and it was located in ancient Aram (Syria). Abraham and his nephew Lot had departed Haran and followed the leading of the Lord. They moved southward and passed by the city of Damascus along the way and it might have been at this time that Abraham secured his servant Eliezer (Genesis 15:2). (map)

Genesis 14:15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.

Genesis 15:2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?


occurs 60 times in 55 verses in the KJV. (Gen 14:15–Act 22:10)

possible 15th c map of Damascus, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 
and the Jewish National and University Library.

Damascus plays a pivotal role in Biblical end-time prophecy.

             Isaiah 17

The Burden against Damascus
(Jeremiah 49:23–27)

1This is the burden against Damascus:

Behold, Damascus is no longer a city;

it has become a heap of ruins.

2The cities of Aroer are forsaken;

they will be left to the flocks,

which will lie down with no one to fear.

3The fortress will disappear from Ephraim,a

and the sovereignty from Damascus.

The remnant of Aram will be

like the splendor of the Israelites,”

A Jasmine vine perspective of Damascus from Qasioun mountain.

Photo by Muhammad Khaled

Damascus is called the "City of Jasmine." The city is still known by its popular epithet al-Fayḥāʾ (“the Fragrant”). The name jasmine is derived from the Persian (Fārsi) Yasameen ("gift from God") through Arabic and Latin.  Jasmine is thought to have originated in ancient Persia (modern-day Iran). It was found in Egypt as early as 1000 BCE, spreading from there through nearby countries.

Jasmine (taxonomic name Jasminum is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family (Oleaceae). It contains around 200 species native to tropical and warm temperate regions of EurasiaAustralasia and Oceania. Jasmines are widely cultivated for the characteristic fragrance of their flowers.

Jasmine is sometimes referred as “Queen of the Night”, both because it blooms at night. Its pure white blossoms can also symbolize purity. Because the small, unassuming white flowers bloom at night with such a powerful scent, jasmine sometimes symbolizes the value of modesty. Jasmine essential oil has been one of the world’s most beloved aromas for hundreds of years, and was one of the first plants cultivated for its scent. Jasmine tea is enjoyed worldwide.

It is commonly known in Syria as ash-Sham (Arabicالشام‎‎ ash-Shām) and nicknamed as the City of Jasmine (Arabicمدينة الياسمين‎‎ Madīnat al-Yāsmīn). In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major cultural and religious centre of the Levant

City Seal with Jasmine flower - Area city, 17 square miles (43 square km).

The name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and Lebanon after World War IThis is probably the reason why the term Levant has come to be used synonymously with Syria-Palestine

It derives from the Italian Levante, meaning "rising," implying the rising of the sun in the east.

 In 1581, England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire.

Turkish Opium was bought by the Levant Company.

The Levant Company encompassed American merchants before 1811 who bought Turkish opium. China bought Turkish opium from the Americans. Turkish opium was bought by Americans who took it to China. China received Turkish opium from Thomas Handasyd Perkins and John Jacobs Astor. Turkish opium was brought by the United States to China. In 1806 China received the initial opium import from Turkey by the American ship Eutaw. Turkish opium was brought to China by the Gurard, Peabody, Delano, Perkins, Forbes, and Astor clans

The Levant Company was an English chartered company formed in 1592.

Its initial charter, awarded on 11 September 1581, was good for seven years.

By the charter of Charles II, the company was erected into a body politic, capable of making laws, etc., under the title of the Company of Merchants of England trading to the Seas of the Levant. The number of members was not limited, but averaged about 300. The principal qualification required was that the candidate be a wholesale merchant, either by family, or by serving an apprenticeship of seven years.

The term Levant, which appeared in English in 1497, originally meant the East in general or "Mediterranean lands east of Italy". It is borrowed from the French levant 'rising', referring to the rising of the sun in the east, or the point where the sun rises. The phrase is ultimately from the Latin word levare, meaning 'lift, raise'. Similar etymologies are found in Greek Ἀνατολή (Anatolēcf.Anatolia), in Germanic Morgenland (literally, "morning land"), in Italian (as in "Riviera di Levante", the portion of the Liguria coast east of Genoa), in Hungarian Kelet, in Spanish and Catalan Levante and Llevant, ("the place of rising"), and in Hebrew (mizrah). Most notably, "Orient" and its Latin source oriens meaning "east", is literally "rising", deriving from Latin orior "rise".

heliacal rising of the star Sirius
Rise: meaning "spring, source, origin, beginning"

Dammeśeq (דמשק) in Biblical Hebrew.

The name of Damascus first appeared in the geographical list of Thutmose III as 𓍘𓄟𓊃𓈎𓅱/𓍘𓄟𓈎𓅱𓈉 T-m-ś-q in the 15th century BC. The etymology of the ancient name "T-m-ś-q" is uncertain. It is attested as 𒀲𒋙 Imerišú in Akkadian, 𓍘𓄠𓈎𓅱 T-m-ś-q in EgyptianDammaśq (דמשק) in Old Aramaic and Dammeśeq (דמשק) in Biblical Hebrew. A number of Akkadian spellings are found in the Amarna letters, from the 14th century BC: 𒁲𒈦𒋡 Dimasqa, 𒁲𒈦𒀸𒄀 Dimàsqì, and 𒁲𒈦𒀸𒋡 Dimàsqa. Later Aramaic spellings of the name often include an intrusive resh (letter r), perhaps influenced by the root dr, meaning "dwelling". Thus, the English and Latin name of the city is "Damascus" which was imported from (GreekΔαμασκός) originated from "the Qumranic Darmeśeq (דרמשק), and Darmsûq (ܕܪܡܣܘܩ) in Syriac[9][10]", meaning "a well-watered land".[11] In Arabic, the city is called Dimašqu š-Šāmi (دمشق الشام), although this is often shortened to either Dimašq or aš-Šām by the citizens of Damascus, of Syria and other Arab neighbors and Turkey (as Şam). Aš-Šām is an Arabic term for "Levant" and for "Syria"; the latter, and particularly the historical region of Syria, is called Bilādu š-Šāmi (بلاد الشام / "land of the Levant"). Historically, Baalshamin or Ba'al Šamem (Aramaicܒܥܠ ܫܡܝܢromanized: Lord of Heaven(s)),[12][13] was a Semitic sky-god in Canaan/Phoenicia and ancient Palmyra.[14][15] Hence, Sham refers to (heaven or sky).

Ancient Egyptian obelisks originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III, around 1450 BC. 

Cleopatra's Needle is the popular name for each of three Ancient Egyptian obelisks re-erected in LondonParis, and New York City during the nineteenth century. The obelisks in London and New York are a pair; the one in Paris is also part of a pair originally from a different site in Luxor

The London needle is in the City of Westminster, on the Victoria Embankment near the Golden Jubilee Bridges.

The old city of Damascus, enclosed by the city walls, lies on the south bank of the river Barada which is almost dry (3 cm (1 in) left). Damascus used to be surrounded by an oasis, the Ghouta region (الغوطة al-ġūṭä), watered by the Barada river. The Fijeh spring, west along the Barada valley, used to provide the city with drinking water. The Ghouta oasis has been decreasing in size with the rapid expansion of housing and industry in the city and it is almost dry. It has also become polluted due to the city's traffic, industry, and sewage.

Damascus is mentioned in Genesis 14:15 as existing at the time of the War of the Kings.[21] According to the 1st-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in his twenty-one volume Antiquities of the Jews, Damascus (along with Trachonitis), was founded by Uz, the son of Aram.[22] In Antiquities i. 7,[23] Josephus reports:

Nicolaus of Damascus, in the fourth book of his History, says thus: "Abraham reigned at Damascus, being a foreigner, who came with an army out of the land above Babylon, called the land of the Chaldeans: but, after a long time, he got him up, and removed from that country also, with his people, and went into the land then called the land of Canaan, but now the land of Judea, and this when his posterity were become a multitude; as to which posterity of his, we relate their history in another work. Now the name of Abraham is even still famous in the country of Damascus; and there is shown a village named from him, The Habitation of Abraham.

In 23 BC Herod the Great was gifted lands controlled by Zenodorus by Caesar Augustus[33] and some scholars believe that Herod was also granted control of Damascus as well.[34] The control of Damascus reverted to Syria either upon the death of Herod the Great or was part of the lands given to Herod Philip which were given to Syria with his death in 33/34 AD.

There was a small Jewish community namely in what is called Haret al-Yahud the Jewish quarter. They are the remnants of an ancient and much larger Jewish presence in Syria, dating back at least to Roman times, if not before to the time of King David.[88]

Damascus to Jerusalem – 1936 -

"Thomas’ Gate" (Bab Tuma) is a borough of Old Damascus in Syria, one of the seven gates inside the historical walls of the city. Bab Touma, Gate of St. Thomas (or Gate of Venus), Named after the last of the Byzantine defenders of Damascus.
The Old City, Damascus is referred to the “Eight Gated City” sometimes.. This is one of its gates.

Damascus Gate - Jerusalem

Dimashq. Damascus Gate (Arabic: باب العامود‎‎, Bab al-‘Amud, Hebrew: שער שכם‎‎, Sha'ar Sh'khem) is one of the main entrances to the Old City of Jerusalem

Damascus to Jerusalem - 4 h 53 min (359 km) by car,+Israel/Damascus,+Syria/@32.638161,34.4971117,8z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x1502d7d634c1fc4b:0xd96f623e456ee1cb!2m2!1d35.21371!2d31.768319!1m5!1m1!1s0x1518e6dc413cc6a7:0x6b9f66ebd1e394f2!2m2!1d36.2765279!2d33.5138073

Isaiah 7:8 - For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.
Rezin = good-will; messenger

One of the families of the Nethinim. (Ezra 2:48Nehemiah 7:50) (B.C. before 536.)
King Rezin of Aram (/rə.ˈziːn/ or /ˈriː.zɪn/) or Rasin of Syria in DRB (HebrewרְצִיןModern rěṣînTiberian răṣînAkkadianRa-ḫi-a-nu / Ra-qi-a-nuAramaic: probably Raḍyan‎‎; LatinRasin) ruled from Damascus during the 8th century BC. 
During his reign, he was a tributary of King Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria.

Isaiah 8:4 

For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.

Isaiah 10:9 

Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus?

Isaiah 17:1 

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

Isaiah 17:3 

The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the Lord of hosts.

Jeremiah 49:23 

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.

Ezekiel 27:18

Damascus was thy merchant in the multitude of the wares of thy making, for the multitude of all riches; in the wine of Helbon, and white wool.

Ezekiel 48:1 

Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan.

Amos 1:5 

I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the Lord.

Amos 3:12 

Thus saith the Lord; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.

Acts 9:3 

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

Acts 9:8 

And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

Acts 22:10 

And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

Galatians 1:17 

Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

Damascus Gate - Most used gate in Jerusalem
Matt 7:13-14 - Broad is the way
Luke 12:22-30 - Strive for strait gate / Narrow Gate
Site of two witnesses??

Outside Jerusalem’s Old City (near Damascus Gate), a once-in-a-lifetime find of ancient Greek inscription - “My heart leapt out of my chest,” the Toronto-born Gellman said on Wednesday at a press tour at the IAA’s Rockefeller Museum headquarters.
The Gates of Jerusalem - Part 1
Part one of two, explore the gates of Jerusalem, each a portal of history in its' own right. (map image)

Damascus – Acts 9 - After being confronted directly by Jesus Christ as he traveled to the city, Paul is converted and healed of his blindness in Damascus.

Saul visited by Jesus on the way to Damascus
As the Holy Spirit directed, Ananias laid his hands on Saul in Jesus’ name. Immediately, his eyes, both physical and spiritual, were opened!
Ananias’ name in Hebrew means “the grace of God” or “God has been gracious!” Quite literally, “GRACE” opened Paul’s eyes. The first thing Paul saw was Ananias–GRACE–and the first path or street he walked on after his conversion was called “Straight!”
After these things, Saul became the greatest Apostle of all time: Paul. Any time you find a name change in the Bible, there is a hidden meaning there. Such is the case with Paul.
Saul comes from the root word, “Sha’al,” which means, “To ask, beg, or plead.” Paul means, “Humble.” God give GRACE to the HUMBLE,” but resists the proud. You don’t have to beg for what He freely gives.
The Emmaus Road -

Acts 26:20 - Paul's Testimony to Agrippa

19So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. 20 First to those in Damascus and Jerusalem, then to everyone in the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I declared that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds worthy of their repentance.

April 7, 17 - Damascus roads names
May 6 too
April 7 bombing of Syria
...gates in Damascus / Thomas

April 17, 1946 - Damascus - Evacuation Day 

(Arabicعيد الجلاء‎‎), also called Independence Day, is Syria's national day commemorating the evacuation of the last French soldier and Syria's proclamation of full independence and the end of the French mandate of Syria on 17 April 1946.
Dahboo  -

Palmyra is an ancient city of central Syria, located in an oasis 130 miles (210 km) NE of Damascus.
Once dubbed the "Bride of the Desert," Palmyra was a vital stop for caravans crossing the Syrian desert. Palmyra was mentioned in the Old Testament as being fortified by Solomon and it flourished in Roman times.
The Greek name for the city, Palmyra is a translation of its original Aramaic name, Tadmor, which means 'palm tree'. Tadmor is today the name of a small city next to the ruins, heavily dependent on tourism.  Tadmor is mentioned in the Bible (2 Chronicles 8:4) as a desert city that was fortified by King Solomon.

Damascus map with street named “17th April”,36.2664279,15.25z/data=!4m3!8m2!3m1!1e1

On May 14, 1930, the State of Syria was declared the Republic of Syria

Evacuation Day (Arabic: عيد الجلاء‎, also known as Jalaa Day or Clearance Day, is Syria's national day commemorating the evacuation of the last French soldier at the end of the French mandate of Syria on 17 April 1946 after Syria's proclamation of full independence in 1941.

More News From Syria (1941) - 

September 27, 1941 - 80th Anniversary of Syria's proclamation of full independence

April 17, 1946 - Independence of First Syrian Republic (end of the French mandate)

2021 - 75th anniversary of the French’s evacuation

My countrymen… this is a day when the bright sun of freedom shines on your homeland, and only your flag flies high in it… This is the day of truth, when only its word resounds, and on Independence Day, its glory is revealed, a day, when, the falsehood witnesses how his state disappears. How will his tour diminish? This is the day of the great victory and the clear conquest. "
With these words, the Syrian President, Shukri al-Quwatli, addressed the masses of Syrians at the time, congratulating them on the independence of Syria and the Evacuation of the French forces from it, after nearly 26 years of occupation.
17 Apr 2021, Sat – 05:11 -

17th April 2021, 19:09 GMT+10 -

April 17, 2021 - President al-Assad discusses the executive mechanisms to implement the new consumer protection law, and directs to establish a precise definition of the powers and responsibilities of the authorities concerned with its implementation.

April 18, 2021 – Election announcement - Syria will hold its presidential election on May 26, the country's parliament said on Sunday.
May 26, 2021 - Syria to hold presidential elections – parliament -
Candidates must have lived in Syria for at least 10 consecutive years, meaning opposition figures in exile cannot run.

April 2021 – Damascus Gate, Jerusalem in the news
Israeli Forces Attack Palestinian Worshipers at Damascus Gate, Injure Nine
Two residents of east Jerusalem were arrested Friday evening for allegedly throwing stones and firing fire crackers toward police officers

April 18, 2021 - Bezalel Smotrich, Religious Zionist Party head, will arrive at the Damascus Gate area in Jerusalem on Sunday night, as thousands of Muslims gather on the Temple Mount for Ramadan prayer services

Timeline of Damascus

Damascus - Oldest City Ever? -
Aerial view of Damascus // Damascus Syria -
Damascus to Jerusalem – 1936 -
More News From Syria (1941) -
Battle of Damascus (1941) -

Syria the Country of Jasmine -
Love In Damas Lina Shamamian - GPX_w
Jasmine Of Damascus -
Damascus Smell of Jasmine -

Biblical Timing of Damascus Destruction - Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel 

GRAPHIC Video: Bible Prophecy Isaiah 17:1 Damascus, Syria. ISIS, ISIL, War, Israel, Russia
Almost 3,000 years ago, the Old Testament prophet Isaiah was given this prophecy. In all of world history, it has not come to pass... until Now! Civil war is destroying the nation. - 

Prophecy of Damascus

Biblical Prophecies of the Middle East (Syria "Sudden Destruction" poster/map

As this study postulates that it will be the Isaiah 17 event of Damascus that will cascade into the last 4 wars for Jerusalem, they will be triggered by the ‘Road to Damascus’. This has spiritual overtones in the New Testament. It is rather interesting as noted in other studies that the New Testament associates Damascus with a ‘flash of light’, as in a nuclear detonation. In this case, it was the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus that was blinded by the appearance of the LORD, Jesus. It was at this time that Saul had his conversion and transformation into Paul. Perhaps, at such a time of the Isaiah 17 event that this study postulates will be a nuclear detonation that likewise will produce a similar flash of light, it will make many Muslims and Jews alike to see of truth and reality that is it Jesus that they are ‘kicking against the goads’
Damascus: - Poster image

TO CONSIDER: - SEE PROPHETIC LINK BETWEEN (Acts 9:1-18) and (Isaiah 17:1). On the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-18), Paul saw a light and was struck blind for 3 days. He was taken to Damascus where the veil was lifted from his eyes, and the age of grace began. When Damascus will be totally destroyed and cease to be a city (Isaiah 17:1), the road leading to it will also be destroyed and cease to exist. This very road which led to GRACE, WILL ALSO CEASE. Similarly, will the veil over our eyes be lifted, when Damascus is destroyed. Will we meet and see our Messiah in all His light and glory in the clouds? The termination of Damascus (the termination of the age of grace) will leave us no exit road out - our only exit will be up. At the end of this age of grace, it's the rapture of the Body of Christ. Is this event, (the destruction of Damascus), the trigger signaling our departure? We, the Body, are children of the Light (Eph.5:8, Philp.2:15, 1Thess.5:5). We are the only light that was left to illuminate the world. We will be taken out of harm’s way, snatched away, caught up, to be with our Messiah. The world will no longer have light – Darkness will reign. The Anti-Christ will be introduced and Jacob’s trouble (the 7-year tribulation) will begin. Look up folks, our redemption is at hand. Our blessed hope is about to become reality! LET THE ABOVE SINK IN FOR A MOMENT This is a maranatha “come soon” moment. Rejoice!

I wait for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning — more than watchmen for the morning.”

Psalms‬ 130:6‬ 

‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬Norman Labelle

Morning Meditation for Watchmen - Melvin 6-25-19