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November 18    Scripture



Bible Cities: Damascus
Ancient Damascus

DAMASCUS is believed to be the oldest city on the globe. Josephus says it was founded by Uz the son of Aram. However this may be, it was a noted city in the days of Abram, whose steward Eliezer was a native of the place. It subsequently became a royal city, with its own kings. It was taken by David (2 Sam. 8:5) and by Jeroboam II. (2 Kings 14:28). It is frequently mentioned in the Bible, and at one time was a formidable rival of the Israelitish monarchy. Naaman the Syrian dwelt here, and it was here that the miraculous conversion of St. Paul occurred. The city has been held by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Seleucidse, Romans, and Turks. The last have held it since A. D. 1506. It now contains a population of about 150,000 souls. It is celebrated with travellers as one of the most beautiful and delightful cities in the East. The Orientals call it the "Paradise on earth." The surrounding country is very fertile and extremely beautiful. It is the most purely oriental city yet remaining of all that are mentioned in the Bible. Its public buildings and bazaars are fine. Many of its private residences, though not very attractive outwardly, are fitted up within in the most costly and beautiful manner. It is noted for its fine cloth and woven goods of silk and cotton, its steel-ware, beautiful inlaid cabinet-work, leather, fruit, sweet-meats, etc. It is situated on the river Barada, the ancient Chrysorr-hoas, in a beautiful and fertile plain on the east and south-east of Anti-Lebanon. A street called "Straight," probably the one referred to in Acts 9:11, runs for about a mile through the city. - Ancient Geography

Ancient Damascus - Map of New Testament Israel DA-MAS`CUS (sack full of blood, similitude of burning), A city of Syria east of Anti-Lebanus, and in the midst of a lovely and fertile plain opening on the Desert. Gen. 14:15 , 15:2 Contiguous region called "Syria of Damascus," 2 Sam. 8:5. Taken by David, 8: 5, 6, and by Jeroboam, 2 Kings 14:28. Afterwards subject to Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Seleucidae and the Romans. In Paul`s time much thronged by Jews. Scene of Paul`s conversion. Acts 9:1-27; 22:1-16. Always a commercial centre, Ezek, 27:18. Called now in the East the "Paradise of the world." Present population, 150,000. Belongs to Turkey. Chief gathering place of pilgrims for Mecca. Damask cloth and Damascus swords are noted. Still a street there called "Straight," as in Acts 9:11.

Damascus in Easton's Bible Dictionary activity, the most ancient of Oriental cities; the capital of Syria (Isa. 7:8; 17:3); situated about 133 miles to the north of Jerusalem. Its modern name is Esh-Sham; i.e., "the East." The situation of this city is said to be the most beautiful of all Western Asia. It is mentioned among the conquests of the Egyptian king Thothmes III. (B.C. 1500), and in the Amarna tablets (B.C. 1400). It is first mentioned in Scripture in connection with Abraham's victory over the confederate kings under Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:15). It was the native place of Abraham's steward (15:2). It is not again noticed till the time of David, when "the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer" (q.v.), 2 Sam. 8:5; 1 Chr. 18:5. In the reign of Solomon, Rezon became leader of a band who revolted from Hadadezer (1 Kings 11:23), and betaking themselves to Damascus, settled there and made their leader king. There was a long war, with varying success, between the Israelites and Syrians, who at a later period became allies of Israel against Judah (2 Kings 15:37). The Syrians were at length subdued by the Assyrians, the city of Damascus was taken and destroyed, and the inhabitants carried captive into Assyria (2 Kings 16:7-9; comp. Isa. 7:8). In this, prophecy was fulfilled (Isa. 17:1; Amos 1:4; Jer. 49:24). The kingdom of Syria remained a province of Assyria till the capture of Nineveh by the Medes (B.C. 625), when it fell under the conquerors. After passing through various vicissitudes, Syria was invaded by the Romans (B.C. 64), and Damascus became the seat of the government of the province. In A.D. 37 Aretas, the king of Arabia, became master of Damascus, having driven back Herod Antipas. This city is memorable as the scene of Saul's conversion (Acts 9:1-25). The street called "Straight," in which Judas lived, in whose house Saul was found by Ananias, is known by the name Sultany, or "Queen's Street." It is the principal street of the city. Paul visited Damascus again on his return from Arabia (Gal. 1:16, 17). Christianity was planted here as a centre (Acts 9:20), from which it spread to the surrounding regions. In A.D. 634 Damascus was conquered by the growing Mohammedan power. In A.D. 1516 it fell under the dominion of the Turks, its present rulers. It is now the largest city in Asiatic Turkey. Christianity has again found a firm footing within its walls.

Damascus in Fausset's Bible Dictionary The most ancient city of Syria, at the foot of the S.E. range of Antilibanus, which rises 1,500 ft. above the plain of Damascus, which is itself 2,200 above the sea. Hence, Damascus enjoys a temperate climate cooled by breezes. The plain is a circle of 30 miles diameter, watered by the Barada (the ABANA of 2 Kings 5), which bursts through a narrow cleft in the mountain into the country beneath, pouring fertility on every side. This strikes the eye the more, as bareness and barrenness characterize all the hills and the plain outside. Fruit of various kinds, especially olive trees, grain and grass abound within the Damascus plain. The Barada flows through Damascus, and thence eastward 15 miles, when it divides and one stream falls into lake el Kiblijeh: another into lake esh-Shurkijeh, on the border of the desert. The wady Helbon on the N. and Awaj on the S. also water the plain. The Awaj is probably the scriptural PHARPAR. First mentioned in Genesis 14:15; Genesis 15:2. Abraham entering Canaan by way of Damascus there obtained Eliezer as his retainer. Josephus makes Damascus to have been founded by Uz, son of Aram, grandson of Shem. The next Scriptural notice of Damascus is 2 Samuel 8:5, when "the Syrians of Damascus succored Hadadezer king of Zobah" against David. David slew 22,000 Syrians, and "put garrisons in Syria of Damascus, and the Syrians became servants to David and brought gifts" (1 Chronicles 18:3-6). Nicholaus of Damascus says Hadad (so he named him) reigned over "all Syria except Phoenicia," and began the war by attacking David, and was defeated in a last engagement at the Euphrates River. His subject Rezon, who escaped when David conquered Zobah, with the help of a band made himself king at Damascus over Syria (1 Kings 11:23-25), and was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon. Hadad's family recovered the throne; or else frontBENHADAD I, who helped Baasha against Asa and afterward Asa against Baasha, was grandson of Rezon. He "made himself streets" in Samaria (1 Kings 20:34), so completely was he Israel's master. His son, Benhadad II, who besieged Ahab (1 Kings 20:1), is the Ben-idri of the Assyrian inscriptions. These state that in spite of his having the help of the Phoenicians, Hittites and Hamathites, he was unable to oppose Assyria, which slew 20,000 of his men in just one battle. Hazael, taking advantage of his subjects' disaffection owing to their defeats, murdered Benhadad (2 Kings 8:10-15; 1 Kings 19:15). Hazael was defeated by Assyria in his turn, with great loss, at Antilibanus; but repulsed Ahaziah's and Jehoram's attack on Israel (2 Kings 8:28), ravaged Gilead, the land of Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh (2 Kings 10:32-33); took also Gath, and was only diverted from Jerusalem by Jehoash giving the royal and the temple treasures (2 Kings 12:17-18). (See HAZAEL.) Benhadad his son continued to exercise a lordship over Israel (2 Kings 13:3-7; 2 Kings 13:22) at first; but Joash, Jehoahaz' son, beat him thrice, according to Elisha's dying prophecy (2 Kings 13:14-19), for "the Lord had compassion on His people ... because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, neither east He them from His presence us yet" (2 Kings 13:23). Jeroboam II, Joash's son, further "recovered Damascus and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel ... according to the word of the Lord ... by Jonah the prophet" (2 Kings 14:23-28), 836 B.C. Rezin of Damascus, a century later...

Damascus in Hitchcock's Bible Names a sack full of blood; the similitude of burning

Damascus in Naves Topical Bible An ancient city Ge 14:15; 15:2 -Capital of Syria 1Ki 20:34; Isa 7:8; Jer 49:23-29; Eze 47:16,17 -Laid under tribute to David 2Sa 8:5,6 -Besieged by Rezon 1Ki 11:23,24 -Recovered by Jeroboam 2Ki 14:28 -Taken by king of Assyria 2Ki 16:9 -Walled Jer 49:27; 2Co 11:33 -Garrisoned 2Co 11:32 -Luxury in Am 3:12 -Paul's experiences in Ac 9; 22:5-16; 26:12-20; 2Co 11:32; Ga 1:17 -Prophecies concerning Isa 8:4; 17:1,2; Jer 49:23-29; Am 1:3,5; Zec 9:1 -Wilderness of 1Ki 19:15

Damascus in Smiths Bible Dictionary one of the most ancient and most important of the cities of Syria. It is situated 130 miles northeast of Jerusalem, in a plain of vast size and of extreme fertility, which lies east of the great chain of Anti-Libanus, on the edge of the desert. This fertile plain, which is nearly circular and about 30 miles in diameter, is due to the river Barada, which is probably the "Abana" of Scripture. Two other streams the Wady Helbon upon the north and the Awaj, which flows direct from Hermon upon the south, increase the fertility of the Damascene plain, and contend for the honor of representing the "Pharpar" of Scripture. According to Josephus, Damascus was founded by Uz grandson of Shem. It is first mentioned in Scripture in connection with Abraham, Ge 14:15 whose steward was a native of the place. Ge 15:2 At one time david became complete master of the whole territory, which he garrisoned with israelites. 2Sa 8:5,6 It was in league with Baasha, king of Israel against Asa, 1Ki 15:19; 2Ch 16:3 and afterwards in league with Asa against Baasha. 1Ki 15:20 Under Ahaz it was taken by Tiglath- pileser, 2Ki 16:7,8,9 the kingdom of Damascus brought to an end, and the city itself destroyed, the inhabitants being carried captive into Assyria. 2Ki 16:9 comp. Isai 7:8 and Amos 1:5 Afterwards it passed successively under the dominion of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans and Saracens, and was at last captured by the Turks in 1516 A.D. Here the apostle Paul was converted and preached the gospel. Ac 9:1-25 Damascus has always been a great centre for trade. Its present population is from 100,000 to 150,000. It has a delightful climate. Certain localities are shown as the site of those scriptural events which specially interest us in its history. Queen's Street, which runs straight through the city from east to west, may be the street called Straight. Ac 9:11 The house of Judas and that of Ananias are shown, but little confidence can be placed in any of these traditions.

Damascus in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE da-mas'-kus: 1. The Name 2. Situation and Natural Features 3. The City Itself 4. Its History (1) The Early Period (to circa 950 BC) (2) The Aramean Kingdom (circa 950-732 BC) (3) The Middle Period (732 BC-650 AD) (4) Under Islam 1. Name: The English name is the same as the Greek Damaskos. The Hebrew name is Dammeseq, but the Aramaic form Darmeseq, occurs in 1 Ch 18:5; 2 Ch 28:5. The name appears in Egyptian inscriptions as Ti-mas-ku (16th century BC), and Sa-ra-mas- ki (13th century BC), which W. M. Muller, Asien u. Europa, 227, regards as representing Ti-ra-mas-ki, concluding from the "ra" in this form that Damascus had by that time passed under Aramaic influence. In the Tell el-Amarna Letters the forms Ti-ma-as-gi and Di-mas-ka occur. The Arabic name is Dimashk esh-Sham ("Damascus of Syria") usually contrasted to Esh-Sham simply. The meaning of the name Damascus is unknown. Esh-Sham (Syria) means "the left," in contrast to the Yemen (Arabia) = "the right." 2. Situation and Natural Features: Damascus is situated (33 degrees 30' North latitude, 36 degrees 18' East longitude) in the Northwest corner of the Ghuta, a fertile plain about 2,300 ft. above sea level, West of Mt. Hermon. The part of the Ghuta East of the city is called el-Merj, the "meadow-land" of Damascus. The river Barada (see ASANA) flows through Damascus and waters the plain, through which the Nahr el-Awaj (see PHARPAR) also flows, a few miles South of the city. Surrounded on three sides by bare hills, and bordered on the East, its open side, by the desert, its well-watered and fertile Ghuta, with its streams and fountains, its fields and orchards, makes a vivid impression on the Arab of the desert. Arabic literature is rich in praises of Damascus, which is described as an earthly paradise. The European or American traveler is apt to feel that these praises are exaggerated, and it is perhaps only in early summer that the beauty of the innumerable fruit trees--apricots, pomegranates, walnuts and many others--justifies enthusiasm. To see Damascus as the Arab sees it, we must approach it, as he does, from the desert. The Barada (Abana) is the life blood of Damascus. Confined in a narrow gorge until close to the city, where it spreads itself in many channels over the plain, only to lose itself a few miles away in the marshes that fringe the desert, its whole strength is expended in making a small area between the hills and the desert really fertile. That is why a city on this site is inevitable and permanent. Damascus, almost defenseless from a military point of view, is the natural mart and factory of inland Syria. In the course of its long history it has more than once enjoyed and lost political supremacy, but in all the vicissitudes of political fortune it has remained the natural harbor of the Syrian desert. 3. The City Itself: Damascus lies along the main stream of the Barada, almost entirely on its south bank. The city is about a mile long (East to West) and about half a mile broad (North to South). On the south side a long suburb, consisting for the most part of a single street, called the Meidan, stretches...

Damascus Scripture - 1 Kings 15:18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold [that were] left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Benhadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,

Damascus Scripture - 1 Kings 20:34 And [Benhadad] said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then [said Ahab], I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.

Damascus Scripture - 2 Chronicles 28:5 Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought [them] to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.

Damascus Scripture - 2 Kings 16:12 And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.

Damascus Scripture - 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.

Damascus Scripture - Acts 9:10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord.

Damascus Scripture - Ezekiel 47:16 Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which [is] between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazarhatticon, which [is] by the coast of Hauran.

Damascus Scripture - Ezekiel 47:17 And the border from the sea shall be Hazarenan, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And [this is] the north side.

Damascus Scripture - Ezekiel 47:18 And the east side ye shall measure from Hauran, and from Damascus, and from Gilead, and from the land of Israel [by] Jordan, from the border unto the east sea. And [this is] the east side.

Damascus Scripture - 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.

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