Is There Biblical Prophecy in Syria Crisis?

Al-Zitoun Church in Damascus
Patriarch Gregorios III Laham of Antioch and All the East holds a Bible for a child to kiss during the Palm Sunday mass at al-Zitoun church in Damascus April 1, 2012. (Reuters/Khaled al Hariri )

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“See, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. Her towns will be deserted forever.”

That’s a prophetic passage from the biblical book of Isaiah, Chapter 17, and now some fundamentalist Christian blogs are buzzing with the belief that the escalating violence in Syria means the ancient text may soon be fulfilled. 

”The long prophesied end days are here,” one blog announces. “With the terrorist groups that operate out of Damascus building up arms caches on the border of Israel in anticipation of another war in the near future, it may not be long before this prophecy from Isaiah 17 becomes history,” predicts another group awaiting Jesus Christ’s return predicts.

Nearly all biblical scholars, however, argue that such a literalist interpretation of the text is highly problematic.

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