Damascus was built in the land settled by Aram, a son of Shem. Tradition has it that the founder was Uz, the son of Aram. When first mentioned, the town was said to be to the right of Hobah, the terminus of Abraham's battle with the confederation of kings. If the tradition is true, Abraham's contemporary Job (perhaps the same as Peleg's nephew, Jobab), who was from the "land of Uz," could have lived near Damascus.
Apparently, in moving into the region, Abraham at one time picked up a servant, the caretaker of his household, by the name of Eliezer. It was probably this man that he sent back to his cousins in the region to find a wife for his son Isaac after Sarah's death.
About a thousand years later, King David extended his control over the region when he defeated the king of Zobar, an independent nation in the time of the united kingdom years. At that time, 22,000 Syrians were killed in battle.
In the days of Solomon, though, the Syrians revolted, re-establishing control over Damascus, helping to establish the Aram-Damascus kingdom. The city and the region would be destroyed by the Assyrians as they expanded all the way to the walls of Jerusalem. The city would have many masters over time, with the Romans under Pompey taking possession in 64 BC. It was a part of the Decapolis, in the province of Syria, where it had autonomy.
It was was there, about a century later, that the Pharisee henchman Saul was headed with orders to persecute believers. Stopped by Jesus Himself in a blaze from heaven that blinded him, Saul was helped into Damascus to wait three days before a believer named Ananais to whom had been given instructions on how to follow Jesus rather than fight against Him and His cause.
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Damascus is the capitol Syria, north of Israel. Today, Damascus is the largest city of Syria, with an estimated population of more than 4 million people. The great evangelist, Paul, converted to Christianity when traveling on a road to Damascus.
Damascus is mentioned in old Egyptian documents as a caravan center in southern Syria. During the Old Testament period, its geographical position made it very prosperous from the trade routes.
King David, during his war against the Arameans, captured the city. Later, it was conquered by Rezon, who cast off Israelite sovereignty during Solomon's reign, and made it the capitol of the Aram-Damascus kingdom. It remained the capitol until it was destroyed by the Assyrians in 732 BC. After the Assyrians, Damascus was taken over by the Chaldeans, then the Persians, then the Greeks.
In 64 BC it was captured by the Roman general, Pompey. In the New testament era there was a large Jewish community living in Damascus, as well as a Christian community.
Saul (later known as Paul) was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians when he was blinded by a light from the presence of Jesus. He spent three days in Damascus, blind, until Jesus sent a disciple named Ananias to Saul.
Through Ananias, Jesus restored Saul's sight, and baptized him. Damascus was the city in which Paul began his work as a great evangelist, teaching people in Asia, Africa and Europe about Jesus. -->