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Damascus, built in the land settled by Aram (a son of Shem), is the capitol Syria, north of Israel. Tradition has it that the founder was Uz, the son of Aram. Today, Damascus is the largest city of Syria, with an estimated population of more than 4 million people.

History

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.

In the New testament era there was a large Jewish community living in Damascus, as well as a Christian community.

Abraham

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.[1] If the tradition is true, Abraham's contemporary Job (perhaps the same as Peleg's nephew, Jobab), who was from the "land of Uz,"[2] 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.[3] 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.[4]

David and Solomon

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.[5]

In the days of Solomon, though, the Syrians revolted, re-establishing control over Damascus, helping to establish the Aram-Damascus kingdom.[6] The city and the region would be destroyed by the Assyrians in 732 BC as they expanded all the way to the walls of Jerusalem. After the Assyrians, Damascus was taken over by the Chaldeans, then the Persians, then the Greeks. This city indeed had 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.

Saul

It was was there, about a century later, that the Pharisee henchman Saul (later called Paul) 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.[7] Damascus was the city in which Paul began his work as a great evangelist, teaching people in Asia, Africa and Europe about Jesus.

Verses

  1. Gen. 14:15
  2. Job 1:1
  3. Gen. 15:2
  4. Gen. 24:2
  5. 2 Samuel 8:5-6
  6. 1 Kings 11:23
  7. Acts 9:2-19

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