- Damascus used 60 times.
- Syriadamascus used once.
- First Reference: Genesis 14:15
- Last Reference: Galatians 1:17
- Included in Eastons: Yes
- Included in Hitchcocks: Yes
- Included in Naves: Yes
- Included in Smiths: Yes
- Included in Websters: No
- Included in Strongs: Yes
- Included in Thayers: Yes
- Included in BDB: Yes
Activity, the most ancient of Oriental cities; the capital of Syria (Isaiah 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 (Genesis 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 Samuel 8:5; 1 Chronicles 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. Isaiah 7:8). In this, prophecy was fulfilled (Isaiah 17:1; Amos 1:4; Jeremiah 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 (Galatians 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.
a sack full of blood; the similitude of burning
An ancient city
Genesis 14:15; Genesis 15:2
Capital of Syria
1 Kings 20:34; Isaiah 7:8; Jeremiah 49:23-29; Ezekiel 47:16-17
Laid under tribute to David
2 Samuel 8:5-6
Besieged by Rezon
1 Kings 11:23-24
Recovered by Jeroboam
2 Kings 14:28
Taken by king of Assyria
2 Kings 16:9
Jeremiah 49:27; 2 Corinthians 11:33
2 Corinthians 11:32
Paul's experiences in
Amos 44:9; Acts 22:5-16; Acts 26:12-20; 2 Corinthians 11:32; Galatians 1:17
Isaiah 8:4; Isaiah 17:1-2; Jeremiah 49:23-29; Amos 1:3; Amos 1:5; Zech 9:1
1 Kings 19:15
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, (Genesis 14:15) whose steward was a native of the place. (Genesis 15:2) At one time david became complete master of the whole territory, which he garrisoned with isr'lites. (2 Samuel 8:5,6) It was in league with Baasha, king of Isr'l against Asa, (1 Kings 15:19; 2 Chronicles 16:3) and afterwards in league with Asa against Baasha. (1 Kings 15:20) Under Ahaz it was taken by Tiglath-pileser, (2 Kings 16:7,8,9) the kingdom of Damascus brought to an end, and the city itself destroyed, the inhabitants being carried captive into Assyria. (2 Kings 16:9) comp. Isaiah 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. (Acts 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. (Acts 9:11) The house of Judas and that of Ananias are shown, but little confidence can be placed in any of these traditions.