Q. After studying the prophecy about the destruction of Damascus and the opinions of prophecy scholars, I am becoming more convinced that it was already fulfilled when Damascus was destroyed by the Assyrians in 732 BC. If this was indeed the case and I think history confirms it, and the fact that Damascus is a city at the present time, could scripture be referring to a temporary desolation like it happened to many nations when they were destroyed by invading armies?
A. Although the Assyrians conquered the kingdom of Aram-Damascus in 732 BC the city of Damascus was not destroyed. With a history over 4,000 years long, Damascus is known as the oldest continuously inhabited city in history. Isaiah 17:1 tells us that one day Damascus will no longer be a city, but will become a heap of ruins. This has never happened.
I’ve read comments by people who don’t take the Bible literally, saying that Isaiah 17 was fulfilled in 732 BC, but there are several problems with their view. In addition to the city not being destroyed, there’s no evidence that either the people of Damascus or the Israelites looked to God afterward, as verse 7 requires, and it was not the people of Damascus who were dispersed because of the Israelites as verse 9 indicates, but the Israelites themselves who were dispersed.