Trump Golan announcement and possible results  

Barry Setterfield, March 30, 2019


On the 25th March, 2019, President Trump signed a decree that accepted Israel’s claim to the Golan heights, which they had won from Syria when the Arabs attacked in June 1967. This decree went against United Nations resolutions and was declared illegal. A day later, Syria, Iran, Turkey and Russia all declared that the Golan and its oil & gas reserves belonged to Syria. They affirmed that they would assist Syria in getting that land back from Israel either through the UN or military action or both. There are a number of verses in the Bible that deal with these events. Let us consider some of them.

The declared intention of Syria and its allies to try and get the Golan back from Israel by military means, if need be, links in directly with Isaiah 17:1-11 with its prophecy of the total wipe-out of the Syrian threat to Israel. As a result of this wipe-out, northern Israel (Ephraim) will not have to be fortified any more because “the kingdom has ceased from Damascus” (Isaiah 17:3a) and the victory against Syria will be like the crowning glory for the Israelis (Isaiah 17:3b). In the process, Damascus becomes a ruinous heap never to be inhabited again (Isaiah 17:1,2). Good news for Israel? Perhaps! Israel wins, but it is at great cost: Israel’s strength is severely depleted (verse 4). The Israeli defense forces come back in 3’s, 4’s and 5’s (verse 6). It is a harvest of “grief and desperate sorrow” (verse 11). Israel will win, but at a high cost.

While Israel is thus at her weakest moment, her remaining enemies see the chance to attack in a ‘Part 2’, or subsequent battle that follows in Isaiah 17:12-14. These nations rush upon Israel like the rushing of many waters (verses 12 -13).  Israel is powerless to stop them.  Instead, there is a miraculous intervention of God in this subsequent battle noted in Isaiah 17:13 & 14. These verses seem to summarize the events of Ezekiel 38 with Russia and Iran, who are specifically mentioned in Ezekiel 38:2-6, and who currently support Syria. Isaiah 17:14 seems to indicate that this Part 2 or second battle, headed up by Russia and Iran, is over very quickly, probably within 12 hours or so: “Behold, at eventide there is trouble! But before the morning they are no more. This is the portion of those who plunder us.” The details of how God miraculously accomplishes that are in Ezekiel 38:19-22.  The whole world will know that God fought for Israel (Ezekiel 38:23). There is a world-wide backlash to all this: all Jews will either be expelled or go to Israel willingly (Jeremiah 16:16).

Let us focus on the first battle with the wipe-out of Damascus and Syria. It is important to note that it is not only Isaiah who mentions this, as It is prophesied elsewhere in the Bible. For example, in Amos 1:3-5, God says He will judge Syria for ‘three transgressions and for a fourth”. The three transgressions are the significant times Syria came against Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973. It is when Syria comes for a 4th time that God empowers Israel to wipe out the Syrian threat.

Another significant passage on the Damascus wipe-out occurs in Zechariah 9-11. It starts by saying “The word of the Lord is against the land of Syria and Damascus is the goal thereof…It is also against Hamath (northern Syria) and the surrounding areas” (Zechariah 9:1-2a). This passage is important because of further information. It states in this same context in verse 2b that Tyre and Sidon in Lebanon will be severely affected as well. This indicates that Lebanon, or at least southern Lebanon, will be involved with Syria in the attack against Israel. This is the prime location of the Iranian supported Hezbollah militia who have 150,000 rockets trained to hit key Israeli targets if war begins. Verses with additional information on Lebanon and this war can be found In Zechariah 10:9-10; 11:1-3, Obadiah 20 & Joel 3:4, 7-8.  From these verses, it seems that Lebanon is affected and that Israel conquers, and settles in, Sth. Lebanon up to Sarepta.

There is further information in Zechariah 9:5 & 6 which indicates that the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip in southern Israel will be involved and eliminated. It states that the Palestinians there will be “sorrowful” and some areas will be “uninhabited” and that “the king (Hamas leader) will perish from Gaza” (verse 5), while “a mixed group (probably Jews and Arabs) will settle in Ashdod” (verse 6).  The conclusion is that, in the first battle (Isaiah 17:1-11), Israel will have to fight on three fronts; Syria, Lebanon and Gaza & she gains land in all of them. All threats from these areas are thus removed and Israel can dwell in total security until the Russian and Iranian invasion of Isaiah 17:12-14 & Ezekiel 38.

One final aspect of the first battle of Isaiah 17 must be noted. In Zechariah 9, with Damascus as its focus, verses 13 & 14 state that Greece will help Israel in that battle. The text should read “I will raise up your sons O Zion WITH (not against) your sons O Greece, … and the Lord will appear over them and the Lord God will blow the trumpet.” A similar verse appears in the LXX for Zephaniah 2:9-11. The New Testament records the only time the Trumpet of God is blown, not angelic trumpets (Revelation), or manmade trumpets (Jewish Feasts), and that is for the Rapture - 1 Thessalonians 4:16.