Isaiah 17 – “Doom for Damascus”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Damascus will be destroyed, its population will dwindle, and its people will turn to God.

II. Photo
Destruction awaits the Arameans: “The towns of Aroer shall be deserted; They shall be a place for flocks to lie down, with none disturbing.” (v. 2)

III. Important Verses
1: The “Damascus” Pronouncement. Behold, Damascus shall cease to be a city; It shall become a heap of ruins.
4-6: In that day, The mass of Jacob shall dwindle, And the fatness of his body become lean: After being like the standing grain Harvested by the reaper — Who reaps ears by the armful — He shall be like the ears that are gleaned In the Valley of Rephaim. Only gleanings shall be left of him, As when one beats an olive tree: Two berries or three on the topmost branch, Four or five on the boughs of the crown — declares the LORD, the God of Israel.
7-8: In that day, men shall turn to their Maker, their eyes look to the Holy One of Israel; they shall not turn to the altars that their own hands made, or look to the sacred posts and incense stands that their own fingers wrought.
10-11: Truly, you have forgotten the God who saves you And have not remembered the Rock who shelters you; That is why, though you plant a delightful sapling, What you sow proves a disappointing slip. On the day that you plant, you see it grow; On the morning you sow, you see it bud — But the branches wither away On a day of sickness and mortal agony.

IV. Outline
1a. Introduction: the Damascus pronouncement
1b-2. Damascus will be destroyed
3-6. The people will become as sparse as the Israelites
7-8. The people will turn to God
9. The coming destruction
10-11. Accusation: the people have abandoned God
12-14. The chaos of the attack

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. “Isaiah 1-39” The Anchor Bible vol. 19 (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).
Photo taken from