[Ezekiel 47:1] AFTERWARD HE BROUGHT ME AGAIN UNTO THE
DOOR OF THE HOUSE; AND, BEHOLD, WATERS ISSUED OUT FROM UNDER THE THRESHOLD
OF THE HOUSE EASTWARD: FOR THE FOREFRONT OF THE HOUSE STOOD TOWARD THE EAST,
WATERS CAME DOWN FROM UNDER FROM THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOUSE, AT THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE ALTAR.
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem has underneath it numerous tunnels, great
cavities, and also underground streams of water whose source is not clear.
There are a lot of things we do not know of this nature. The Sinai Desert,
for instance, according to an analysis of satellite photographs may possess
a vast underground sea of possibly fresh water.
[Ezekiel 47:2] THEN BROUGHT HE ME OUT OF THE WAY
OF THE GATE NORTHWARD, AND LED ME ABOUT THE WAY WITHOUT UNTO THE UTTER GATE
BY THE WAY THAT LOOKETH EASTWARD; AND, BEHOLD, THERE RAN OUT WATERS ON THE
[Ezekiel 47:3] AND WHEN THE MAN THAT HAD THE LINE IN HIS HAND WENT FORTH
EASTWARD, HE MEASURED A THOUSAND CUBITS, AND HE BROUGHT ME THROUGH THE WATERS;
THE WATERS WERE TO THE ANKLES.
[Ezekiel 47:4] AGAIN HE MEASURED A THOUSAND, AND BROUGHT ME THROUGH
THE WATERS; THE WATERS WERE TO THE KNEES. AGAIN HE MEASURED A
THOUSAND, AND BROUGHT ME THROUGH; THE WATERS WERE TO THE LOINS.
The further away they went from the source of the waters, the deeper they became.
[Ezekiel 47:5] AFTERWARD HE MEASURED A THOUSAND; AND
IT WAS A RIVER THAT I COULD NOT PASS OVER: FOR THE WATERS WERE RISEN, WATERS
TO SWIM IN, A RIVER THAT COULD NOT BE PASSED OVER.
[Ezekiel 47:6] AND HE SAID UNTO ME, SON OF MAN, HAST THOU SEEN THIS?
THEN HE BROUGHT ME, AND CAUSED ME TO RETURN TO THE BRINK OF THE RIVER.
[Ezekiel 47:7] NOW WHEN I HAD RETURNED, BEHOLD, AT THE BANK OF THE RIVER
WERE VERY MANY TREES ON THE ONE SIDE AND ON THE OTHER.
[Ezekiel 47:8] THEN SAID HE UNTO ME, THESE WATERS ISSUE OUT TOWARD THE
EAST COUNTRY, AND GO DOWN INTO THE DESERT, AND GO INTO THE SEA: WHICH
BEING BROUGHT FORTH INTO THE SEA, THE WATERS SHALL BE HEALED.
The Dead Sea is now so salty that you can float in it without sinking. It will be sweetened and become a source of fresh water.
[Ezekiel 47:9] AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT EVERY
THING THAT LIVETH, WHICH MOVETH, WHITHERSOEVER THE RIVERS SHALL COME,
SHALL LIVE: AND THERE SHALL BE A VERY GREAT MULTITUDE OF FISH, BECAUSE THESE
WATERS SHALL COME THITHER: FOR THEY SHALL BE HEALED; AND EVERY THING SHALL
LIVE WHITHER THE RIVER COMETH.
There will be a plentitude of fish in the waters.
[Ezekiel 47:10] AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT THE
FISHERS SHALL STAND UPON IT FROM ENGEDI EVEN UNTO ENEGLAIM; THEY SHALL BE
A PLACE TO SPREAD FORTH NETS; THEIR FISH SHALL BE ACCORDING TO THEIR
KINDS, AS THE FISH OF THE GREAT SEA, EXCEEDING MANY.
[Ezekiel 47:11] BUT THE MIRY PLACES THEREOF AND THE MARISHES THEREOF SHALL NOT BE HEALED; THEY SHALL BE GIVEN TO SALT.
[Ezekiel 47:12] AND BY THE RIVER UPON THE BANK THEREOF, ON THIS SIDE
AND ON THAT SIDE, SHALL GROW ALL TREES FOR MEAT, WHOSE LEAF SHALL NOT FADE,
NEITHER SHALL THE FRUIT THEREOF BE CONSUMED: IT SHALL BRING FORTH NEW
FRUIT ACCORDING TO HIS MONTHS, BECAUSE THEIR WATERS THEY ISSUED OUT
OF THE SANCTUARY: AND THE FRUIT THEREOF SHALL BE FOR MEAT, AND THE LEAF THEREOF
<<MEAT>>: Hebrew, ma-acol, = food.
[Ezekiel 47:13] THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD; THIS SHALL
BE THE BORDER, WHEREBY YE SHALL INHERIT THE LAND ACCORDING TO THE TWELVE
TRIBES OF ISRAEL: JOSEPH SHALL HAVE TWO PORTIONS.
[Ezekiel 47:14] AND YE SHALL INHERIT IT, ONE AS WELL AS ANOTHER: CONCERNING
THE WHICH I LIFTED UP MINE HAND TO GIVE IT UNTO YOUR FATHERS: AND THIS LAND
SHALL FALL UNTO YOU FOR INHERITANCE.
[Ezekiel 47:15] AND THIS SHALL BE THE BORDER OF THE LAND TOWARD THE
NORTH SIDE, FROM THE GREAT SEA, THE WAY OF HETHLON, AS MEN GO TO ZEDAD;
[Ezekiel 47:16] HAMATH, BEROTHAH, SIBRAIM, WHICH IS BETWEEN THE BORDER OF
DAMASCUS AND THE BORDER OF HAMATH; HAZAR HATTICON, WHICH IS BY THE COAST OF HAURAN.
[Ezekiel 47:17] AND THE BORDER FROM THE SEA SHALL BE HAZARENAN, THE
BORDER OF DAMASCUS, AND THE NORTH NORTHWARD, AND THE BORDER OF HAMATH. AND
THIS IS THE NORTH SIDE.
In the notes below we have identified Damascusin Biblical terms with the
region of Cilicia in southeast Turkey and to the east of Cilicia. Another
alternative (not entirely contradictory) would place Damascusin Biblical
terms in the Habor (Khabur) River region in eastern Syria.
I just came across an entry (Near Eastern Archaeology in the Twentieth
Century, edited by James A. Sanders, 1970, article by Abraham Malamat, p.
173, note 2) that claims that in ancient times there were two places
identified with Damascus (Apum) one where the present city of Damascus is
and the other in the Habor region. He quotes ancient texts and academic
sources that I have not yet checked.
ISRAELITE DAMASCUS IN THE NORTH
Adapted from Lost Israelite Identity by Yair David(i)y:
The northern borders of Israelite occupation reached into the present day
region of Armenia. The River Euphrates along all its course appears to have
served as the boundary. The area of Biblical Damascus was not present-day
"Damascus" but rather another place situated on the Euphrates and as a
city-site is identical with Meskine or Thapsacus in northern Syria.
Damascus was also the name of the surrounding district that seems to have
encompassed Cilicia and the rivers Ceyhan and Pyramus in modern southeast
Turkey. The Tribes of Dan and Judah were to restablish outlying provinces
of their own within this "Damascus" region. The northern area of Dan (the
Dananu) was known in Assyrian Inscriptions as Smaland that of Judah as
"Yadi" (i.e. "Judah" in Assyrian). Jeroboam-ii (785-758 b.c.e), King of
northern Israel "returned Damascus and Hamath to Judah in Israel" (2-Kings
14;28): referring to the Israelites and Judaeans temporarily regaining
control over their northern territories.
DAMASCUS was far to the north near (or in Cilicia) and not
Damascus of today. The Yadi (of Judah) ruled over the Mushkabim who
(according to a bi-lingual Phoenician-Hittite inscription) are apparently
identical with the Moshki or people of Mopsus who were also subjects of the
Dananu king from the Tribe of Dan in the north. The names Mushkabim and
Moshki support the notion that Smal and Yadi are identical with the
Biblical Da-Meshek i.e. Damascus:- "Damascus [i.e. Da-Meshek] and Hamath to
Judah in Israel" (2 Kings 14;28). Both the Danites and Yadi of Judah ruled
over the same subject Moshki people who later were known as Muski and are
identified with the Phrygians. There were periods when both the Dananu and
Yadi were ruled by the same monarch. At some stage they separated, Kalamu a
king of Yadi backed the subject Mushkabim (i.e. Moshki) against the Baririm
or nobility of his own people and also enlisted Assyrian help against the
Dananu. The ultimate result was that both kingdoms were destroyed and the
Yadi and Dananu exiled. Centuries later the Jutes (from "Yadi"?) were to
settle in Denmark and a Danish tradition traced the Jutes to Judah and the
Danes to Dan. Dan and Judah were often linked throughout their histories as
explained in The Tribes.
In the Book of Ezekiel (48;1) it says concerning the future apportionment
of the Promised Land amongst the Israelite Tribes,
"From the north end to the coast ...as one goes to
Hamath...the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath..a
portion for Dan".
This verse according to Commentaries indicates that Dan is destined to
receive a portion stretching beyond Hamath (Antiochea on the Orontes) and
into the region northward of it. This Millenial Promise seems to have had
an historical precedent.
ISRAELITE BORDERS IN THE FAR NORTH: DAMASCUS, DAN, AND NORTHERN JUDAH
The region of Cilicia in the southeast of present day Turkey
extending to Thapsacus on the Euphrates River in Biblical times was known
as "Damascus" or as Damascus of "Judah in Israel". It was to be ruled by
enclaves of settlers from the Israelite Tribes of Judah and Dan.
Proofs that this region was Israelite consist of the following:
David put garrisons in Syria-Damascus and established his dominion by the
"And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he
went to establish his dominion by the river Euphrates.
".....Then David put garrisons in Aram Damascus
[SyriaDamascus]." (1-Chronicles 18;3,6).
cf. "And Solomon went to HamathZobah and prevailed against it.
"And he built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the store
cities, which he built in Hamath" (2-Chronicles 8;3-4).
"Damascus" in Biblical terms did not usually refer to the Damascus of today
but rather (when speaking of a city) to Meskine (Thapsacus) in north Syria
on the Euphrates River and (when speaking of a country) including all the
area to the north, east, and west.
Note that Hamath in the Bible mostly means a country (and not just one
city as sometimes supposed) and in the above verse it has (several) store
cities built in it.
King Solomon established an economic base in the province of Cilicia
though this fact has been often overlooked due to a misunderstanding in the
King James Translation.
The KJ says,
"And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn
[Hebrew: "qu"]: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price".
"And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred
shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all
the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them
out by their means.." (1Kings 10;2829).
The word ("KU") translated in the KJ as linen yarnactually
was the name of a place transliterated as "Qu", "Coa", or as Qeve. This
place was Cilicia in southeast Turkey.
"The kings of Aram" may be referring to north Syria though there were
also Tribes of Aramaeans concentrated in north Mesopotamia and others
scattered in the south.
It may be concluded that Solomon had a base in Cilicia (i.e. in Ku), a
monopoly on the horsetrade with "Mitsrayim" which could also refer to
northern regions, and tradingleverage throughout the Middle East and north
Kue was eventually controlled by the Dananu rulers of Smal. "SMAL" in
Hebrew means "left" (as opposed to right) and the left side was considered
the Northern one.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS reveal connections between the various parts of
the Israelite Kingdom. Buildings in Smal, in the neighbouring Thapsacus
(Northern Damascus region), and Hama of Hamath are similar in style to
those later or contemporaneously associated with the reigns of Kings David
and Solomon in Israel. Inscriptions show that some kings of Hamath had
Jeroboam2 (785758 b.c.e), "returned Damascus and Hamath to Judah in
Israel" (2Kings 14;28). "To return" implies that the receiver had
previous and rightful possession. "Damascus and Hamath" mean here the
regions between Antiochea (i.e. Hamath) on the north Syrian coast and
Meskine on the Euphrates. This was the southern region of Luash (Liash ) of
Smal and Yadi. "Yadi" in Assyrian is synonymous with Judah. Yadi was also
known as "Yaudi", and "Yauti" and "Yati" which were all dialectical forms
in Assyrian and Caucasian areas for Judah. Jeroboam2 King of Northern
"returned Damascus and Hamath to Judah in Israel".
Perhaps the meaning is that he returned those regions to Yadi which was
just to the north of them, Yadi being "Judah in Israel"? i.e. that entity
of Judah which was within the boundary of the northern kingdom of Israel as
distinct from the independent southern kingdom of Judah in the south?
Jeroboam-2 (the son of Amon) was contemporary (2-Kings 15;1-2)
with Azariah (also called Uziah 2-Chronicles 26;1) king of Judah. The
northern Yadi had become dominated by a dynasty that favored the subject
Mushkabim people over the Israelite aristocracy and it was this situation
that Jeroboam-ii and Azariah came to rectify. After Jeroboam's demise (in
758 b.c.e.), King Azariah of Judah led a coalition of 19 mainly northern
states against Assyria. Hamath, Damascus, Tyre, Kummukh, Gebal, Melid,
Carcamish, etc., were all in the coalition of Azariah. Azariah is termed
"Azariah of Yadi" by the Assyrians. "Yadi" is the Assyrian term for JUDAH.
"YADI" (in this case) meant either Judah in the south (over which Azariah
ruled) or Yadi in the north (over which Azariah may have had suzerainity)
or both. The allies were defeated by Tiglathpileser-iii in ca.738 b.c.e.
All the kings EXCEPT AZARIAH submitted to Assyria. The northern kingdoms of
Smal and Yadi were destroyed. One inscription records exiles from Yadi
being taken to Ullubu in the former land of Urartu. The territory of Ullubu
was approximately that of the Urartian Provinces of Nairi and Shupria, i.e.
of Mutsri" being the northern Egypt, in modern Armenia.
The Pyramus (Parpar) River in Cilicia of southeast Turkey is
now called the Ceyhan River. It is just to the west (see Map) of the AMANUS
Mountain Range. The Abana and Parpar were the two rivers of Damascus. The
Parpar has just been identified as the Pyramus, leaving the Abana to still
be located. In the Hebrew Bible (Masoretic Text) it will be noticed
(2-Kings 5;12) that the word ABANA (Abana River) has none of the usual
vowel points and besides it in the margin is the word "AMANA". There are a
few similar cases of this phenomenon in the Hebrew Bible. The reasons are
not always clear but the practical traditionallyaccepted implication is
that the word in the text must always be pronounced as it is in the margin
even though it is written differently! In other words, the JewishHebrew
traditionalists always pronounced the word transliterated as "Abana" in
2Kings 5;12 as "AMANA"! It stands to reason that the river Amana (i.e.
Abana) of Damascus would have been relatively close to the Parpar which was
the other river of Damascus and also that it was in the vicinity of the
similarlynamed AMANUS Mountain Range which is also called Amana in the
Song of Solomon (4;8) I would suggest that the river concerned was the
Orontes or the northeast tributary of the Orontes which is to the east of
the Amanus Mountains. This solution places the Abana (Amana Orontes) to the
southeast of the Amanus Mountains and the Parpar (Pyramus) to the west.
This was approximately the region of YADI which fits the description
"returned Damascus and Hamath to Judah in Israel" (2Kings 14;28). The city
of Damascus will be demonstrated as having been that of Thapsacus (or
Miskine) on the Euphrates. A solution which has the ancient Land of
AramDamascus stretch from Thapsacus to the northwest of neighbouring
Arpad, and encompass the strategic Amanus Mountains solves most of the
Geographical requirements posited for the location of Damascus in Scripture.
The subject (non-Israelite) population of Yadi and Smal of the
Dananu were called "Mushkabim" or "Muski". It had been prophesied that the
Ten Tribes of Israel would be "scattered beyond the river" (1-Kings 14;15)
meaning according to the Aramaic Translation of Yehonathan "Beyond the
Euphrates". Amos the Prophet foresaw the exile of Israel "beyond Damascus"
"For the LORD shall smite Israel as a reed is shaken in the
water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to
their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have
made groves, provoking the LORD to anger.
"And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam,
who did sin, and who made Israel to sin" (1Kings 14;15-15-16).
"Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith
the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts" (Amos 5;27).
By assuming that the Damascus spoken of in Scripture was by
the Euphrates River the above verses are reconciled with each other.
Proof From Ezekiel That Biblical Damascus Was Far To The North.
(Main sources: Eiseman in Artscrolls on Ezekiel, Bar-Deroma).
Ezekiel (47;1718) placed Damascus on the northern or
northeast boundary of Israel which reached at least up to the Euphrates
River (Genesis 15;18). Ezekiel in chapter 47 describes the future
allocation of the Promised Land to the Tribes of Israel. Ezekiel (ch.48)
divides the Land up into 13 portions. Each portion is 150,000 cubits wide:
A cubit equals between 18 to 24 inches depending upon which
opinion is relied upon. This measurement gives a minimum of 42.6 miles per
portion. Between Jerusalem and the northern border there were 7 portions
which gives us 298 miles and brings us to the Euphrates River to the city
of Thapsacus otherwise known as Meskine. Meskine is the Biblical city of
Damascus. Damascus in Hebrew is pronounced as Damashek. Scholars for some
time have been interpreting this name as "DA-MESHEK" and relating it to the
Meshki people who dwelt in the area.
Abraham the patriarch said,
"The steward of my house is Eliezer of Damascus" (Genesis 15;2).
This verse contains a play on words. The words translated as "Steward" in
Hebrew are "benMeshek" which may also be understood to mean "Man of
Meshek", i.e. the verse may alternately be read,
"The man of Meshek [(serving)] in my house is Eliezer of
"Man of Meshek" being naturally a native of Da-Meshek this being Meskine on
the Euphrates adjoining the territories of the Muski (Mushkabim) who later
were ruled by the Judaean Yadi and the Israelite Dananu..
[It should be noted that there exist other opinions concerning the
location of Damascus IN CONTRADICTION TO OUR OWN. One of these views is
that of bar Deroma who places Biblical Damascus in Mesopotamia! This
opinion is placed on several arguments, amongst which are the following:
The Meskenoi (Meshki) were to be found in Mesopotamia as well as around
There was an important canal linking the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. This
canal was called Avena which he interprets as Abana. There was also a
nearby area called Abena.
A Talmudic passage (Erubin 19a) states that a place called Dumaskinin (i.e.
Damascus?) was the most beautiful site in the Mesopotamian region.]
NEVERTHELESS, the identification of Thapsacus-Meskine with Damascus of
Scripture fits all of the Biblical passages. It accords with the
identification of the Parpar River as the Pyramus and of the Abena (Amana)
as the Orontes tributary east of the Amanus mountains. It identifies
Scriptural Damascus with Yadi of Judah and thus clarifies the verse,
"returned Hamath and Damascus to Judah in Israel". It also accords with the
axiom that places the boundary of Israel on the Euphrates River even though
from time to time excursions were made to the east of it, and it
corresponds with the border measurements based on Ezekiel.
[Ezekiel 47:18] AND THE EAST SIDE YE SHALL MEASURE
FROM HAURAN, AND FROM DAMASCUS, AND FROM GILEAD, AND FROM THE LAND OF ISRAEL
BY JORDAN, FROM THE BORDER UNTO THE EAST SEA. AND THIS IS THE EAST SIDE.
[Ezekiel 47:19] AND THE SOUTH SIDE SOUTHWARD, FROM TAMAR EVEN TO THE
WATERS OF STRIFE IN KADESH, THE RIVER TO THE GREAT SEA. AND THIS IS THE SOUTH
[Ezekiel 47:20] THE WEST SIDE ALSO SHALL BE THE GREAT SEA FROM THE BORDER,
TILL A MAN COME OVER AGAINST HAMATH. THIS IS THE WEST SIDE.
[Ezekiel 47:21] SO SHALL YE DIVIDE THIS LAND UNTO YOU ACCORDING TO THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL.
The Land of Israel shall be divided amongst the Tribes of Israel. This land
stretches from the western Nile Tributary eastward to the Persian Gulf. It
includes Kuwait and parts of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In the east it also
cuts into Iraq and goes northward to the Caucasus taking in parts of
eastern Turkey and Island of Cyprus. In the future there will be climatic
changes and a bounty of water enabling the settlement of large Israelite
populations. Whether all the Israelites will resettle in the Land or only
representative (though large) portions from each family (as seems possible) is uncertain.
[Ezekiel 47:22] AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT
YE SHALL DIVIDE IT BY LOT FOR AN INHERITANCE UNTO YOU, AND TO THE STRANGERS
THAT SOJOURN AMONG YOU, WHICH SHALL BEGET CHILDREN AMONG YOU: AND THEY SHALL
BE UNTO YOU AS BORN IN THE COUNTRY AMONG THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL; THEY SHALL
HAVE INHERITANCE WITH YOU AMONG THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL.
Non-Israelites who have settled amongst us, identified with us and shared
our trials and tribulations alongside us will be considered as the same as
us. They will be part of whatsoever Tribe of Israel they have dwelt amongst.
[Ezekiel 47:23] AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT
IN WHAT TRIBE THE STRANGER SOJOURNETH, THERE SHALL YE GIVE HIM HIS
INHERITANCE, SAITH THE LORD GOD.