Turkish troops are amassed near Hamah and Tell Rifaat
We are on the cusp of Jeremiah 49:23
By Craig C. White
This week we are at the very edge of unfolding Bible prophecy. Jeremiah tells us that Hamah and Arpad in northwestern Syria will be attacked and then Damascus will be destroyed. The city of Arpad is called Tell Rifaat today.
Jeremiah 49:23 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.
We are so close to these events that this week Turkish President Erdogan announced that Tell Rifaat is the next city that the Turkish Army plans to attack. There have also been rumors that the Turkish Army has already conquered Tell Rifaat, and further denials by the Turkish government saying that they had not yet entered the city. We have also heard that Syrian supported Iranian militia have left Tell Rifaat in front of the pending Turkish attack. Now we are hearing that Syrian forces have entered Tell Rifaat. So apparently Turkey has not yet begun their assault on Tell Rifaat.
We are hearing evil reports about Tell Rifaat but let’s not forget about Hamah. The Syrian Army controls Hamah. The Syrian Army in the Hamah province is fighting against the Al-Qaeda rebel forces in the adjacent Idlib province. This week the Turkish Army has continued to bring troops into Idlib. Also this week more Al-Qaeda rebel forces have been bused into Idlib from the Ghouta neighborhood of northeastern Damascus. The Al-Qaeda rebels in Ghouta were the last outpost of rebel activity near Damascus. Lately the Al-Qaeda rebels in Ghouta have been shelling downtown Damascus. The Syrian Army finally drove them out this week.
The final analysis is that Turkish and Al-Qaeda troops are amassed near Hamah and Tell Rifaat.
Expect to hear reports about a Turkish led assault on Syrian forces in Hamah in conjunction with reports about the Turkish attack on Tell Rifaat. Turkish and Al-Qaeda forces have been amassing in the Idlib province near Hamah.
In Bible history Hamah and Tell Rifaat were regional and religious capitals of ancient Syria. These towns worshiped separate false deities. Today these two towns are controlled by different people. Hamah is controlled by the Syrian government and Tell Rifaat is controlled by the Kurds. In the Bible Hamah and Tell Rifaat represent northwestern Syria as a whole. In the following verses the ancient Assyrians are recounting their victories over Hamah and Tell Rifaat in 734 BC: 2Kgs 18:34; Isa 36:19, 2Kgs 19:13; Isa 37:13.
2Kings 18:34 Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand?
In the previous verse the Assyrians are intimidating the Jews in southern Israel by reminding them that the Gods of northwestern Syria could not deliver Hamah and Arpad out of the hands of the Assyrian Army. Neither could the God of northern Israel deliver them. Assyria conquered Syria and invaded northern Israel in 734 BC.
If you are smart then by now you should be asking yourself, “Couldn’t Jeremiah 49:23 pertain to the Assyrian conquest of Syria and of northern Israel in 734 BC?”. Wow that is a very astute question. Yes Jeremiah could pertain to 734 BC but it doesn’t because Jeremiah gave his prophecy one hundred years after the Assyrians conquered Syria and northern Israel. So Jeremiah’s prophecy applies to a future event. We should realize however that the 734 BC Assyrian conquest of Syria and of northern Israel is a model for what is just about to happen in Syria today! Turkey will attack Hamah and Tell Rifaat in northwestern Syria and then destroy Damascus. After that Turkey will invade northern Israel!