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(Heb. Damme'sek, דִּמֶּשֶׂק [sometimes Darme'sek, דִּרְמְשֶׂק, by resolution of the Dagesh, 1 Chronicles 18:5-6; once Dumme'sek, דּוּמֶּשֶׂק, probably by erroneous transcription for the last, 2 Kings 16:10], signifying activity [Gesenius, Thes. p. 345 sq.], from its commerce; Arab, Dtimeshk; Gr. Δαμασκός ), one of the most ancient, and at all times one of the most important of Oriental cities. It is called by the natives Es-Sham, and is capital of an important pashalic of this latter name, and indeed is the chief or capital city of Syria. It was sometimes spoken of by the ancients as an Arabian city, but in reality it belongs to Syria (Coele-Syria, Strabo 16:756; Ptolemy, v. 15, 22). In 2 Samuel 8:5-6, "the Syrians of Damascus" are spoken of, and the words "Syria of Damascus" are found in Isaiah 7:8. It is expressly said, "the head of Syria is Damascus;" also, Isaiah 17:3, "the kingdom" is to cease "from Damascus;" so that this' place was obviously the metropolis of a Syrian empire. It gave name (Syria Damascena, Plin. Hist. Natural. v. 13) to a district of Syria, which, in 1 Chronicles 19:6, is distinguished as "Syria-Maachah" in the A.V:. The city is even mentioned in the cuneiform inscriptions (q.v.). There has never been any doubt of its identity.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Damascus'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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