The violence in Syria and the potential for a U.S.-initiated attack have some people drawing connections to passages in the pages of the Old Testament that reference the destruction of Damascus and a civil war in Egypt.
Cryptic prophecies predicting a biblical end-times scenario have been showing up on websites for the past few weeks.
"Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city, and will become a fallen ruin," reads Isaiah 17, a passage that some believe relates to what is happening in Syria right now. A linked passage in Isaiah 19 deals with civil war in Egypt and the rise of a "fierce king."
"The prophecies are not new to our group because we do [Bible] studies every Friday night," said Pastor Gary Cristofaro. "We have looked at that prophecy, but one of the things I try not to do is make a big assumption. That can be dangerous."
"We try to find balance by immersing ourselves in prophecy rather than being affected by it. The situation in Syria as it relates to scripture could be something that we're witnessing, but we should be cautious. What prophecy really is about is the faithfulness of God's word.''
Tom Lombardo, an expert on end-time beliefs, believes the Syrian prophecy is simply a way that some Christians are using ancient biblical writings to make sense of the world, USA Today reported.
"Interpreting events doesn't lead to an understanding of what's going on," said Lombardo. "I believe it actually clouds the understanding. You have some prophecy teachers that argue that the tribulation has begun now. So every time something happens, it has to fit into the narrative."
Dr. Robert Mulholland, a retired professor of New Testament of Asbury Theological Seminary, doesn't see a connection between what's happening in Syria and predictions about the end of the world.
"In this case, Isaiah was predicting the demise of Damascus at the hands of Assyria in the eighth century," said Mulholland. "If one wanted to try to make the case for Isaiah 17 predicting the end times, then Iran (the present day successor to Assyria) would be responsible for Damascus' demise and not its primary ally."