The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.
This “burden” foretells the leveling of Damascus, the chief city-state of Syria, and of its satellite cities. Because of its alliance with Syria, Ephraim, which is identified as Israel, will share a similar downfall. Ephraim will be stripped of its defenses, Damascus of its kingdom, and the surviving Syrians of their glory.