May 18, 2022

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In an excavation of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in Jerusalem’s City of David National Park, archaeological evidence has been uncovered of the earthquake that occurred during the Kingdom of Judah.

The quake is mentioned in the Bible as a significant event used to mark a period of time, as was done in Amos:

The words of Amos, a sheepbreeder from Tekoa, who prophesied concerning Yisrael in the reigns of Kings Uzziyahu of Yehuda and Yerovam son of Yoash of Yisrael, two years before the earthquake. Amos 1:1

Evidence of earthquake 2,800 years ago found in City of David

The earthquake occurred in Israel about 2800 years ago and is  described by the prophet Amos in the Bible. Evidence of the earthquake was previously exposed in several sites throughout Israel, but researchers believe that for the first time they were able to identify remnants of destruction indicating that the earthquake also hit Jerusalem at the time that it was the capital of Judah in the First Temple Era. 

Archaeological excavations by the IAA in the City of David revealed a layer of destruction, including a row of shattered vessels, including bowls, lamps, cooking utensils, storage and storage jars, which were smashed as the building’s walls collapsed.  According to the researchers, since no signs of fire were found, this was not a deliberate event and the reason for the collapse of the building is the earthquake that occurred in Israel during the eighth century BCE, during the period of the Kingdom of Judah.


According to Dr. Joe Uziel and Ortal Chalaf, excavation directors on behalf of the IAA: “When we excavated the structure and uncovered an 8th century BCE layer of destruction, we were very surprised, because we know that Jerusalem continued to exist in succession until the Babylonian destruction, which occurred about 200 years later. We asked ourselves what could have caused that dramatic layer of destruction we uncovered. Examining the excavation findings, we tried to check if there is a reference to it in the biblical text. Interestingly, the earthquake that appears in the Bible in the books of Amos and Zechariah, occurred at the time when the building we excavated in the City of David collapsed. The combination of the finds in the field together with the biblical description, led us to the conclusion that the earthquake that struck the Land of Israel during the reign of Uzziah king of Judah, also hit the capital of the kingdom – Jerusalem. “

Divine wrath

Earthquakes in the Bible also used as an example of divine wrath.

And the Valley in the Hills shall be stopped up, for the Valley of the Hills shall reach only to Azal; it shall be stopped up as it was stopped up as a result of the earthquake in the days of King Uzziyahu of Yehuda.—And Hashem my God, with all the holy beings, will come to you. Zechariah 14:5

According to the researchers: “The earthquake that occurred in the middle of the 8th century BCE was probably one of the strongest and most damaging earthquakes in ancient times, and evidence of its occurrence has been discovered in the past in excavations conducted at a variety of sites throughout Israel, such as Hazor, Gezer, Tel Agol, and Tell es-Safi/Gath. 

Earthquake debris have been discovered at six sites (Hazor, Deir ‘Alla, Gezer, Lachish, Tell Judeideh, and ‘En Haseva”). The deris  is tightly confined stratigraphically to the middle of the 8th century BCE.  the latest excavations we conducted in the City of David indicate that the earthquake probably hit Jerusalem as well.

Earthquakes and prophecy in the Bible

It should be noted that this threat of an earthquake was still strong in the public mind 230 years after the earthquake in the days of Amos.

After the gigantic earthquake, no Hebrew prophet could predict a divine visitation in judgment without alluding to an earthquake. Just a few years after the earthquake, Isaiah described an end-of-days seismic event.

And they shall enter the clefts in the rocks And the crevices in the cliffs, Before the terror of Hashem And His dread majesty, When He comes forth to overawe the earth. Isaiah 2:21

A seismic event in Jerusalem is prophesied to be an essential part of the Messianic process that will result in the Third Temple.

The doorposts would shake at the sound of the one who called, and the House kept filling with smoke. Isaiah 6:4

The new archeological finds will be shown to the public at the “City of David Research” conference – the annual archaeological conference of the Megalim Institute which will be held at the beginning of next month.