A recent study concluded that a massively destructive earthquake is due to hit Israel any day. The same researcher said that such earthquakes served as prophetic mile markers in the Bible and may even have been responsible for the earthshaking victory of the Children of Israel at Jericho.
Major Earthquake Once Every 130 Years
Researchers from Tel Aviv University published a report in Science Advances journal in which they warn that a potentially devastating earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter Scale is expected to hit Israel in the near future. The study reviewed about 220,000 years of Dead-Sea geology by drilling and studying the seabed concluded that a major earthquake hits the region once every 130-150 years, though shorter intervals are possible.
Israel is in a geologically active region. Israel is seismically active, located along the Syrian-African fault line, which runs along the Israel-Jordan border, part of the Great Rift Valley that runs from eastern Lebanon to Mozambique. The Jordan Rift Valley is the result of tectonic movements within the Dead Sea Transform (DSF) fault system. The DSF forms the transform boundary between the African Plate to the west and the Arabian Plate to the east. The Golan Heights and all of Transjordan are part of the Arabian Plate, while the Galilee, Judean and Samarian highlands (West Bank), Coastal Plain, and Negev along with the Sinai Peninsula are on the African Plate. This tectonic disposition leads to a relatively high seismic activity in the region.
The region has experienced many earthquakes, the most destructive ones being those of 31 BCE, 363 CE, 749 CE, and 1033 CE. The 1759 events, along with the earlier 1202 Syria earthquake and subsequent tsunami with over one million deaths attributed to it, were likely the strongest historical earthquakes in the region.
The last major earthquake to hit Israel was the 6.5 magnitude Jericho earthquake in 1927. The death toll in Jerusalem included more than 130 people and around 450 were injured. About 300 houses collapsed or were severely damaged to the point of not being usable. The earthquake also caused heavy damage to the domes of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the al-Aqsa Mosque. The death toll in Shechem (Nablus) included more than 150 people and around 250 were injured. The Mosque of Victory and the historic parts of the Great Mosque of Nablus were severely damaged.
The recent Tel Aviv University study also showed that 7.5-magnitude tremors hit the Dead Sea every 1,300 to 1,400 years instead of every 10,000 years on average as previously believed.
The Tel Aviv University study concluded that another such earthquake in the region 1,300-1,400 years. It was previously believed that 7.5-magnitude tremors hit the Dead Sea every 10,000 years on average. The last quake of such magnitude to shake the region was in the year 1,033, almost a thousand years ago, meaning another such macroseism is expected to hit the region at any time n the next few centuries.
“I do not wish to sow fear, but we are living in a tectonically active period,” said Prof. Shmuel Marco, the head of the research group.
“The geological record does not lie and a major earthquake in Israel will come. Of course, we have no way of predicting exactly when the earth will shake under our feet – this is a statistical projection… it could happen in ten years or in several decades but it can also happen next week and we must prepare for that.”
Government Estimates: 7,000 Killed 377,000 Homeless
According to the latest earthquake, which is the best indicator we have, about 250 people were killed in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Amman and Jericho,” says Prof. Marco.
“So if we compare it to the number of people inhabiting these cities today, 100 years later, the population has grown by about 2-3 times. This means the number of casualties will be two to three times as much, not to mention the massive damages to infrastructure and property.”
A 2016 report by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s Home-Front Readiness Subcommittee was considerably more pessimistic, concluding that if Israel were to be struck by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, an estimated 7,000 people would be killed, another 8,600 injured and 377,000 left homeless. In addition, the country could face damage of up to NIS 200 billion.
The research was led by the head of the Porter School of Environmental and Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University Prof. Shmuel Marco and his colleagues – Dr. Yin Lu from the Tel Aviv University, Prof. Amotz Agnon from the Institute of Earth Sciences, Dr. Nicolas Waldmann from the University of Haifa, Dr. Nadav Wetsler from the Geological Survey of Israel, and Dr. Glenn Biasi from the American Geological Survey.
Prophecy and Earthquakes
It is interesting to note that after a similar study 13 years ago, Prof. Marco told the J-Post that earthquakes are frequently used as significant timeline mile-markers in the Bible. For example, prophets are often said to have become active a certain number of years “after the earthquake.”
Dr. Marco’s theory is certainly consistent with the Prophets Amos and Zechariah whose periods of prophecy were expressly oriented around a major earthquake.
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
Dr. Marco went so far as to attribute Joshua’s victory at Jericho to divinely directed seismic interference.
“The destruction of the walls of the city and the damming of the river, as described in Joshua 6:1-16, is generally agreed by most archeologists to be the result of an earthquake, possibly on the Jericho Fault,” Dr.Marco wrote.
Earthquake Preceding Gog and Magog War
Though clearly traumatic, Massive earthquakes in Israel are prophesied to accompany the multinational Gog and Magog conflict that will signal the end of times.
On that day, when Gog sets foot on the soil of Yisrael—declares Hashem—My raging anger shall flare up. For I have decreed in My indignation and in My blazing wrath: On that day, a terrible earthquake shall befall the land of Yisrael. The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that move on the ground, and every human being on earth shall quake before Me. Mountains shall be overthrown, cliffs shall topple, and every wall shall crumble to the ground. Ezekiel 38:18-20
A more prophetic approach than that utilized by the seismologists might have given the same results. A lunar eclipse visible in North and South America on January 21 coincided with the holiday of Tu B’shvat.