Two earthquakes shook northern Israel within a few hours, bringing the total of earthquakes in Israel this month up to four. Scientists are issuing dire warnings of imminent doom, but rabbis point to the prophecies as proof that people who have faith, have nothing to fear and even that the Messiah’s arrival is “speeding up.”
Wave of earthquakes
The first earthquake hit at around 9:00 PM on Tuesday night and measured 3.5 on the Richter scale. ts epicenter was located in Jordan, 9 miles northeast of Beit Shean. On Wednesday morning, about ten hours later, a 3.1 earthquake shook the same area.
Teruah (meaning Shofar blast), the new early-warning earthquake system, did not go off because the quakes were determined to be minor and non-life-threatening. The early warning system that was installed in 2019 is composed of 120 sensors running along a 400-kilometer length of the Dead Sea Rift from Eilat to the Golan Heights can issue an earthquake warning of several seconds up to several minutes, depending on the location of the earthquake’s epicenter.
Just two weeks ago, two earthquakes measuring 3.6 and 3.8 hit within 24–hours of each other with epicenters just south of the Kinneret.
According to the Jordanian state news agency Petra, as many as 10 aftershocks were felt in Jordan. However, no damage was reported.
A little over one week ago, the Home Front Command held a large earthquake drill throughout the country.
Dr. Ran Nof, a seismologist at the Geological Survey, warned, “A strong earthquake is expected to occur in our area soon. We know they occur is a cycle of about 100 years.”
On January 11, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake was recorded off the coast of Cyprus. That earthquake was felt in parts of Israel, as well as in other locations across the region. In early February, another quake off the coast of Cyprus was felt in Israel in what the Cypriot geological survey department said was an aftershock.
Israel’s Jordan Valley and Dead Sea are part of the Syrian-African Rift Valley, which stretches from Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley to Mozambique in Southeastern Africa. Large earthquakes usually hit Israel approximately once every 90 years and there is concern that another one is due – considering that the most recent one occurred in 1927. That event saw more than 400 people killed and extensive damage to buildings in Jerusalem and Hebron.
Geological experts have recently warned that approximately one million homes in Israel are at risk of collapse in case of an earthquake. According to estimates, a major earthquake could cause about 7,000 deaths and 145,000 injuries, with 170,000 people left homeless and 320,000 buildings damaged.
Earthquakes in prophecy
It should also be noted that massive earthquakes in Israel are also part of the prophesied end-of-days. These earthquakes will be so severe as to cause geographic changes in the Temple Mount, requiring the construction of an entirely new city. The quakes will cause springs of water to burst forth around Jerusalem, bringing about the prophecy in Zechariah.
And it shall come to pass in that day that living waters shall go out from Yerushalayim: half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; in summer and in winter shall it be.” Zechariah 14:8
The earthquake will also split the Mount of Olives in two.
On that day, He will set His feet on the Mount of Olives, near Yerushalayim on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall split across from east to west, and one part of the Mount shall shift to the north and the other to the south, a huge gorge. Zechariah 14:4
Kabbalist: Earthquakes? No problem
“There s nothing to worry about,” Rabbi Riess said. “God loves us and he takes care of us. People need to keep this in mind when reading the prophecies.”
“After the earthquake that destroyed Tsfat in the 1800s, the Kabbalists (mystics) declared that there would be no more destructive earthquakes in this part of Israel until the final one that will be part of Gog and Magog just before the Messiah,” Rabbi Riess said.
The rabbi is referring to the last major earthquake to hit northern Israel was on January 1, 1837. During this earthquake, Safed was completely destroyed and the Arab villages nearby were severely damaged. This earthquake killed four thousand Jews in Safed and somewhere between 700 and 1000 Jews in Tiberias. Eye witness accounts of the earthquake describe masses of rock that were rent and torn, huge cracks in the earth, and frightful convulsions in the earth. Estimates of the earthquake’s intensity range from 6.25 to 6.8.
The earthquake in 1927 damaged the Arab city of Shechem (Nablus) but Tsfat and the other Jewish cities in Galilee were undamaged.
“God is speeding the redemption up”
Rabbi Lazer Brody, an American-born Hasidic rabbi from Ashdod, explained that earthquakes and other signs of the end-of-days would begin appearing at an even faster pace.
“People don’t need to wonder about this,” Rabbi Brody said. “The sages wrote that when the fate of Israel would be in the hands of the Erev Rav (mixed multitude), God will speed up the geula (redemption). And that is precisely the government Israel has right now. They are telling Jews that we can’t live in the Negev, Judea and Samaria, and now they are even kicking Jews out of their houses in the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood in Jerusalem.”
“This is Hashem having mercy on us by speeding up Moshiach (Messiah), like he did at the end in Egypt.”
“People need to be courageous and stop wasting time. We all need to be happy and strengthen ourselves in emunah (belief). The signs are here for Israel and people who believe in prophecy to see. People who don’t believe in the Bible will never see.”