As the island of Bali waits for a catastrophic volcanic eruption expected at any moment, residents discovered a chilling scene straight from the Book of Prophets: thousands of birds died overnight, inexplicably, falling to the ground en masse. One rabbi warned that this message is a last minute hint of man’s mission on earth, a mission that is mankind is clearly failing.
Bali has been on edge for almost a month as hundreds of tremors shake the volcanic Mount Agung, the most prominent feature on this Indonesian island in the Pacific. Seismologists have warned that a major eruption is imminent, leading officials to declare a state of emergency. More than 75,000 people have been evacuated from this island paradise. In a scene reminiscent of Mount Sinai, the archetypal fiery mountain, a 7-mile exclusion zone has been set up around the volcano, preventing people from approaching.
Mount Agung hasn’t erupted for more than 50 years, but the last time it did, in 1963, almost 1,600 people were killed and hundreds more were injured.
In the midst of all the fear, another strange note of warning was heard. After a night of heavy rains, Amin Basri, a park gardener and Bali resident, was shocked to find thousands of dead sparrows covering the ground when he made his rounds through a park, usually full of singing birds, on Monday morning.
“Every night, the birds sleep in the tree. But strangely, the birds suddenly just died,” Amin Basri told Tribun Bali.
Thousands of birds dead at the PUBR office in Karangasem Bali. pic.twitter.com/BBEypeEKVQ
— Bangkok Bacon ❄ (@baconbkk) September 27, 2017
What the gardener had witnessed was a scene straight from the Bible. The prophet Ezekiel relates the activity of animals, including birds, to seismic activity, precisely as it is currently taking place in Bali.
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 38:20
Officials were baffled by the sudden massive aviary die-off. Volcanic activity is necessarily accompanied by the release of gasses, many of them toxic, but this did not appear to be the cause of the die-off. Lab tests are currently being run on the birds at the Veterinary Center in Denpasar.
The head of the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center released a statement saying that the reason for the for the birds’ deaths could not yet be established.
“We do not yet know, whether it is related [to Mount Agung] or not. The volcanic gases are still far way. The incident occurred in the city and is far from Mt. Agung,” the statement read, noting that if volcanic gasses were indeed to blame, more cases like this should be expected as volcanic activity increases.
Rabbi Avraham Arieh Trugman director of Ohr Chadash Torah Institute believes that natural phenomenon like these are no less Messianic than the War of Gog and Magog, connecting the end-of-times with creation and acting as signposts about man’s role in relation to nature.
“Most people are aware that the prophets spoke about wars accompanying geula (redemption),” Rabbi Trugman told Breaking Israel News. “But something that many people overlook is the equally important role of natural catastrophes described in prophecy as accompanying geula.
“Redemption is not just political,” the rabbi explained. “It is redemption of the entire human condition and that includes nature.”
All of nature is part of man’s spiritual mandate, and must necessarily be included in the coming of the Messiah, said the rabbi.
“It is clear that we have not fulfilled the role we were given in Gan Eden in regards to God’s creation,” he said, citing Genesis.
Hashem blessed them and Hashem said to them, “Be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it; and rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all the living things that creep on earth.” Genesis 1:28
“One of the reasons the Moshiach (Messiah) comes is to redeem man from his folly,” Rabbi Trugman said. “We were charged with guarding God’s creation. It is a Torah imperative to guard the earth. This is an aspect of guarding our own souls. If we are not doing that, nature has built-in checks and balances to remind us.”