Philadelphia Earthquake Shocks
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Philadelphia Earthquake Shocks (Revelation 3.7-8)

"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.'" (Revelation 3.7-8)✞

Extinct Volcano

Grape VinesPhiladelphia was an important and wealthy center of trade in Asia Minor. It had a physical characteristic which left its mark upon this letter. It was on the edge of a great plain called "The Burned Land." This was a large flat valley left behind by an extinct volcano located on a fault line. The land there was naturally very fertile and Philadelphia benefited much by becoming the hub of a grape growing region and a famous wine producer.✞

Earthquake Tremors

Extinct VolcanoBut earthquakes also had their perils and left their mark on Philadelphia more than on most cities. Strabo (BC 63-24 AD) the Greek geographer who travelled widely writes that in 17 AD a series of earthquake shocks destroyed Sardis, which is the modern city of "Sart" in Turkey, and ten other cities in the area. In Philadelphia, the earthquakes and tremors went on for years. Philadelphia came to be described as a "city full of earthquakes."

Every Day Shocks

EarthquakeWhen earthquakes happen, people meet them with courage, but re-occurring minor earthquake shocks drive people to panic. That is what happened in Philadelphia. Shocks and after shocks became an everyday occurrence. Gaping cracks appeared in the walls of houses and roads. One part of the city was in ruins, then another. Most of the population lived outside their houses in temporary shelters on the streets and feared even to go into the city lest they should be killed by falling masonry during a sudden unexpected collapse. It was a dangerous and a stressful time for the Christian church.✞

"Philadelphia Earthquake Shocks"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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