Jerusalem City Earthquake
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43. Jerusalem City Earthquake
Revelation 11.13-15

"At that very hour, there was a severe city earthquake, and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people died. The survivors were terrified and gave glory to heaven's God. The second woe has passed. The third is coming soon. The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud heavenly voices which said, 'The world's kingdom has become our Lord and his Christ's kingdom, and he will reign forever and ever.'" (Revelation 11.13-15)✞

Seven Thousand Dead

Earthquake ZoneEarthquakes are not unusual in Israel. Palestine lies on the Syrian-African rift, which experiences large earthquakes every 50 to 100 years. It is part of the Great Rift Valley that runs from Mozambique in the south to Syria in the north. In 1927, the last major earthquake occurred at the northern end of the Dead Sea. The 1927 Jericho earthquake was a "6.2 magnitude tremor that killed 500 people and injured 700." A previous earthquake in 749 AD had its epicenter in Galilee and destroyed the city of Tiberias. There were tens of thousands of deaths and injuries. The death toll in Jerusalem alone was reportedly several thousand. Many scholars believe that Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction with its sulfur, brimstone, and salt resulted from a significant earthquake further south in Lot's time on the same fault.

Present Danger

Earthquake GraphThe Jewish News Syndicate, on May 16th, 2019, reviewed the possible impact today of a 4.8 magnitude earthquake in Israel. "In 2016, the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees Home Front Readiness Subcommittee chaired by Colonel Itzik Bar estimated that a 7.5 magnitude earthquake would kill 7,000 people, injure another 8,600 and leave 377,000 homeless, causing approximately $56 billion in damages." This estimate in the event of a major earthquake is the same as in Revelation 11. "A severe city earthquake" will wreck a tenth of the city, and seven thousand people will die.

Jerusalem's Foundations

Jerusalem's GatesArcheologists think Jerusalem's walled old town and the Temple Mount may be the worst affected in a quake because its foundations are on layers of shifting debris rather than solid rock. The earthquake's result is that God spares those who give glory to heaven's God. Perhaps they genuinely repent or maybe thank another "God of heaven" for their survival. Unbelievers are won over by the two witnesses' sacrificial death and by God's clearing them of blame. The Cross and Resurrection story is about how Jesus conquers evil and wins people, not by force but by accepting suffering for Christ's name.

God's Full Glory

CrossThis passage seems to indicate that things have ended in the final victory with a terrible earthquake. It is, however, a summary of what is still to come. In Psalm 2.6, the Psalmist issues God's announcement, "I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain." The Messianic reign has begun. The Biblical scholar William Barclay (1907-1978) wrote, "This is a picture of the coming of the full glory of God, a terrifying threat to his enemies but an uplifting promise to his covenant people."

"Jerusalem City Earthquake"
by Ron Meacock © 2021

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