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War, Earthquake then World Peace

4th May 2008, mgh

 

5) Why the Huge Earthquake?

Before considering why there is to be an earthquake, the detail of what is to happen should be explored. Zechariah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Joel (and possibly John in Revelation) write of this earthquake. Zechariah says,

His (Messiah's) feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives,.. and the mount of Olives shall divide in the midst of it toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
You shall flee to the valley of the mountains;for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal: yes, you shall flee, like when you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah (Zechariah 14:4-6)

The earthquake in the days of Uzziah, was a physical movement of the earth. The mass of the mount of Olives is to move for a great distance.

All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. (Zechariah 14:10)

Though we have now no exact location of the tower or the winepress, we do know Geba is just under 10 km North from Jerusalem. If the earth of half of the Mount of Olives is moved nearly 10km, the reality will be massive shocks as the surface of the earth gives way.

We know of the effects of the earth moving. In 2004 with the Great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, researchers estimate 1,600km of faultline where the India Plate slides under the Burma plate moved 10m sideways and lifted up 4–5m. The Earth wobbled by 2.5cm on its axis. The reverberations lasted a week triggering other quakes as far away as Alaska. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands moved south-west by 1.25 m and sunk by 1m. If a mere 10m movement sideways releases an earthquake of over 9 on the Richter scale, what will a 10,000m sideways movement do? If a 4-5m lift vertically sends shockwaves across the globe for week, what will the earth lifting possibly 10-50m to create a level plain at Jerusalem do? The orders of magnitude are beyond the Richter Scale.

The energy released on the earth's surface on 26 December 2004 was equal to 26.3 megatons of TNT (over 1500 times the Hiroshima atomic bomb). What forces would be released when the earth is pushed 10km? Certainly nothing would be left standing near the epicentre at Jerusalem.

(Refer:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Indian_Ocean_earthquake)

The Bible says the result of the earthquake is a level plain 20km long around the present city of Jerusalem (of which there would not be many stones left standing for anyone to argue about). In addition the natural spring at Jerusalem would become like a river, one half of the river going to the Mediterranean and the other to the Dead sea.

And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. (Zechariah 14:8)

The detail is amazing. This prophet, who tends to be sparing with his words, names places, distances and a specific outcome. These are not the vague words of imagination, and they have confirmation.

A Reason for the changes to the landform of Israel

If we go to another prophet entirely we see a rational reason for this large level plain with the two rivers. We see also a reason for the pulverisation of the present motley collection of ad-hoc construction of stone, concrete and barbed wire that represents Jerusalem now.

The prophet Ezekiel devotes nine whole chapters (some 8,250 words) to the description of temple buildings to be built at Jerusalem in the future, after Israel was a nation again (See Ezekiel 39:27 for context).

In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me upon a very high mountain, by which was as the building of a city on the south. (Ezekiel 40:2)

At the time Ezekiel wrote (570 BCE), Israel hadn't been a nation for 150 years and it was not a nation until 1948. There is no very high mountain then or now in Israel, but rather a series of hills called 'mountains'. This description fits with the huge raised plain of Zechariah's earthquake. Ezekiel sees a huge building the size of a city. This seems to be located on a level area, as in the detailed descriptions there are stairs, but not many stairs, and in addition the building matches level water on two of its sides. This detail matches Zechariah's prediction for the 2 rivers going from Jerusalem, as Ezekiel's vision has two rivers from the centre, becoming deeper as they flow away from the building. This temple building that Ezekiel writes about is a staggering size of 500 reeds.

..it had a wall round about, five hundred reeds long, and five hundred broad, to make a separation between the sanctuary and the profane place. (Ezekiel 42:15-20)

The reed is between 10ft6 inches and 12ft (Sully, 1929). This would make the wall around the building between 1.54 and 1.76 kilometres square. This building is to be slightly larger in area that the old city of Jerusalem, so it would not fit on the present topography. It, however, fits on the huge 20km long plain made by Zechariah's earthquake, and being slightly larger than the present day Jerusalem, it may fit perfectly on the portion of the mountain that Zechariah writes shall be 'lifted up'.

..it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. (Zechariah 14:10)

There is agreement between the two prophets, one supplies the detail to confirm the other. They have a shared vision.

The temple that Ezekiel wrote of was never built. It could not have been built on the present topography of the mountains of Israel. The earthquake predicted by Zechariah to make this topography has not occurred.

Just 150 years ago most would have said it is impossible there will be a nation of Israel. But today there is a nation of Israel, as predicted. Today there are people in Israel preparing for a new temple to be built. They can't build on the old temple site as the Dome of the Rock is there. Recently an earthquake caused part of the paving of the Dome of the Rock to collapse. The Arabs blamed the Jews for this. Commentators wondered if they meant the Jews caused the earthquake. The earthquake Zechariah predicts would level the Dome of the Rock.

Some might ask if Jesus Christ is the Messiah, and fulfilled the Law, why will there be a temple again, now? Doesn't God dwell in all the earth and in Christ's followers?

If the idea of the reality of the earthquake is supported by the idea of the temple, then perhaps the earthquake won't happen, or perhaps it's figurative?

In the Bible figurative language in part does not negate the reality described elsewhere. See A Promised Future Temple

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