Earthquakes in the Scriptures
Just about 2000 years ago, this week, earthquakes were “in the news” so to speak, as they are in our own time. Only these earthquakes were connected to the death and resurrection of our Messiah, Yahshua.
When we look at the words in the scriptures connected with earthquakes, we find the words Earthquake, earthquakes, shake, shaking, shaketh, quake(d), shook and tremble(d).
In Strong’s the definition for Earthquake is number 7494 and it means: ) quaking, rattling, shaking
It is from number 7493 which means: ra`ash raw-ash a primitive root; to undulate (as the earth, the sky, etc.; also a field of grain, partic. through fear; specifically, to spring (as a locust):--make afraid, (re-)move, quake, (make to) shake, (make to) tremble.
Earthquakes is number 4578 and means: 1) a shaking, a commotion
2) a tempest
3) an earthquake
Shake is number 7493 and means: ) to quake, shake
(also used of the rustling of grain moved by the wind- also to terrify the nations- (Gesenius’s Lexicon)
Shaken is number : 1607 and means to shake, quake
To push, to thrust, to push with the horn (my note, *as a bull does or a goat). (Gesenis’s Lexicon)
Shaketh is number 7264 and means: tremble, quake, rage, quiver, be agitated, be excited, be perturbed
To be moved with anger to be angry to act with anger etc. (Gesenis’s Lexicon)
Shaketh is also number 2342 which means to twist, to return, to turn oneself around, to be born, to writhe in pain.
A partial list of the earthquakes that are mentioned in the Scriptures:
(1) At Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:18);
(2) Korah and companions destroyed in fissure and sinking ground (Numbers 16:31; Ant, IV, iii, Numbers 3);
(3) in the Philistine camp in the days of Saul (1 Samuel 14:15);
(4) after Eliyah's flight (1 Kings 19:11);
(5) in the reign of Uzziah, between 790 and 740 BC (Amos 1:1); Zechariah 14:5 probably refers to the same (Ant., IX, x, 4);
(6) at Yahshua’s death (Matthew 27:51-54);
(7) at Yahshua's resurrection (Matthew 28:2);
(8) In Acts when the Holy Spirit was given Acts 4:31.
(9) at Philippi when Paul and Silas were freed from prison (Acts 16:26).
(10) Five references in the book of Revelation.
The quaking of the earth is an indication to us, on earth, of the presence of Yahweh (Judges 5:4-5; 2Sam 22:8; Psalms 77:18; 97:4; 104:32).
In the Scriptures earthquakes are also mentioned as manifestations of Yahweh's power (Job 9:6) and of His presence and anger (Psalms 68:8; 18:7; Isaiah 13:13: "She shall be visited of Yahweh of hosts .... with earthquake, and great noise" (Isaiah 29:6); also as a sign of Yahshua's "coming, and of the end of the world" (Matthew 24:3-7). See also Revelation 11:13,19; 16:18.
On the day that Yahshua was hung on the tree, there were 3 major unusual events that the scriptures tell us took place. One was Darkness at mid day: Matthew 27:45. This was not a solar eclipse. This happened at Passover during a full moon. You can only have a solar eclipse during a new moon. This incident should bring to mind the darkness of the Egyptian plagues in Exodus 10:21 And Yahweh said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness [which] may be felt. This was also not a solar eclipse!
Then, there was the torn temple curtain in Matthew 27:50 and at the same time we read in Matthew 27:51-54 that there was an earthquake.
This was no ordinary earthquake. When this earthquake occurred, the “harvested grain” so to speak, was shaken awake! Why did this happen? In part I believe it was because there was a schism between the Sadducees and the Pharisees regarding resurrection. Of course, even if there had not been a schism, it was a sign to the world that there IS a resurrection.
This excerpt is from a web site http://www.livius.org/saa-san/sadducees/sadducees.html
The Pharisees [and followers of Yahshua], on the other hand, believed in the resurrection of the dead. When Paul had to explain his ideas to a court in which some members were Pharisees and others Sadducees, he found it easy to create division among his judges.
When Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, 'Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!'
And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided. For Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and no angel or spirit; but the Pharisees confess both. Then there arose a loud outcry. And the scribes of the Pharisees' party arose and protested, saying, 'We find no evil in this man; but if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God.' [ Acts 23.6-9]
The second earthquake connected with Yahshua’s death was the one in Matthew 28:1-4 when Mary Magdalene and Mary came to the sepulcher when the malak-(angel, messenger) rolled back the stone from the door and sat upon it.
The dual earthquakes at the crucifixion of Yahshua are shadow pictures of the greater earthquakes that will occur at His return.
A third earthquake occurred in Acts 16:26. We see that Paul had commanded a spirit to come out of a woman who was a fortune teller thereby releasing her from the bonds of wickedness. Her masters, who then lost their cash cow, took Paul and Silas before the magistrates who threw them in prison and beat them with rods. During the night, as they sat with stocks on their feet, in prison, singing praises to Yahweh, a great earthquake shook so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s bands were loosed and they were set free. This, of course, resulted in the prison guard becoming a believer in Yahshua and Yahweh. An interesting parallel verse in Isaiah 58:6-7 says Is not this the fast that I have chosen; to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
A fourth earthquake happened in Acts 4: 29-31. This was at Shavuot when the Holy Spirit was given. Just prior to this, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them and charged them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Yahshua. But Peter and John answered and said to them, Whether it is right in the sight of Yahweh to listen to you rather than to Yahweh, you judge, for we cannot but speak the things which we saw and heard…..and all the men glorified Yahweh for that which was done. Acts verse 4:26 The kings of the earth set themselves in array and the rulers were gathered together against Yahweh and against His anointed…..in verse 4:31 we read and when they had prayed the place was shaken in which they were gathered together and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of Yahweh with boldness. Once again we see the earthquake as a prominent sign of Yahweh’s Sovereignty.
The first time an earthquake is mentioned in scripture is in Exodus 19:18 And mount 2022 Sinai 5514 was altogether on a smoke 6225, because 6440 834 Yahweh 3068 descended 3381 upon it in fire 784: and the smoke 6227 thereof ascended 5927 as the smoke 6227 of a furnace 3536, and the whole mount 2022 quaked 2729 greatly 3966.
2729 means: to tremble, quake, move about, be afraid, be startled, be terrified
To bring this into the current day we did some research on earthquakes. There have been aprox. 323 earthquakes of interest according to the USGS in the United States since aprox. 1727. There have been about 157 quakes of a magnitude of 6.0 or more in the muslim countries from 1138 to today. When we looked at the statistics for Israel on the USGS site, for the same time period, they had one loan earthquake (a 5.3) listed from 2-11-04. A news article from that day in Israel reads that a PA negotiator responded to Livni’s request for them to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, by saying, Go back to the 1947 partition and then we will talk……
We found another earthquake recorded for 2-11-07 (a 5.3 again) and the news from that day included an article with the headline: Fifteen Palestinians killed in Gaza clashes; Hamas vows revenge.…The lack of earthquakes in Israel was astounding to us, considering that neighboring Turkey had 37 and Iran had 30 just for example during the same time period. Loss of life in just Iran alone for that period totaled more than half a million people. We could find no record of even an injury from the two Israeli earthquakes.
Even in the supposed “world wide” earthquake reported for March 17th 2003, Israel was not even represented on a seismograph. (see World Wide Earthquake sheets).
This brings us to what we can expect in the coming years as far as earthquakes are concerned. In Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8 and Luke 21:11, we read the familiar verses about Nation shall rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom and there shall be famines, and pestilences and earthquakes in divers places. I think we can see that this is starting to happen now.
One table shows the increase in earthquakes of a 6.99 or greater. From 1863 to 1900 there were 12. From 1901 to 1938 there were 53. From 1939 to 1976 there were 71 and the projected amount from 1977 to 2014 is aprox. 164. The table was initially written in 2006 and so far to date for the last projection there have been not 164 earthquakes so far for the criteria, but 190. The table will be updated in 2014, but it will be significantly higher than the original 164 predicted.
The book of Revelation lists 5 earthquakes. Rev. 6:12; 8:5, 11:13, 19, 16:18.
Rev. 6:12 is the opening of the sixth seal: And I saw when he opened the sixth seal and there was a great earthquake and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair and the whole moon became as blood and the stars of heaven fell to the earth as a fig tree casts her unripe figs when she is shaken of a great wind.
Here, once again we see darkness associated with the earthquake, just as at the crucifixion.
Rev. 8:5 This verse is about the opening of the 7th seal- And the angel took the censer and he filled it with the fire of the altar and cast it upon the earth and there followed thunders and voices and lightnings and an earthquake.
This sounds like a reenactment of Mt. Sinai’s events.
The next earthquake is Rev. 11:13. This one occurs after the two witnesses are resurrected. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying to them “Come up here” and they went up into heaven in the cloud and their enemies saw them. And in that hour there was a great earthquake and the tenth part of the city fell and there were killed in the earthquake seven thousand persons and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the Elohim of heaven.
This sounds like the earthquake after the resurrection of Yahshua, only men were not killed at that time, they were brought out of the grave and appeared to many. This time, some of the men who are in the area, will not be worthy of life, but death.
The next earthquake is in Rev. 11:19 after the 7th angel sounds. And there was opened the temple of Yahweh that is in heaven and there was seen in his temple the ark of his covenant and there followed lightnings and voices and thunders and an earthquake and great hail.
Again, it sounds like what took place on Mt. Sinai.
The last mention of an earthquake in Rev. is verse 16:18. After the seventh angel pours out his bowl of the wrath of Yahweh into the earth, a great voice comes out of the temple saying “It is Done” (reminiscent of “It is Finished” at the crucifixion): and there were lightnings and voices and thunders and there was a great earthquake Such As Was Not since there were men upon the earth, so Great an earthquake so mighty and the great city was divided into three parts and the cities of the nations fell and Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of Yahweh to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away and the mountains were not found And great hail every stone about the weight of a talent, comes down out of heaven upon men.
A talent in NT times would have weighed about 130lbs.
It was approximately the mass of water required to fill an amphora. A Greek, or Attic talent, was 26 kilograms (57 lb), a Roman talent was 32.3 kilograms (71 lb), an Egyptian talent was 27 kilograms (60 lb), and a Babylonian talent was 30.3 kilograms (67 lb). Ancient Palestine adopted the Babylonian talent, but later revised the mass. The heavy common talent, used in New Testament times, was 58.9 kilograms (130 lb). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talent_%28measurement%29
So, obviously, we are not finished having earthquakes, as a matter of fact, the worst one is yet to come- far worse than the Indonesian and Japanese earthquakes. We believe Yahweh is trying to prepare us gradually for the things to come, while trying to get anyone who will, to repent, turn around and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth - forsaking the traditions of men. In Zechariyah we read that:
Zechariah 14:3-5 – “Then Yahweh will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south.” And you shall flee by the valley of my mountains for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azel; yes, you shall flee like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah; and Yahweh my Elohim shall come and all the holy ones with you.
Zechariah 14:6-7 – “It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish. It shall be one day, which is known to Yahweh. Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen that it will be light. [Caution! Speculation ahead!! This could happen as the result of a polar shift- If it does, this may be the scenario as it plays out: you may notice a strange phenomenon. The sun as it slips down below the horizon begins to rise from the same horizon as though it were a new day.
Yes the sun is arising from the west and the earth has just experienced a complete physical pole reversal. We will literally be seeing what the prophet perceived in vision when he wrote these strange and mysterious words,
Zechariah 14:7 - “But at evening time it shall happen that it will be light.”
This planet earth with its magnetic pole to the North Pole will suddenly find its magnetic pole flipped over to the south. The current clockwise rotation of the earth on its magnetic pole rotates this planet downward to the east and the sun appears to be rising in the east. This event will be reversed. Suddenly the rotation of the earth will be going counter-clockwise. The earth will now rotate upward while facing the east and the sun will be setting in the east and rising in the west. However Yahweh makes it happen, What a day that will be!]
The good news is, that Revelation 14:12 says: Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of Yahweh, and the faith of Yahshua.
Paul tells us in Acts 20:24: But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of Yahshua the Messiah, to testify the gospel of the grace of Yahweh.
Let us end with words from Yahshua Himself, who said:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world!