On that day, He will set His feet on the Mount of Olives, near Yerushalayim on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall split across from east to west, and one part of the Mount shall shift to the north and the other to the south, a huge gorge. Zechariah 14:4 (The Israel BibleTM)
Residents of northern Israel reported feeling the ground shake on Sunday morning—the third such incident in less than two weeks. According to the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command, the epicenter of the quake was some 16 kilometers (9.9 miles) southeast of Tiberias. The tremor measured 4.1 on the Richter scale, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was the second tremor to be felt in 12 hours in the same region. The first was felt mostly in Haifa, the Krayot (close to the northern port city of Akko) and Beit She’an.
On Jan 11., a 6.6-magnitude tremor in Cyprus was felt throughout Israel.
EARTHQUAKES IN ISRAEL;
As terrifying as earthquakes can be, there may be a silver lining to an increase in regional seismic activity. In a 2007 article in the J-Post, Dr. Shmuel Marco, Head of the School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University, noted that prophets became active a certain number of years after major earthquakes. Major earthquakes were recorded in the Jordan Valley in the years 31 BCE, 363 CE, 749 CE and 1033 CE.
“So roughly,” wrote Marco, “we are talking about an interval of every 400 years. If we follow the patterns of nature, a major quake should be expected at any time because almost a whole millennium has passed since the last strong earthquake.” Dr. Marco went so far as to attribute Joshua’s victory at Jericho to divinely directed seismic interference. “The destruction of the walls of the city and the damming of the river, as described in Joshua 6:1-16, is generally agreed by most archeologists to be the result of an earthquake, possibly on the Jericho Fault,” Dr.Marco wrote.
Dr. Marco’s theory is certainly consistent with the Prophets Amos and Zechariah whose periods of prophecy were expressly oriented around a major earthquake. The words of Amos, a sheepbreeder from Tekoa, who prophesied concerning Yisrael in the reigns of Kings Uzziyahu of Yehuda and Yerovam son of Yoash of Yisrael, two years before the earthquake. Amos 1:1
Israel’s Jordan Valley and Dead Sea are part of the Syrian-African Rift Valley, which stretches from Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley to Mozambique in Southeastern Africa. Large earthquakes usually hit Israel approximately once every 90 years and there is concern that another one is due – considering that the most recent one occurred in 1927. That event saw more than 400 people killed and extensive damage to buildings in Jerusalem and Hebron.
Massive earthquakes in Israel are prophesied to accompany the multinational Gog and Magog conflict that will signal the end of times. Earthquakes and volcanoes are explicitly mentioned by the prophets as playing a role in the end of days, preparing the world by burning away impurities as a crucible is used in metallurgy to purify metal.
“And I will bring the third part through the fire and will refine them as silver is refined and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on My name and I will answer them; I will say: ‘It is My people’ and they shall say: ‘Hashem is my God.’” Zechariah 13:9
These earthquakes will be so severe as to cause geographic changes in the Temple Mount, requiring the construction of an entirely new city. The quakes will cause springs of water to burst forth around Jerusalem, bringing about the prophecy in Zechariah.
And it shall come to pass in that day that living waters shall go out from Yerushalayim: half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; in summer and in winter shall it be.” Zechariah 14:8
The earthquake will also split the Mount of Olives in two.
On that day, He will set His feet on the Mount of Olives, near Yerushalayim on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall split across from east to west, and one part of the Mount shall shift to the north and the other to the south, a huge gorge. Zechariah 14:4