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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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Traces of volcanic agency abound in Palestine. Yet the only recorded earthquake is that in Uzziah's reign (Amos 1:1). It must have been a terrible one, since two and a half centuries later it was still being made an epoch in Zechariah 14:5; his sin in the spiritual world was connected with the convulsion in the natural world. Such physical signs and premonitory upheavals shall accompany the closing conflict between the powers of light and darkness (Isaiah 24:20; Zechariah 14:4; Matthew 24:7). Also that in 1 Kings 19:11. The awe it inspires made it an accompaniment attributed to Jehovah's presence (Judges 5:4; 2 Samuel 22:8; Psalms 77:18; Psalms 104:32; Amos 8:8; Habakkuk 3:10). The valley of Siddim, S. of the Dead Sea, probably subsided owing to an earthquake. Bela is so-called ("swallowed up") from having been engulfed by an earthquake, as Dathan and Abiram were (Numbers 16:30-32; Genesis 14:2).

The miraculous darkness and earthquake at our Lord's death (Matthew 27:51-54) agree with the natural fact of darkness often accompanying earthquakes. The Jordan Valley, with a lower and a lower valley, the sulphurous and bituminous neighborhood of the Dead Sea, the lava, pumice stones, and hot springs, the crater like depression of the Dead Sea, 1,300 ft. below the Mediterranean level, and 3,500 ft. below Jerusalem, only 20 miles away (the deepest depression on the earth), its basaltic columns, disturbed strata, and numerous crevices, all betoken action of volcanoes and earthquakes. The line of earthquakes extends from Hebron and Jerusalem to Baalbek and Aleppo, from S.W. to N.E., following the central chain of Syria, parallel to the Jordan Valley, and terminating in the volcanic slope of Taurus on the N. and in the mountains of Arabia Petrea on the S.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Earthquake'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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