Confirmed Earthquakes in the Bible

Earthquakes happen 12,000 times a year, and twice in the Bible. Let’s take a look.

Image result for epic earthquake

Amos 1:1: The words of Amos, who was one of the sheep breeders from Tekoa—what he saw regarding Israel in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

The first earthquake is recorded in the Book of Amos, and also is a major help to dating the document. Amos tells us in Amos 1:1 that the events he writes of happened “two years before the earthquake” — Amos plainly tells his readers that he is writing two years before “the earthquake”, and it is therefore safe to assume that Amos understands his audience knows that his readers know what earthquake he is talking about as it was a very recent event for them. And indeed, this earthquake has been located and identified. Amos also tells us that he is writing in the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam, king of Israel, which means that if an earthquake really happened here, it should take place about 780-740 BC (the time of the reign of these kings). And indeed, in 2010, a paper was published by three geologists titled Amos’s Earthquake: An Extraordinary Middle East Seismic Event of 750 B.C. In this papers, the geologists analyze the stratigraphy of the Dead Sea and walls of ancient constructions, and discovered that in Judah, about 750 BC (+/- 30 years), an overwhelming 8.2 magnitude earthquake took place, which by any means of measurement, is utterly enormous. This fact corroborates the account of Amos, which is self-dated by the reigns of Uzziah and Jeroboam to about 750 BC as well.

The second earthquake of the Bible is more well-known, and is explicitly mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew as having took place shortly after the crucifixion of Jesus ca. 30-33 AD.

Matthew 28:2: Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it.

After the crucifixion of Jesus, we are told an earthquake miraculously took place, devastating the surrounding region as a consequence of the death of Jesus, the true Messiah. In 2012, the journal International Geology Review published a study, where a geologist found and confirmed that somewhere between 26-36 AD in Jerusalem, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake ruptured the region, in the perfect time allotted to the historical record of Matthew’s Gospel. A fantastic achievement indeed, verifying the historicity of the biblical earthquake.

Matthew 27:54: When the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “This man really was God’s Son!”