Jehovah’s Use of Earthquakes
● “The fall of Jericho, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and other biblical events were caused by recurring earthquakes along the Dead Sea Rift, according to a paper by Amos Nur of Stanford University in California and Zeʹev Reches of the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel.”—“New Scientist,” June 7, 1979.
● The Dead Sea Rift, the report explains, is part of the fault boundary between the African and the Arabic plates or earth layers. The plates slip past each other about 0.5 of a meter, or 20 inches, during a quake. It is along or near this point of slippage that the Jordan River, the Dead Sea and the city of Jericho are located.
● When the Israelites were commanded to quit their wilderness sojourn and enter the land of Canaan, they had to cross the Jordan River during its flood stage. As soon as the priests leading the people stepped into the edge of the Jordan, “the waters descending from above began to stand still . . . while those descending toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were exhausted.”—Josh. 3:15, 16.
● Nur in his report says: “The miraculous halting of the Jordan River that allowed Joshua and his troops to pass was probably related to an earthquake. In 10 out of 30 quakes recorded in the literature, including ones in 1834, 1906 and 1927, the Jordan stopped flowing for one to two days due to the quake-caused mud slides.”
● After crossing the Jordan, the Israelites under Joshua marched around Jericho in the manner Jehovah directed, and “it came about that as soon as the people heard the sound of the horn and the people began to shout a great war cry, then the wall began to fall down flat.” (Josh. 6:20) In the paper by Nur and Reches, it is stated: “The remains of the walls of Jericho . . . appear to have fallen in one direction, indicating that they were felled by an earthquake.”
● These researchers note that similar “strike-slip earthquakes on the San Andreas fault” in California raise tremendous dust clouds, reminding them of the Bible’s account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and that Abraham from a distance saw that “thick smoke ascended from the land like the thick smoke of a kiln!” Archaeological sources agree that the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah was likely launched by an earthquake, plus the exploding and burning of asphalt, salt and sulphur. “Jehovah,” the record states, “made it rain sulphur and fire.”—Gen. 19:24-28.
● Jehovah frequently made use of natural forces to accomplish his purposes, timing the occurrences to fit his needs.