The bible presents events that divide opinions, however, researchers have found physical traces of the earthquake described in the Old Testament, mentioned in Zechariah and Amos. The Israel Antiquity Authority (IAA) and the Ir David Foundation led the excavations that unearthed a layer containing the ruins in the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Such discoveries add to the evidence of the earthquake previously revealed in regions of the country, as well as at the bottom of the Dead Sea. Professionals involved in the discovery of the earthquake described in the Old Testament considered other possible explanations for the damage, including fires. However, they were unable to find evidence to suggest that the city was a victim of fire.
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“To prove that this is not a building that suffered isolated trauma, we compared both Jerusalem and other places where we also see this layer. This was important for us to make the connection and say that this is not a unique event, but something more widespread,” IAA archaeologist Joe Uziel told Haaretz.
About the earthquake described in the Old Testament, Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel, explained that the biblical accounts treat the phenomenon as a reference event. In the same way that people, in the near future, will use the coronavirus to place stories in time.
As the book of Amos begins, the narrator plans to report that such events took place “two years before the earthquake described in the Old Testament, when Uzziah had the post of King of Judah.”
“Destructive earthquakes in Jerusalem are possible, as shown by the well-recorded 1927 earthquake,” said Israel Finkelstein, an archaeologist at Tel Aviv University. “The first layer of the book of Amos includes materials related to the 8th century, so it’s possible that a devastating earthquake left a strong impression.”
Near Jerusalem, in Megiddo, Fikelstein conducted work where they found evidence of an earthquake in a similar period. As reported, the team described “sloping walls and pillars, bent and warped walls, fractured building stones, immersed floors, liquefied sand, collapsed clay bricks and burned debris.”
According to Wolfgang Zwickel, an Old Testament scholar at Johannes Gutenberg University in Maiz, possibly the biblical narrators turned both events into one. Still on the earthquake described in the Old Testament, he emphasizes that Amos could be referring to whatever event was stronger.
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