Friday, 18 November 2011

A mega-tsunami prophecy in the Book of Nahum?

Nahum Annoucing the Destruction of Ninevah

In some future posts, I will be attempting to provide a brief commentary on some of the various other passages in the Bible I believe may prophesy a future mega-tsunami (which were previously outlined in the post The Casting Down of Mountains). I'll begin with the Book of Nahum, which also appears to refer to this future event:

The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him. The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness. (Nah 1:5-8)

Firstly, we have mountains quaking and the earth heaving in the presense of the Lord. As have noted before, earthquakes are often associated with theophany (the appearance of God) in the Bible, and the language used here is suggestive of the Day of the Lord mentioned throughout the canonical prophetic literature. The Day of the Lord is presented as a day of wrath and darkness when God will appear to announce his judgement on the world, and is of course related to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian tradition. The fact that the "earth and all who dwell in it" heaves at this event recalls the eschatological earthquake described in the Book of Revelation:

And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. (Rev 16:18)

The theme of hills "melting" in the presence of God is found throughout Scripture, and conjures images of lateral collapses or massive landslides caused by volcanic eruptions, such as the footage of the collapse of St. Helens below:

Notice how the initial rockslide does indeed give the impression that the mountain is "melting" like it is made of wax. Although the collapse of Cumbre Vieja would be on a far greater scale than this, it would produce a similar spectacle. The imagery of God's wrath being poured out like fire, combined with the smashing of rocks, further invokes visions of a volcanic eruption, with spews of molten magma bursting forth from craggy fissures. Next we are told that God makes a complete end to his adversaries with "an overflowing flood", which surely brings to mind images of collosal tidal waves genearated by the "melting" hills collapsing into the sea.

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