The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah…
Palestine lies almost in the centre of one great volcanic region of the earth's surface, that, namely, which includes the basin of the Mediterranean, and the provinces of Western or Central Asia. Traces of that volcanic action are found in every direction. The black basaltic rocks of the Hauran, the hot springs of Tiberias, and Emmaus, and Gadara, the naphtha fountains near the Dead Sea, the dykes of porphyry, and other volcanic rocks that force their way through thy limestone, the many caves in the limestone rock themselves, — all these show that we are treading on ground where the forces of the hidden fires of the earth have been, in times past, in active operation. We are, that is, in a zone of earthquakes. On some of these earthquakes, tremendous in their phenomena, and in the extent of the desolation caused by them, we have full details, in earlier and even in contemporary history. The Jewish writer, Josephus, speaks of one which occurred in B.C. 31, as having destroyed many villages, and countless flocks, and herds, and human lives, which he estimates (with somewhat, perhaps, of Oriental vagueness as to statistics) now at ten, and now at thirty thousand. Herod and his army, who were then carrying on war against the Arabs, were only saved by their being encamped in tents, and so free from the peril of falling houses. As it was, he had to combat the panic and depression which it spread through his troops, and with something of a sceptical epicureanism, to assure them that these natural phenomena were not signs of greater evils to come, but were calamities by themselves, having no connection with any others that followed or preceded them. Within the last thirty years again the shocks of an earthquake were felt over the whole of Syria, in Beirdt, Damascus, Cyprus; Safed was almost utterly destroyed; Tiberias was left little better than a heap of ruins, and one-third of the population perished, to the number of a thousand. Rivers forsook their beds, and left them dry for hours. The hot springs that flow into the Sea of Tiberias were largely swollen in volume, and the level of the lake was raised. One such convulsion has left its impress on the history of the kingdom of Judah. It seems to have been the first great earthquake in the history of Israel. It occurred in the time of Uzziah (Amos 1:1; Zechariah 14:5). There is no trace of anything of the kind in the Book of Judges, or in the earlier history of the Kings.
Parallel VersesKJV: The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
WEB: The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.