7.6-magnitude earthquake strikes Mexico’s Pacific coast, officials say. magnitude 7.6 earthquake shook Mexico’s central Pacific coast on Monday, killing at least one person and setting off a seismic alarm in the rattled capital on the anniversary of two earlier devastating quakes. The quake hit around 11:05 a.m. at a depth of about nine miles, according to the U.S. Geologic Survey, which initially put the magnitude at 7.5.
The quake was centered about 23 miles southeast of Aquila near the boundary of Colima and Michoacán states. Mexico’s National Civil Defense agency said that based on historic data of tsunamis in Mexico, variations of as much as 32 inches were possible in coastal water levels near the epicenter. The U.S. Tsunami Warning Center said that hazardous tsunami waves were possible for coasts within 186 miles of the epicenter. Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum tweeted that there were no reports of damage in the capital “This is a coincidence,” that this is the third Sept. 19 earthquake, said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle.
“There’s no physical reason or statistical bias toward earthquakes in any given month in Mexico.” Nor is there a season or month for big earthquakes anywhere on the globe, Earle said. But there is a predictable thing: People seek and sometimes find coincidences that look like patterns. “We knew we’d get this question as soon as it happened,”
Earle said. “Sometimes there are just coincidences.” The quake was not related to or caused by the drill an hour or so earlier, nor was it connected to a damaging temblor in Taiwan the day before, Earle said. Matthew 24:7 Famines and Earthquakes Now that I have looked into the first half of Matthew 24:7, I will consider the second half of the verse. The passage says, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs” (Matthew 24:7-8). So what about famines and earthquakes?
FAMINES AND EARTHQUAKES
First, I have previously noted and defended that Matthew 24:4-14 covers the first half of the seven-year tribulation period. Since we know that the “abomination of desolation” (Matthew 24:15) occurs in the middle of the seven-year period (Daniel 9:24-27), thus, events prior to verse 15 will take place in the first half of the tribulation. This is further confirmed by the correlation of the major events of Matthew 24:4-8 with the first four seal judgments of Revelation 6:1-8. This would mean that the famines and earthquakes of Matthew 24:7 speak of a future time, which Revelation 6:5-8 expounds upon, not of any events that have occurred during the last 2,000 years nor of anything in our present day. There have been, no doubt, earthquakes and famines in the first century and during every generation since. “It is hardly necessary to add to this that not only false Christs and false prophets, wars and rumors of war, earthquakes and famines occur in every age throughout the history of the church,” declares William Hendriksen, “but so do also persecutions and defections, to which Jesus refers in Matthew 24:9, 10, 12, and 24:13.” 1The context of this passage is that of a time of future tribulation in which these events will occur as part of God’s direct wrath and judgment. The earthquakes and famines of today and during the first century did not fulfill this prophecy since the context of this passage is of a still future time period. Now let us look together at the passage.
FAMINES The Greek word for famine is limos and simply means “hunger,” and, thus, when used of “dying of hunger,” connotes “famine.” 2 This word is also used in Revelation 6:8. If Christ is referencing a time during the first half of the tribulation, to what is He referring? I believe that Revelation 6:5-6 is a parallel passage. “And when He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, ‘Come.’ And I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard as it were a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.’” Even though the word “famine” is not used, the passage is an apt description of such and it is one of the earliest judgments of tribulation period. Arno C. Gaebelein says, “And the third seal reveals a rider upon a black horse and he has a balance in his hand and what he saith indicates clearly that he brings famines (Revelation 6:5-6).” 3 Both famines and earthquakes are governed by the phrase “in various places.” Lenski says, “The distributive kata means, “from place to place.” 4 Leon Morris also explains: “In many places means that the disasters in question will be widespread.” 5 This global perspective fits a future understanding of the passage and cannot be limited to the first century and the area of Israel alone.
EARTHQUAKES Earthquake in the original Greek is seismos. The basic sense of the word is “shaking.” It can refer to the shaking of a storm on a sea. However, it mostly occurs in the New Testament when speaking of an earthquake. 11 Our English word seismograph is derived from this Greek root. For the same reasons noted earlier, I do not think that these earthquakes that will take place at various places all around the world have already taken place in the past, nor are they occurring today. Just like the famines that have preceded them, the earthquakes in this passage are parallel to the ones described as the fourth seal judgment in Revelation 6:7-8. “And when He broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come.’ And I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.” Gaebelein further explains when he says, “The fourth rider of the fourth seal is upon a pale horse. His name is ‘Death.’ He takes the fourth part of the earth away. This corresponds to the Lord’s announcement that there will be ‘pestilences and earthquakes in divers places.’” 12 Luke 21:11, a parallel passage to Matthew 24:7 says, “there will be great earthquakes.” So these are not ordinary earthquakes that our Lord forecasts, but great or huge ones. So great, that they cause a great number of deaths worldwide.
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