The Israel Antiquities Authority says its archaeologists have found evidence of the earthquake that occurred during the Kingdom of Judah about 2,800 years ago, as mentioned in the book of Amos in the Bible.

The storage vessel after restoration. | Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority

The remnants of the earthquake’s destruction in Jerusalem — Judah’s ancient capital — were found during excavations in the City of David National Park, the IAA announced in a social media post this week.

The earthquake, which was probably one of the strongest and most damaging earthquakes in ancient times, “appears in the Bible and was previously exposed in several sites throughout Israel, but researchers believe that for the first time they were able to identify remnants of destruction indicating that the earthquake also hit Jerusalem — the capital of Judah,” it said.

Amos 1:1 says, “The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa—the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel.”

Zechariah 14:5 reads, “You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.”

The researchers said they have found a layer of destruction from when the building’s walls collapsed, including a row of shattered vessels, bowls, lamps, cooking utensils, smashed storage and storage jars. No sign of fire was found and it was not a deliberate event.

“This was most notable on the earliest floor of the southernmost room,” they said, according to The Times of Israel. “In this room, a row of smashed vessels was uncovered along its northern wall, above which fallen stones had been found. It appears that these stones were the upper part of the walls of the room, which had collapsed, destroying the vessels which had been set along the wall.”

The excavation’s directors, Joe Uziel and Ortal Chalaf, said they wondered “what could have caused that dramatic layer of destruction we uncovered.”

“Examining the excavation findings, we tried to check if there is a reference to it in the biblical text. Interestingly, the earthquake that appears in the Bible in the books of Amos and Zechariah, occurred at the time when the building we excavated in the City of David collapsed,” they said, according to CBN News.

They added, “The combination of the finds in the field together with the biblical description, led us to the conclusion that the earthquake that struck the Land of Israel during the reign of Uzziah king of Judah, also hit the capital of the kingdom — Jerusalem.”

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