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by Wayne Blank
"Plate Tectonics" is the term used to describe the sections of the earth's surface that in places grind against one another (e.g. the huge San Andreas fault system that runs up through Mexico and into California), or in others pull away (look at a world map to see how the west coast of Africa and the east coast of South America once fitted together perfectly).
Ask someone from Los Angeles or San Francisco what the term "the big one" means and they will very likely reply that it is the great earthquake that is expected to occur somewhere along the San Andreas fault system at some unknown time in the future - perhaps a hundred years from now, or perhaps an hour from now.
Israel is also facing its own "big one" at some time in the future.
The Jordan River exists because The Jordan Valley exists. The Jordan Valley exists because it marks the joint of a great tectonic-plate fault. Geologists have long recognized and studied it. It runs straight up through the Red Sea, through the entire land of Israel under the Jordan River, and beyond. The black lines on the map above illustrate some of the major known joint boundaries.
Faults are relatively harmless during the years that they are building up pressure as they attempt to slide past one another, but when the joint finally slips and releases the incredible tension that has built up, earthquake!
The Bible describes a great earthquake that will strike Israel, such as never has occurred before. It will be extremely powerful, causing a great rift to open that will run from Jerusalem in both directions all the way to The Mediterranean Sea to the west, and The Dead Sea to the east. The Mount Of Olives, east of Jerusalem, will be split in half.
Earthquakes are the result of natural earth processes that were set in motion right from the time that earth was created. They are a matter of interest for both the geologist, and the Christian.
Fact Finder: In which direction will the Mount of Olives be split?