Summary: On August 24, 79 AD, Italy’s Mount Vesuvius, erupted in what is perhaps one of histories most horrific natural disasters. Was it judgement?
Did God Judge Pompeii?
(Inspired from J.R. Church’s article of the same title in Prophesy in the News, August 2010)
FBC Chester, IL 1/19/14 Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A On August 24, 79 AD, Italy’s Mount Vesuvius, erupted in what is perhaps one of histories most horrific natural disasters.
1 The volcano destroyed the Italian cities of Herculaneum & Stabia.
a However, the most famous city that was destroyed was the seaside city that many in the Roman aristocracy called home.
aa A city of nearly 20,000 souls.
bb Elegant villas set in a resort community.
b On 2/21/14, a major motion picture featuring historical fiction (In the spirit of James Camereon’s Titanic) will be released nationwide: the film is named after the city that Vesuvius buried for 1,500 years, Pompeii.
2 Volcanological & bio-anthropological studies have shown that the residents of Pompeii were buried under 25 meters (82 feet) of ash over a six-hour period of time.
a For many years, it was thought that the people died of suffocation due to the volcanic ash.
b More recent findings have discovered that the most likely cause of death was to exposure to heat.
aa In 2010, a study was published that showed heat was the main factor of death for the people of Pompeii.
bb A temperature of 482 degrees was sustained for hours in a six hour radius around Vesuvius when it erupted.
B Our greatest sources of the Vesuvius explosion come from two eye-witnesses: Dio Cassius (a Roman historian) and Pliny the younger (Whose uncle, Pliny the Elder, was an admiral in the Roman navy who ordered the ships in his fleet into the harbor of Pompeii to rescue people from the rain of fire.)
1 Dio Cassius, author of Roman History, described the fire & smoke from Vesuvius when it exploded.
a “After the destruction, the site was subject to looting. And people who had managed to flee came back to see whether they could retrieve some their possessions. One such person came back to a house in the area of Pompeii. After having walked through the desolationof the city, he looked about and saw nothing but destruction, where once there had been buildings and beautifully frescoed walls. Disconsolate and aghast, he picked up a piece of charcoal and scratched on the wall in large black Latin letters: “SODOM GOMOR.”
b “As he saw it, the divine punishment of these two cursed Biblical cities was echoed in the rain of fire on Pompeii.”
2 The amazing fact about the destruction of this plush Roman resort town that very few know is that destruction of Pompeii is that occurred nearly 9 years to the day that the Roman Legionaries had razed the Temple in Jerusalem. Great Pictures available at . . .
a In Scripture, “9" is number for Divine judgement, finality, the summation of all man’s works.
aa “9" is the last digit that marks the end, concludes the matter.
bb It is similar to “6" (the number of man) in that is the sum of its factors. (3+3=6, and 3x3=9.)
cc “9" is significant of the end of man & all of man’s works.
b The sum of the Hebrew alphabet is 4995 (5x999), which is grace stamped on finality.
aa Haggai 1.11 describes 9 judgements of God.
"I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands."
bb The biblical account of God’s judgement of Sodom (Gen. 19) is marked by multiples of nine. (Go home & Google it!)
c It is entirely possible that the eruption of Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii is an example of God’s divine judgement upon those who touch Jerusalem, the city of God.
aa This is not the first time God released divine judgement upon those who have defiled His city or disadvantaged His chosen.
bb History is littered with casualties that stem from the mistreatment of His people and The Land.
C Before Titus & his army destroyed the Temple in 70 AD, another foreign ruler had desecrated the Temple hundreds of year before.
1 A Syrian ruler by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes IV had sacrificed a pig on the sacrificial altar (Brazen Altar.)
a It took three years, but the Maccabees rebellion finally drove the Syrian’s from the Temple Mount.
aa Antiochus was in the Persian capitol when word reached him that the Jews had been victorious over the Syrian forces in Jerusalem.
bb He was so angry, he commanded his chariots to go full speed to Jerusalem, bragging how he would make the City of God a graveyard.
b Bishop James Ussher, Annals of the World, wrote...