As a Bible prophecy watcher, I have been watching the Yellowstone Caldera for several years now. Yellowstone has been warming up as an earthquake hot spot in recent years, and over the past several days, it has experienced an earthquake swarm, with over 250 earthquakes shaking up the area since Friday.
Earthquakes are not a recent phenomenon in the Yellowstone area. Yellowstone is a geologically active area, with thousands of hot springs and geysers dotting the landscape, indicating the presence of magma just below the surface.
Why do Bible prophecy watchers care about this recent swarm of earthquakes to hit the Yellowstone caldera? The Bible specifically addresses earthquakes in Matthew 24:7, Mark 13:8, and Luke 21:11. In each of these verses, the disciples are asking Jesus about the last days, and what the signs will be when his return is near. Jesus tells them that they can recognize that time is getting short when there are nations and kingdoms rising against each other, famines, and earthquakes in various places. The recent swarm of earthquakes in the Yellowstone caldera is another earthquake sign.
But Yellowstone’s significance as a sign of Christ’s return doesn’t just stop at the recent earthquakes. There are earthquakes everywhere, and under ordinary circumstances, one earthquake riddled location would be as significant as another. The Yellowstone area often experiences earthquakes. Because Yellowstone has the potential for volcanic activity as well, there are a couple of other Bible verses that have significance. Revelation 6:12 states that after the sixth seal was opened, “there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.” Revelation 8:5 tells us that “the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake.”
After a major volcanic eruption, ash is sent up in the air, and could potentially change the appearance of the moon, which could explain Revelation 6:12. The angel throwing fire to the earth in Revelation 8:5 could be imagery relating to a volcanic eruption. A volcanic eruption in the Yellowstone caldera could be followed by a large earthquake. According to LiveScience.com, thunder and lightning often accompany volcanic eruptions as well. I’m not sure whether the authors of the Bible understood the concept of volcanic lightning, but it’s right there in the Bible!
What might make Yellowstone so significant as an indicator of potentially prophetic events is that the caldera, or depression in the Earth that would be called the crater in many volcanoes, covers 1500 square miles in area, according to the Discovery Channel. In comparison, the crater on Mount Saint Helens is about 2 square miles, and the crater on top of Mount Vesuvius, which I have been to, is small enough to walk around.
Will Yellowstone become a major prophetic player in Bible prophecy? Will it ever erupt as the supervolcano some people fear that it has the potential to be? Only time will tell. But if the Yellowstone caldera ever does erupt as a supervolcano, it could throw the entire planet out of whack.
O’Hanlon, Larry. “America’s Explosive Park.” http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/supervolcano/under/under.html
“Scientists Puzzle Over Yellowstone Earthquake Swarm.” http://chattahbox.com/science/2008/12/30/scientists-puzzle-over-yellowstone-earthquake-swarm/
Thompson, Andrea. “Lightning Strikes From The Mouths Of Volcanoes.” http://www.livescience.com/environment/070222_volcano_lightning.html