Three unusual happenings have sparked claims that Biblical prophecies about the end of the world and the coming of the Messiah may be coming true.
The first occurrence was the birth of the first ‘red heifer in 2,000 years’ in Israel – a creature that features in ‘end of times’ tales in both Christianity and Judaism.
The news of the birth, which emerged in September, was followed by claims last month that fish and other forms of life are quickly filling up Dead Sea sinkholes.
Hebrew prophet Ezekiel’s end-of-days prophecy foresees the sea – a hypersaline environment, with a reported 37 per cent salinity – flourishing into life.
And a photojournalist with the Dead Sea Revival Project said that coming to the body of water, “the lowest point on earth, you see prophecy coming true”.
The third strange occurrence took place this week, when a snake was filmed slithering out of Israel’s Western Wall, unexpectedly interrupting prayers.
Footage showed the reptile scaring away a pigeon – with some Internet users deeming it a sign that a prophecy about the Messiah’s coming will soon be fulfilled.
While countless ‘end of the world’ conspiracy theories have fallen flat over the decades, some claim that the beginning of the ‘end’ will actually begin in 2021.
The trio of ‘signs’ have all emerged in the past few months.
Below are the happenings that have sparked prophecy fulfilment claims
Birth of ‘first red heifer in 2000 years’
Two months ago, it emerged that a ‘red heifer’ had been born in Israel.
The Temple Institute announced the birth via YouTube, and said the calf and her mother would undergo “extensive examination” to determine if she’s “blemish free”.
It said the red calf “brings the promise of reinstating Biblical purity to the world”.
Red heifers feature in “end of times” tales, with the birth and sacrifice of the red cow said to precede the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.
In mainstream Orthodox Judaism, the rebuilding of the Temple will happen before the coming of the Jewish Messiah. The two previous temples have been destroyed.
The Temple Institute and other organisations have been established with the goal of building the Third Temple on Mount Moriah or the Temple Mount.
However, some theologians believe the construction of the Third Temple is linked to ‘Judgement Day’ or the ‘end of times’.
After “extensive examination” of the calf, rabbinical experts are said to have confirmed she is a “viable candidate for the Biblical red heifer”.
Breaking Israel News reported a board of rabbis verified she fulfilled the requirements of the prophecy – which says the cow must be red “without blemish”.
Fish spotted in the Dead Sea
It is said that the Dead Sea’s high salinity prevents fish from living in it.
However, marine life has reportedly been spotted in the sea’s sinkholes.
Scientists are said to have been shocked to discover the sinkholes rapidly filling up with fish and other forms of life that never used to be sighted.
Israeli photojournalist Noam Bedein said the body of water is “anything but dead”, telling Breaking Israel News that it is the “eighth wonder of the world.”
He has reportedly seen fish in the sinkholes – and witnessed growing vegetation.
Ezekiel, a priest and prophet who appears in the Old Testament, foresaw the Dead Sea flourishing into life in his end-of-times prophecy.
According to Ezekiel 47: 8-9, “there shall be a very great multitude of fish”.
And Mr Bedein said: “A place that was once cursed in Biblical times, now you can come here to the Dead Sea, explore the sinkholes and see fish where the water has receded – fulfilling prophecies from Ezekiel who talked about the land flourishing and blooming when the Jews return.”
Snake wriggles out of the Western Wall
A snake was spotted crawling out of the stones of Israel’s Western Wall on Wednesday night, causing some “panic” among worshippers.
The Western Wall Heritage Foundation released video footage of the reptile emerging from one of Judaism’s holiest sites, the Times of Israel reports.
During the incident, the snake reportedly scared away a pigeon – which some bloggers have claimed is a symbol that we are living in “dangerous times”.
They say these times lead up to the coming of the Messiah.
Some Internet users have also drawn connections to the serpent that tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, according to the Bible.
According to Ynet news site, the snake that slithered out of the wall’s stones was likely trying to fatten itself up for the winter months.
The incident came just months after a 220-pound boulder dislodged and fell from the Western Wall, nearly crushing a female worshipper below.