I am more impressed with prophets than I am with scholars. While I know some prophets who are also scholars, I know a whole lot of scholars who know nothing about prophets. Their world of research and peer-review publications is a far cry from the world of revelation and vision-inspired teaching in which prophets excel.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not criticizing or putting down scholars and their ways of getting their message out. Peer-review has its place in the sciences but it is not the way prophets share what they have learned. Just as in ancient times, except to mock and ridicule, the world pays little attention to what modern-day prophets say.
Prophets in Old Testament times were rarely popular, usually because they boldly spoke the word of the Lord in telling the people to repent. That’s not something that most people like to hear, especially if they are enjoying their life of sin. So they drove the prophets away, where they continued to write for our benefit today.
The prophets saw our day
Many prophets saw our day. The Lord revealed it to them. They saw things that would happen in the skies that we simply are not familiar with. They were very familiar with the catastrophes that are about to befall us because many of them also happened in their day – earthquakes, plagues, famines, pestilences and great hail.
Have you ever thought about why the falling of hailstones would be such a big deal? We see hailstones all the time. Sure, they may destroy a few crops and break a few things but why are they mentioned so prominently in prophecies from Old Testament times that foretold our day? I wonder if it was a different kind of hail.
What if the hailstones that the prophets described were not hailstones of ice but of stone? What if the correct interpretation of what fell from the sky was meteorite? Can you imagine meteorites falling like hail? What would cause such a thing? Well, it’s actually quite simple and has a very logical and natural explanation.
Frozen water or burning rock
Meteorites, or more correctly, meteoroids, are simply debris from comets that have passed by. When the Earth passes through the region of space where the comet has been, we have meteor showers. The Leonids are one such example of a meteor shower that arrives every year about November 17th. Another is the Perseids.
We sometimes call these fiery displays, falling stars or shooting stars. But they are not really stars at all, but may be leftover pieces of planets that have broken up. We watch in awe as they shoot across the night sky, sometimes as often as one or two a minute. People travel to desert places to view and photograph them clearly.
But falling rocks don’t burn, do they? Indeed they do. Most of what we see in a meteor shower comes from rocks the size of pebbles and even sand. The friction of the atmosphere causes them to burn up, usually long before they reach the earth. But interestingly, larger ones that do reach the ground are usually cold. Go figure.
Hailstones of fire
The hail that fell in Egypt at the time of the Exodus was described by the Lord as very grievous, such as had not been seen in the land from the foundation of Egypt. I’m sure there had been hail in Egypt, but this was a different kind. It was not hail of ice, but of stone, burning stone, for fire ran along the ground as it fell in torrents.
The Lord has said through his prophets that such an event will occur again as part of the last days, just before the coming of the Lord. Can you imagine the kind of damage that a meteor storm that causes fire to run along the ground can do? The size of these meteorites as they strike the ground is prophesied to be quite large.
Now that’s something that can do some damage, especially if these falling stones are accompanied by fire. We find another description of this phenomenon when the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. We call it fire and brimstone. Yes, that’s the sort of thing we have to look forward to before the Lord returns.
Fire and brimstone
What about this idea of fire and brimstone falling from the sky? Did such a thing really happen? Could it happen again? Brimstone is identified in modern times as sulfur, a product of volcanic activity, usually found around the brim or edge of a volcano in vents. Will there be increased volcanic activity before the Lord returns?
Yes, we will see huge amounts of volcanic activity in the last days but this essay is more about fire from the sky. In addition to swarms of meteors like we have never seen before, there is another kind of fire from the sky that has happened in our day, but which scholars have claimed could not have happened as they are the experts.
I’ve mentioned the Peshtigo fires in my essays before, but the subject deserves a second visit. If you are familiar with the fires, you have probably read about the comet theory. I agree with those who claim that fragments from a passing comet probably did not cause the fires. Any meteorites that fell did not cause the fires.
Falling burning petroleum
I’ll conclude this essay by bringing up one last thing to consider. Remember that in the Book of Exodus, the hail that fell was mingled with fire that ran along the ground. We know that the Lord uses natural events to bring about his purposes. Isn’t it possible that the comet could have some other debris besides meteorites?
You go read the description of the nucleus of a comet as found on Wikipedia. You’ll discover there that one of the components that is burned off a comet by solar heating is oil or tar. Hmmm….What if the earth were to pass through the same area in space where the tail of a comet left behind these organic compounds?
As one eyewitness to the Peshtigo fires reported, “It came in great sheeted flames from heaven. There was a pitiless rain of fire and sand. The atmosphere was all afire.” At apparently the same moment, in points hundreds of miles apart, the most devastating kind of fires broke out, so far as we know, by spontaneous combustion.
Summary and conclusion
Scholars over the years have debunked the idea that a passing comet somehow caused the Peshtigo fires. They must know, right? I mean, they are the scholars and they have the credentials to prove that they can speak with authority on this. As our tax-funded experts at NASA informed us, “Meteorites don’t pop corn.”
Forget about burning meteorites for a few minutes. Think about other possibilities of how the scripture in Exodus could be true – hail mingled with fire that ran along the ground. I propose that this is easily explainable by the earth passing through another kind of debris from a comet – not meteorites, but sticky, oily petroleum.
The falling meteorites themselves did a lot of damage, especially as they grew in size, but they did not necessarily cause the fire. The more I have studied it, the more I am convinced that the Egyptian hail and Peshtigo fires were caused by the earth passing through petroleum, heated to combustion by atmospheric friction.
Photo: Lithograph appeared in Harper’s Weekly 1871 and is entitled “At the River.” It depicts families fleeing from the Peshtigo fires.