Skip to comments.Biblical Plagues and Parting of Red Sea caused by Volcano
Posted on 11/11/2002 12:44:06 PM PST by Betty Jane
Biblical plagues and parting of Red Sea 'caused by volcano'
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
Fresh evidence that the Biblical plagues and the parting of the Red Sea were natural events rather than myths or miracles is to be presented in a new BBC documentary.
Moses, which will be broadcast next month, will suggest that much of the Bible story can be explained by a single natural disaster, a huge volcanic eruption on the Greek island of Santorini in the 16th century BC.
Using computer-generated imagery pioneered in Walking With Dinosaurs, the programme tells the story of how Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt after a series of plagues had devastated the country. But it also uses new scientific research to argue that many of the events surrounding the exodus could have been triggered by the eruption, which would have been a thousand times more powerful than a nuclear bomb.
Dr Daniel Stanley, an oceanographer who has found volcanic shards in Egypt that he believes are linked to the explosion, tells the programme: "I think it would have been a frightening experience. It would have been heard. The blast ash would have been felt."
Computer simulations by Mike Rampino, a climate modeller from New York University, show that the resulting ash cloud could have plunged the area into darkness, as well as generating lightning and hail, two of the 10 plagues.
The cloud could have also reduced the rainfall, causing a drought. If the Nile had then been poisoned by the effects of the eruption, pollution could have turned it red, as happened in a recent environmental disaster in America.
The same pollution could have driven millions of frogs on to the land, the second plague. On land the frogs would die, removing the only obstacle to an explosion of flies and lice - the third and fourth plagues.
The flies could have transmitted fatal diseases to cattle (the fifth plague) and boils and blisters to humans (the sixth plague).
The hour-long documentary argues that even the story of the parting of the Red Sea, which allowed Moses to lead the Hebrews to safety while the pursuing Egyptian army was drowned, may have its origins in the eruption.
It repeats the theory that "Red Sea" is a mistranslation of the Sea of Reeds, a much shallower swamp.
Computer simulations show that the Santorini eruption could have triggered a 600ft-high tidal wave, travelling at about 400 miles an hour, which would have been 6ft high and a hundred miles long when it reached the Egyptian delta.
Such an event would have been remembered for generations, and may have provided the inspiration for the story.
Jean-Claude Bragard, the director, said: "Sifting through the latest historical research and utilising new archaeological tools, we have been able to find a surprising amount of circumstantial evidence for the Biblical tales."
Moses, which is presented by Jeremy Bowen, the former Middle East correspondent, will be broadcast on BBC1 on Dec 1.
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2002.
Anyone know what this is a reference to?
Weekly World News reports Three More Commandments Found.
One of the most unlikely-to-be-useful of the worst case scenerio survival tips is to start running if you are near a shoreline and this happens.
Funny the article didn't offer any explanation about the death of the firstborn, or any of the other plagues that only afflicted the Egyptians, despite the Israelites living within their midst.
Or when it decides to pile up unnaturally like dirt, and leave a dry path in front of you.
One should be even more suspicious when the last Israelite's feet leave the riverbed in front of you.
"Let God be true and every man a liar..."
It's one thing to be sceptical, but this is just plain silly.
Nowhere near as amusing as Velikovsky's theory that the Exodus were caused by the planet Venus erupting from Jupiter and passing close to the Earth.
That one "explains" the manna as well. Carbohyrates condensed from the Venusian atmosphere, of course.
1. The ash from Santorini has been found all over Egypt.
2. The Red Sea was landlocked during the Ice Age, go here and see that it is so and that the Persian Gulf was completely dry, another 'flood story?'
Earthquakes or tidal waves from Santorini could have breached the dam seperating the Red Sea from the world's oceans and swept the Egyptians away.The Red Sea was reconnected at some point, why not then?
3. One account has Santorini erupting due to an asteroid/comet impact
4. The bibical 'staff by day, torch by night' quote could be from the erupting plume of Santorini. The plume would need to be thirty miles high to be seen in Egypt. The recent Pinatubo volcano was 26 miles high.
5. The rubble from the destruction of Jerico is appropriately dated (charred wheat) just above the Santorini ash layer.
There are other 'tidbits' that I cannot remember presently but will add later on to the thread if/as I remember them.
Well, that part at least is correct; the Hebrew is yam suf, the sea of reeds; "Red Sea" originally appeared in English not as a mistranslation, but simply as a typo for "Reed Sea."
What dates? Do you have 'proven' dates for the Exodus?
Also, my opinion is that the Jews took a right turn after crossing the Red Sea and traveled along the edge of the Red Sea and eventually crossed the Gulf Of Aqaba into Saudia Arabia, which is where I also think Mount Sini(sp) is located.
Exd 14:22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry [ground]: and the waters [were] a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
A volcano causes walls of water to the right and left side for hours. Sure, happens all the time.
What a miracle! Praise The Lord!
The Egyptian Army drowned in a foot of water!
I'm sure I remember hearing from a reliable source, i.e., a science program, that certain species of trees (or shrubs) will spontaneously combust in order to ensure the survival of the species. I'm being mercilessly teased about this, so I'd appreciate any information you can dig up. --Donna Rose, Washington, D.C. Cecil replies:
No offense, Donna, but this is a pretty dull way of putting it. A more interesting way is: Could the biblical burning bush that spoke to Moses have been a spontaneously combusting desert shrub? Answer: Maybe. Some claim there's a plant in desert regions that every so often bursts into flame for no apparent reason. And here your idea of plant-based excitement was watching the leaves turn colors. Then again, I suppose if you were a desert home owner observing the spectacle of random ignition on the lawn some night, you might also think: Cheezit, couldn't I just have crabgrass?
But first the question you asked, as opposed to the one I feel like answering. The science program you heard likely was speaking of pyrophytes, plants that have adapted to fire in various ways. The cones of several species of pine, for example, are serotinous--that is, they open only when exposed to extremely high temperature, making fire an essential part of the reproductive process. (Bruce Springsteen once wrote a song about this.) The fire has to be of external origin, though--the pines don't torch themselves.
It's possible some other plants eliminate the middleman. The leading candidate is Dictamnus albus, a flowering shrub that grows to a height of about two feet. Native to a wide swath of Europe and Asia, including Israel, it's commonly called "fraxinella," "dittany," and, more pertinently for our story, "gas plant" and "burning bush." On warm days D. albus exudes vapor that readily ignites if you hold a match to it, and some say it ignites all by itself if the sun is hot enough. But--here's where things start to get biblical--the vapor burns so quickly that it doesn't consume or even damage the plant. This naturally brings to mind Exodus 3:2: "And the angel of the Lord appeared unto [Moses] in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed."
So D. albus is Moses's burning bush, right? Many biblical commentators think so (or at least they think the bush was a spontaneously combusting plant). But I'm not staking my King James on it. Straight Dope research assistant Bibliophage has turned up an apparent case of spontaneous combustion involving a cactus (www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_567529.html), but nobody in a position to speak authoritatively, e.g., a botanist in Israel, could confirm that such things happen on a regular basis. What's more, the seemingly miraculous biblical story is put in a somewhat Martha Stewart-ish light if we assume burning ornamentals are a commonplace feature of Mount Sinai life: "And behold, the angel of the Lord spoke unto Moses from a lovely spread of flaming fraxinella." All of which means we'd be jumping the gun to conclude that Dictamnus albus, or any other plant, spontaneously combusts in order to perpetuate the species.
The professor gave me a "D" for the paper, for being outside accepted thought patterns for religion class. I thought it was pretty funny, since it was actually a research project I enjoyed and learned something from!
There are theories around that the island that was destroyed by the volcano was the basis for Atlantis legends, and its eruption caused the migration of Mediterranean seafaring people all over the world.
My thoughts are that Atlantis was thousands of years before this 1628BC event....and maybe on another continent?
What is the signifance of the direction of the wind? Why is an east wind important to this story?
Unbelievable...I found my son's HS term paper from March 1985. In it, he cited John Victor Luce LOST ATLANTIS: NEW LIGHT ON AN OLD LEGEND (McGrawHill, 1969).
He wrote "the only possible volcano which could have destroyed Crete was Santorini. When this occurred, argonauts from Crete were confronted with huge tsunamis and a "large bronze giant who hurled stones". The surviving Argonauts then went north from Crete, and, according to Appolonius, the Cretans "helplessly entrusted their safe return to the sea, to carry them where it would".
This story of the Cretan argonauts is remarkably similar to that of the Atlantean argonauts...(All quotes cite Luce).
This is just one of many theories. If you'd like, I'll go through the whole paper tomorrow and get more sources and theories he developed.
Sure they were. Whatever works...
There are advantages to a Kosher (Clean in Hebrew) lifestyle...
I think that's interesting.
Great. That would be interesting.
I've never understood it, God controls nature.
When I was *very* young, I had no idea what "kosher" meant. I knew about Catholics, about holy water, about how holy water is "created", and about what Hollywood says holy water can do. And about the only "kosher" food I ever noticed in grocery stores was kosher salt. And somehow, I got the Catholic and Jewish ideas mixed up in my head as a young boy. It went something like this...
Imagine a food manufacturing / distributing plant. All types of food rolling along on conveyer belts, preparing for packaging and shipment to all points. Exact same food as what gets shipped to other, gentile grocers. Only at the end of these conveyer belts stood a very Woody Allen-esque Jewish rabbi, saying yiddish prayers and sprinking salt over the food as it rolled by, thus making it kosher.
No lie, that's how I used to think Kosher food was made.
Azores: The theory was that the islands are the mountain peaks of a sunken Atlantis. However, the islands are rising, not sinking.
Bimini in the Bahamas: Evidence of a huge ancient port has been found underwater there. However, it is on the wrong side of the Atlantic and there is no evidence of a catastrophe there.
Tartessus on the south coast of Spain has been considered and discounted.
A location midway between Asia and Libya, which would put it near Crete.
Plato might have misinterpreted the numbers he read when he wrote about Atlantis. He or Solon might have inadvertantly multiplied how long before their time the eruption occurred by 10. That would bring it pretty close to the time of the eruption on Crete and Moses' journey.
A lot of significant things happened after the eruption of Thera...The development of pre-Columbian civilization in the Americas, Etruria, ancient Rome, ancient Greece, and the journey of Moses and the rise of the Hebrew civilization.
UNEARTHING ATLANTIS by Charles Pellegrino (Random House, 1991) is a more recent source, connects the journey of Moses with the eruption, and does a pretty convincing job of connecting the eruption on Crete with Atlantis.
A agree totally with you concerning the scientific evidence, blam. It seems to offer evidence of the existense of a higher being which controls events with broad strokes and then leaves some of the outcomes to man.
My sense is that the more ancient something is, the less that is known about it. That would make Atlantis very ancient, I'm thinking at the end of the Ice Age 8-15,000 years ago. Here's a 'take' on Atlantis that you may not have seen:
Not to mention the death of the first born male Egyptians, but not the Hebrews...