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Home Forums Evidence for Biblical miracles Destruction by fire… location and evidence? Reply To: Destruction by fire… location and evidence?

  • Thomas Donlon

    September 29, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Major paper in Nature Scientific Reports has come out.

    I read the 64 pages and the 20 other pages of supplementary material. It isn’t easy reading, but it might be easy browsing.

    Main takeaways (for me anyways… my interpretations):

    • The blast evidence is hard to argue against. This wasn’t a military conquest.
    • Though not part of the study, this blast event was widespread and probably was the event that Kathleen Kenyon was excavating that she thought was too early to be the destruction of Jericho by Joshua and the Israelites. I’m assuming that later built, smaller fortifications on top of the major Jericho city that was destroyed was a result of Joshua’s conquest.
    • The size of the blast and the overlay with a similar blast in Tunguska, Russia (Siberia) in the early 1900’s was overlaid on a map of the region, showing the blast may have taken out areas of the Dead Sea surrounding settlements. [My Interpretation only: The overlay also fits well with the Biblical Evidence that the City of Sodom was a half-day walking distance from the Mamre/Hebron area where the angels left Abraham after a meal he made for them in the heat of the day. The city excavated and seen in the report was not Sodom, but the blast area encompassed Sodom and Tall el-Hammam isn’t big enough to be Sodom. The King of Elam had Sodom paying tribute… and it was worth marching his entire army out to get their treasure.]
    • Salt was disturbed and redistributed from the Dead Sea or its area to kill off growth and agriculture for hundreds of years.
    • This will create sizeable scientific interest in the area and many will try to find correlations and evidence for the blast as other regions in the area.
    • Some geographical evidence from the area might get reinterpreted to fit with a blast scenario from the “bolide” (which means either asteroid or comet or fragment thereof that impacts the earth or its atmosphere).

    I might move on from this topic to other areas of interest, but for those that want to doubt the scientific hypothesis that this particular act of destruction at Tall el-Hammam was the result of a cosmic impact or atmospheric explosion, the evidence is very strong.

    Additionally the many scientists who participated in the study weren’t trying to prove the Bible. The paper isn’t taking a stand or arguing for Lot and his wife or angels or the existence of great wickedness in the city. They are comfortable believing and concluding that this event must have been the inspiration for the destruction of Sodom as relayed in the Bible.

    If anyone wants to discuss aspects of this paper… I suppose we can discuss this. Nothing changes for me after this paper came out. I read an earlier paper and was aware this article was in publication. I didn’t know how solid the scientific evidence was going to be. I’m expecting other archaeologists are going to start reinterpreting some findings. From a Bible standpoint now we have to relook at the higher levels of Jericho’s walls to search for another wall that fell. Yeah this blast is calculated to been some thousand or so times stronger than the nuclear weapon that destroyed Hiroshima Japan. It will embarrassing to look at the destruction of Tall el-Hammam and argue the Assyrians or Arameans did that. (Now there is some later destruction layers that Steven Collins and crew have excavated that do match later military activity. But that wasn’t the focus of this scientific paper.

    Various scholars might need to tweak their chronologies. I am not standing by the accuracy of the date they have from Radio-carbon dating… though I believe the actual date of the destruction could be as much as a few hundred years older… because radio-carbon dating in this area can be off from what I’ve understood. I say “could be” off not IS off. If this IS the Sodom era destruction, (of course it is) then this totally wrecks Doug Petrovich’s long duration Egyptian sojourn layered on the early Exodus. David Rohl’s chronology will fare much better, but he may need to re-calibrate some details of his thinking.

    Let God be proved true…