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Biblical References to Meteors and Meteorites

The Original Testament and the New Testament offer many examples of possible destruction from the sky by meteors and meteorites. Though some verses seem to refer to hail stones of ice, I have tried to only include references that have fire as part of the verse. As there are no volcanic eruptions in the broader historical record for the region (if incorrect, please provide sources in comments) within the biblical time period (see interesting article on volcanic activity in Red Sea), I am further assuming that references to brimstone, fire, stones are meteors.  I am not a biblical scholar and am only adding these references for entertainment purposes. The exact verses below come from various biblical translations and may not be exact compared to an individual’s bible.

The Destruction of the the Amorites by Gustav Dore (engraving 1865). Image Source: www.artbible.info

Joshua 10:11

And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painting by Lucas Van Leyden, 1520 titled “Lot and his Daughters” with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by a rain of “sulphur and fire” in background. Image Source: Louvre Museum and Wikimedia

Genesis 19:24 – 25

Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woodcut by Lucas Chranach within Martin Luther’s September Bible printed in 1522. Image Source: Christies.com

Revelation 8:7

The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luca Giordano, The Conversion of St. Paul, c. 1690. Modified from Image: christchurchwindsor.ca

Acts 9:3 – 4
(Read these two articles for opposing points of view: Was St. Paul Converted by a Meteorite Fall and Possible First‐Century Fireball of Historical Importance)

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

 

 

 

 

Matthew 24:29

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Revelation 6:13

And the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.

Ezekiel 38:22

And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

 

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Notable Hammer Stones & Falls

  1. Chiang-Khan in which many stones “rained down” on a fisherman’s boat. (one of only 2 hammer falls known to hit a boat). The fisherman considered
    the black rocks “evil” and threw them ALL into the river!
  2. Barwell which included an individual stone that came through an apartment window, bounced off the floor and landed in a lady’s tea cup! This individual stone is not available.
  3. Mbale which included a small stone that hit a tree first before striking a boy. This individual stone is also not available.
  4. Sylacauga fell through the roof of a home, bounced off of a couch and hit Anne Hodges. This fall was comprised of several stones, but only the one is a hammer stone. It is seldom available for sale and has a price to match due to its well known and famous story.
  5. Claxton, a well known hammer stone that struck a mailbox, , is occasionally is offered for for sale.
  6. Worden, another well known hammer stone that came through a roof and struck a car, is occasionally is offered for for sale.
  7. New Orleans, fell through someone’s house while they were out. Most of this meteorite was lost to flooding.
  8. Chelyabinsk, a massive shower of stones with some hitting people’s homes. These are quite rare and require an excellent provenance proving their status as hammer stones.
  9. Sutter’s Mill, an ultra rare meteorite fall. Some hit a person’s garage door.

More details will be added to these over time or made into their own articles.

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Valera – The Cow Killer

“It was past midnight…there was a strange noise…due to the dark of the night we saw nothing…the next morning a worker came to say that there was a cow killed under strange circumstances.” ~ Juan Delgado, 1972. On October 15th, 1972 in Trujillo, Venezuela, a meteor entered our atmosphere and killed a cow. Yes, it struck a cow and nearly cut it in half! The owner of the farm, a physician by the name of Argimiro Gonzalez, wasn’t particularly concerned or surprised. He rationalized that this sort of thing must happen from time to time and he ended up using the meteor fragment as a doorstop. Many years later an astronomer, Dr. Ignacio Ferrin, heard about the story and approached the heirs of Dr. Gonzalez. After verifying the story with several witnesses, Dr. Ferrin purchased the Valera meteorite which has the distinction of being one of the only documented fatal meteorite impacts.

On the evening of 1972 October 15, a bright light accompanied by a loud noise was witnessed near the El Tinajero farm.  The next morning, Dr. Arginiro Gonzales and his guest, Juan Dionicio Delgado, discovered that a cow had apparently been killed by a falling stone. The stone had broken into three pieces weighing 38, 8, and 4 kg, respectively.  The largest specimen remained outdoors for decades which is why this “fresh fall” has a weathering grade of W3.

Do you have more information to add or nice pictures? Send them!