by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1977
Transcribed and Edited David Sielaff, July 2005
Read the accompanying Newsletter for July 2005
I think that all of us have realized that there has hardly been a year in weather phenomena like the one we have just been through. 1 Even weather specialists are asking if something significant is beginning to happen to the weather. Why the excesses in cold spells, prolonged draughts, floods and all of these phenomena that we have been experiencing in the past year or two? Many are asking this question. Will it continue? What does the Bible have to say about these matters?
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The Bible is the Word of God. God controls the weather. There is no question about it. He has used weather in the past in the point of judgment against various nations. He will use it in the future. Some people are asking whether or not He is using it at the present time. This is what we will consider, but we must first establish the historical and perhaps even prophetical background to this matter so we can understand a little bit more about the present in which we live.
This article concerns weather phenomena in the Bible from a historical and prophetical point of view. Meteorology is the science of studying the weather. Climatology, is a cousin science of meteorology which relates to past weather patterns in history. These two sciences certainly have something to do with the Bible from the point of view of history, and certainly from the point of view of prophecy.
Weather concerns every single one of us. Every one of us has to buy food to eat. We all depend on good crops around the world. The United States is perhaps the area most blessed by God on earth for the production of food products, and we have been undergoing tremendous weather changes in the past two to three years. A number of weather scientists are beginning to tell us that it looks like some fundamental changes are taking place.
God has used weather extensively in His judgments upon mankind in the past, and He promises to use it in the future. This is where the Bible comes into all of this. Where do we fit today in the scheme of things as far as weather is concerned? The only way we can understand about today is to look at the past. The Bible itself was written, let us say some 2,000 years ago (when it was finally completed), yet much of the Bible goes back 3,500 years ago and it describes conditions far earlier than that. The weather has been fundamental in the understanding of the Scripture and how God deals with mankind.
For example, notice how God used the weather in the past. We find that Elijah, who lived in the 9th century before Christ, was a prophet who had great power and authority to be able to do what he wished on earth. He said to the heavens, pointing his hands up to them, “You will not bring forth any rain upon the land of Palestine until I give the word.” 2 For 3½ years not a drop of rain fell on Palestine; and it brought Israel to its knees. That is most remarkable when you think about it. Here was a prophet who was able to show God’s power working within him in the 9th century B.C.E.
God also prophesied that weather disaster was to come upon ancient Babylon:
“A sword is upon the Chaldeans, says the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, ... they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed. A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols. Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell there.”
Jeremiah 50:35, 37–39
In other words God was saying through Jeremiah that the area of Babylon and Mesopotamia would turn into a desert. This prophecy may be still for the future, but it is interesting that the area of Babylon today (and I have been there) is virtually desert at the present time. It took about 500 years after this prophecy to absolutely bring it to pass, and indeed, we know that the prophecy really deals with the end of the age. But God controls the weather. God can do that again. All of these events, when you analyze them from the scripture, show that God controls weather patterns. This has been the case since the dawn of history.
In the very beginning, back in Genesis chapter 1 we find weather being used by the eternal God. When He describes the world, after He created the heaven and the earth, He speaks about this entire globe being covered entirely by water. It was also covered by an opaque cloud cover, condensed water vapor if you want to put it that way, which enshrouded it completely. If you read the first chapter of Genesis very carefully, this was the case.
It was only on the 4th day that God allowed this opaque cloud cover to break open so that the sun, the moon, and the stars could be seen from somebody (if they had been here on this earth). No one was created on the earth according to the Bible until the end of the 6th day, but if you had been here on the 4th day, suddenly you would have seen this opaque cloud cover break away to be able to observe, periodically at least, the sun, the moon, and the stars. Before that time this whole earth was enshrouded in a complete opaque cloud cover, and itself completely covered in water until the dry land appeared; all this according to the Bible.
This cloud cover began to break up on the fourth day. However, much of the water remained in suspension around this earth, probably like Saturn. We all have seen the pictures of the planet Saturn with the rings around it. No one knows exactly what those rings are composed of. Some have said they are particles of some kind, perhaps even ice crystals. 3
Is it not interesting that the earth itself seems to have been surrounded very soon before the creation of Adam by some kind of an opaque cloud cover that once in a while would break open and the sun would shine down. Yet there was an extensive amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, much more than we have today. Clearly this is the case because this condition lasted for around 1650 years until the flood of Noah, according to the Hebrew chronology of the Bible.
Then all of a sudden the waters from the great deep began to come up, but it also says the waters from the sky began to come down in sheets, in rain that lasted for 40 days and nights. This must mean that in those 1650 years before the flood, great quantities of water were suspended in the atmosphere. This may have caused the earth to have a kind of greenhouse effect. We do not know all the evidence of this, of course.
The history of the earth before the flood shows clearly that even though men may have lived 900 some odd years, they were in trouble during those times. The earth did not yield its seed at the proper times. There was no regularity of winter and summer. In some cases even day and night had irregular periods.
What it all shows, if you will look at the evidence carefully, is that the earth itself was under a curse that lasted until the time of Noah. 4 Perhaps one reason men lived so long in those days was because of some atmospheric condition that existed at that time that you and I do not have today. Some of us might say, well, bring it back so we can live so long. The only thing is, if you will look carefully in the Scripture, they were asking to get a release from that curse upon man and upon the ground that did not yield its food as we would look at it today.
If you look at the first six chapters of Genesis, you find, though people lived a long time in that period, the earth was not a very pleasant place to live. They must have had atmospheric and weather conditions very different than you and I have today. It does not mean that they had scientific relationships that were different from ours today. Science [specifically physics and chemistry] has always been the same from the beginning of time. It means there were all types of factors involved before the flood that allowed the area of the earth in which humans were living to be in a very sad state.
There were more or less desert conditions around where most people were living. The land was not yielding its produce at all. There must have been animals around increasing, but people had to have kind of a nomadic life. They had a few cities and things of that nature, as we find in scripture, but all humans were under a curse until the time of Noah. Once Noah comes on the scene, and the great flood takes place, God says — and He gave a promise to this effect — that He would not bring another flood upon the earth like He did in the time of Noah. But He also gave another promise:
“And the Lord smelled a sweet savor [from Noah’s sacrifice]; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for [although] the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done [by the flood].”
So there were two things that God would not do. He would not send another flood. He would not curse the ground like He did in the pre-flood period from the time of Adam up to the time of Noah. You find that throughout the first six chapters of Genesis. The land did not yield its produce as we would like it today.
To end it all, He brought on a great flood. Waters came up from underneath the earth, the fountains of the great deep broke up, but it also says something else. Waters poured down from the heavens, from this type of opaque cloud cover. Obviously they saw the sun, the moon, and the stars at times, quite true. But there must have been some kind of massive cloud cover around this earth which you and I do not experience today, which allowed the earth to have kind of a greenhouse effect.
Believe it or not, this could have caused ice conditions in the far north, and the creation of immense glaciers. It is possible, even though it was warm in certain other areas. The warmer you have it, the more moisture you have, and in the Polar Regions, it is quite possible they could have had great glaciers happening at that time. Perhaps many of the glacier evidences we see today in the earth (the geologically recent glaciation) may have taken place in that time. It is quite possible.
Of course we do not know because none of us were there. But we do know this much from the text: great quantities of water came out of the atmosphere at the time of the flood. After Noah spent one year, and a little over, in that flood, and Noah and his family came out of that ark, they saw a different type of a world than they had been familiar with before. God says to Noah and future generations:
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
The implication is that in that 1656 years from the time of Adam to Noah they had chaotic weather conditions. They also had atmospheric conditions that were difficult. They had difficulties in seeing summer and winter in proper times. Day and night were even affected to a certain extent. Seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, all of these things were unreliable and changed without warning. Those 1650 years were not a pleasant experience on this earth at all. God was working in weather; God works in nature. He brought that to an end in a flood when the waters came down out of the heavens and from after the flood on we saw what we might call clearer atmospheres.
At the present time we live in, since the time of Noah, water vapor in the atmosphere is probably no more than about 4%, less than that in some cases over deserts and such arid places. But before the flood it could have been far greater. A result of having far greater water content in the atmosphere with the sun’s rays coming through it, would have given a hothouse or a greenhouse type of an effect that would have desiccated (made like a desert) many areas of the earth. This might have caused the North Polar Region to have excessive moisture, plus cold at the same time would have caused glaciation to take place.
A lot of this is speculation, that is quite true. But the Bible has some very interesting information that seems to correlate what happened in the past insofar as we see the effects in the rocks, in the strata, in the ocean bottoms, tree ring evidence, and things of that nature. It seems to correlate very well with this concept that there was intense heat and glaciation in the past even in the days of pre-flood man.
But a flood did take place. The Bible says it occurred about the 27th century B.C.E. I will not talk about the chronology of the Bible at the present time. But we do know one thing, there were without any doubt excessive heat waves, excessive moisture and glaciation in the past, more than we have today. The Bible itself seems to support it.
What do we find since the time of Noah? We have the earth that you and I know about today. From the time of Noah onward we seem to come into what we call “normal” weather conditions. However, these normal weather conditions are quite a bit different than you and I might imagine today. This is because we are in a warm phase up to about 1945 or 1950 for the past 60, 70, or 80 years. 5 It looks like we are going into a colder phase. Temperature overall has decreased a little over a degree centigrade in the last 20 to 30 years in the northern hemisphere. Remarkably it is getting a little hotter from sparse evidence we have, in the southern hemisphere. No one knows exactly what is causing this.
The weather scientists do not know for sure. They have speculated all types of things, but it looks like very definitely we are having a change in climate. But the change in climate that we are coming to will not be something abnormal from what has been since the time of Noah. We are coming back into what you might consider normal weather conditions compared to what we have experienced for the last 100 years. 6
The last 100 years have been very moist in the northern hemisphere and this has been a great blessing to us. But if you would look at the climatological cycles of the past going all the way back to what we consider the time of Noah, you would find variations and fluctuations in weather condition over all. Some people want to know, just what are “normal” weather conditions?
One thing is for certain, since the time of Noah, after the opaque cloud cover ceased to exist, after the water vapor, which according to the early Scripture surrounded the earth in greater density than we have it today, after that all came out in the time of Noah when the great Flood took place, we have been experiencing what we would call “normal” weather conditions. Still, at the same time there are warm phases and cold phases, even in this period in which we live.
We find in the Bible interesting material considering ancient weather patterns. If you go to the book of Ecclesiastes and look at the first chapter, Solomon (the reputed author) reports about a classic low pressure center and about the weather phenomena associated with it, much as a meteorologist would do to this day.
“The wind goes toward the south, and turns about unto the north; it whirls about continually, and the wind returns again according to his circuits.”
When you look at this carefully as a meteorologist you will find Solomon is describing a classic low pressure system in the northern hemisphere. Remember that Solomon was a wise man, a scientific observer in many ways of looking at things. He wanted to discover all types of phenomena whether it be flowers, the animals, or whatever. Undoubtedly he had his scientists (as we might call them) in that day, who were looking into the question of weather. This is because everything depends upon weather.
When you look at the original Hebrew on this it is most interesting. I quote to you now from the Robert Young translation which gives a more literal Hebrew:
“Going unto the south, and turning round unto the north, turning round, turning round, the wind is going, and by its circuits the wind has returned.”
Ecclesiastes 1:6 Young’s
It always comes back to where it was before. It simply means that the whole atmosphere is circulating. We have always been taught as schoolchildren that the wind circulates. Scientists have known that for the past 200 years. Solomon, or whoever wrote Ecclesiastes, knew that back in the 10th century B.C.E. If you look through other sections of the Scripture you will also find that weather patterns associated with high pressure centers, were well known back in those earlier times. The Bible describes many other types of weather patterns. 7
In the time of Joseph for example in the 17th or 18th century B.C.E. we find the Bible telling us that there was a tremendous quantity of moisture coming down from the highlands of Africa and all over the area of the Middle East which allowed for a great quantity of produce to be harvested. Joseph was told that there were to be not only 7 years of fat conditions, but that there was going to be 7 lean years that would follow immediately after. That exactly occurred. It says that all the nations of the world came up to Egypt to get grain because they all suffered under a great drought. 8
Droughts have been known to occur in the Middle East from time to time. This is quite clear. But so profound was this 7 years of plenty and 7 years of drought in that ancient time that many texts found in the ancient mounds in the Middle East attest to a cycle of 7 years of fat times and 7 years of lean, which go along with what we find here in the Scripture.
We may be coming back into a cycle like that, we are not absolutely certain yet, but one thing we do know is that there was a tremendous quantity of rain coming at one time and all of a sudden it quit for about 7 years, and then it came back again.
Throughout the whole period of the Judges after the Exodus there must have been great drought conditions taking place because for 400 long years the Israelites were not able to come into great prominence at all since the time of the Exodus.
However, by the time of King Saul and then King David, and certainly by the time of King Solomon, the moisture and the rains undoubtedly returned all over the area. Surely they had ups and downs from year to year, but in the time of Solomon it says that every man was living under his vine, in his own tent.
“And Judah dwells — and Israel — in confidence, each under his vine, and under his fig-tree, from Dan even unto Beer-Sheba, all the days of Solomon.”
1 Kings 4:25
It was almost like the Millennium to come. 9 There was great joy and happiness everywhere. Then after the death of Solomon, which was in the 10th century B.C.E., suddenly there began to be some erratic conditions in the weather according to the Scripture. These conditions continued on down to the time of Jeremiah.
The prophet Isaiah said there were going to be traumatic weather changes taking place in the Middle East some time in the future to him. That time came about 150 years after Isaiah when Jeremiah prophesied. If you look in Jeremiah’s prophecies you find prophecy after prophecy dealing with the various nations of the Middle East, whether it be Egypt, Moab, Ammon, Damascus, Syria, Phoenicia. All of a sudden God begins to say through Jeremiah that great transitions will take place in the weather. It will occur all over. 10 For example, concerning the area just east of Jordan, in the area of Moab, Isaiah prophesied:
“The waters of Nimrim shall be desolate: for the hay is withered away, the grass fails, there is no green thing.”
Jeremiah reiterates Isaiah’s prophecy that the fulfillment will soon occur:
“For I have sworn by myself, says the Lord, that Bozrah [the capital of Transjordan] shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes.”
All was to happen because of drought conditions that would take place around the beginning of the 6th century B.C.E. For some reason for almost 100 years in the Middle East severe drought conditions come into effect. Not only were there wars and plagues, but drought conditions were so disastrous that in some areas whole nations disappeared at that time. Nations that were famous for 1,000 years disappeared almost overnight not only because of wars and plagues and famines, but because droughts of great consequence began to occur. This happened all over the Middle East. Even Egypt in the 6th century B.C.E. was to suffer:
“And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord: because he [Pharaoh] has said, ‘The river is mine, and I have made it.’ Behold, therefore I am against you, and against your rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene [modern Aswan] even unto the border of Ethiopia.”
Egypt at that time underwent quite a great difficulty. The waters kept coming down from the Nile, that is quite true, but for the next 100 to 300 years we find that all the area of Egypt in the south and in the west and all of North Africa itself began to change dramatically.
Two French experts have discovered remarkable examples of primitive art even in the central Sahara that goes back even before Ezekiel’s prophecy. The Sahara is the world’s largest desert. It was once controlled by Egypt. But the rock carvings found in the central part of Sahara in three distinct groups give evidence that the great Sahara desert was once a lush grassland capable of supporting huge herds of cattle in certain areas. But the weather conditions have changed and since the 6th century B.C.E., the central areas of the Sahara began to be more desert like.
These carvings all over the central Sahara show that in Egypt’s heyday before the 6th century B.C.E. the Sahara in many areas (but not all) was a huge grassland. It was absolutely beautiful in many areas. What happened was that drought began to come on and it stayed in and around the area of Palestine and the Middle East for almost 200 years. 11
Then about 400 B.C.E. or around 350 B.C.E., changes again began to take place in the Middle East. Rain began to come back. Cold temperatures began to come back. This condition lasted for about 150 years. Then the cycle of drought conditions returned generally around the area. Babylon was still prospering somewhat, but all over the other regions of the Middle East, in the lands of Moab and Ammon and Edom and even to a certain extent in Egypt, drought conditions began to return. More areas of the Sahara Desert began to dry up. This lasted for about 150 years.
Then about 200 to 150 B.C.E. all of a sudden the rains began to come back. I believe they came to prepare the way, in my judgment, for the introduction of Christianity about 1½ centuries later. This mid-zone from Palestine all the way across north Africa and southern Europe all the way to Spain began to have cold spells come which produced rain in larger areas in far greater amounts than had been seen for almost 200 years before. The evidence is quite clear that this is the case.
In the time of our Lord, Josephus tells us that the snow pack in the Lebanese Mountains which fed the River Jordan lasted all year round. You do not find that happening these days, but in his days it did occur. There was a relative cold snap that came down and lasted a long time from about 350 B.C.E. all the way up to almost 300–400 C.E., about a 700 year period at the time before, during and after Christianity emerged. Josephus speaks about the Lebanese Mountains having snow pack all the year around. In ancient times this snow did not begin to melt until spring had arrived.
For example, in Joshua’s time it mentions that the River Jordan overflowing its banks at the time of harvest, which means from April to June. 12 Today it never overflows its banks. When the Jordan does rise because of melting snows, it is usually from January to March. But in the time of Christ this snow pack in the Lebanese mountains was much greater than today. It started all of a sudden about 350 B.C.E. The snow began to come, with more rain. This rain came down even into Egypt, into North Africa, and it turned North Africa into a great huge granary area something like Kansas is today.
It only lasted about 700 years, but then all of a sudden it began to change about the 6th century C.E. and it seems like that the cold began to retreat back northward. In the 8th century, 9th century and certainly around the 10th century C.E. the cold was retreating far north and warmer phases were coming on the scene.
In the time of Christ if you read the records about what was happening in Palestine, there was far more moisture there than what we experience even to this day. There was much more vegetation in Palestine in the time of Christ because of the wetter climate. When Christ retired to an uninhabited area where there was no food available He miraculously fed 5,000 men. Remember how “he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass” (Mark 6:39). “There was much grass in the place” (John 6:10). 13
I realize that these incidents may seem isolated, but today unless you see a watered planted area in Palestine, you will not find much grass on which you can sit. In fact an English traveler back in 1843, before the whole area of Palestine was built up, describes what he saw on the way from Joppa which is on the seacoast up to Jerusalem. This is an exact quote from what he said,
“I have traveled from Joppa to Jerusalem over some of the finest soil that could be found anywhere, but I did not see so much as one blade of grass, though I looked for it as one would search for a diamond. This to me seems strange for I knew in England grass would grow where nothing else will, but here neither among the fine stubble fields nor among the roadside where no plow comes were to be found so much as what might be called strictly a blade of grass.” 14
That was the condition in 1843 and it exists about that way now. But at the time of Christ it was different. They had grass on all types of areas. The region was experiencing what you might call a cold spell coming down out of the north arctic area and causing rain to fall in areas which normally do not get rain today. This is a fact. It lasted for several centuries all the way to between 400 and 600–700 C.E. This whole region of the Mediterranean experienced great rains that they have never experienced since.
Let me tell you something about today. It looks like we are in a cooling phase again since 1945, and it may well be, because of the prophecy saying that the deserts around Jerusalem are going to blossom again when Jesus comes back (Isaiah 35:1–2, 6–7, 41:18–20, 51:3). It may be that we are in for another phase of coldness coming down from the north that will make the southern temperate zone areas to have more moisture than before, but the northern ones will have more cold and more glaciation will come in. It looks like that very well may be the case, because there is a cooling trend beginning to take place at this time.
Certainly at the time of Christ the southern European areas and the North African areas were far colder than we have them today. This would give rise to much more moisture in Palestine. It would account for a greater amount of economic development in southern Europe, but not in northern Europe. In fact, the whole of Europe, as well as the Near East in the time of Christ was very much colder and wetter than it is now. 15
In the time of Christ it was very, very cold in areas which are relatively warm today. It means that the area where Christ was in Palestine and in Egypt, it was cooler down there also, but it gave rise to more rains, and they had vegetation all over. In this period even in Italy it was much colder:
“The Romans even in their Italian wars rarely took to the field before the month of April, since they dreaded encountering the snowstorms of the Apennines, and the floods which at the melting of the ice converted the feeders of the Tiber River into rapid torrents.”
In fact the Roman writer Livy reports that the Tiber River by Rome in ancient times froze over in the winter. 16 Such a phenomenon is unheard of today. Without doubt Italy, just as the ancient Near East where Christ was, was much colder in climate than it is today.
This would have given much more moisture to the areas of the Middle East and the deserts like the Sahara. In the time of Christ, though they had deserts around Jerusalem, still there was far more moisture at that time because it was colder. It was almost as if the Middle East (which is about 35 degrees north latitude) would be like about 45 degrees north latitude, because the climate would have been about 10 degrees colder than it was before. This happened in the time of Christ and it allowed much of the area of North Africa and the Middle East to have vegetation that it does not have today.
In the Roman period of North Africa they had all types of crops growing there that you cannot see today. I have been to North Africa and looked over the whole area. One area in Tunisia alone has a great amphitheater where the Romans used to have their gladiatorial events, and it is 60 miles out in the middle of a desert at the present time. But in the time of the Romans huge grain fields were all over the area. Why? Because temperatures were colder in those days and it became warmer as time went on. The warmer temperatures got in the Middle East, then the more Europe opened up to development.
We have been recently in a warm phase and Europe has opened up, the northern parts of America have opened up. But what is happening since 1945 in the northern hemisphere and indeed it could be a trend back to like it was in the time of Christ. There is a coldness coming back to the northern hemisphere. We have been reduced in temperature at least one degree centigrade and it may go as high as two degrees centigrade.
It will mean that the northern areas of Canada, the United States, Great Britain, and Germany will get colder and colder. They will have less moisture. That will mean that some of the southern areas, particularly in the Mediterranean will begin to get colder, but more moisture will come up there. When Christ said in the prophecies that deserts are going to bloom, if you would answer that from the meteorological point of view, it could mean clearly that the colder temperatures will come back south to allow more of the moisture, to condense and more rain to fall over the desert region and it will bloom and blossom like a rose.
If that happens it would undoubtedly, from a scientific point of view, mean that the northern parts of the globe would be colder, but the median parts of the globe would be colder too, colder than they are now. What is happening at the present time  is that a cooling trend is coming in.
When we have changes in weather patterns you usually get varieties of heat and cold take place between these times of disparities. What is happening now? In the United States in the last year, 1976 to 77, we have experienced the coldest winter we have had in several decades. In the western part of the United States we have had drought. We have hardly had any water whatsoever. Great Britain in 1976 suffered (and also most of northern Europe) the greatest drought they have had in 200 years. It shows that we are in a transition zone between one form or phase of weather which has been warm for the past 100 years almost, now going, it looks like, into a cold phase.
This cold phase should last for 10 to 15 years where we are going to have some areas to be moist and some areas to be dry. Some of the areas that are dry one year may be intensely moist next year. This has happened time and again. In actual fact for the next 5 to 10 years it is my belief that we are going to have topsy-turvy weather conditions. It is mainly because we are going from a warm phase to a cold phase. Some people may say this is prophecy in action. All right, it may be prophecy in action, but I am not saying it from a prophetical point of view at this moment.
All I do know is this, that when Christ Jesus comes back to this earth and it says that the deserts around Palestine — and the Bible is mainly concerned with the Palestinian area — begins to blossom and to bloom, it means that there is undoubtedly going to be a cold phase that will allow more moisture to occur in those areas than you have in other regions. That seems to be coming along step by step.
The deserts of Sahara at the present time are increasing. 17 The other areas seem to also have a lack of moisture. We do not know the exact answer of when this is going to occur, but the Bible says the desert will blossom after Christ comes. But from what we are seeing happen now, if you look in history, if you look at the Bible, if you look at the climatological records of the world you can almost see quite clearly that we are in a phase where topsy-turvy conditions will exist and we are going to have drought one time and the next year excessive rains, off and on.
It looks like this is going to occur for the next 10 to 15 years. Lots of religious people will try to make a lot out of this and say they have all the answers on prophecy. Beware of that. That is not the point, because no one knows exactly what the weather patterns will produce, but we are in a change at this present time. The Bible has recorded these other changes over the centuries.
It is time we get back to the Bible and start to see what it says and it will answer, I believe, most of the questions concerning weather in the 20th century.
Ernest L. Martin, 1977
Edited by David Sielaff, July 2005
1 Being, of course, the year 1977, some 28 years before this present republication. DWS
2 Dr. Martin is paraphrasing 1 Kings 17:1. (See also Amos 4:7 and James 5:17–18.) The King James Version says:
“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, ‘As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.’” DWS
3 Ice crystals formation is now the accepted explanation for the rings of Saturn. See the NASA sanctioned website with information about Saturn and its rings at http://ringmaster.arc.nasa.gov/saturn/saturn.html. Three other planets in our solar system have rings besides Saturn, but the rings are only visible with aid of a telescope. They are Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune. DWS
4 Genesis 3:17: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life.” See also Genesis 5:29 and 8:21. DWS
5 Continuing even to the early years of this 21st century. DWS
6 The role of ocean currents as a major climate-causing factor is clearly presented in the article “Currents of Change: Investigating the Ocean’s Role in Climate” at http://hps.elte.hu/~zagoni/Rahmstorf.pdf. DWS
7 For example Job 36:27–28. DWS
8 See Dr. Martin’s article “The Importance of Egyptian History” at http://www.askelm.com/prophecy/p030701.htm. The story of Pharaoh’s dream and Joseph’s correct interpretation and subsequent rise to power is in Genesis 41:1–47:26. The political effects of this fat/lean cycle enslaved the Egyptian people to Pharaoh, who in turn enslaved the Israelites. See “Free Men Into Slaves” at http://www.askelm.com/news/n030610.htm. DWS
9 Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings chapter 8 also indicates God was blessing Israel at that time. Solomon acknowledges warnings (similar to this in Deuteronomy) that lack of rain would be God’s punishment for disobedience to the Covenant. DWS
10 See Dr. Martin’s “The Prophetic Birth of Our Civilization” at http://www.askelm.com/prophecy/p020701.htm which details the national upheavals and the changes of kingdoms that took place in the 6th century B.C.E. DWS
11 See http://www.metrum.org/mapping/sahara.htm.
“Our knowledge of the ancient Sahara was revolutionized by the publication, in 1957, of the results of Henri Lhote’s investigations of the rock paintings of the central Sahara. These paintings indicate that there was a time when chariots drawn by horses crossed the Sahara from the Mediterranean coast to the river Niger. This indicates that the process of desiccation of the Sahara had reached a point in which transportation by river was no longer possible from the Great Chots to the Ahaggar and from there to the Niger, but the land could still support horses. One principle used by Lhote in dating this chariot route is the fact that the horses are portrayed on the rock painting according to style conventions that occur in Mycenaean art. … In fact rock paintings of horses are found also in the present oasis of Fezzan, which indicates that the chariot route must have gone from Ghat to the Fezzan and from there to Cyrenaica through the present oasis of Jalo. In substance the chariot route must coincide with the trade route described by Herodotus, a route that Lhote recognizes as going from Cyrenaica to the Ahaggar through the oases of Jalo, the Fezzan, and Ghat. It can be assumed that this chariot route must have existed up to roughly 1000 B.C.” DWS
12 See Genesis 13:10 for the conditions of the Jordan River valley in the time of Abraham. For later periods see Joshua 3:15; 1 Chronicles 12:15; and Jeremiah 12:5. In those times the fords of the Jordan River were far apart (Joshua 2:7; Judges 3:28, 7:24 and 12:15). A miracle was required for the Israelites to transport the Ark of the Covenant through the rushing waters (Joshua chapters 3 and 4). This indicates a great flow of water, especially when the spring thaws made the volume of water so great that the Jordan regularly overflowed its banks. The Jordan River overflowed its banks as late as post-exilic times as is stated in the apocryphal book of Ecclesiasticus 24:26 and in the “Letter of Aristeas to Philocrates,” ¶¶116–117. In later Old Testament times the Jordan River valley was like a thick jungle where lions and other wild beasts were able to keep cover. When the floods occurred, these animals would wander out of the dense growth areas (Jeremiah 49:19, 50:44; Zechariah 11:3). Today water extracted from the Jordan River for agricultural and city use greatly diminishes the river’s volume even in the spring. In addition, the rains in the modern era are greatly diminished from biblical times. See the article “Palaestina,” William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, vol. 2 (London, Walton & Maberly, 1854), p. 521. DWS
13 The “grass” was in a desert place (Matthew 14:13, 15, and 19). DWS
14 I was unable to locate Dr. Martin’s source for this quote. However, the French historian Chateaubriand noted earlier in 1806 a similar experience when traveling to Jerusalem. He observed that,
“the mountains grew steeper and took on an appearance that was at the same time more grand and more barren. Soon all vegetation ceased and even the moss disappeared. The mountains all around took on a burning red color. We climbed for an hour in this desolate landscape ... across a naked plain strewn with boulders.”
In Chateaubriand: Oeuvres romanesques et voyages. Vol. 2. Ed. Maurice Regard (Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1969) cited in F.E. Peters, Jerusalem: The Holy City in the Eyes of Chroniclers, Visitors, Pilgrims and Prophets from the Days of Abraham to the Beginnings of Modern Times (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985), pp. 561–562. This is indeed the landscape around Jerusalem in the present day. DWS
15 Article “Europa” in Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, vol. 1, p. 881:
“The climate of central Europe affected the progress of discovery northward. The mean temperature of Spain, Italy and Greece was lower than at present day, while Gaul [France] and Germany experienced almost the rigors of an arctic winter. … Central Europe was, for many centuries as regards its climate, what Canada is at present day.” DWS
16 The Apennine mountain range runs the length of the Italian peninsula from north to south. Article “Tiberius” in Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, vol. 2, p. 1199.
17 There have been some recent indications show that the Sahara is actually shrinking. This is according to infrared satellite photographs of the grasslands of the Sahara. If true, this indicates a return of the grasslands to those latitudes, although scientific explanations are contradictory. See the explanatory article “Sahara Desert's Advance Appears to be Reversing,” http://www.waterconserve.info/articles/reader.asp?linkid=16388. DWS
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