Chapter 13 – Hail Stones And Astral Catastrophism


In all the years I have been studying theology, I have never read where a commentary gave a scientific explanation for the events that are normally called “miracles” in the Old Testament. For example, the Flood. How did it happen? Most preachers I have heard talk about the flood simply explain it as an arbitrary act of God. In other words, the Lord was fed up with that age and came down, turned the faucet on, and drowned them all but Noah and his family, who had enough sense to go into the ark. If we understand the Omniscience of God we should realize that He has the foreknowledge to foresee all the events of the future and then lovingly prepare a way of escape for those who love Him and believe His Word. That in a nutshell is what He did for Noah, his family, and what He is doing for all who will live in the last hours of this last age.

God knew the flood was coming, just like He knows the end of the world is coming. He is the great mathematician and astronomer of the ages who can figure to one millionth of a second when each event in this world and in our personal lives is going to take place. Is it heretical to believe that He who created all the starry heavens and who keeps each planet in its orbit around each blazing sun would also be able to not only foresee, but also control the movements of these planets? And control them according to His own will and for the safety of His people and the accomplishment of His great plan of salvation, even though sin had caused problems in heaven itself, as well as on this earth? “I AM” means an eternal presence. The past, present, and future are alike to God. He sees the remote events of past history, and the far distant future with as clear a vision as we do those things that are transpiring daily. Immanuel Velikovsky is a Jewish scientist, historian and philosopher, who has convulsed the scientific community for more than a quarter of a century with his book, “WORLDS IN COLLISION.” He sweeps away the foundations of evolution with daring explanations for the origin of planet earth and the age of the world. His main theme is CATASTROPHISM. Instead of this earth’s crust and the lithosphere being formed over millions and millions of years, Velikovsky asserts that planets from outer space came close to earth in the past causing tremendous upheavals in the form of tidal waves, earthquakes, and giant hailstones.

Although he may not believe in the Divine Inspiration of the Bible, per se, Velikovsky does believe the Scriptures to be historically accurate in their accounts of past events. For example, he quotes Joshua 10:1 and then says, “The author of the Book of Joshua was surely ignorant of any connection between the two phenomena.” He has reference to the sun’s standing still and the stones (meteorites) falling on the same day. Here is his explanation. “If the head of a comet should pass very close to our path, so as to effect a distortion in the career of the earth, another phenomenon beside disturbed movement of the planet would strike the earth and would increase to a torrent. Stones scorched by flying through the atmosphere would be hurled on home and head. The wide radius over which the heavenly wrath swept is emphasized in the prayer: ‘All the kingdoms tottered…’ A torrent of large stones coming from the sky, an earthquake—(which he says accounts for a shifting of the earth on her axis so the day would be extended), a whirlwind, a disturbance in the movement of the earth—these four phenomena belong together. It appears that a large comet must have passed very near to our planet and disrupted its movement, a part of the stones dispersed in the neck and tail of the comet smote the surface of our earth a shattering blow.” Page 59, “Worlds In Collision.”

He also believes that these four phenomena were widespread in different parts of the earth and not just local events. He sites historical data to substantiate his claims. If Velikovsky were the only scientist to propound such a theory, we might not give it much thought or credence, but Donald W. Patten, along with Ronald R. Hatch and Loren C. Steinhauer, reputable scientists and Bible believing, Christ-professing Christians have developed this concept of ASTRAL CATASTROPHISM even farther in a work entitled, THE LONG DAY OF JOSHUA AND SIX OTHER CATASTROPHES.

With geometrical sketches and a lot of historical data and chronology, Patten and his associates have come up with some amazing deductions. Their book is being sold in Book and Bible stores all over America and probably in other countries as well. Their theory is a serious challenge to the followers of such German rationalists as Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Goethe, Marx, Hutton, and Lyell, who all propounded non-biblical ideas that prepared the way for a ready acceptance of Darwin’s theory of evolution, and all that has come since to undermine faith in the Word of God.

“With reference to ancient history, to ancient literature, and to historical cosmology, we shall require from our readers a new framework of thought for ancient history and for cosmology.” “THE LONG DAY OF JOSHUA,” p. 8. Let us consider these ideas without accepting or rejecting them. Personally, I don’t need these scientific explanations, but they may help some people. Just because I have included them in this book does not mean I believe this is the way it happened. But, I do believe to be objective these scientists deserve a hearing. According to Patten’s ideas, the Long Day of Joshua occurred “circa October 25, 1404 B. C.” He states further, “According to our model, CATASTROPHES or threatening CATASTROPHES should be expected once every 54 years, or every 108 years on the average.” Ibid., 173. The dating method is based upon 1) the chronicles of Scripture; 2) the resonant model for the ancient Marian orbit; 3) the record of Josephus and Talmudic information; and 4) the observation that heavy holocausts tended to bunch in pairs every five to six centuries. Here are just a few events he has worked out with dates: The Joel-Amos Catastrophe, October 25, 756 B.C.; add 108 years and you have the Elijahic Catastrophe on October 25, 864 B.C.; add 108 years more and you have the Greater Davidic Catastrophe on October 25, 972 B.C. Samuel saw one in 1080 B.C.; Deborah in 1188 B.C.; and the Long Day of Joshua occurred on October 25, 1404 B. C.

“The phenomenon of heavy twin CATASTROPHES across the centuries should be observed. If a century had one very severe holocaust, very likely it also had another.” Ibid., p.177. Regarding the fall of Jericho, he says, “Its wall shuddered and collapsed about the time of the vernal equinox….” The vernal equinox, (March 20-21), according to Patten is a time of earthquake activity. The majority of the severe earthquakes in the 20th Century A.D. have occurred in the months of March and April, when the moon is in perigee.

The Bible, regarding the fall of Jericho says, “So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets; and it came to pass, when the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” Joshua 6:20. Now, Patten does not say an earthquake destroyed Jericho, but that earthquakes seem to take place about the same time of year Jericho fell, from his research. Some may say that the trumpet blast caused the earthquake. But the Bible doesn’t say there was an earthquake, but simply that the earth shook. The trumpet sound was a signal of victory. God’s people were permitted to kill. This was not God’s perfect will, but His permissive will. He allowed and controlled the sword, but He did not sanction it. If the trumpet blast and shout of the people caused the walls to fall, that also was God’s permissive, not His perfect will. I would rather believe that God withdrew His protection, and these heathen died, except for Rahab’s family. If the city perished by an earthquake, then it was Satan who directly destroyed it, for Satan brings earthquakes. Isaiah 14:12-17. When Christ was upon the earth, He stilled the angry sea, but caused no earthquakes. Ephesians 2:2 calls him (Satan) “the Prince of the power of the air.” 2 Corinthians 4:4 calls him “the god of this world.”

We know that tidal waves are caused by earthquakes, but what causes earthquakes? Perhaps Satan has the power to cause earthquakes in a way which we are not aware. A new type of modern warfare has been developed in which a nation can set off a charge in a certain part of the earth underground and cause a shock wave that will follow a fault line and result in an earthquake in another part of the world. Also, around 1900, Nikola Tesla, a Russian scientist, devised a system to transmit power which involved the use of extremely low frequency (ELF—electromagnetic frequencies) which are now being used to distort the weather and cause earthquakes, and even to effect human behavior. Another modality that is being used is HAARP, an acronym for (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Project). A book has been written on this project entitled: “Angels Don’t Play This HAARP: Advances In Tesla Technology,” by Dr. Nick Begich and Jeane Manning. This book claims that this new system manipulates the environment in a way which can: 1) Disrupt human mental processes. 2) Jam all global communications systems. 3) Change weather patterns over large areas. 4) Interfere with wildlife migration patterns. 5) Negatively affect your health. 6) Unnaturally impact the Earth’s upper atmosphere.

Has Satan communicated some of his diabolical skills to human beings to hasten their self-annihilation? It would seem so. In the January 1977 issue of SCIENCE DIGEST we read of a man who designed his own “home-made” A-bomb. He says, “Much of the physics required for the construction of a fission bomb gradually has become diffused-increased quantities of plutonium and uranium are manufactured, shipped, reprocessed and stored in all parts of the world. I am a 21 year old senior at Princeton University. In the fall of 1976, I designed a Pu-239 atomic bomb for my independent work in the physics department. If built, it would be small enough to fit into a U-haul trailer, and the yield would be an estimated 8 1/2 kilotons—enough to level a large part of Manhattan.” It is very difficult to obtain plutonium, but apart from that item, Phillips said the cost would be $2,000 to build his “homemade” A-bomb. Fifteen pounds of plutonium would cost $150,000, if it could be bought; but it cannot be bought by an unaccredited person or organization. Phillips purpose in this research was to ascertain how difficult it would be for a terrorist or criminal organization to design and build such a device. The physics involved in building an atomic bomb are fairly well known. Page 20 of his paper is now withheld from public view: it’s considered too revealing as to what’s needed to build a device that will trigger a blast. Revelation 11:18 tells us that God will permit the wicked people who are destroying the earth to be destroyed themselves by His judgments (that is, by His decisions not to restrain them any longer). *See Note

And in 2 Peter 3:7-10 we read, “But the heavens and the earth, which by the same word are KEPT IN STORE, RESERVED UNTO FIRE AGAINST THE DAY OF JUDGMENT AND PERDITION OF UNGODLY MEN…..the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall MELT WITH A FERVENT HEAT, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” In verse 10 this is said to take place on “the day of the Lord,” or at the time of his second coming in the clouds of glory, in this last age. For it will be then that He will come as a thief in the night.

Donald Patton and his associates have done a remarkable job of studying out some new concepts, and I believe they are worthy of our consideration. Our earth is matter, and we are in space moving at tremendous speeds through the universe. The relationship between time and space is thus influenced by matter and its motion. This gives a geometrical structure to the world. Patten has used geometry and physics extensively along with Biblical chronology to measure past catastrophic events. Newton had a theory that a planet moves around the sun because of the gravitational force exerted by the sun. But Einstein came along with his theory of general relativity which says that a planet chooses the shortest possible path throughout the four-dimensional world which is deformed by the presence of the sun.

A ship or airplane may do the same thing while crossing the ocean. It would follow the section of a circle instead of a straight line. In the same way, a planet or light ray moves along the “shortest” line in its four-dimensional world. If we lived in a sinless world, it would still be a gigantic effort of a great mind to understand why things operate as they do. But, here we are caught in a time segment of eternity in the final scene of this earth’s history when darkness covers the earth like a wet blanket. Isaiah 60:1-3. Satan has mastered the art of using all the elements of earth at his control. He is called the “prince of the power of the air”; so why should we think it strange that he would be able to cause great catastrophic events by methods that are far beyond even the mind of an Einstein to grasp? And all the time make it seem as if God did it!

It does not seem that life exists on any of the other planets in our little solar system except for planet earth. It is possible, therefore, that Satan has been permitted to manipulate and maneuver some of those other stellar bodies so as to cause astral disturbances or cosmological disaster. If he truly is the prince of the power of the air, I do not see why he should be limited to our atmosphere alone. Has he not roamed the universe in the past? Yes, he has. Revelation 12:9-12, Job 1-3. Satan had access to the unfallen worlds until Jesus’ death on the cross revealed him as a murderer. Luke 10:18, John 12:27-33. And it is just as true that God knew what he would do in each instance and prepared a solution ahead of time to meet the crises without interfering with anyone’s free moral agency, even Satan’s. In fact, God has kept Satan from destroying himself.

That fact will be brought out someday, in the final judgment. Why else would Satan himself bow before God and acknowledge His goodness and justice, love and mercy? God did not arbitrarily bring the flood by just turning on the faucet and hosing them down good, like rats in a barrel. Isn’t it more in keeping with the character of God to reason that Satan brought the flood upon himself by fooling around with something that was hotter than he could handle? Some have suggested that the antediluvian world was far more advanced than we have imagined and scientists of that day caused the flood themselves by setting off some kind of bomb or some other destructive device that triggered tremendous earthquakes and thus caused the vapor envelope above the earth to collapse. Others have suggested the sheet of water around the earth began to condense into water as soon as God withdrew His protection and let Satan have the earth all to himself, as soon as Noah and his family were safe in the ark. Without God holding it altogether, our solar system began to come unglued at the seams. See Isaiah 54:5-9, (Isaiah 28:2, Isaiah 59:19).

We will probably never know if that is true or not until we get to heaven. But, Patten has some interesting ideas on it. He believes that a close flyby of Mercury, between 25,000 and 30,000 miles, an outside pass, caused the seismic upheaval which, in turn collapsed the vapor envelope (sheet of water around the earth). “Long Day of Joshua and Six Other Catastrophes,” page 307. One historian has set the date of the flood about Oct. 22nd*, the Jewish new year, but Patten believes it occurred about Nov. 7. An ice moon or satellite of Mercury drenched the earth with a 200 to 250 inch ice dump (average per square inch) across earth’s 197,000,000 square mile surface. At least 50% of the ice particles came in as a sudden rain; the balance formed rings around the earth (like Saturn’s rings). These ice dumps would account for the instant death and burial of the great mammoths which have been found preserved with tropical vegetation in their mouths after nearly 3,500 and 4,000 years. Patton says, “The vortex of the radiation belts in the Northern Hemisphere is currently over Northern Greenland, and this coincides with the center of the ice dump in the Northern Hemisphere.” Ibid., page 307. This ice dump was the result of one of Mercury’s ice moons fragmenting as it was pulled off course from its circuit around Mercury and drawn into the greater gravitational field of earth. There is a principle in astronomy describing tidal interaction of two celestial bodies approaching each other. At a certain point, the cohesive force of the smaller body is overcome by the tide-raising force of the larger body. The smaller body fragments before a direct collision occurs.

Edouard Roche, a French astronomer, did considerable research into the nature of the construction of planets and stars. Thus, this law of fragmentation before collision is called Roche’s Limit and has never been recalculated from 2.44 to 2.45 radii. Now, this may be too heavy for some minds, but if you get Patten’s books and study them yourself, it will not seem so difficult. I am not a scientist myself, but a theologian; however, I find that true science and mathematics document the historicity and chronological accuracy of the Word of God. We will leave it up to the reader to make a final decision as to the validity of these concepts and ideas.

*Alexander Hislop, “The Two Babylons,” page 136 seems to indicate the flood came on the Jewish new year, Oct. 22nd.

*Note: This report is now 38 years old. Today, 2005, nuclear devices are being made that fit into small suitcases and briefcases which are powerful enough to destroy an average to large sized American city, depending on the type of nuclear device used.