New research reveals that a meteor "cloudburst," a space rock that exploded 3,650 years ago in a giant fireball, destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Genesis 18-19 account reveals God's anger over the sin of the inhabitants of both cities, noting that He "rained brimstone and fire" on them (Gen. 19:24).
"We saw evidence for temperatures greater than 2,000 degrees Celsius," professor and study lead author James P. Kennett from the University of California at Santa Barbara, whose research group published its report in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, says in a statement. He also notes that "all the observations stated in Genesis are consistent with a cosmic airburst."
"An international team also found building materials and pottery shards melted into glass. Mud bricks had heat bubbles. These are all indications of unusually high temperatures, which would have occurred during the biblical account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. There was no man-made technology at the time that could have produced such astonishing damage," studyfinds.org reports.
Further proof of the radical cosmic event included the identification of melted metals, including iron and silica, in soil and sediment samples. At the time, the settlement was 10 and five times larger than Jerusalem and Jericho, the study reports.
"I think one of the main discoveries is shocked quartz," Kennett explains. "These are sand grains containing cracks that form only under very high pressure. We have shocked quartz from this layer. That means there were incredible pressures involved to shock the quartz crystals. Quartz is one of the hardest minerals. It is very hard to shock."
The fireball also explains the unusually high concentrations of salt in the layer of destruction, as high as 25% in some samples. "The salt was thrown up due to the high-impact pressures," Kennett says, although, despite the marked similarities to the biblical account, he stops short of identifying the area as Sodom and Gomorrah.
Does science confirm the biblical account yet again? You be the judge.
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