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Genesis 1:14-19 DAY 4
Falling Stars

What we would call meteors today, would be called "falling stars" in the ANE. Sometimes a comet is called a falling star. In the Book of Revelation it mentions falling stars. Acts 19:35 image fell from heaven.

Revelation 6:12-14 says:

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place (NIV).

Revelation 8:10 says, "The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water- the name of star is Wormwood" (NIV). It continues on in verse 12, "The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night" (NIV). Pliny describes a type of comet called "Torch-star (which) resembles glowing torches" (Natural History Book II.XXII.90). I posit that this falling star in Revelation 8:10 is Halley’s Comet that appeared in 66 AD. It would look like it fell into the Mediterranean Sea. I think the best interpretation of Revelation is seeing its fulfillment in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Great Tribulation started three and half years before this. Josephus says, "Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which stood over the city, and (even) a comet, that continued a whole year" (Jewish Wars Book VI, V.3; Whiston, 824).

In Revelation 9:1 it says, "The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss" (NIV). In the gospels Jesus foretells that "stars will be falling from heaven" (Mark 13:25, Matthew 24:29) in his Olivet Discourse.

Hailstones from Heaven

Closely associated with falling stars, are hailstones from heaven. Revelation 16:21 says, "And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent (about one hundred pounds)" (KJV). Hailstones do not get this big. Josephus in his book Jewish War describes what may have looked like big white hailstones. He wrote:

The engines [catapults], that all the legions had ready prepared for them, were admirably contrived. Now, the stones that were cast, were the weight of a talent (100lbs), and were carried two furlongs and further. As for the Jews, they at first watched the coming of the stone, for it was a white colour" (Book 5.6.3; Gentry 1989, 246).

Joshua 10:11 says, "the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites" (NIV).


In the Ten Year Annals of Mursili it says, "So I marched, and as I arrived at Mt. Lawasa, the storm-god, my lord, showed his godly miracle. He hurled a meteor. My army saw the meteor; (and) the land of Arzawa saw (it). And the meteor went; and struck the land of Arzawa. It struck Apasa, the capital city of Uhhaziti, Uhhaziti fell on (his) knees; and became ill" (Younger 1990, 208).


In Sargon’s Letter to God it says, "Adad, the violent, the son of Anu, the valiant, uttered his loud cry against them; and with a flood cloud and hailstones (lit. 'the stone of heaven'’ [NA, An-el]), he totally annihilated the remainder" (Younger, 210). Omen 261 states, "When it thunders in Sebat, heaven will rain with stones" (Thompson 1900, lxxxi).


The Gebal Barkal Stele of Thutmose III says, "It was not known that you might learn/witness the miracle of [Amun-Re] before the face of all the Two Lands (Egypt). [It was evening, when the enemy troops came near]. [The guards] were about to come to meet in the night to make the regular (change of) watch. There were two hour-watchers; then a star came from the south of them. The like had never happened. It beamed towards them from its position. Not one remained standing there" (Younger, 217).

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