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Thursday, February 1 2018
Fire And Brimstone At Lake Asphaltitis
"And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace"
While it is commonly known as the Dead Sea or the Salt Sea (see The Salt Sea In History And Prophecy), the ancient Greeks had another name for it, "Lake Asphaltitis," which meant the lake of asphalt. The extensive and easily-available "tar pits" were used as a source of bitumen throughout the region, including to Egypt where it was used as an ingredient in mummification.
The Holy Bible also documents the deposits. While the King James Version translates them as "slime pits," most other translations more-accurately translate the Hebrew word, pronounced kay-mawr, that actually meant tar, or bitumen.
Genesis 14:10 from the King James Version of 1611:
"And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there." (King James Version)
Genesis 14:10 from various other translations:
"And the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there" (King James 2000 Version)
As we read above, the Valley of Siddim, where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were located, had many large and open tar pits. When the LORD later destroyed those cities, it was the great amount of burning tar / asphalt / bitumen that produced the heavy black smoke of the incineration.
First, the fire was started by "fire from the LORD out of heaven" (see the Fact Finder question below to understand what happened to Lot's wife - and why):
"19:23 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
Then, the great amount of tar smoke that filled the sky: "the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace."
"19:27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:
Fact Finder: Why did Lot's wife hesitate?
This Day In History, February 1
1327: Edward III was coronated King of England. The Hundred Years War began during his reign.
1328: Charles IV of France, the last monarch in the direct line of the Capetian dynasty (named after Hugh Capet who became king in 987), died.
1542: Cardinal Girolamo Aleandro died at age 62. He was an active opponent of the Lutheran Reformation. In 1520 Pope Leo X sent him to Germany to lead the opposition against Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms (named after Vorms, a city in Germany). In Brussels, Aleandro was responsible for the death of the first martyrs of the Reformation.
1587: Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (Henry broke away from Rome and created the Church of England so that he could divorce his first wife, Katherine of Aragon, to marry Anne Boleyn), signed the Warrant of Execution for (Roman Catholic) Mary Queen of Scots who was involved in three assassination attempts on Elizabeth I.
1662: Chinese General Koxinga captured the island of Taiwan (see also The First Chinese American War).
1793: Revolutionary France declared war on England and Holland. French King Louis XVI was executed shortly before.
1796: The capital of Upper Canada (a term based upon the flow of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River toward the Atlantic Ocean i.e. Upper Canada was southern Ontario and Lower Canada was southern Quebec) was moved from Newark (today, Niagara On The Lake, Ontario) to York (today, Toronto, Ontario).
1861: 25 years after breaking away from Mexico in 1836, Texas seceded from the U.S. to join the Confederate States of America (see also The Mexican Border Wall).
1884: The Oxford English Dictionary's first volume was published.
1908: King Carlos I (Carlos is the Spanish form of "Charles") of Portugal was assassinated with his son in Lisbon.
1909: "Nation building" U.S. invasion forces left Cuba after installing the puppet/stooge Jose Miguel Gomez as President. When the people of Cuba later rose up to demand freedom and independence from foreign rule of their country, Gomez fled Cuba in 1920 and died in exile in New York City.
1920: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP, the "Mounties") were established. They were created from the merger of the Northwest Mounted Police and Dominion Police.
1934: Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss dissolved all political parties except his own "Fatherland Front." Another Austrian, Adolf Hitler, had just been elected as Chancellor in Germany (see Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative? and Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1949: Israel formally annexed "West Jerusalem" (see the series of Jerusalem history studies beginning with A History Of Jerusalem: In The Beginning).
1958: Egypt and Syria proclaimed their union as "The United Arab Republic."
1979: In Teheran, Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini returned from 15 years of exile in France. The Shah (king) had fled the country 2 weeks earlier for exile in the U.S.
2003: The U.S. Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry killing all 7 astronauts aboard: Rick Husband, Michael Anderson, David Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Clark, William McCool, and the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon.
2004: 251 Muslims were trampled to death and 244 injured in a stampede at the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.