When scientists revealed in 2008 that an analysis of rings on stalagmite from a cave near Jerusalem showed the climate of the region got drier shortly after the Roman dispersion of the Jews in A.D. 70, it was no surprise to Rabbi Menachem Kohen of Brooklyn.
In his book, “Prophecies for the Era of Muslim Terror: A Torah Perspective on World Events,” he had explained the dramatic climate change that took place when the Jews were forced from their homeland.
Rabbi Kohen wrote that the land suffered an unprecedented, severe and inexplicable (by anything other than supernatural explanations) drought that lasted from the first century until the 20th – a period of 1,800 years coinciding with the forced dispersion of the Jews.
Kohen saw the cataclysm as a miraculous fulfillment of prophecy found in the book of Deuteronomy – especially chapter 28:23-24.
“And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
“The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.”
A year later, University of Wisconsin geologists analyzed the chemical composition of individual rings that formed the stalagmite growing up from the floor of the Soreq Cave near Jerusalem between 200 B.C. and A.D. 1100. Geologists John Valley and Ian Orland concluded the climate was drier in the eastern Mediterranean between 100 A.D. and A.D. 700, with steep drops in rainfall around 100 A.D. and A.D. 400 – a period of waning Roman and Byzantine power in the region.
Researchers from the Geological Survey of Israel and Hebrew University in Jerusalem helped with the study, which appeared in an issue of the journal Quaternary Research. The scientific study was tied to research into global warming.
Before the Jews entered Canaan, it was described in the Bible as a land flowing with milk and honey. If you read what Israel’s climate and natural landscape was like from the time Joshua crossed the Jordan right up until the time of Jesus, it sounds like a heavily forested land. There were amazing crops raised by the people who inhabited the land when the Jews arrived.
For 1,800 years, it hardly ever rained in Israel. This was the barren land discovered by Mark Twain. So-called “Palestine” was a wasteland – few lived there. Beginning in A.D. 70 and lasting until the early 1900s – about 660,000 days – no rain.
A survey of rainfall charts in Israel beginning in the early 1800s leading up to through the 1960s also confirms the severe drought ended when the Jews began to return. The heaviest periods of rainfall during that 150-year period came in and around 1948 and 1967 – the years of Israel’s independence and its most stunning military victory.