Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Consuming Fire

The Glory of God that appeared to the Children of Israel over mountain Sinai (Exodus 24:17), as well as over The Tabernacle (Numbers 9:16) was that of the appearance of the so-called "consuming" fire. Like so:

I would like to provide an explanation to the meaning of this term ("consuming") as this is rather very interesting detail of the description of the Tabernacle. Fortunately, this subject is a rather easy matter and should be understandable to any person who knows basics of chemistry. 

The following image and excerpt is from this and this Wikipedia article. Here is what is says:
"Different flame types of a Bunsen burner depend on oxygen supply. On the left a rich fuel with no premixed oxygen produces a yellow sooty diffusion flame; on the right a lean fully oxygen premixed flame produces no soot and the flame color is produced by molecular radicals, especially CH and C2 band emission. The purple color is an artifact of the photographic process"
Obviously, the fire our description is talking about is the one on the left (#1 on the diagram), as most materials (such as wood, charcoals, fat, e.t.c) would have a lower burning temperature and involve other factors that would be more consistent with the red-yellowish diffusion flame and appearance. Perhaps the most accurate representation of the fire we are talking about is this image:

As you can see, due to plethora of fuel (in this case wood) and yet a considerable but indirect supply of oxygen, the resulting flame has red-yellowish color and has this rather menacing appearance with respective tongues of flames and sound.

This is why I also show the Pillar of Fire over the Tabernacle (in my Tabernacle Explorer) in a similar manner, like so:

The only thing, perhaps, that I may need to correct is to remove this bluish spot at the bottom of the Pillar as this is not very accurate to the description (circled in red). I will correct it in my next release of Tabernacle Explorer.

Other than that, the my images above reflect a rather accurate representation of the so-called "consuming" fire (and the Pillar of Fire over the Tabernacle). And I hope now you also understand why the original text insists on using the term "consuming" to define this fire.

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