Japan’s Radiation Contamination Protocols Align with Old Testament Laws
A 9.0 earthquake and hundreds of aftershocks. A 30-foot tsunami. A volcano erupts in southern Japan. A $35 billion hit to the economy. Thousands dead, injured, displaced, and missing.
And now fears of a nuclear meltdown. This confluence of events in Japan has created a horrific event of biblical proportions.
Japan is the third largest nuclear power user in the world and, as of 2008, had 55 active nuclear reactors operating around the island nation, many along the coastlines. Nuclear provides one-third of Japan’s electricity; that’s 49,467 megawatts of power.
Like you, I’ve been reading various accounts of the catastrophe. A China Daily article, “Japanese With Radiation Isolated,” reports that individuals suspected of having radiation contamination are being 1) screened, 2) cleansed, and 3) isolated. As priests and keepers of the highly radioactive Ark of the Covenant, Moses and Aaron would agree with the approach of the Japanese.
Many Old Testament laws were designed to protect the Israelites from radioactivity emanating from the cloud, through which the Lord spoke when it descended onto the Ark. People died or became ill if they came too close or touched the Ark. Thus, the protective uniforms of the priests, procedures, safety regulations, and facilities were all designed to protect the priests, the people, animals, buildings, and the environment from radioactive danger.
I am struck by how closely the Japanese protocol—screen, cleanse, isolate—aligns with Old Testament laws. Read with our modern understanding, portions of the Old Testament begin to look more and more like modules in an operations manual.
Comparing Japanese Protocol with Old Testament Laws
1. Screen. Israelites who got too close to the Ark died or contracted radiation poisoning. Survivors had to be “screened” by a priest. Leviticus 13 renders many verses that begin with “And a priest will see him…” Since radioactivity can spread from one person to another, one of the many responsibilities of the priest was to prevent the spread of contamination among the people. Thus, it was necessary to quickly determine who had been contaminated and how severe the case was.
The priest would look at the condition of the flesh to see if there were burns, patches, and discoloration. He would also look to see if the hair had turned white or had fallen out.
2. Cleanse. If the condition of the skin and hair indicated radiation contamination, the priest diagnosed the sufferer as “unclean.” A “cleansing” or healing regimen would be prescribed in seven-day stages; how many stages depended on the severity of the affliction and symptoms.
The Hebrew word tawhor is traditionally translated as “clean,” but not clean as opposed to “unclean” in a sacred context. Tawhor is not a religious word; it is a technical term signifying that the cloud’s radiation was minimized or removed by various procedures, including washing and sacrifice. Clean means that no radiation was present. Today, in the event of a dirty bomb explosion, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that those affected should “cleanse” themselves by showering or washing the body and hair with soap and water.
3. Isolate. “Unclean” people and houses, i.e., those who were either contaminated or susceptible to radiation contamination, were isolated to prevent the spread of contamination. Leviticus 13:46 says, “All the days that the radiation is in him he will be tawmay; alone he will dwell; outside the camp [will be] his habitation.”
“Unclean,” tawmay, doesn’t suggest wrongdoing as mistranslations have led us to believe. Unclean means that someone or something has either been exposed to radiation or could attract it. Interestingly, the comparable Ugaritic word thr means “pure.” The Egyptian twr means “clean” or “cleanse.”
So much of what we know today about the effects of ionizing radiation seem to coincide with the biblical report of events occurring several thousands of years ago.