I like watching documentaries, and recently, I watched one about volcanos in Hawaii. The violence and the destruction caused caught my attention, and I wondered if God could communicate using such phenomena.
Although volcanos are natural creations, as a theologian, I couldn’t help but wonder if they had any biblical and spiritual meanings.
Therefore, I researched by first reading the scriptures and relevant Christian scholarly work and later consulted some local clergy to get their perception.
I got some captivating revelations that I felt would benefit more people and therefore, I came up with this post.
So, what is the biblical meaning of a volcano?
The Bible does not define the meaning of a volcano, let alone mention its name. However, there are verses in the scripture that show volcanic activity. Christian scholars suggest Biblical meanings of a volcano with the guidance of the scripture. They believe volcanos are warnings of impending danger. Others are of the opinion that volcanoes are God’s punishment or wrath.
I invite you to join me in the article below as we look at the Biblical meaning of volcano. I have highlighted some Bible verses that talk about volcanoes.
In addition, learn the prophetic and spiritual meanings of a volcano. Read on to find out more about volcanoes in different contexts.
What do volcanoes symbolize in the Bible?
The scripture does not explicitly mention what volcanoes symbolize in the Bible. However, teachers of the scripture and Christian scholars have suggestions about what volcanoes symbolize from a biblical perspective.
Let’s have a look below:
Psalm 97:5 talks about God’s reign over all that exists. In this verse, it describes how the mountain melts before God’s presence: “The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.”
According to Christian scholars, they believe it shows God’s superiority over creation.
They suggest that He is, above all, including creations or processes that frighten humankind. Therefore, teachers of the scripture suggest that Christians should only fear God and His power.
God’s wrath or punishment
Isaiah 29:6 and Deuteronomy 32:21-22 describe prophetic messages meant to warn humankind against particular behavior. In this light, Christians believe volcanoes are God’s form of punishment.
According different verses in the Bible like Acts 17:24, God created the world and all that exists in it: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.”
In this regard, Christians believe volcanoes are one of God’s creations, which signifies that there is nothing that He cannot do.
Sign of end times/Judgment day
Luke 21:11 and Isaiah 29:6 give insight into how judgment day will appear. According to teachers of the scripture, these verses describe volcanic activities.
Therefore, they suggest that volcanoes are a sign of end times or a calamity yet to happen.
Prophetic meaning of volcanoes
People have different assumptions about the prophetic meaning of volcanoes. Most associate volcanoes with powerful or terrifying meanings.
Some believe volcanoes are a sign of calamity that will occur. It is believed it warns and prepares people for looming danger.
According to Christian scholars, the scripture prophetically uses volcanoes to describe events of judgment day or end times.
Others believe volcanoes signify powerful transformations. They perceive the volcanic eruptions as a symbolization of what is to come.
What does the Bible say about volcanoes?
The scripture does not explicitly mention the name volcano. Most of these verses in the scripture describe fire erupting from mountains. It is for this reason scholars define these as volcanoes.
Also, Christian scholars and teachers of the scripture allude to the meaning of volcanoes based on some verses of the Bible. As the Bible says, God created the world and its inhabitants.
Therefore, volcanoes are part of His work, which have their role to play on Earth. Some Christians believe they are God’s punishment towards mankind. However, the scripture does not explicitly mention that.
Bible verses about volcanoes
Exodus 19:18 describes God’s presence on Mt. Sinai: “And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.”
Moses had prepared his people to meet the Lord under His instructions. God made His presence known as He ascended to Mount Sinai amidst raging fire and smoke accompanied by quakes. According to those who interpret the scripture, they believe it was a volcano.
Psalm 97:5 mentions God’s reign: “The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.”
The preceding and current chapters talk about God’s coming, which is majestic. In verse five, the scripture mentions mountains melting like wax before the Lord, which people believe is a volcano.
Micah 1:4 describes God’s coming, which mentions mountains melting before Him: “And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place.”
Christians believe this is a volcano. Through various verses, the scripture mentions volcanic activities during God’s coming.
Deuteronomy 4:9-11 narrates God’s word of caution to the people of Israel: “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.”
Within the verse, it describes what people believe is a volcano.
Deuteronomy 5:23 describes the mountain burning with fire: “And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders.”
In the previous verses, Moses speaks to the Israelites about the Ten Commandments.
The Bible narrates how Moses went up the mountain while the Israelites awaited at the bottom to receive the Ten Commandments, whereby God spoke and gave them to him through fire coming from the mountain.
In this context, Christians believe this description is a volcano.
Isaiah 64:1-5 states the plea to the heavens: “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!”
In Isaiah’s prayer to God for mercy, he calls on God that He may descend and listen to them. The scripture describes mountains burning in fire.
Revelation 8:8 describes judgment day: “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood.”
In this narration, it describes a great mountain burning with fire. A good number of verses that talk about end times include descriptions of volcanic activity.
Why did God make volcanoes?
As we read the scripture, we learn that God is all-knowing. He has all the reasons for doing what He does, which includes creating volcanoes.
In Acts 17:24 and Nehemiah 9:6, the scripture says God created all that exists as He breathed life into human beings.
Also, in Genesis, the Bible says after the seventh day, God looked at all His work and was pleased with all His creations. Just as there is a reason for all that exists, as Christians, we should place our trust in God that He knows best.
A small research about volcanoes will inform you about the benefits of volcanos, which validates God’s purpose for humanity.
For instance, people suggest volcanoes promote atmospheric cooling, fertility, land formation, geothermal energy, and water production.
Other Christian scholars suggest that God created volcanoes and other natural disasters as a form of punishment for sin.
For instance, some are of the opinion that God lets the Earth reflect the repercussions of sin on creation. Despite these claims, we let God guide us in understanding things that are beyond our understanding.
Spiritual interpretations of a volcano
Spiritual change and transformation
People believe that volcanoes symbolize spiritual change and transformation. They compare the volcanic movements with the molding and defining process.
Also, they suggest that you should follow your dreams and remain true to yourself. In this regard, the process may be exhausting, but it will come to an end.
Some suggest volcanoes spiritually signify a person’s ability to create or innovate. They compare these actions to the eruptions a volcano releases, which create other features such as lakes.
Also, some believe it represents bravery, given the tenacity with which it blows up.
Some imply that volcanoes symbolize a destination, especially if you are currently working on something. They believe the eruptions represent the radical steps in your journey.
In this regard, what follows after the eruption shows what awaits after reaching the destination.
Others suggest volcanoes represent our inner feelings and thoughts. They imply that when you explore these feelings, it may create turmoil or lead to emotional outbursts comparable to a volcanic eruption.
Others interpret volcanoes to symbolize anxiety spiritually.
They are of the opinion that volcanoes represent a result when you are anxious about something, or you have a hard time dealing with issues in real life. They suggest being unable to manage such stressful conditions leads to an outburst or negative impact.
Volcanic eruptions are viscous and tenacious. According to some interpretations, they suggest volcanic eruptions symbolize suppressed emotions.
They allude most times, these emotions are those you are unable to express.
For this reason, they claim you can lose control and have an outburst similar to an erupting volcano. In this regard, volcanoes signify the vitality of releasing our built-up anger.
What do volcanoes mean in dreams?
People have different suggestions about what volcanoes mean when they appear in dreams. Let’s look at some of the meanings below:
Emotional and situational eruptions
According to most dream interpreters, such dreams symbolize emotional outbursts. In that, they believe it means you are suppressing a lot of negative emotions, such as anger, which is brewing.
Also, they imply it could be situational eruptions. It is believed the volcanic eruptions signify life changes happening at that time.
Warning of impending danger
Volcanoes bring about damage and destruction of things. People suggest that dreaming about a volcano symbolizes a warning about impending danger or calamity.
Christians refer to the scripture, which describes volcanic activities as a symbolization of God’s warning of possible punishment.
Also, as volcanoes disrupt surroundings, some suggest the dream warns of the possibility of certain events that may disrupt your life.
A strange person in your life
Other dream interpreters believe volcanoes symbolize a person in your life who poses danger. They suggest these dreams reflect the harm done to you. In this case, they believe the dream warns you from exposing yourself to harm’s way.
Others believe dreaming about volcanoes is a reminder of unpleasant events from the past. They suggest the memories cause havoc similar to volcanic eruptions.
In this regard, they suggest that you find a way to control your emotions. Also, they suggest that you deal and settle with issues of the past in order to proceed undisturbed with life.
The desire to escape
Some suggest that volcanoes in dreams symbolize the desire one has to escape certain situations. They believe it reflects your current life situation and emotions.
Others suggest it signifies the desire to solve a problem, especially if it is creating stress and anxiety.
Some dream interpreters suggest that when you dream about volcanoes, it signifies brewing negativity inside you. Therefore, they suggest that you change your mindset and set up specific objectives that can help you move forward in life.
Warning about changes
Others believe that dreaming about a volcanic eruption is a warning about the changes in your life. In this regard, these dreams warn you about these changes which you are not able to see.
Some dream analysts suggest that dreaming about a volcano that is cooling off is a positive sign. They believe it shows your potential to come out of a situation victoriously.
In that, the dream implies regardless of how disastrous your situation is, there is hope in the end.
Meaning and symbolism of volcanoes in different cultures
Cultures have different perceived meanings of volcanoes. In African culture, they believe volcanoes are sacred. They believe that volcanoes give out good things and, therefore, have respect for these creations.
In Indonesia, they imply that volcanoes signify justice. In their opinion, volcanic eruptions bring justice and punishment to the world.
In the Philippines, they believe volcanoes enrich their soil, thus giving good farm produce.
Hawaiians have a rich history with volcanoes. According to Hawaiian history, volcanic eruptions were the result of anger outbursts from the goddess of volcanoes, Pele.
In the current day, they honor Pele by chanting her name and making offerings during the volcanic eruptions. According to Hawaiians, they suggest that volcanoes are also creations.
They believe they have rights and dispute against controlling their activities.
Native Hawaiians place more insight into this belief, implying that volcanoes are alive, therefore, should be treated like human beings.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.