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leases complex matters like hydrocarbons, leaving simple com-

pounds like carbon dioxide. It is essentially an extremely rapid

oxidation process. By using the term blazing, the Lord is using

an analogy for the fastest method of oxidation known to the

people of Isaiah’s day. Those of us who are chemists and re-

searchers in this area look for ways to alter the oxidation pro-

cess. It is through altered oxidation that one’s teeth can be

lightened, or that corrosion can be slowed. It is through slow

oxidation that we age. If the aging process goes on long

enough, what is living is oxidized to the point of becoming ne-

crotic, or dead.

The above fire plague is expounded upon in Zechariah


“This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the

nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while

they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their

sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.”

For something to rot while one is on his feet, and before he

can fall over—is sudden death indeed! In milliseconds then,

living tissue will oxidize, rot, or become necrotic.

The author asks readers to bear with him while he relates a

story that illustrates what happens with necrotic tissue.

When I was studying pathology at the Medical College of

Georgia, we students had to examine organs from autopsies

and conjecture about what had led to the person’s demise. Pri-

or to his death, one man being autopsied had been told by his

physician not to do any exercise. He had suffered a heart at-

tack, and was told that certain areas of the heart’s tissues had