Thou Shalt Know Thy Biblical Catastrophes

Note: this index does not include disasters simply foretold or promised by prophets, instead cataloging only disasters that are actually recorded as having come to pass. Certainly, there are more to be found.


And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. (Genesis 6:5-7)

Reference: Genesis 6,7
Summary: The Flood wipes virtually every living thing from the face of the Earth, save Noah, members of his family, and a portion of each species of animal. (Note: It would stand to reason that aquatic animals such as fish and certain species of birds survived the flood. - rootbeer277)

The 10 Plagues of Egypt

And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. (Exodus 7:3-5)
The Plague of Blood
Reference: Exodus 7:14-25
Summary: Egyptian water sources are turned to blood for 7 days, including rivers and man-made reservoirs. Fish die, and the river stinks.

The Plague of Frogs
Reference: Exodus 7:26-8:11
Summary: Frogs (sometimes translated as the more general "amphibians") rise from the rivers and infest Egypt, including the insides of homes. When God smites the frogs, their bodies are piled in multitudes, once again causing the land to stink.

The Plague of Lice (or Gnats)
Reference: Exodus 8:12-15
Summary: Aaron smites the dust of the earth, turning it into lice (sometimes gnats) that infest Egypt.

The Plague of Flies
Reference: Exodus 8:16-28
Summary: Flies fill the air but leave the Israelites in Goshen unaffected.

The Plague on Cattle
Reference: Exodus 9:1-7
Summary: A disease infects Egyptian cattle, killing them off, but leaves Hebrew livestock unaffected.

The Plague of Boils
Reference: Exodus 9:8-12
Summary: Moses sprinkles ashes towards Heaven and they become boils on the Egyptians and their livestock.

The Plague of Hail
Reference: Exodus 9:13-35
Summary: Egypt is pounded by a hail storm the likes of which it has never seen. Lightning and thunder accompany the spectacle, and both humans and animals die throughout the land, except in Goshen, where the Israelites reside.

The Plague of Locusts
Reference: Exodus 10:1-20
Summary: Locusts cover Egypt with such thickness that the land cannot be seen. They eat every green thing, devestating Egypt.

The Plague of Darkness
Reference: Exodus 10:21-29
Summary: Darkness is cast upon Egypt for three days, a darkness so thick that one can "feel it." Nobody can see each other or leave their homes, but the homes of Israelites are lit.

The Plague of the First-Born
Reference: Exodus 12
Summary: God passes over the land of Egypt, slaying the first-born son of every family in Egypt except the Israelite families who wiped blood on their doorposts.

Other Plagues

And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. (Zecharaia 14:13-14)

Reference: Genesis 12:17
Summary: Sarah takes up residence with the king of Egypt, claiming to be Abraham's sister instead of his wife. As a result, a plague strikes the king and those in his palace.

Reference: Exodus 32:35
Summary: The Hebrews are plagued as a result of making a golden calf idol.

Reference: Numbers 11
Summary: Despite blessings of manna, the Hebrew people continually complain of a lack of meat. God sends multitudes of quail, but as they are gorging themselves they are plagued.

Reference: Numbers 16:49
Summary: People complain about God's punishment of those rebelling against Moses in earlier verses, claiming that God is killing off His own people. In response, a plague claims 14,700 lives.

Reference: Numbers 25:9
Summary: The Israelite Zimri takes a Midianite woman as his lover. Phinehas kills both of the offenders, but not before 24,000 other people die of a plague.

Reference: 1 Samuel 5:6-9
Summary: God afflicts the Philistines with tumors in their "secret parts" for stealing the Ark of the Covenant.

Reference: 2 Samuel 24:12-16
Summary: David is allowed to choose from three punishments for his wrongdoing: 1) Famine in Israel for 7 years, 2) 3 months of running from enemies, or 3) 3 days of pestilence. He chooses the plague and 70,000 die.

Reference: 2 Kings 5:27
Summary: Elisha forever curses the descendants of Gehazi with leprosy.


And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-13)

Reference: Numbers 16:27-33
Summary: Men among the Kohathites rebel against Moses, and in response the earth opens up, swallowing them and their possessions.

Reference: Amos 1:1, Zechariah 14:5
Summary: This earthquake (during the reign of (Uzziah) is mentioned only in passing in Amos 1:1, but years later in Zechariah is conjured as a part of a warning to the Israelites.


When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2)

Reference: Genesis 19
Summary: The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed as God rains down fire and brimstone from Heaven.

Reference: Numbers 16:35
Summary: Those offering incense in an act of rebellion against Moses are consumed in flame, claiming the lives of 250 men.

Reference: Numbers 21:6
Summary: The Israelites speak out against God once again, and serpents of fire are sent among them, killing many.

Reference: 2 Kings 1:10-12
Summary: Elijah calls down fire from Heaven that consumes 102 men.


Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12)

Reference: Genesis 41:53-56
Summary: A world-wide famine spreads for 7 years. Egypt, advised by God-favored Joseph, is the only nation with food.

Reference: 2 Samuel 21:1
Summary: Saul slays the Gibeonites; a three-year famine is his punishment.

Reference: 2 Kings 6:25, 2 Kings 25:3
Summary: During the sieges of Samaria and Jerusalem, both cities fall victim to famine.

Military Calamity

You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; your enemies shall fall by the sword before you. (Leviticus 26:3)

Reference: Exodus 32:27-28
Summary: The children of Levi put to death around 3,000 Hebrews in retribution for creating a golden calf idol. (They are also plagued in verse 35.)

Reference: Numbers 21:3
Summary: The Israelites completely annhilate the Canaanites and their cities.

Reference: Numbers 21:35, Deuteronomy 3:6
Summary: The Israelites slay Og "and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land."

Reference: Numbers 31:17-46
Summary: The Israelites slaughter every Midianite man, child, and non-virgin woman.

Reference: Deuteronomy 2:33-34
Summary: The people of Sihon are completely wiped out.

Joshua's various victories:
Reference: Joshua 6:21-27, 8:22-25, 10:10-40
Summary: Under the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites annhilate the people of Jericho, Ai, Makkedah, and Lachish, as well as the Gibeonites, the Libhanites, the Eglonites, the Hebronites, the Debirites, and the Anakims.

Judah's various victories:
Reference: Judges 1:4-17
Summary: Judah defeats 10,000 Canaanites at Bezek, raze Jerusalem, and destroy the Canaanites at Zephath.

Reference: Judges 3:29
Summary: The Israelites kill around 10,000 Moabites.

Reference: Judges 3:31
Summary: Shamgar slays 600 men with an oxgoad.

Reference: Judges 9:45
Summary: Abimelech wipes out Shechem, destroying the buildings and sowing the land with salt.

Reference: Judges 15:15
Summary: Samson kills 1,000 men with the jawbone of an ass.

Reference: Judges 16:27-30
Summary: Samson breaks the pillars of a Philistine house he is held captive in, killing himself and 3,000 others in its collapse.

Reference: Judges 18:27
Summary: The Danites raid the unsuspecting people of Laish, killing them and burning the city.

Reference: Judges 20:43-48
Summary: The Israelites slay 25,000 Benjamite soldiers, then burn their cities and execute their inhabitants.

Reference: Judges 21:10-12
Summary: The Israelites kill everyone in Jabeshgilead aside from 400 virgins, who they take with them.

Reference: 1 Samuel 4:10
Summary: The Philistines overrun the Israelite forces; Israel loses 30,000 soldiers.

Reference: 1 Samuel 7:7-11
Summary: God brings thunder upon the Philistines, who are distressed. Israel easily defeats them.

Reference: 1 Samuel 15:3-8
Summary: Saul slaughters the people of Amalek, as well as their livestock.

Reference: 1 Kings 20:29-30
Summary: The Israelites kill 100,000 Syrians in one day. Some Syrians escape to the city, but 27,000 are crushed as a city wall collapses.

Reference: 2 Kings 19:35
Summary: An angel of God visits the Assyrian camp late at night, killing 185,000 men.

Reference: 2 Chronicles 13:17
Summary: A battle between Israel and God-favored Judah ends in the destruction of 500,000 Israelites.

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