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  • Hala-'l Badr is a volcano in north western Saudi Arabia situated at 27.25° N, 37.235° E. The volcano is of the cinder cone type, and it is situated on the NE corner of the Thadra table mountain in the al Jaww basin, an erosional divide between Harrats ar-Rahah and al 'Uwayrid. Its eruption history is currently unknown, but geological studies have shown that Hallat al Badr erupted some time during the Holocene period, and the most recent lava flows took place in the al Jaww basin. Badr has a Volcanic Explosivity Index of at least 2, so it is capable of producing an eruption column at least 3 miles high. A number of scholars, including Charles Beke, Sigmund Freud, Immanuel Velikovsky, Eduard Meyer, Martin Noth, and Hermann Gunkel have proposed that the biblical description of devouring fire on Mount Sinai refers to an erupting volcano in the land of biblical Midian. Gunkel writes, "The characteristic Israelite narratives of Yahweh’s appearance in the burning thorn bush, in the burning and smoking Sinai, and especially in the pillars of smoke and fire … can be explained originally from the fact that, in Israel’s earliest belief, Yahweh was the god of the Sinai volcano."

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