Pacific ring of fire predicted in the bible?

I was at mass at the weekend when this bible verse sprung out at me:

“when he drew a ring on the surface of the deep” Proverbs 8:27

Sounds awfully like the pacific ring of fire (or the Chicxulub crater which may have caused Noahs flood).

This section of Proverbs contains alot of scientific information which the human writers would have no way of knowing such as Proverbs 8:28 when it talks about the “springs/fountains of the deep”. How did the bible writers know there were springs in the depths of the ocean spewing out water from underneath the ground?

When the Earth was formed, all the continents were one. The “ring of fire” didn’t exist until billions of years afterwards, as the continental plates moved and changed.

Also, the “ring of fire” doesn’t exist on the surface of the deep (ie, on the face of the ocean’s water), but rather exists deep underground in the earth.

The actual meaning of the verse can be seen in the poetry parallelism:

I was there when He prepared the heavens,
when He drew the “hug” [circle/edge/circular course/horizon] on the face of the deep.

The author is talking about God making the sky up there, and the edge of the sea over there, and they don’t slop chaotically into each other. (The Jewish worldview saw the sky as a place that contained atmospheric water, like clouds, and strongly linked it to the places you find water on the ground, like in the sea and as groundwater.) You get rain going between the sky and the sea, but the sky and the sea aren’t the same thing.

Water was seen as a good thing (obviously), but also as a chaotic thing that could do a lot of destruction in flood time or sea storms. So “the deep” also stands for chaos. God’s Wisdom creating an edge to the sea was God’s wisdom keeping Creation under reasonable bounds, not letting uncontrolled chaos reign.

The parallelism continues in the next few verses:

When He established the clouds above;
When He strengthened the springs of the deep.

When He gave His decree to the sea that the waters not pass His command;
When He established the foundations of the land.

So it is unlikely that the author of Proverbs was prophetically referring to the Ring of Fire.

But it was a cool idea!

The text uses a different word for “sea” and the “deep”. Its reasonable to suggest that because different words are used, it is talking about 2 different things:

the sea = the sea
the deep = the floorbed of the sea

Some people think the pacific ring of fire was caused during Noahs flood when the mid-atlantic ridge sprung up causing the opposite side of the earth at the pacific ocean to cave in (to fill the displaced earth caused by the rising mid-atlantic ridge) creating the pacific ring of fire. This is why the pacific ring of fire is sunken, and the opposite side of the earth at the mid-atlantic ridge is sprung up.

So it was at Noahs flood that God “drew” the ring on the surface of the deep.

The Bible isn’t a science book.



One of the things they have taught us during my aspirancy year for the Diaconate is not to read the Bible literally. There is a lot of that you need to understand, and it is not always easy. A good primer to understanding the Bible was put out by the Pontifical Biblical Commission to Pope John Paul II on April 23, 1993. The title of that document is “The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church”.

When looking at a biblical text, you need to explore the world of the author, the world of the text and the world of the reader. There are a lot of questions that you need to ask to properly discern what the text is telling you.

Regardless though, it is interesting what you have pointed out.


“Tehom” means “ocean.” It’s the deep sea that was too deep and scary and out of sight of land, so Mediterranean seafarers didn’t venture upon it. (And that’s also why it was associated with chaos and void, as well as with sea monsters.)

(It’s not “the bottom of the sea that we’ve never seen except maybe for about two seconds right before a tsunami,* because we’re ancient Israelites who don’t have diving gear.” Ancient people didn’t normally think about the bottom of the sea.)

Jonah 2:5/6 is another good example of this, with its parallelism:

“The waters encompassed me, even to the soul [or “breath”].
The deep closed around me.”

Now he does actually hit bottom, apparently, although it may be a figurative way of saying that he died:

“I went down to the roots of the mountains.
The bars of the earth were around me forever.
And yet You have brought my life out from the pit,
O Lord my God!”

“The face of the deep” is the surface of the ocean, where the waves are.

Here’s a bit from Job 38:29-30 that you may have forgotten, when God is asking Job rhetorical questions:

“Out of whose womb came the ice?
And the frost from heaven - who has engendered it?
The waters are hardened like a stone,
and the face of the deep is frozen.”

“The waters” are rivers, streams, and ponds. Since they are shallower, they can freeze completely in the winter. But only “the face of the deep” [pene tehom] is frozen, which is usually the case even in the Antarctic.

In the 3rd year of the persecutions under Maximinus, Eusebius (the church historian) was a student living in Caesarea Maritima at the house of a learned priest named Pamphilus, along with other students of his, including a guy named Apphianus. Apphianus secretly went off and confronted the governor, telling him not to make sacrifices to false gods. He was tortured in private, imprisoned, publicly burned (one of Maximinus’ favorite punishments for both Christians and pagans who disagreed with him), and then since he didn’t die or apostatize, thrown into the sea.

"But that wonderful thing which happened after this act, I know will not be believed by those who did not witness the wonder with their own eyes, as I myself did: for men are not wont to give the same credence to the hearing of the ear as to the seeing of eye. It is not, however, right for us also, like those who are in error and deficient in faith, to conceal that prodigy which took place at the death of this martyr of God; and we also call as witnesses to you of these things, which we have written, the whole of the inhabitants of the city of Caesarea, for there was not even one of the inhabitants of this city absent from this terrific sight.

For after this man of God had been cast into the depths of the terrible sea, with stones tied to his feet, forthwith a great storm and frequent commotions and mighty waves troubled the vast sea, and a severe earthquake made even the city itself tremble, and everyone’s hands were raised towards heaven in fear and trembling, for they supposed that the whole place, together with its inhabitants, was about to be destroyed on that day.

And at the same time, the sea, even as if it were unable to endure it, vomited back the holy body of the martyr of God, and carried it with the waves and laid it before the gate of the city. And there was at that time vast affliction and commotion, for it seemed like a messenger sent from God to threaten all men with great anger.

And this which took place was proclaimed to all the inhabitants of the city, and they all ran at once and pushed against each other in order that they might obtain a sight, both boys and men and old men together, and all grades of women, so that even the modest virgins, who kept to their own apartments, went out to see this sight. And the whole city together, even the very children as well, gave glory to the God of the Christians alone, confessing with a loud voice the name of Christ, who had given strength to the martyr in his lifetime to endure such afflictions, and at his death had showed prodigies to all who beheld."

interesting theory!

I’m not a bible expert but at times like this i consult the Young Literal Translation of the bible (to get a literal translation). In that version, JOB 38:30 states not that the deep is “frozen” but that it is captured:

As a stone waters are hidden, And the face of the deep is captured.

The New American Standard states:

Water becomes hard like stone, And the surface of the deep is imprisoned.

This could mean that the surface of the sea bed is imprisoned by the water covering it, and ultimately by the frozen water above. Though most bible translations seem to say “frozen”. Do some shallow parts of the deep become frozen all the way to the bottom? Maybe. I’m not a bible expert so i’m depending on others here.

The bible is not a science book, but we do believe Gods knows the future, so it is interesting he said the earth would be consumed by fire at some point, whether or not this is referring to volcanoes and earthquakes is anyones guess, but it is very curious how past events come back around!

A good example would be Rome in Revelations, if someone did not know it was referring to ancient Rome, it would be very easy to mistake it for modern times/ nations.

The Douay-Rheim version translates:

8:27 When he prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law, and compass, he enclosed the depths:

28 When he established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters:

29 When he compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when he balanced the foundations of the earth;

It speaks of Wisdom who was present before creation, and as creation took place. The “ring,” or compass in this translation, merely means the boundaries of the sky, sea, earth, etc. The ancient peoples had no knowledge of the “ring of fire” in the Earth’s crust. The author of Proverbs wasn’t trying to describe the whole geography or topography of the Earth, but give a general summation of it merely for the purpose of extolling Wisdom, Christ, who is the Creator.

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