Nightfall and the Bible in Nightfall

The crux of the story Nightfall is that of the world coming to an end. This idea is borrowed from the Book of Revelation in the Bible, and the sacred book of Cultists in the story goes by the same name. The Book of Revelation is the last book of the Bible and deals with the Second Coming of Christ, also known as Apocalypse/ Doomsday/ Day of Judgement. It reveals God’s plans for the righteous and the sinners. Chapter 6-16 of the Book in the Bible consists of three cycles of seven judgements and has seven trumpets and seven bowls. Chapter 6 deals with opening of the sixth seal and chapter 8 with opening of seventh seal. The prophetic insert between the sixth and seven seals describes the sealing of 1,44,000 children of Israel. You will notice the similarity between this protective sealing and the three hundred people in hideout in Saro. The Biblical prediction of apocalypse must have seemed very real to Asimov’s readers in the 1940’s, experiencing the darkness, destruction and brutality of the second world war. The images of the sun “black as a sackcloth of hair” and Stars “falling from the heaven burning like a torch”, from chapter 6 and 8 of the Book of Revelation in the Bible will make it clear that the prophecy in Nightfall has a direct relation to the prophecy in the Bible.

Chapter 6

“Behold there was a great earthquake and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair and the moon became like blood.

And the stars of heaven fall to earth as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.

Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.

And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, every slave and every free man hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains.

And said to the mountains and rocks ‘fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.

For the great day of this wrath has come and who is able to stand? ”

Chapter 8

After the seventh seal is opened all the seven angels sound the trumpets one after the other raining “fire and brimstone on earth, with stars falling from heaven burning like a torch.”

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