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Pillar of Fire and Smoke Ideas & Discussion

This thread is open for ideas and discussion about the "Smoke by Day and Fire by Night" story of God leading the Hebrews through the Sinai Wilderness.

Editor's Note: It is important to note the various translations and theories behind the terms "pillar" "fire" and "smoke" or "cloud". There is some debate about the terms which affects how you think of God's "present-ness."

For example, if you go with "smoke" then you do not want to be doing an art project that makes "clouds".

Artistic depictions of these phenomenon sometimes make them large spectacular events, i.e, a whirling fire tornado, or a large pillar of clouds. However, there's a large visual difference between "smoke" and "cloud" that can lead one to different lesson ideas and discussion questions. (The attempts to scientifically explain these phenomenon as "electricity in the clouds" are interesting, but miss the point that GOD leads and doesn't need lightning to do so.

Bible scholars suggest that smoke and fire could be referring to items from the Tabernacle's altar being carried by the priests who led the people. This interpretation could 'lead' you down an entirely different reflection about how "worship" leads us. Just sayin.

If you are looking for SIGNS OF GOD up ahead in your life, then what you expect to see matters: a giant cloud? or a wisp of smoke on the horizon? (Contributed by Neil MacQueen)

Cloud - Science Experiment


  • Wide mouth gallon pickle or food jar
  • Heavy duty clear plastic bag (large Ziploc freezer bags are wonderful)
  • Rubber bands or masking tape 


  • Place about 20 ml of water in a wide mouth gallon pickle jar
  • Place a lit match into the jar.
  • Quickly place a heavy duty clear plastic bag over the mouth of the jar and secure a firm seal by placing a rubber band/masking tape around the top of the jar.
  • Push the bag into the jar quickly, then pull the bag out.
  • Cloud!


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.



Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer
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