Update at bottom.
I read a few days ago of this incident in an Indian village, and have waited for a bit more information, but none has been reported. It is just a strange, singular event. Apparently as a Hindu festival was going on, swarms of spiders suddenly appeared and landed on people, attacking and biting them. Chaos ensued, many people wound up at the hospital, and two people died.
There are many things to consider here.
Secondly, they were of a species no one can identify. Meaning, that if the locals cannot identify them and this had never happened before, the spiders were not local. Times of India reported, "Whatever it is, it is definitely new to the area. Assam doesn't have venomous spiders, it never had any throughout history, or there would have been some document, text or art that depicted this spider. People wouldn't have panicked like this; they are scared because they have seen something like this for the first time and don't know how to deal with it. They are used to the common house spider, which runs away when you even snap your finger close to it. But this spider attacks if you try to scare it off. Those who were bitten have said that when they tried to shoo it off, it leapt at them and buried its fangs.""
The Fox News article states:
"They say it could be a tarantula, a black wishbone or even a funnel-web spider -- or it could be a whole new species. One thing they agree on is that it is not native to the area as there is no record of venomous spiders in Assam. The black wishbone and funnel-web are native to Australia."
What?? Where did they come from?? The Times of India article states, "Yet the spider menace continued. None had any answer as to what kind of a spider it was and how it made such a sudden appearance."
Third, they were especially aggressive. They not only landed on people, but seemed to seek them out and sink their fangs into the flesh with gusto. From the same article: "It leaps at anything that comes close. Some of the victims claimed the spider latched on to them after biting."
Fourth, they were celebrating a Hindu Festival of Bihu. In particular, this festival is native to the Assam region, and it one of three throughout the year, all tied to agriculture. The Times of India noted that the festival recently celebrated was the Ronghali Bihu, and here is a description of it:
Rongali Bihu, the most popular Bihu celebrates the onset of the Assamese New Year and the coming of Spring. It's a time of merriment and feasting and continues, in general, for seven days. The farmers prepare the fields for cultivation of paddy and there is a feeling of joy around. The women make pitha, larus (traditional food made of rice and coconut) and Jolpan which gives the real essence of the season. The first day of the bihu is called goru bihu or cow bihu, where the cows are washed and worshipped, which falls on the last day of the previous year, usually on April 14. This is followed by manuh (human) bihu on April 15, the New Year Day. This is the day of getting cleaned up, wearing new cloths and celebrating and getting ready for the new year with fresh vigor. The third day is Gosai (Gods) bihu; statues of Gods, worshiped in all households are cleaned and worshiped asking for a smooth new year."
Hmmm. After the arachnid attack, Fox News noted, "All the bite patients first went to witch doctors, who cut open their wounds with razors, drained out blood and burnt it. That could have also made them sick," Phatowali said." It was only later that they went to hospitals.
I can't imagine what it was like for the Indian people gathered at the festival to have this hairy thing jump on you out of nowhere. It made me think of the Egyptians who were plowing their land or kneading their bread, doing everyday things and suddenly there were swarms of frogs leaping on them from everywhere:
"The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls." (Ex 8:3).
It also made me think of what happens when people worship false gods:
"While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel." (Numbers 25:1-3)
Finally, it made me think of the time during the Tribulation when the animal kingdom is released from its restraint, too, and millions are killed in a plague of beasts.
"And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth." (Revelation 6:8).
Do I think the spider-biting incident in Assam was directly the hand of God? I don't know. Only He knows. The strangeness of it, the fact that some aspects of the event so far have been inexplicable, makes me think of the aforementioned verses.
Just because it is 2012 does not mean that the Old Testament and New Testament Revelation verses are expired. We still live at the will and pleasure of the same God as from past Old Testament times. He is the same God who will judge all the world in the future Revelation events. Even though the spider event was inexplicable, God is still the same: burning with anger at false worship, in control of the animal and natural world, and promising to judge all. Perhaps the Assam spider biting incident was a preview.
The 'unbelievableness' of the story is causing some to doubt whether it is true or not. CNN reports that because some of the people went to witch doctors and not qualified medical professionals, it casts doubt on the story. And that "The evidence that we gathered does not support the claim that they [two people who died after the infestation] died after being bitten by spiders," Saikia said."
LOL. stay tuned.