About those blood moons

Kansas City StarJune 13, 2014 

The Blood Moon Prophecies have become somewhat of a topic in many prophetic circles. The main biblical text used to explain this astronomical phenomenon can be found in Joel 2:30-31:

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fires and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the Lord.”

Commentators read this and conclude, not without reason, that this passage refers to solar and lunar eclipses. They then refer to astronomical charts and look for unusual alignments of solar and lunar eclipses while lining up those arrangements to significant events in the history of Israel. They then postulate, based on the wording in Joel, that one such future alignment of eclipses will presage the return of Christ.

Thus was born the discussion around what is known as “the tetrad”. A tetrad is a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses, each with six full moons in between. The tetrad which occurs in 2014 – 2015 is unusual because all four of those lunar eclipses occur on annual High Days (Passover in the Spring and the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles in the Autumn) and the period also coincides with solar eclipses (“the sun turned to darkness”).

To those interested in prophecy the coinciding of eclipses with Holy Days suggests a portent of some kind of divine intervention, and they note that the founding of the State of Israel and the Spanish Inquisition seem to coincide with similar line-ups of the sun, moon, and Earth.

But as some researchers have pointed out, many of the purported events prefigured by High Day blood moons actually occurred before the sighting of the blood moons. Are we to conclude that the events were precursors of the blood moons instead of the other way around? And should we not ask whether the biblical phrases “sun turned to darkness“ and moon into blood” are in fact the same things as eclipses of the sun and moon?

Let’s take a look at a specific event in the New Testament where the Scripture mentions a unique astronomical event that was associated with a turning point in history. It’s in Luke 23:44-45, and it refers to the moment of Jesus’ death:

“Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.”

The “sixth hour” refers to the sixth hour of daylight (noon), and the “ninth hour” refers to three in the afternoon. Question: Was this three hour period the time of a solar eclipse?

We can be 100% confident that it was not. Remember that Jesus’ death occurred just before the onset of a High Day, specifically the first Day of Unleavened Bread, which always occurred on the 15th day of the first month. In the Hebrew calendar, that would be the time of month of the full moon. The only eclipse that could possibly happen at a full moon is a lunar eclipse. There can never be a solar eclipse at that time of the month.

What, then, can we make of an apparent solar eclipse at the time Jesus died? The easiest explanation would be to conclude that this was not a solar eclipse but some other phenomenon, and if that’s true, then there is reason to question whether the darkening of the sun and blood moons really refer to eclipses at all.

The astronomical signs we read about in scripture have more to them than simple, predictable revolutions of heavenly bodies. Here is how Revelation 16:12-13 describes it:

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”

Jesus describes it this way (Matthew 24:29):

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”

Finally, in the context of the passage in Joel (Joel 2:10):

“The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness.”

Earthquakes, stars growing dark and even falling from heaven, all apparently at the same time: more than phenomena caused by predictable conjunctions of heavenly bodies. I don’t know exactly how all this will unfold, but the lesson to take from this is one that so many need to learn over and over again. Prophetic interpretations are many. Don’t order your life around the latest New York Times bestseller.


Lenny Cacchio is a resident of Lee’s Summit. He blogs at http://morningcompanionblogspot.com/.

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