I first wrote about the so-called
blood moons five years ago. (For reasons I'll explain
below, total lunar eclipses are called blood moons.)
At the time a video series on the subject was
being heavily marketed as revealing the date of the
second coming. By now most people no longer believe
that, but the series is still popular and since we're
getting closer to the time of their arrival I've been
getting questions about the blood moons again.
So here's an update.
As many of us already know there
are some remarkable celestial events coming in 2014 and
There are two sets of lunar and solar eclipses that will
take place on or near Jewish Feast dates.
There will be lunar eclipses on April 15 and
in 2014 and on April 4 and September 28 in 2015.
What makes them remarkable is that in both these
years the spring eclipses will come on Passover and the
fall ones will come on the Feast of Tabernacles.
When four consecutive lunar
eclipses are all total eclipses the series is called a
tetrad. While there will be 6 other tetrads during the
21st Century those in 2014 and 2015 are the
only ones that will all come on Feast dates. We should
note that of the 2014-15 Lunar eclipses only the last
one (Sept. 28, 2015) will be visible from Israel, and
then only partially.
But there's more.
In 2015 there will also be two solar eclipses,
and again one will come in the spring and the other in
The spring solar eclipse will take place on the first
day of Israel's religious year (Nisan 1) fourteen days
before Passover, and the one in the fall will come on
the first day of the civil year (Tishri 1) six months
later, which is Rosh Hashanah, or the Feast of Trumpets.
Does This Happen Often?
Counting the ones in 2014-15 there
will have been only 13 tetrads in the last 500 years and
of those only 2 have previously come at the time of
Jewish feasts. One was in 1949-50 and the other one was
A tetrad being a series of four, that means we're
talking about eight total lunar eclipses.
Of those eight only the one in April 1950 was
fully visible from Israel, four others were partially
visible and the rest were not visible at all. (Since
these are being touted as signs to Israel, you might
wonder why they weren't all visible there.)
The tetrad in 1949-50 began a year
after Israel's re-birth as a nation on May 14, 1948.
The one in 1967-68 began in April, about six
weeks before the 6 day war that ended in the
reunification of Jerusalem.
The proximity of these occurrences to watershed
dates in Israel's modern history leads some to believe
that the tetrads coming in 2014-15 will be similarly
important to Israel.
Personally I'm not as impressed
with this as some others are.
Biblical history tells us God's signs are clear
The Bethlehem star is a case in point. If you've
ever tried to follow a star without the benefit of
modern equipment, you know the fact that the Magi were
able to follow it to Jerusalem from hundreds of miles
away is impressive in itself, but then it led them from
Jerusalem to Bethlehem, a distance of only 5 miles.
According to Matthew 2:9-11 the star led
them right to the house where the Lord's family was
staying. Could it be God?
Contrast that with the tetrads in
They weren't specific to the event they were supposed to
be heralding. God's chosen people officially became a
nation again after a 1900 year absence on May 14,1948
but the first eclipse in the tetrad didn't appear until
a year later.
Signs from Heaven are supposed to tell us that
things are about to happen, not things that already have
Proponents of this theory had to search through the
records to find an event related to Israel's history
that would coincide with the date of the eclipse.
They chose the conversion of Israel's provisional
government to a permanent one.
Did God wait until then to provide a sign
because He was uncertain as to whether Israel
would make it?
And did anyone on Earth recognize these events as
signs from heaven at the time?
You could forgive Israel for not noticing.
For the most part the eclipses were not even
To prophecy students, the rebirth
of Israel was a long awaited sign that the end times had
begun, and everyone of them noticed it.
This is the sign God was sending us at that time,
not a series of eclipses that arrived a year after the
fact, and were only visible to some.
At least the first half of the
1967-68 tetrad bracketed the six day war that led to the
reunification of Jerusalem, but again no one noticed it
for 40 years.
That's probably because neither of the 1967
eclipses was visible at all in Israel, and of the 1968
eclipses only the one in April was visible and then only
partly so. Three out of the four could not be seen at
all by the people for whom the sign was supposedly
Some say the tetrads of 1949-50 and
1967-68 happened during two important wars in Israel,
the war for independence and the six day war. They use
this as support for predicting another important war for
Israel in 2014-15.
This at least sounds plausible, even though the
war of independence ended a month before the first of
the 1949 eclipses occurred, and none of Israel's other
important wars happened during a series of eclipses. But
there are three wars prophesied for Israel that have yet
to happen, any
of which could easily take place between the
spring of 2014 and the fall of 2015. Of course I'm
referring to those prophesied in Isaiah 17, Psalm 83
and Ezekiel 38-39.
Is That Biblical?
But let's look at what, if
anything, the Bible says about this. The underlying
support for the eclipse hypothesis is Genesis 1:14
where the King James translation reads,
said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven
to divide the day from the night; and let them be for
signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years;
To make the passage read more
easily in English, the translators inserted the word
“and” in several places in this verse. According to the
a more literal reading of verse 14 would go like
Let there be lights in the
expanse of the heaven to separate the day from the
them be for signs; seasons, days, and years.
Inserting the additional articles
makes the King James version look like the lights are
for signs as well as to mark the seasons, days and
I think the interlinear is closer to the original intent
Genesis 1:14. The NIV translation agrees.
Let there be lights in the
expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night,
and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and
All this to say it's not clear that
Genesis 1:14 says one of the functions of the
lights in the sky is to serve as signs of important
events. This has to be read into the passage. Most
likely it simply says the Sun and Moon enable man to
keep track of time.
Second, the phrase “moon turned to
blood” comes from Joel 2:31 which says this will
happen before the coming of the great and dreadful day
of the Lord.
Peter quoted this verse in Acts 2:20.
In Rev. 6:12 we find another appearance of
the “blood moon” phrase.
These three are the only such verses in the Bible
and all seem to agree that a “blood moon” will appear
sometime before the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
But all three of these references also mention the Sun
going dark at the same time.
Most of us know that the Moon
doesn't produce any light of its own. Light from the
Moon originates on the Sun and is reflected to Earth.
You can't have a lunar eclipse if the Sun is not
producing any light, as is the case in Joel 2:31,
Acts 2:20, and Rev. 6:12.
Some explain this as being a case
of a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse happening at the
same time. But that's impossible, too.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes
between the Sun and the Moon. As the light from the Sun
bends around the Earth and passes through it's
atmosphere on the way to the Moon it takes on a reddish
hue. During a total eclipse this will make the Moon
appear to be dark orange in color, causing it to be
called a blood moon.
But a solar eclipse occurs when the
Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth.
As the eclipse progresses the Moon will look like
a black ball crossing the Sun. In a total solar eclipse
all the Sun's light will be blocked and both the Sun and
the Moon will appear to have turned black.
Matt. 24:29, which speaks of
the end of the Great Tribulation, says the Sun will be
darkened and the moon will not give its light.
This event is also mentioned in Mark 13:24-25.
Luke 21:25 it's referred to as signs in the sun,
moon and stars.)
It's what a total eclipse of the Sun looks like,
although in this case I believe something much more
permanent will be happening. I don't think the Sun will
ever come back, but will be replaced by the New
city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its
lamp. The nations will walk
by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring
their splendor into it (Rev. 21:23-24).
Also, from any given location a
lunar eclipse can only happen at night and a solar
eclipse can only happen during the day.
For these reasons you can't have a solar eclipse
and a lunar eclipse at the same time.
How Many Blood Moons Are There?
The Bible only mentions one “blood
moon”, not a series. Nor does it mention a blood moon in
connection with any event in world history except the
one that will come in advance of the Great Tribulation.
All this means the celestial event spoken of in
Joel 2:31 and repeated in Acts 2:20 and
is unlikely to be an eclipse of either the Sun or
Clearly the appearance of a blood moon before the
beginning of the Great Tribulation is intended to be a
unique and unmistakable sign.
What's Your Point?
In conclusion we can say that the
mention of the sun and moon as signs in Genesis 1:14
probably refers only to keeping track of time.
We can also say that the past tetrads do not meet
the test of a Biblical sign as exemplified by the star
of Bethlehem or the blood moon of Rev. 6:12.
Further, tetrads are never mentioned in the Bible
at all and therefore can't be Biblically linked to any
significant event in Israel's history or future. And
finally, the blood moon that will signal the coming
Great Tribulation is a single sighting, not a tetrad,
and most likely isn't due to an eclipse at all because
it's impossible for solar and lunar eclipses to happen
Therefore, although there's a high
probability that something of prophetic significance
will happen in or to Israel between the spring of 2014
and the fall of 2015, I don't think the tetrads that
will occur during that period can be viewed as a sign
from God that this will be the case.
Amos 3:7 says, Surely the
sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan
to His servants the prophets.
It's still true that if you want to know
everything the Lord has revealed about coming events,
the best place to look is in the Bible. Natural
occurrences can never substitute for the word of the