The prophetic significance of the four lunar eclipses occurring on Jewish biblical feast days in 2014-15 has become a recent focus on the internet and even a best seller on Amazon. A few voices are suggesting that the so-called ‘blood moons’ are a portent of earth-shaking prophetic significance regarding the Jewish people.
The first of these ‘tetrads’ (a grouping of four – in this case, four lunar eclipses) kicks off on the first night of Passover next week. Here are some reflections on this subject.
How many tetrads?
Though only four specific eclipses are the main focus of these discussions, there are actually hundreds of examples of these tetrads available, and nearly all of them are passed over in silence by the advocates of the current ‘blood moon’ teaching, since 99% of these do not even come close to any major events in Jewish history.
Which major events in Jewish history are marked by ‘blood moons’?
Jewish history has seen many tragedies and victories. Haman’s potential campaign of Persian genocide, the destructions of the First and Second Temples, the defeat of the Syrian Greeks by the Maccabees, Bogdan Chmelniecki’s massacres of Ukrainian Jews, the Holocaust – these were all events of great magnitude. None had blood moon authentication or warning.
The three events currently being focused on in most of the ‘blood moons’ discussion concern –
the Jewish aspects of the Inquisition (beginning in 1478 in Spain, and 1536 in Portugal, and continuing until 1821-26) with emphasis on the exile of Spanish Jewry in 1492,
the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948,
the liberation of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Why these three events are chosen seems clear: they are the only major Jewish events that fall somewhat close to lunar tetrads.
Are these ‘blood moons’ really connected to any major events in Jewish history?
The lunar tetrads in question actually appeared after the events described – between ten months and sixteen years later! Therefore these ‘blood moons’ were not warnings at all but, as it were, ‘prophecies after the fact.’
The advocates of the current ‘blood moons’ teaching use special pleading in arguing why a lunar eclipse in 1949 is actually connected to 1948, or why a ‘blood moon’ in 1494 is connected to 1492, etc.
This non-professional use of Jewish history reveals a lack of precision and care, as well as a sensationalist and inaccurate ‘proof-texting’ regarding the issues of prophetic fulfillment. There is much smoke but little fire here. It indicates a grievous lack of discernment among some believers.
Mystical misunderstanding concerning the biblical Jewish calendar
The only calendar given by YHVH is what is commonly called the Jewish calendar; “YHVH spoke again to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, YHVH’s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations – My appointed times are these’” (Leviticus 23:1-2 ). The telling of time was based on the lunar calendar (Number 29:6), and one feast (Trumpets) falls on the new moon while Passover and Tabernacles falls on or close to the full moon (“Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob”; Psalm 81:3-4 ).
So it is not surprising that a full moon might occur on a Jewish feast day. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of lunar eclipses do not fall on Jewish feast days and have nothing to do with significant events in Jewish history. Once one inserts these facts into the discussion, there is nearly no more need for intelligent discussion on the matter.
Are these ‘blood moons’ connected with a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy?
The prophetic passages dealing with the moon turning to blood are Isaiah 13:9-11 ; 24:21-23 ; Ezekiel 32:1-10 ; Joel 2:10-12 , 28-32 ; 3:12-17 ; Matthew 24:29-30 ; Acts 2:12-21 ; Revelation 6:12-16 . One of these is specific to a localized judgment on Egypt, but the rest of the contexts deal with the final events on Planet Earth immediately preceding the return of Messiah Yeshua.
The context in these passages involves:
An international time of severe judgment known as “The Day of the Lord”
The darkening of sun, moon and stars – a simultaneous total blackout or gray-out
The moon turning as red as blood
A full multinational anti-Jewish military invasion of Israel
Worldwide earthquakes of unprecedented magnitude
Next week’s minuscule pinkish-orange discoloration of the moon falls way short of the stunning biblical context described in these scriptural texts.
Is this truly a sign to Israel if the ‘blood moons’ are not visible in Israel?
According to NASA the lunar tetrads will not be visible over the skies of Jerusalem. So how then could these possibly be a sign to Israel?
One wag once said, “A specialist is someone fifty miles away from home.”
A fly in the ointment
One of the individuals associated with the ‘blood moon’ theory has had many of his teachings recorded and broadcast on public media. For some years he has denied that Yeshua ever claimed to be the Messiah; therefore the Jewish leadership of Yeshua’s day never rejected His Messiahship (he claimed). He also is on public record as stating that the Jewish people already have a covenant with God, and therefore do not need to accept the Messiah that Christians preach.
“Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink. So a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor.” (Ecclesiastes 10:1 )
Biblical perspectives on the moon
The Scriptures have some helpful things to say about heavenly signs and even about the moon,
“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth;’ and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day” (Genesis 1:14-19 ).
“He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down” (Psalm 104:19 ).
God’s sovereign creative power and order is seen in the created heavens: “Yours is the day, Yours also is the night; You have prepared the light and the sun. You have established all the boundaries of the earth. You have made summer and winter.” (Psalm 74:16-17 ).
The existence and procession of the moon through the skies is a spiritual sign that the nations recognize: “They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs. You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy” (Psalm 65:8 ).
The phases of the moon are a nearly incredible expression of His power and glory: “He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it … How faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?” (Job 26:9-14 ).
The constancy of rhythm of the moon is seen as a prophetic reflection of God’s covenant faithfulness to David and to his dynasty: “I will not take My love from him, nor will I ever betray My faithfulness. I will not violate My covenant or alter what My lips have uttered. Once for all, I have sworn by My holiness – and I will not lie to David – that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun. It will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky” (Psalm 89:33-37 ).
The moon is not only a stopwatch marking out God’s time and His order; it is the basis of the biblical calendar and an expression of God’s majesty. It is a sign in the heavens that causes us all to wonder.
Some in the world are wondering about what the ‘blood moons’ may mean this Passover. They do not mean a fulfillment of Joel, nor do they specifically portend powerful eschatological events concerning the Jewish people. About those the Bible already has a huge amount to say.
Finger-pointing and prophecy
An ancient Chinese sage once spoke a parable concerning the dynamics of apprehending truth. He noted that when someone points at an object with his finger, people tend to focus on the finger before they focus on the object in question. Some even develop an obsessive focus on the finger and do not benefit from learning what the finger itself is pointing at.
In the same way, unbalanced emphasis on the ‘blood moon’ teaching could end up skewing important biblical focuses – for instance, the amazing process of restoration of Israel to their Promised Land and their Messiah; the rising violent opposition of the nations to the Jewish people, their restoration and their God; the final harvest of the nations; the coming judgment of God and the return of David’s Greater Son the King of the Jews.