A lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse refer to events involving the sun, the moon and the Earth. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the moon and the sun, and the Earth’s shadow obscures the moon or a portion of it. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, blocking all or a portion of the sun.
A big thing that separates solar eclipses from lunar eclipses is the effect on the human eye. While it is safe to watch a lunar eclipse with the naked eye, watching a solar eclipse without eyewear protection can seriously damage your eyesight.
Throughout history, eclipses have evoked both wonder and fear. These feelings are heightened when a rare phenomenon takes place. One example of this is when total lunar eclipses turn the moon blood-red.
Eclipses may seem like odd occurrences, but it is no secret to God or the authors of the Bible. We know from Scripture that God uses signs and wonders in heaven to communicate with His people. Many believe that lunar eclipses and rare solar eclipses are signs from God.
“From a biblical point of view, a solar eclipse is meant to be a sign from God,” says Pastor Mark Biltz who claims to have first noticed the four blood-moon pattern.
“In Genesis 1:14, God declared this to be so. It is a sign that is beyond man’s control, something he can’t manipulate,” Biltz told WND. “Solar eclipses become biblically and prophetically significant and relevant when man understands their timing according to the biblical calendar and where they happen. Then, we look for the patterns.”
Blitz ultimately suggests that such cataclysms may be in store for the United States, especially given the timing of the event.
“As the sun is larger than the moon, the sun represents the nations of the world and the moon represents the nations of the world and the moon represents the nation of Israel, as their calendar months are based on the cycle of the moon while the nations of the world follow the sun for their calendar,” Biltz said. “When there is a total solar eclipse, it is a warning to a specific nation or nations depending on its path.”
Many end-times theorists believe that both lunar eclipses and solar eclipses are signs from God. Two eclipses, one that traveled across the United States in 2017 and one that will take place in 2024 will mark an X across the nation. Some believe this could be the starting and ending signs bookmarking a seven-year period of awful tribulations that are in store for non-believers who are left behind on Earth when the rapture occurs. While we know from Scripture that there are many other things that are supposed to take place before the rapture occurs, could there be some other sort of significance?
In order to better to better understand if God is giving us sign or warning, we can turn to Scripture. There are passages through the Bible that talk about the sun being blacked out by darkness descending on the land. During the plagues of Egypt, God covered the land in darkness.
Exodus 10:21-23 says, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt – darkness that can be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand towards the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.” This sounds a lot like a solar eclipse.
Then, during Jesus’ crucifixion, referenced in the New Testament, something very similar happened. Mark 15: 32-33 says, “’Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.’ Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him. Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”
We even see biblical prophecies about the sun going dark. Revelation 6:12 says, “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.”
This isn’t the only passage that predicts this. We also see this in the book of Matthew and Mark, here foretelling of some sort of eclipse.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened.” (Matthew 24:29). Similar words are said in Mark 13:24. Many people point to this verse as a sign of the end times. During a solar eclipse, the sun is significantly darkened and the light normally reflected by the moon is gone. What occurs during a lunar eclipse is the light normally reflected by the moon significantly decreases. So, it would make sense that there would be a connection between an eclipse and the end times, right?
While eclipses seem to allude to fulfillment of end-times prophecy, there is no way to connect a specific eclipse to the event. While they seem like rare occurrences, eclipses are actually very common. Total lunar eclipses occur virtually every year in most parts of the world. A total solar eclipse occurs somewhere on Earth once every 18 months. Partial solar eclipses occur several times per year. Since Jesus references the eclipse in Matthew 24, there have been thousands of total and partial solar and lunar eclipses and none of these have specifically spoken to end-times Bible prophecy. However, this likely won’t stop end times’ theorists from connecting eclipses to the end times.
Given the number of references the Bible makes to eclipses, it seems like eclipses are significant even outside of the awe and wonder they instill. Turning to Scripture can help you look forward to future solar and lunar eclipses.