Let me first explain what this theory is for those of you that haven’t heard it yet.
Joel 2:31 says:
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
Mark Biltz (who Hagee gets the theory from) wondered if this verse could simply be referring to a lunar and solar eclipse. Following his curiosity, he went to the NASA eclipse website, which has a compiled list of all lunar and solar eclipses dating from 2000 BC to 3000 AD.
Using the NASA site, Biltz saw that there were a number of solar and lunar eclipses in the future. The ones he focused in on were the lunar tetrads. This means a series of four lunar eclipses within a space of about two years.
Biltz then compared the dates of these tetrads against the Jewish calendar. He discovered that many of these tetrads–as well as other solar eclipses–fall on Jewish feast days.
Biltz wondered if such occurrences had happened in the past. He found six occasions in history that the lunar eclipse tetrads have coincided with Jewish feast days. Cross-referencing these dates with Jewish historical events, Biltz claimed the following connections between these tetrads and significant events in Jewish history:
Nov. 1, 1478 AD – July 15, 1834 AD – The Spanish Crown, in conjunction with the Papacy, imposed the Spanish Inquisition, expelling Jews from Spain if they would not convert to Catholicism.
A tetrad occurred April 2 & September 25, 1493 AD – March 22 & September 15, 1494 AD.
May 15, 1948 AD – March 10, 1949 AD– Israel gained recognition from the U.N. (Dec. 1948) and won the War of Independence.
A tetrad occurred April 13 & October 7, 1949 AD – April 2 & September 25, 1950 AD.
June 5 – 10, 1967 AD – Israel fought and won the Six-Day War, regaining Jerusalem, the capitol of ancient Israel.
A tetrad occurred April 24 & October 18, 1967 AD – April 13 & October 6, 1968 AD.
Biltz and John Hagee suggest that because (according to this model) significant events in Jewish history have transpired around the time of Blood Moon tetrads, the upcoming Blood Moon tetrad of 2014 and 2015 will herald significant events related to biblical prophecy, citing that these eclipses are fulfilling the sun, moon, and star signs in the Bible.
The question is how does this theory bear up against biblical scrutiny and common sense?
The answer is: Not very good and the following are just a few reasons why.
The first thing we need to critique is that what is being described by Biltz and Hagee is the same thing as what the Bible describes. The Bible speaks of the so-called sun, moon, and star signs several times. Here is an example from Revelation 6:12-13:
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 casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Also, from 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:
Examining the full texts about this event show that in addition to the sun and the moon going dark, the stars also go dark.
The Bible describes this sign as a global darkness that covers the whole planet. Whatever this is, it will not simply make the sun and moon go dark, but also the stars in the sky. This is obviously something more than an eclipse. If I were to guess, it would have to be something in the atmosphere that blocks out the entire sky altogether, or it could be a supernatural event that causes this universal darkness.
The only way that Biltz and Hagee seem to get around this is by quoting Joel 2:31 most often, because in that verse only the sun and moon are mentioned. However, if you look 21 verses before this you will see that Joel also intended his readers to know that the stars would go dim as a result of this event as well. Joel 2:10 says
The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining
It is also made crystal clear by God in Ezekiel 32:7-8 that universal darkness is what is meant here. It says:
And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD.
So, unless Biltz and Hagee want to try to explain how theses eclipses will make all the stars and every other light in the sky dark at the same time, then they should admit that what they’re talking about is not the same thing as what the Bible is predicting.
We also see from the other mentions of this event that it includes an earthquake. And as we’ve seen, John called it “a great earthquake.” Joel said, “the earth shall quake before them.” This is the same problem. This great earthquake is an integral part of the so-called sun, moon, and star sign. There is nothing about an eclipse, even four of them, that would cause an earthquake.
In addition, it should be obvious to anyone reading the verses that we have quoted that these events occur simultaneously—on the same day and at the same time—and it’s literally impossible for a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse to occur simultaneously. All you have to do is look at why and how these eclipses occur and you’ll see that that is not a possibility.
So, this theory in no way fulfills the biblical sun, moon, and star sign, but perhaps it’s just a means of God to warn Israel of coming events. In other words, perhaps because (according to Biltz and Hagee) the last time these tetrads occurred near Jewish holidays significant things happened to Israel, perhaps significant things will happen again in 2014-15.
So, we are setting aside the idea that this has Biblical significance and looking only to see if we should expect this tetrad to be a warning to Israel of some kind, even though it’s not about prophecy.
The first point:
When reviewing the historical accuracy of Biltz’s claim that Jewish history seems to converge with lunar eclipse tetrads that fall on Jewish feast days, we find that it’s not very accurate at all.
So, the first thing that we need to do is examine Hagee and Biltz’s assertion that these tetrads actually lined up with significant events at all. So often we simply take for granted that this is true, and as we will see, that would be a huge mistake.
Did you know that there were actually two other tetrad events that fell on Jewish holidays that Biltz found in the NASA computers? Well, he did, but he doesn’t like to say much about those because, even according to him, nothing significant happened on those two occasions.
Right there, that should give us pause.
Okay, so, how do we know that this upcoming tetrad in 2014 -15 won’t be another dud like the other two that they don’t like to mention? Based on these numbers, so far almost half–almost 50%–of these tetrads on Jewish Holidays don’t mean a thing, even by their own admission!
Another point is that the dates of the historical events for which these tetrads supposedly correlate do not seem to correlate very well at all to the dates of the tetrads themselves.
For example, the Spanish inquisition actually started some 15 years before the 1493 –94 tetrad, and ended roughly 350 years later. They try to give this some credibility by saying that what the tetrad is really connected with is the so-called Alhambra Decree issued on the 31st of March, 1492, which officially expelled the Jews from Spain; but even then, the first eclipse didn’t occur until over a year later, and the last eclipse over two years later. So, unless you call being off by a year God’s way of predicting something, then this isn’t a match.
The next so called match is supposed to be when Israel declared its independence in 1948, and won the War for Independence the same year. The dates of the 1949 -1950 tetrad, again, did not occur until over a year later, and didn’t fall on any of the dates of Israel’s victories, or on the day that the U.N. recognized them as a state, or any other significant date. Trust me, if there was any significance to the actual dates of these tetrads, you would have heard about it; but the best they can do is, as we will see in the next one, coming within ten months of an event.
So, yeah, the last one they say occurred in conjunction with the Six-Day War, but in reality it didn’t start until ten months after the war ended. And the last eclipse didn’t occur until a full year after that.
Again, these three obvious non-matches look even worse when you consider that they have already thrown two sets of historical tetrads in the trash, because they couldn’t find any historical events to match them with. So, these three represent the best of the best, and that is pretty sad.
So, within two years is close enough for them. And nowadays, apparently, close counts not just with horseshoes and hand grenades, but also Blood Moon theories.
If Biltz and Hagee are really suggesting that God uses these tetrads as a means of communicating to Israel about coming events, where were the warnings about the far greater and far worse events the Jewish people have faced?
Why didn’t God warn them about the Holocaust, or 70 AD, or the expulsion from Rome, or the following persecution? What’s more interesting to me is what you have to leave out in order to believe this theory. Why did God pick the Spanish Inquisition to warn them about and nothing else? And if this was a warning, why did it come a year too late for anyone to do anything about it?
Furthermore, why are some of the tetrads denoting good events, while others bad events? The Spanish Inquisition right next to the victory of the Six-Day War? There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.
The next point:
Israel uses a lunar calendar, and they base their feast days upon the phases of the moon. Logic would dictate that because of this fact alone, lunar eclipses will fall on Jewish feast days with some regularity.
In an article published by Answers in Genesis regarding Biltz’s Blood Moon Theory, they commented on the rarity of total lunar eclipses falling on Passover and Sukkot in this way:
“No, it’s really not that unusual. Remember, a lunar eclipse happens only at full moon. We don’t follow a strictly lunar calendar today, but most ancient people, including the Hebrews, did. Their months began with the first appearance of the crescent of the new moon, which is a day or so after our modern definition of a new moon (when the moon and sun are in longitudinal conjunction). Reckoning from this point, fourteen days later, or the fifteenth of the month, always coincides with full moon.”
The article then discusses the frequency in which lunar eclipses fell on Passover and Sukkot, the same feast days as in the Blood Moon theory.
They start off here by mentioning that so far in the 20th century this has happened 37 times:
“…we can say that all 37 of these lunar eclipses coincided with Passover or Sukkot. This is about one-sixth (37/230) of the twentieth-century lunar eclipses, which is what we would expect because Passover and Sukkot happen in two of the 12 months. The relatively high frequency is a result of definition of the fifteenth day of the month on a lunar calendar. Therefore, again, the coincidence of lunar eclipses with these two observances is more common than Biltz realizes.”
So, do you understand what they’re saying?
They’re saying that lunar eclipses are so common on these particular Jewish holidays that it’s occurred 37 times just in the 20th century. They are so common that Biltz and Hagee have had to essentially say, “Okay, yeah, eclipses on these Jewish holidays do happen all the time, but how about two eclipses within two years of one another? Oh, that’s common, too. Well, how about four eclipses within two years of each other? Oh, that’s common, too. Well, how about we throw two of those away, and only look at the other three, and twist those a bit, and then we’ll have something to write a book about?”
On the whole, the Blood Moon theory proposed by Mark Biltz and John Hagee falls short of the biblical standards required for the sun, moon, star, and earthquake sign that’s supposed to herald the beginning of the Day of the Lord. It fails to demonstrate any real and lasting correlation with Israel’s past, and it seems little more than fluff and hype.
In conclusion, I actually agree that significant events are on the horizon for Israel, and even possibly of Biblical proportions, but to suggest that any significant events which might occur in the next couple years are in any way related to the tetrad eclipses of 2014-15 would be akin to me saying that my team lost the Super Bowl because I failed to wear my lucky Jersey.
Thanks for your time.