Archive for the ‘ Moon ’ Category

The Biblical Astronomy of the Miracle of Joshua’s Long Day

In Jon Nessle’s current OT History class, we have learned of key errors linked to the dating of the conventional chronologies, of history, and the assumptions that accompany their popularized time placement, that have caused no end of confusion for archaeology, Bible historians, and students. We will see how Courville’s redating of Bible History has provided much-needed answers to the numerous problems linked to the conventional chronology. We will also note some modern historians and Bible Archaeologists that not only agree with Courville’s redating, but provided key evidences in support of it. The following quotes from Courville provide the context of this position along with the benefits that come with their acceptance. This provides an important backdrop for the subject of this month’s blog, an astronomical event known as Joshua’s Long Day. The focus of this study is an alternative timeline to the conventional chronology, along with some existing and newer research connected to Joshua’s Long Day. The first reference from Courville addresses certain cultural innovations that the Hebrews brought in their invasion and conquest of Palestine, led by Joshua.

“The pottery of the period is exceptionally fine… At Megiddo there is a complicated succession of building periods …. Early in the sequence comes a very fine town wall… and is a most impressive example of the town walls of this period. This phase can be taken as representative of the fully developed culture of Canaanite [sic] Palestine, a culture of prosperous city-states. Against the background of the revised chronology, the ancient Hebrews were far from being a cipher culturally. It was the Hebrews who introduced the use of bronze into Palestine; it was the Hebrews who introduced the use of the fast wheel in making pottery; it was the Hebrews who introduced the high level of culture to be observed in Palestine at the beginning of Middle Bronze and which was never exceeded; it was the Hebrews who introduced the use of drainage systems and the use of cisterns as a means of preserving water from the rainy season; it was the Hebrews who introduced improvements in the architecture of dwellings and defense walls; it was very probably the Hebrews who introduced the technique for obtaining iron from its ores in quantity. These and other contributions to the culture of Middle Bronze Age in Palestine should be credited to the Hebrews and not to their pagan
contemporaries, the Canaanites or the Amorites. However, all this is true only if it is possible to erect a satisfactory chronological structure of the ancient world on the foundations laid by a redating of the end of Early Bronze to c. 1400 B.C., some 600 years later than dates currently attributed to this change of culture. This is an exceedingly large IF. While it has already been shown that a number of large problems in archaeology are provided solutions by this alteration, this is only a start. It must also be shown that every significant synchronism which has been used to support the conventional structure is either ill-founded or else, that it continues to hold for
the revised structure; it must be shown that the almost infinite bits of information gleaned archaeologically can be rationally interpreted against this revised background; it must be shown that all of the chronologies of other ancient nations can be revised as necessary to fit into this revised scheme; it must be shown that the various methods of dating that have been used in arriving at the presently accepted structure are not valid, including the so-called astronomical dating methods.”

“And finally, it must be explained why most scholars in the field for the last half-century and more have fallen into the same errors of fallacious reasoning without being able to recognize the nature of their mistakes which have led them to the currently accepted views. Not only is this possible, it can be done with the continued elimination of numerous added difficulties characterizing the conventional structure and with the appearance of a number of noteworthy synchronisms that have not been previously recognized. The writer does not ask the reader to accept these claims per se. He only asks that the reader follow carefully and critically the developments outlined in the subsequent chapters of this work, evaluating for them the evidence which are presented in support of a revised chronology of Egypt which agrees with Bible chronology and with Bible history without an appreciable flaw.” [HEBREW CULTURE p. 113-114 THE EXODUS PROBLEM] 1

At this point, we are content to note that the same shift in dating at the end of Early Bronze which provides solutions to anomalies at Jericho, and at Ai, as well as providing a ready solution to the enigmas of Hittite chronology, also provides the proper setting for the events of the Exodus, the Conquest of Joshua, and the era of the Judges. A major issue with the Conventional Chronology where the history of ancient Egypt is concerned, is the lack of precise evidence to delineate epochal divisions between Stone, Bronze & Iron ages, to mark the transitions between these epochs. Courville is one of the very few who has aligned the layers of the archaeological digs starting in Jericho, as documented by Kenyon, from the end of the Jews 40-year wilderness wandering after the Exodus, with Joshua’s conquest and displacement of the Canaanites, Amorites, et al. in Palestine.

On the basis of the multiplicity of synchronisms indicating that the Conquest should properly be set at the end of Earlv Bronze IV, it was concluded that the Exodus occurred at the point of the fall of the Old Kingdom, approximately marked by the end of Dynasty VI. This point is marked by a similar eclipse of power in Egypt which lasted for a pluralitv of centuries. [3] On the basis of the demands of the redating of the end of Early Bronze, it was necessary to recognize both these periods as one and the same2

The identification of the line of Pharaoh’s just before the Hyksos kings, puts us in the proper position to reveal the pharaoh of the Oppression, which provides confirmation of this general structure. Thus, it will be possible also to show clearly the identity of the Pharaoh of the Oppression who carried out an extensive building program in brick in the eastern Delta region where the Israelites lived. A famine inscription appears, dated almost exactly at the point required by Old Testament Chronology relative to the Exodus, dated c. 1445 B.C., with a multiple of confirming evidences for the proposed setting of the Exodus. This scenario put forward by Courville in THE EXODUS PROBLEM, is the setting of my Nov. 2022 blog, that handles details of Joshua’s Conquest, to agree with the Scriptural and historical account of events as seen in Joshua 10. 3

Joshua 10:1-6
1 Now it came to pass when Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard how Joshua had taken Ai and had utterly destroyed it—as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king—and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among themthat they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mightyTherefore Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish, and Debir king of Eglon, saying, Come up to me and help me, that we may attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel.” Therefore the five kings of the Amoritesthe king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachishand the king of Eglon, gathered together and went up, they and all their armies, and camped before Gibeon and made war against it. And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal, saying, “Do not forsake your servants; come up to us quickly, save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the mountains have gathered together against us.”

This Biblical record begins in verse 1 by recounting how “Joshua had taken Ai and had utterly destroyed it—as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king—and
how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them.” This is in general agreement with Courville’s redating of the conventional chronology, to a time when Joshua was conquering the cities of Jericho, and Ai, as we find in the following reference from Courville.

XII. “Other Peoples Migrated out of Palestine at the End of Early Bronze age, in line with Scripture, as it was not alone the Hittites who were to be displaced by the incoming Israelites. If the proposed redating of the Conquest is correct, then there should be evidence of the settlement of other peoples in areas outside Palestine that previously had resided within this territory. The Phoenicians who settled along the northern coast of the Mediterranean refer to themselves as the Canaanites, [60] people also displaced from Palestine by the Israelites. The Mitannians appear to be a remnant of one branch of the Hurrians who similarly dwelt in Palestine previously. [61] The Amorites were in the Palestine area from the time of Abraham. They were displaced at the time of the Conquest, and appear in the area north of Palestine as the Amurru, a name associated with the Amorites. [62]
A consistent picture results from the recognition that Early Bronze represents the era just prior to the conquest of Joshua and the following transition period is that of the Conquest itself.”  [p. 98 THE EXODUS PROBLEM.] 4

As this Biblical record agrees with Courville’s redating of Joshua’s Conquest at the End of Early Bronze age, confirmed by the displacement of the men of JerichoAi, and the Amorites, many other thorny historical problems associated with the Conventional Chronology find solutions also.

Joshua 10:7-11 
So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valorAnd the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your handnot a man of them shall stand before you.” 9 Joshua therefore came upon them suddenly, having marched all night from Gilgal. 10 So the Lord routed them before Israel, killed them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, chased them along the road that goes to Beth Horon,
and struck them down as far as Azekeh and Makkedah.
 11 And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the Lord cast down large hail-stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they diedThere were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword.  

This was a singular battle in world military history because as verse 11 above recounts; it was  the Lord who cast down large hailstones from heaven on the fleeing Amorites. The Lord of Hosts was fighting from Heaven for Israel against their enemies in Palestine, and the large hail-stones God sent raining down on them killed more of the enemy than the Israelites themselves. This harmonizes with Josh. 10:8 above, which says “I [God] have delivered them into your hand,” but this miracle, that recalls the signs from heaven akin to the destruction of Sodom and Gommorah, [Gen. 18:17-32] to a lesser degree, was only an astronomical foretaste of what was in store for these enemies of God’s people.

Joshua 10:12-15 12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of IsraelSun, stand still over GibeonAnd Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 So the sun stood stillAnd the moon stoppedTill the people had revenge upon their enemiesIs this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day14 And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel15 Then Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.

The locations of Gibeon, Beth Horon and the Valley of AijalonAzekah and Makkedah are shown in figure 1. 5

Map of ancient Canaan showing the route taken by the Israelites, starting at Gilgal, according to Joshua 10:9–10.

This Map of ancient Canaan shows the route taken by the Israelites, starting at Gilgal, then to the great slaughter @ Gibeon, to pursue them unto Beth Horon, where the large hail-stones started falling, then Aijalon over which the Moon stood, [Josh. 10:12], then unto Azekah and Makkedah according to Joshua 10:9–11. The book of Joshua continues in the Old Testament, after an all-night march from Gilgal, the Israelites attacked the Amorites at Gibeon, and then pursued them to Azekah and then to Makkedah (fig. 1). As evidence from historical geography shows the locations of these sites: Gibeon was about 10 km northwest of Jerusalem, Azekah about 30 km southwest of Gibeon, and Makkedah about 20 km south of Azekah. 6

Prior research into this topic by Humphreys and Waddington aids the conventional chronology of astronomy, with related data in the fields of Egyptology and Hebrew studiesSo how did these two physicists proceed in their research regarding an event that’s only obliquely referred to in an ancient text? Their multidisciplinary task according to them, required a foray into ancient Hebrew, a rethinking of Egypt’s royal history, and some complex calculations about the Earth’s rotation. Their inquiry began with the translation of the Hebrew word dôm,” from Joshua 10. In English versions of the Bible, it’s usually translated as “stopped,” as in the sunstopped moving.” When discussing the word with Alan Millard, a professor of Hebrew and ancient Semitic languages, Humphreys pondered whether it could actually mean the sun stopped shining”—that may suggest an eclipse. In order to date the eclipse, the Cambridge researchers included a new eclipse code” which examined variations in the Earth’s rotation over time. 7

Earlier researchers also only looked at total eclipses, failing to consider that the text may refer to an annular eclipse, in which the moon passes directly in front of the sun, but is too far away to cover the disc completely, they said. From their calculations, the Cambridge researchers found that the only annular eclipse visible from Canaan between 1500 and 1050 BC was on Oct. 30, 1207 BC, in the afternoon.

Historical evidence from the Merneptah Stele, a text from the reign of the Pharaoh Merneptah, shows that the Israelites were in Canaan between 1500 and 1050 BC. This large granite block held in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo says that it was carved in the 5th year of Merneptah’s reign and mentions a campaign in Canaan in which he defeated the people of Israel. If correct, it enables academics to date the reigns of Ramesses the Great and his son Merneptah, to within a year.

Figure 2. The Merneptah Stele. 

The Merneptah Stele (ca. 1208 BC) is a 10-foot tall, granite victory monument which names Israel as a nation in Canaan.

The most famous, and arguably the most important discovery related to Moses and the Exodus is the Merneptah Stele. In ca. 1208 B.C. Pharaoh Merneptah erected a 10-foot tall victory monument (called a stele) in a temple at Thebes to boast of his claims of victory in both Libya and Canaan. It was discovered in 1896 by Sir Flinders Petrie. On it, Merneptah boasts, “Israel is wasted, its seed is not; And Hurru (Canaan) is become a widow because of Egypt.”9

Most scholars agree that this is the oldest definitive reference to Israel as a nation outside of the Bible, and certainly the clearest Egyptian reference to Israel. It is also important because it points towards an early date for the Exodus (ca. 1446 B.C. agreeing with Courville) and not the late date that some scholars hold to (ca. 1270 B.C.). It is doubtful that there would be enough time from 1270 B.C. to 1208 B.C. to account for the Exodus, the 40 years of wandering in the desert, the seven-year conquest of Canaan, the settlement of the tribes in their territories, and the establishment of a national presence in the land, all before Merneptah claims to have conquered them. Merneptah’s Canaanite campaign instead likely dates to the time of the Judges, when the nation of Israel was already settled in Canaan. The Merneptah Stele is evidence that the Exodus from Egypt, led by Moses, took place in the 15th century BC, as the biblical data indicates. 10

The later dates from mainstream Egyptologists for the reign of Ramesses II are c. 1279–1213 BC, with his son Merneptah reigning from c. 1213–1203 BC (Shaw 2003Horning et al. 2006Kitchen 2013). These dates are subject to some uncertainty, with the latest possible dates for Ramesses II being 1270–1204 BC, and for Merneptah 1204–1194 BC (Kitchen 2013). Some other researchers, most notably Rohl (1995), have proposed an alternative chronology for ancient Egypt in which these dates are advanced by several hundred years. Their “New Chronology” has achieved widespread publicity alongside widespread criticism from mainstream Egyptologists. In this “New Chronology,” the 5th year of Merneptah is 867 BC. 11

Changes to Egyptian history that Humphreys suggests pertain to the ruling period of each pharaoh, including Merneptah, during whose reign the Merneptah Stele was carved. Merneptah was the son of Rameses the Great, one of Egypt’s most famous pharaohs, and there’s been considerable debate over the years about when Rameses was in power. With the combination of a date from the solar eclipse, and the carving of the Stele, Humphreys and Waddington have proposed years for the pharaohs’ reigns that narrow their reigns down to plus or minus one year. They argue Rameses the Great ruled from 1276 to 1210 BC, while Merneptah was in power from 1210 to 1200 BC.

Prof. Humphreys added: “Solar eclipses are often used as a fixed point to date events in the ancient worldEclipses have also shaped human events, says Duncan Steel, author of Eclipse: The Celestial Phenomenon That Changed the Course of History. “Historically, they have been pivotal in deciding battles,” including the 585 BC eclipse that stopped a battle between the Medes and the Lydians. The Greek philosopher Thales had predicted the eclipse, and when darkness did fall, the warring sides viewed it as an omen and hurried to come to a peaceful agreement. 12

The Bible puts the Israelites in Canaan from the beginning of the Conquest through the destruction of the Temple in about 586-5 BC, so this gives a span of many centuries for a potential conflict between Egypt and Israel. Why choose the first year of that span as the date, when Merneptah’s reference on the stele must have occurred? A primary reason to link Merneptah’s stele with Israel’s conquest of Canaan seems to be first based on tradition, that the Exodus occurred during the reign of Ramesses II. Second, that the Merneptah Stele is the consensus among Egyptologists and historians as the oldest reference to Israel in the history of ancient Egypt, providing an anchor point for their thesis, with this eclipse linked to it. Thus the conclusions of their research are grounded, assuming the conquest happened congruently with Merneptah, as proof that Merneptah reigned during the time of the conquest in 1207 BC, near the possible Joshua eclipse date of the same year. Also if the idea of an exclusive annular eclipse is correct, as the only eclipse candidate to suffice in the situation, eliminating the possibility of other partial eclipses, it would seemingly strengthen their position.

Previous claims of the earliest recorded eclipse include images carved into stone cairns at Loughcrew in Co Meath, Ireland, over 5,000 years ago, while Greek astronomer Ptolemy claimed that the first recorded eclipse was observed by the Babylonians in March 721 BC. The results are published in the Royal Astronomical Society Journal of Astronomy & Geophysics. 13

Were Humphrey’s & Waddington the first to propose an eclipse interpretation for Joshua’s Long Day? In fact, another linguist named Robert Wilson came to the same conclusion of an eclipse interpretation of Joshua 10, nearly 100 years earlier. And while previous scientists had attempted to find solar eclipses for that period and failed, they’d never thought to look for an annular eclipse, which occurs when the moon only partially covers the sun, leaving a ring of light visible at the edges. “That convinced me that ‘eclipse’ was the right translation,” Humphreys says.

Humphreys looked to the giant stone inscription on the Merneptah Stele, as corroboration that the Israelites really were in Canaan during the time of a supposed eclipse. He referenced the Egyptian text believed to be the earliest textual reference to Israel, specifically its final few lines of hieroglyphics that refer to a battle with the Israelites in Canaan, correlated to the Old Testament.

If these words are describing a real observation, then a major astronomical event was being reported (“There has been no day like it, before or since”, Joshua 10:14), but what does the text mean? The Hebrew word dôm means to be silent, dumb or still. The term amad is a broader word meaning to stop or stand. Modern English translations of this passage, such as the NRSV quoted above, have all followed the King James Authorized Version (of 1611), and assumed that the Hebrew text means the Sun and Moon stopped moving. However, a plausible alternative meaning is that the Sun and Moon stopped doing what they normally do: they stopped shining. In other words, the text is referring to a solar eclipsewhen the Sun stops shining. As a solar eclipse can only occur with the Moon directly between the Earth and the Sun, the Moon itself is not visible and so it is not reflecting sunlight to the Earthlike the Sun, it has “stopped shining” as well. 14

As the first person to suggest that Joshua 10:12–14 was referring to a solar eclipse, the linguist Robert Wilson (1918), who over 100 years ago gave the following translation:

Be eclipsed, O sun, in Gibeon, And the moon in the valley of Aijalon! And the sun was eclipsed and the moon turned back, while the nation was avenged on its enemies.

Wilson claimed that in Babylonian cuneiform texts there are words with the same root as the Hebrew dôm that are used in Babylonian astronomical tablets in connection with eclipses, meaning “to be dark”. However, at that time, 100 years ago, it was not deemed possible to investigate this further because of the laborious nature of the calculations required, 15 (Russell 1918).

As we check the Hebrew words used in Joshua 10:1213, from the same Hebrew root as dôm, they are general agreement with the meaning “to be dark” as Babylonian. The related Hebrew words include from Strong’s Concordance [H1820, H1826 and H1724]. H1820– “damah= to cease, rest, silenced, be quiet, make an end, destroyed, laid waste, desolate, cut off, to perish.” The Hebrew verb refers to violent ends, seen in Isa. 15:1, Jer. 14:17, Hos. 4:56. All 3 of these references include the word “night [H3915] with the darkness linked to it, as in Gen. 1:5 where God divided the day from the night, and Gen. 1:14, where the heavenly lights of the firmament divide the day from the night, for signs, seasons, days and years. See also [Ps. 19:2, Ex. 13:21-22]. Solar and Lunar eclipses surely qualify as key heavenly signs, in the Creator’s celestial order, so this favors a Scriptural view of an eclipse interpretation for Josh. 10:12-1416

Sawyer (1972) followed up the suggestion of Wilson (1918) that Joshua 10:12–14 refers to a solar eclipse and considered the dates of all total solar eclipses visible from Gibeon between 1500 and 1050 BC (giving generous limits to the possible dates of the entry of Joshua into Canaan). He found that there were only two such eclipses, on 19 Aug. 1157 BC and on 30 Sept. 1131 BC. However, both these dates are significantly later than the latest date that Humphreys and Waddington calculations allow for Joshua to have entered Canaan, as the latest possible date for the fifth year of Merneptah, 1200/ 1199 BC, using the Merneptah Stele as their anchor for this claimHistorians and Bible scholars in agreement with their calculations have therefore, to date ruled out a solar eclipse interpretation of Joshua 10:12–14. 17 

However, as we will see below, there are other eclipses visible from Gibeon between 1500 and 1050 BC, within these “generous limits” for the possible dates of the entry of Joshua into Canaan, but much earlier, c1400 BC than 1207 BC, which we will discuss presently.

People in the ancient world did not distinguish between total and annular solar eclipses. It is not until as late as 1292AD, that we find a separate expression in the Chinese eclipse records to describe an annular eclipse; both of the annular eclipses of 7 August 198 BC and 27 July AD 306, were recorded by the Chinese as being total. Thus they revisited the solar eclipse interpretation of Josh. 10:1214 to see if there was an annular eclipse visible in the same time frame as was used by Sawyer. [18]

The calculations of the Cambridge researchers found the only annular eclipse visible from Gibeon between 1500 and 1050 BC (using the same limits to the possible dates of entry of Joshua into Canaan as did Sawyer [1972]) was on 30 October 1207 BC, in the afternoon. The calculated track of the annular eclipse of 30 October 1207 BC is shown below in figure 2, which passed directly over the land of Canaan. 19

Figure 2. The path of the Annular Solar Eclipse of 30 October 1207 BC. 20

The path of the annular solar eclipse of 30 October 1207 BC, over-shadowed the land of Canaan in the afternoon. The shadow left the Earth’s surface at sunset over modern-day Iraq. The map is centered on Azekah, which is marked by a circle. 21

Solar eclipse of 1207 BC

 Because the eclipse occurred in the afternoon, it was probably seen from near Azekah, from where the annular eclipse would have started at 15:27 (local apparent time as given by a sundial), with annularity occurring between 16:48 and 16:53. The Sun would still have been partially eclipsed at sunset, which occurred at 17:38. During annularity, 86% of the solar disc’s area was covered by the Moon. 22

An interesting feature of the Joshua text is the observation that not only did the Sun stop (shining) but the Moon also stopped (shining). As the Moon is in conjunction at the time of a solar eclipse it is effectively absent from the sky for a couple of days (it has “stopped shining”). As the Israelites used an observationally based lunar calendar they would have been well aware of this monthly period of lunar invisibility and so could have timed their surprise night-time attack at Gibeon to take advantage of the lack of natural night-time illumination at this time.

After reporting that the Sun stopped (shining), the book of Joshua states further that “The Sun did not hurry to set for about a whole day” (Joshua 10:13, NRSV), which has given rise to the term “Joshua’s Long Day.” What did the writer mean? Figure 3 shows the level of illumination on the ground at Azekah during the annular eclipse and figure 4 shows the appearance of the Sun as viewed from Azekah at three-minute intervals. 23

Figure 3. The level of illumination on the ground at Azekah during the annular eclipse of 30 October 1207 BC, as a function of the local apparent time as given by a sundial. The thin line shows the normal illumination in the absence of an eclipse. The red line gives the illumination during the eclipse, showing the double-dusk effect. 24

Figure 4. The appearance of the Sun viewed from Azekah on 30 October 1207 BC, at three-minute intervals. The Sun was still partially eclipsed at sunset. 25

All ancient civilizations would have been accustomed to the Sun going down in the afternoon, leading to daylight turning into dusk, and then turning into night. However, on this occasion, in the afternoon the light from the Sun on Canaan started decreasing from its normal level at about 15:30 until at about 16:50, it was approximately ten times less intense than normal, and dusk set in (notice that figure 3 is plotted on a logarithmic scale to match the approximate response of the human visual system). However, by around 17:10 the level of illumination would have been somewhat restored before dusk fell again and then the Sun finally set at about 17:38. What the Israelites would have witnessed was a double dusk. 26

In attempting to describe this double dusk it is only natural that the Israelites would have done so in terms of their normal experience of the diurnal cycle. Although aware that on this occasion the time interval between the two dusks was less than the normal day, the book of Joshua records “about a whole day” (NRSV) for this period of time. In fact, the Hebrew text here is “like a whole day”, the preposition like also means as, and so the phrase can mean “as on a whole day” (Millard, private communication). 27

The appearance of the annular eclipse of 30 Oct. 1207 BC we are considering is shown in figure 4. Both before and after annularity, the eclipse takes on the appearance of a crescent, mimicking the form [crescent] of the Moon around both the end and beginning of a lunar month.

What Humphrey’s and Waddington have failed to mention in their proposed annular eclipse of Oct. 1207 BC, as seen in Figure 4 above, is that their thesis rests upon the exclusivity of an annular eclipse, separate from a solar eclipse. However, with annularity occurring only between 16:48 and 16:53 pm, briefly for 5 min, the rest of this event falls into the category of a Partial Lunar eclipse, as the Crescent Moon covers increasing parts of the Sun for 81 min. leading up to annularity from the eastafter which the Moon uncovers the Sun for 45 added minutes till dusk, as the Sun would still have been partially eclipsed at sunset, which occurred at 17:38. So for the entire eclipse period of 131 minutes duration of this annular solar eclipse, it was a Partial Lunar eclipse for 126 minutes.

The article by Humphreys and Waddington prompted rabbinic scholar Eli Gurevich to contact David Rohl with this idea of a partial eclipse fitting the requirements just as much as an annular eclipse. He referenced the NASA eclipse tables, which show partial eclipses typically crossing Canaan several times in every decade. Remarkably, a total eclipse passed just north of Canaan on July 14, 1406 BC (one year needs to be added to the NASA numbers to arrive at the correct BC date). This lines up perfectly with a common early date proposed for the Exodus of 1446 BC, with the Conquest starting in 1405 BC. 28

Figure 5. Total Solar Eclipse North of Canaan on July 14th, 1405. 29

The solar eclipse of 1406 BC with the blue band showing the zone of totality. 

A Total Solar Eclipse most likely is better suited to fit the Biblical context of Joshua 10, more than an annular eclipse because the darkness experienced in a total solar eclipse is greater than the annular eclipse, especially if both the Sun and Moon stood still during totality. This would have increased the shock and awe on the Amorites, not only making them easier prey for the attacking Israelites, but also agreeing with details of the Biblical text. In the comparison of the Hebrew text with the Babylonian cuneiform above, we looked at the Hebrew word H1820damah, a prime root for the related Hebrew word H1826damam, meaning to be dumb, astonished, put to silence, or to stop, stand still. If the eclipse stood still, stopping in its tracks during totality, the Israelites were allotted the extra time needed to complete the destruction of the Amorites, that Joshua had prayed for [Josh. 10:12] during this Long Day. 30

According to some critics of Humphrey’s and Waddington paper is a watered-down analysis of the Biblical account that is a consistent pattern for Colin Humphreys. He wrote a book on the Exodus that attempts to explain its occurrences as having been fulfilled by natural events rather than outright miracles, that he seems to discount here. Critics also call into question, how and why the paper Humphrey’s published in October 2017 with W. Graeme Waddington, is practically identical to, but did not credit a January 2017 published work by three Israelis: physicist Ḥezi Yitzḥak, Bible scholar Daniel Weinstaub, and archeologist Uzi Avner, in the Hebrew journal Beyt Mikra requires further clarification. Despite the fact that this Israeli journal is in Hebrew, does Humphreys claim independent inspiration for his thesis? 31

Critics also point out an even bigger problem, that Joshua’s long day couldn’t possibly have taken place in 1207 BC, according to the biblical account, since 1 Kings 6:1 states that building the First Temple began 480 years after the Exodus. It is evident that Joshua’s battle occurred soon after the 40 years of the Exodus. Advancing the date of 1207 BC, an additional 440 years into the future puts the building of the First Temple at 767 BC, which is 200 yrs after the traditionally accepted date of 970 BC. Historians have encountered difficulties in accounting for the detailed Biblical history of Israel in Canaan, listing each Judge and King, with the lack of time to compress every event in the books of Joshua, JudgesRuth, and Samuel to fit between the 237 odd years from 1207 BC to 970 BC.

Added reasons to question the designation of the eclipse of 1207 BC as the only candidate to date the conquest, are the 20 factors from archaeology and the Bible that demonstrate that Ramesses II just does not fit with as the pharaoh of the Exodus. Some of these are highlighted in the documentary film and more are found in the book, both with the title Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus. The Biblical example from I Kings 6:1 above, also includes the fact that 1 Kings 6:1 has the Exodus occurring in the 480th year before Solomon began building the Temple, which puts it in the 1400s BC not the 1200s. Many attempt to dismiss this verse as merely being figurative of an abbreviated period, but a reference from Jephthah, of Israel’s judgessupports a more literal interpretation of the 1 Kings 6:1 chronology. It puts Israel already in the land for 300 years, long before the time that the House of David ascended to the throne and began to reign. 32

“While Israel lived 300 years in Heshbon and its villages, in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, why didn’t you take them back at that time?”

– Judges 11:26 (ESV)

Speaking of this history, Courville says “the critical area of the structure is that from Jephthah to Saul. Jephthah stated that 300 years had elapsed from the conquest of Heshbon under Joshua to his own day. 25 Since the figure is a round number, it is evident that the figure was intended to be only approximate. It is here assumed that the actual period was closer to 290 years and this figure is here used in setting up the tentative chronology of [Figure 1]. On the late end of the 480-year period, we must allow 3 years in the reign of Solomon, 40 years for David, and 40 years for Saul. With the 40 years between the Exodus and the Conquest, 413 of the 480 years are accounted for. This leaves 67 years for the period from the victory over the Ammonites by Jephthah to the reign of Saul.” 33

In a new publication by Egyptologists and Biblical scholars Manfred Görg, Peter van der Veen and Christoffer Theis suggest that there may be an even earlier reference to Israel in Egyptian records. Manfred Görg discovered a broken statue pedestal containing hieroglyphic name-rings in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin and, after studying it with colleagues Peter van der Veen and Christoffer Theis, they suggest that one of the name-rings should be read as “Israel.” Not all scholars agree with their reading because of slight differences in spelling, but Görg, van der Veen and Theis offer strong arguments, including supportive parallels in the Merneptah Stele itself. This newly rediscovered inscription is dated to around 1400 B.C.—about 200 years earlier than the Merneptah Stele. If Görg, van der Veen and Theis are right, their discovery will shed important light on the beginnings of ancient Israel. 34

Figure 6. The Berlin Pedestal. 35

Berlin Pedestal

The Berlin Pedestal from the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. It has three name rings; the one on the far right has been reconstructed to read, “Ishrael.” Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain. Reconstructed Drawing: Peter van der Veen, Christoffer Theis, and Manfred Gorg, “Israel in Canaan (Long) Before Pharaoh Merenptah? A Fresh Look at Berlin Statue Pedestal Relief 21687.” Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, 2.4 (2010), 21.

The Berlin Pedestal is an Egyptian inscription housed in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin that almost certainly refers to Israel as a nation in Canaan. The inscription has three name rings, two of which clearly read “Ashkelon” and “Canaan,” and a third that has been reconstructed to read, “Ishrael.”43  In a recent re-examination of the inscription, Peter van der Veen, Christoffer Theis, and Manfred Gorg noted that names Ashkelon and Canaan largely were written consonantally and better reflecting examples from the reigns of Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep II (15th cent. BC), than those from the times of Rameses II and Merenptah (13th cent. BC).44 While the inscription reads “Ishrael” instead of “Israel,” there is no other candidate near Canaan and Ashkelon, other than biblical Israel. It may be that the “sh” spelling is an older way Egyptians spelled Israel, or perhaps borrowed from the cuneiform version.45 If this interpretation is correct, it would indicate that the Israelites had migrated to Canaan sometime in the middle of the second millennium BC,46 exactly at the time the Bible says they did.

Figure 7. Granodiorite head of the 19th Dynasty pharaoh, Amenhotep. 36

Evidence for Amenhotep II as the Pharaoh of the Exodus

This granodiorite head of the 19th Dynasty pharaoh, Amenhotep, was once part of a sphinx. It is currently housed in the State Museum of Egyptian Art in Munich, Germany. Photo: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Numerous scholars have identified Amenhotep II as the Pharaoh of the Exodus31; he was reigning in 1446 BC when the Israelites left Egypt. Amenhotep II is known to have spent considerable time in the delta region, likely in the 18th-Dynasty palace at Avaris where he would have met with Moses. According to Egyptologist, Charles Aling, Amenhotep II was born and raised in this area [the Nile delta region], built there, had estates there, and in all probability resided there at times, at least in his early regonal years.”32 Interestingly, (and in keeping with the 10th plague – the death of the first-born), Amenhotep II was not the firstborn son of his predecessor, Thutmose III, nor was his successor, Thutmose IV his firstborn son, as implied by the Dream Stele on the Great Sphinx.33 

Another piece of evidence for identifying Amenhotep II as the pharaoh of the Exodus is found by comparing the military campaigns of Amenhotep II and those of his father. While Thutmose III led 17 known military campaigns into the Levant, Amenhotep II led only two or three.34

 Thutmose III boasted of having taken 5903 captives on his first campaign, while Amenhotep II claims to have taken 2214 captives on his first. However, Amenhotep II’s final campaign in the ninth year of his reign (ca. 1446 BC) appears to have been a hasty and limited excursion into Palestine to take 101,128 captives. One plausible explanation for this campaign and its dramatic number of captives is that he was seeking to replace a large portion of his slave labor base that had just left Egypt. Moreover, Amenhotep II never took another campaign into Canaan, and the 18th dynasty began to decline in power. 37

In fact, there is strong evidence that the Bible shows the Judges period covered many centuries (not the 150 years allotted by the Ramesses Exodus Theory), that dictates the Exodus be pushed out 2 centuries before a 1207 BC dating of the Conquest. Additionally, The Bible has Moses being born around the time of the building of the city Rameses (Exodus chap. 1), which is the main basis of the Ramesses Exodus Theory. But the conquest happens 120 years later, after Moses’ death. For a 1207 BC Conquest that would mean the city of Ramesses was being built around 1327 BC, 27 years before Ramesses was born in Humphreys’ system. The Bible says in two places says that the pharaoh who sought Moses’ life (40 years after Moses’ birth) died before the Exodus (when Moses was 80). Therefore the builder of the store city of Rameses could not possibly also be the pharaoh of the Exodus. 38

Now in Midian the Lord told Moses, “Return to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead.”

– Exodus 4:19 (ESV)

Then there is the archaeological evidence that shows no sign of massive numbers of Semites in Goshen during his reign, no sign of a collapse of Egypt as would be expected at the time of Exodus, and no pattern matching the Conquest of Canaan after his reign. That is why mainstream scholars are so skeptical of the Exodus account. These are just a few of the evidences that show that Ramesses was not the pharaoh of the Exodus and that Merneptah was not the pharaoh at the time of the conquest. When does the conquest account speak of a confrontation with Egypt anyway? For the Humphreys model to be factual, Egypt would have to have defeated Israel at a time when the Bible has the Israelites conquering city after city on their way to controlling most of Canaan. Nothing in this scenario adds up. 39

It is plausible that the Book of Joshua was describing a solar eclipse, but even if one agrees, there is no reason to confine this event to an annular eclipse strictly in 1207 BC. It has been shown that other total or partial eclipses over Canaan in the 1400s BC fit these data just as well, matching the Bible’s own context and timeline much better. Furthermore, evidence of an eclipse in Canaan in 1207 BC (whether or not it is related to the Israelites’ Conquest) gives no reason to connect that event to the reign of Merneptah, who in no other way (except by tradition) is connected to the Exodus or Conquest time period.

This month’s blog study favors an eclipse interpretation of Joshua 10:10-13, with the best candidate  being the Total Solar Eclipse North of Canaan on July 14th, 1405, for the extended celestial sign of Joshua’s Long Day. This shows the lengths the Heavenly Father went to, in answer to Joshua’s prayer when he spoke to the Lord, in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel. Joshua had the great example of Moses to follow, from the Believer’s Hall of Fame in Heb. 11:23-30. As Jon Nessle has encouraged us, we would do well to follow Moses’ example by working and believing his acts of faith. What will God do for you?!! 

If God be for you, who can be against you?

Agape’

Rene’


Footnotes

1. THE EXODUS PROBLEM and its Ramifications p. 113-114, Donovan Courville.
2. IBID, p. 121.
3. IBID, p.
4. IBID, p. 98
5. Colin Humphreys, Graeme Waddington, Astronomy & Geophysics, Volume 58, Issue 5, October 2017, Pages 5.39–5.42, https://doi.org/10.1093/astrogeo/atx178
6. (Notley & Rainey, 2014)
7. 
Colin Humphreys and Graeme Waddington. ‘Solar eclipse of 1207 BC helps to date pharaohs.’ Astronomy & Geophysics (2017). DOI: 10.1093/astrogeo/atx178.
8. Photo: Todd Bolen, BiblePlaces.com https://www.bibleplaces.com/2014/01/artifact-of-month-merneptah-stela/
Patterns of Evidence. [Picture credit]
9.
Digging for Truth.
10. Patterns of Evidence
11Kitchen 2013, Rohl 1995.
12Colin Humphreys and Graeme Waddington. ‘Solar eclipse of 1207 BC helps to date pharaohs.’ Astronomy & Geophysics (2017). DOI: 10.1093/astrogeo/atx178.
13. IBID
14. https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/oldest-recorded-solar-eclipse-helps-date-the-egyptian-pharaohs.
15. IBID
16Strong’s Concordance [H1820], James Strong.
17. Sawyer (1972), (Walton 1994).
18. https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/oldest-recorded-solar-eclipse-helps-date-the-egyptian-pharaohs.
19. IBID
20. IBID, Figure 2. picture credit.
21. https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/oldest-recorded-solar-eclipse-helps-date-the-egyptian-pharaohs.
22. IBID
23. IBID
24. IBID, Figure 3. picture credit.
25. IBID, Figure 4. picture credit.
26. https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/oldest-recorded-solar-eclipse-helps-date-the-egyptian-pharaohs.
27. IBID,
28. https://www.patternsofevidence.com/2017/11/10/is-this-solar-eclipse-really-joshuas-miracle/
29. IBID, Figure 5 Picture Credit, (courtesy of the NASA website)
30Strong’s Concordance [H1826], James Strong.
31.  Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus
32. IBID, https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-israel/does-the-merneptah-stele-contain-the-first-mention-of-israel/
33. THE EXODUS PROBLEM and its Ramifications p. 12, Donovan Courville.
34. https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-israel/does-the-merneptah-stele-contain-the-first-mention-of-israel/
35. Figure 6, picture credit. Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, 2.4 (2010), 21.
36. Figure 7 picture credit, Photo: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg) / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
37. https://biblearchaeologyreport.com/2021/09/24/top-ten-discoveries-related-to-moses-and-the-exodus/
38. IBID
39. IBID

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 Four Blood Moons

The current Four Blood Moons of 2021-22 have not gotten the media attention that its predecessors have, most likely due to a technicalityBlood Moon Tetrads are recognized as four Total Lunar Eclipses in a row, but the Nov. 21st , 2021′ Lunar Eclipse
was not total, just missing with only 97% of the lunar surface covered in Earth’s shadow. This makes it a partial Lunar eclipse and technically rules out being classified as a Blood Moon Tetrad. For this reason, it may sneak up on people as opposed to the Tetrads of 1949-50, 1967-68, and the most recent of 2014-2015, seen in the title banner above. This however, does not mean it should be ignored, as there are notable signs on Jewish Holidays surrounding them!

As we approach the end of the recent Blood Moon Quartet of 2021-22, the focus of this blog will be how these current Blood Moons relate to the previous tetrad in 2014-15 with the signs of 2016-17. To understand this, we must be aware what is known on the Hebrew Calander as the Shemita Cycle. The Shemita cycle includes both a Shemita Year and Week cycle which is a 7-year Sabbath release, where there was rest for the land with no sowing or reaping in the 7th year, and financial slates were wiped clean, with debts forgiven and real estate reverting to the original owners, [Levi. 25:1-7].

In Levi. 25:8-9 God spoke to Moses with “thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years, and seven times seven years; and the space of seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. 9 Thou shalt cause the trumpet of Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of Atonement, shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. [see Levi. 25:10-13]

It is key to realize that these seven-year cycles of Shemita years are related to both the Feast of Trumpets announcing the Jubilee on the Day of Atonement, concluding the sabbath year, as it did when Jesus was crucified in 27-28AD. A Shemita cycle would be one of the seven-year periods in the “seven sabbaths of years” that leads to the 49 years,” culminating in the 50-year Jubilee. Not only this, but even at the start of the Lord’s Earthly Ministry in Luke 4:18-19, he preached to them in the Acceptable year of the Lord, referencing that Jesus‘ laying down his life, was divinely approved by the Heavenly Father-Who anointed Jesus at this particular time and only by his sacrifice, to redeem mankindDr. Earnest Martin points out the links between the Acceptable Year of the Lord and Sabbatical years related to Luke 4:18-19 as follows. When Jesus announced that he was anointed to preach the Gospel to the poor, it was “a reflection of Sabbatical regulations that the poor and the stranger could eat from the fields without hinder.” 1

It is no coincidence that the Jubilee refers to these specifics in [Levi 25:10], as the 50th year was hallowed, and liberty was proclaimed throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereofGod sent Jesus to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. “This recalls the Sabbatical release laws and being free from debt as stated in Deut. 15: 1-6.” The Lord’s Release here was certainly fulfilled by Jesus as the Passover Lamb. This Acceptable Year is the kind of release Sabbath referred to in Isa. 58:6, which Jesus proclaimed at the Synagogue in Nazareth that always began on the Day of Atonement. The end of this Sabbatical year and seven-year Shemita cycle on the Day of Atonement in Tishri, ties not only to the birth of Christ on Tishri 1, 3 BC but also the cycle of regnal years from Tishri 1 to Tishri 1 for Kings in Israel and Judah, for the Priest-King of Israel and Lion of Judah, who also fulfilled the requirement of the Lamb of the first year. As a result, Jesus’ ministry could not have been longer than two years, as opposed to the 3.5 years many hold. Dr. Martin points out the influence of the Prophet Daniel on the Sabbatical Cycle as follows;

“These early opinions on the symbolic teaching of Sabbatical years were no doubt prompted by the Sabbatical periods recorded by Daniel. His 70 weeks Prophecy was an extension of the Sabbatical year’s theme, and this prophecy was the prime reference point for the Advent of the Messianic Age, that the Jews were expecting in the first Century.”Here are the verses detailing Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy;

Dan. 9:24-27

24 Seventy weeks are determined concerning thy people and concerning thy holy city to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy25 Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. And the end thereof shall be with a flood, and until the end of the war, desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. And for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

Rev. Jon Nessle teaches how this relates to Daniel’s prophecy… of the princes;

“The first use of the word, prince, [9:25] obviously is referring to the Messiah. However, the second cannot. How could the genuine Messiah destroy the city and sanctuary? So there must be two different princes in this context. Just like verses 25 and 26 speak of each, verse 27 alternates between the two. Jesus, the Messiah confirmed the covenant during holy week by becoming our Passover. When he was raised from among the dead, the covenant was sealed and the restitution of all things made inevitable. In the midst of that week, on a Wednesday, Messiah caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease. When he died, the veil of the Temple tore in two from top to bottom, clearing the way into the holy of holies without any more sacrifices or offerings, because the supreme one had occurred. The other prince was Titus the future Emperor of Rome, and his army desecrated the Temple with their abominations, so just as Antiochus IV was a type of the Anti-Christ, so also was Titus. Thus a first Century occurrence of Daniel’s prophecy is plausible.” 3

 Many students of this prophecy have acknowledged that the prince who causes the Abomination that makes desolate refers to the future Anti-Christ of the Great Tribulation, but most have not considered the historical figures of Antiochus IV or Titus of Rome, as forerunners of this Anti-Christ. The link above on Antiochus IV has a blog connecting a Blood Moon Tetrad with Antiochusdesecration of the Jerusalem Temple in 168-166 BC, just before the 1st Hannukah. History attests to the significance of the Shemita Cycle, as Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Jews Temple in 586 BC in the 1st year of a Shemita Cycle, as did the Romans under Titus in 70 AD, both on the 9th of AV.

Jesus reading scroll:

 Luke 4:18-19 also reflects how Jesus quoted the text from Isa. 61:1-2, stopping at the Acceptable year of the Lord, making sure not to include the Day of Vengence of our God,” which was and remains a future event. This Day of Vengence refers to our God, Who is the avenger and Judge, and Christ who treads the winepress of God’s wrath, as he treads the evil down in anger, whose blood will be sprinkled on his garments, [Isa. 63:1-4]. The wrath of God’s judgment is part of the Great Tribulation, which is preceded by the Age of Grace, arising by Christ’s ministry and proclamation of the Kingdom and King being rejected by Israel, resulting in the sacrifice of his crucifixion on Passover Wednesday, the 14th of Nisan in 28 AD, 30 years from 3 BC, followed by this nearly 2000-year period, including the Great and many Mysteries of the Church Age.

According to Mark Biltz, Jesus was crucified at the end of a Shemita week in Dan. 9:24-26, the 62+7 weeks=69 weeks leaving one week still to be fulfilled in Daniel’s 70-week Prophecy, or the last week” of the 7-year Tribulation. As Daniel was a Jew who upheld the dictates of the Judean calendar, and Jesus’ crucifixion was at the end of a Shemita Cycle, so the Great Tribulation would begin when a Shemita cycle left off in Dan. 9:25-26, to start a new Shemita cycle. This also falls on Rosh Hashanah-New Year’s Day. 4  Ten Shemita’s cover a 70-year period and 7 Shemita cycles equal 49 years, with the 50th year being a Jubilee, that was also the 1st year of the next 7-year cycle. 50 years ago a new Shemita cycle began, aligned with Yom Kippur and the Day of Atonement in 73-74′. Since Jubilee years are only declared on the Day of Atonement at Yom Kippur, the 6-day war in 1967 also started a Shemita cycle with a Blood Moon Tetrad in 1967-68‘, even as the Yom Kippur War also began the first year of a Shemita cycle in 1973‘.

Yom Kippur in 2015 was exactly 2,520 weeks from June 7, 1967 when Israel won back the Temple Mount, during the Blood Moon Tetrad of 1967-68. However, in counting these days, Yom Kippur 2015-16 was the first year of a Shemita Cycle that also fell 700 days before Elul 1, 2017, and the Season of Repentance. Another total eclipse on March 9, 2016, is linked to the signs of the 2014-15 Blood Moon Tetrad, in the first year of a Shemita Cycle, completing 7 years later in 2021-22.

The Day of Atonement, “Yom Kippur” is the holiest day of the Hebrew year, and provides prophetic insight into the Second Coming of Jesus Christ our Messiah, the restoration of national Israel, and the final judgment of the world. The Day of Atonement alludes to the two great atonements given by the LORDthe first for the Gentiles among the nations who turn to Yeshua (Jesus) for cleansing and forgiveness, and the second for the purification of ethnic Israel during the great Day of the LORD at the end of days.  (Rev. 6:15-9:21 & 11:15-19) “What Shall We Do?” Acts 2:36-47 Jn. 6:26-29, 10:22-33 Rom. 6, 7, & 8, Rev. 1:1-3. 5

Now in 2022-23′ we find ourselves opening another new 7-year Shemita Cycle. Since this year of 2022 wraps up the last Shemita Cycle, it is potentially pivotal as 22-23′ starts a new cycle. According to Mark Biltz-this Fall, the Nov. 8th, 2022 Blood Moon could begin the Tribulation week because it opens a new Shemita Cycle, that would pick up where the Crucifixion of Christ left off-at the end of a Shemita cycle in 28 AD. For this reason, if the current Shemita does not start the Tribulation week, it won’t start the Tribulation until the next Shemita Cycle in the fall of 2029-30′, [5790]. As Jubilee years can only fall on the [7th year of a Shemita Cycle], these Jubilee years are also always divisible in whole numbers of their Hebrew calendar numberby 49, and thus easy to identify. Biltz holds that every Rosh Hashanah, as Sept. 26th, 2022, including next month is thus
a candidate for the Lord’s Resurrection/Rapture event. He tells us that this event will align with the Day of Trumpets on the Hebrew Calendar, we just don’t know which year it will fall. When it does come however, it will activate the Gathering of the Church of the spiritual Body of Christ as we are raised to meet the Lord in the air, before the Great Tribulation and the revealing of the Anti-Christ. 6 [1 Cor. 15:50-53, 1 Thess. 4:13-18, 2 Thess. 1-14]

The Feast of Trumpets Rosh Hashanah” is known in Israel as “the day no one knows the day or the hour,” because the feast day begins, once a New Moon is sighted and that information is relayed. The Feast of Trumpets is actually a 2-day feast, and no one really knows “the day or the hour,” until it happens and they learn about it. There is biblical evidence the “gathering together” will take place on the Feast of Trumpets some year, “with the trumpet call of God.” (1 Thes. 4:16, 1 Cor. 15:50-53, Matt. 24: 30-31, Rev. 7:9-14) 7

April 15th2014 opening Blood Moon of the 2014-2015 Tetrad, near Mars in Virgo.

Illustration of Mars in our night sky.

The recent history of Isreal and the Blood Moon Tetrads when modern Israel was formed as a nation-state, were marked by the Blood Moon Tetrad of 1949-1950, as an initial key. This was highlighted by a triple conjunction of Mars-Spica in Virgo to open the 2014-15 Blood Moon Tetrad. What is fascinating is that Mars in retrograde not only marks the 2014-2015 Tetrad, but also the previous two Blood Moon Tetrads in 1949-50 and 1967-68! Added to this, the triple planetary conjunctions linked with Mars’ retrograde, also mark all three sets of modern Blood Moon Tetrads according to the pattern of the Celestial Sphinx, with these planetary conjunction signs in both the Alpha-Omega signs of the Mazzaroth, Virgo and Leo.

The 2014 Passover Blood Moon initiated a Blood Moon Tetrad, concluding in Israel’s Jubilee Year of 2015, as a summation of 7 Sabbatical cycles in the 50th year. According to NASAMars which was a week past its closest point to the Earth; [opposition] was 9 degrees NW of the Blood Moon in Virgo, very close to the celestial scene also in Virgo, on  4/13/1968. As the Red Planet Mars was bright in the sky, it rivaled the Blood Moon in Virgo, and considering Mars’ symbolism in Biblical Astronomy, this gets even more interesting. In Bible AstronomyMars can embody Michael the Warrior Archangel fighting for God’s people, as we find Mars here coming to Israel’s [Virgo] aid in time of crisis or war. However, the Red PlanetMars can also symbolize the sinless blood of Christ our Redeemer, who paid the incalculable price to save us from our sin. Throughout the OT, God Almighty used Israel as an example of His Power, Grace and Love as He delivered them from their enemies. We saw this in recent history of the Blood Moon Tetrads with 1949-50 and 1967-68, in Israel’s battles for statehood, and as they regained control of Jerusalem for the first time in nearly 2000 years, in fulfillment of prophecy.

img6

We will now consider the current Blood Moon Quartet of 2021-22 consisting of the following Solar and Lunar Eclipses;

1. May 26th, 2021 Super Blood Moon Total Lunar Eclipse-Sivan 15  [May 16th-18 Shavuot].

This Total Lunar Eclipse started at 4:47:39 a.m. EDT (08:47:39 GMT), according to NASA’s Eclipse Page(opens in new tab). That’s when the moon touched the penumbra. The partial phase of the eclipse started about 57 minutes later, at 5:44 a.m. EDT (09:44:57 GMT). The moon entered the total phase of the eclipse at 7:11:25 EDT (11:11:25 GMT) and completed exiting the umbra at 10:52:22 EDT (12:52:22 GMT). Last contact is at 13:49:41. [*]

The Total Lunar Eclipse of May 26, 2021, is uniquely positioned at a celestial center point between the Blood Moon Tetrads of 2014-15, and 2025-26. It holds down this singular spot in the heavens, in the center between two Total Solar eclipses on March 20th, 2015 & August 2, 20272259 days on either side of this May 26th, 2021, Total Lunar Eclipse. It is also stationed directly between two other Total Solar Eclipses 1904 days equidistant from this Total Lunar Eclipse, one on March 9th, 2016, and the other on August 12th, 2026. Thirdly, This May 26th, Total Lunar Eclipse also occupies the center point between two other Solar Eclipses, each 694 days on either side of May 26th, 2021, the first on July 12th, 2019, and the second, an Annular Solar Eclipse
on April 20th, 2023. These three sets of Total Solar Eclipses, being separated by accurate day counts, represents one level of precision for the placement of the May 26th Total Lunar Eclipse. It also has a more general position in two cases midway between two Total Solar Eclipses, the first on Dec. 14th, 2020, and the second covered below on Dec. 4th, 2021, both on Hannukah.

This Total Solar eclipse on March 20, 2015, was itself also positioned at the center point between the Blood Moon lunar eclipses of the 2014-15 Tetrad, seen above as the title banner of this month’s blog. The March 20thTotal Solar eclipse [on my birthday], in 2015 occurred a day before the sacred new year began on Nisan 1 (March 21). This eclipse was visible in the sign Pisces, that speaks of 
the Redeemer’s people consisting of Jews, Gentiles and the spiritual Church of the Body of Christ. Here there was a solar eclipse that occurred 888 days before the Season of Repentance 2017. 888 is the gematria number of our Redeemer’s name in greek– Jesus.

The March 20th Total Solar Eclipse @ the North Pole corresponds to the Portion of the Torah reading in Jewish Synagogues, contained a reference to Nisan 1 and the Dedication of the Tabernacle. An interesting Scriptural element of this story involves a pivotal craftsman of the OT named Bezaleel-whose name means in the “shadow or protection of God.” This provides a direct link with the Shadow of the Total Solar Eclipse at the North Pole, a highly unique event midway in 2014-15 Blood Moon Tetrad on Nisan 1, with key inferences in its purview. Bezaleel was also of the house of Judah [Ex. 31] sharing in the royal line of King David, to Christ, describing how “God had filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in under-standing, in knowledge,” as [Isa. 11:1-10] with the revelation to build the Tabernacle’s holy furniture. Isa. 11:9 tells how the earth [God’s Holy Mount] will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, [Ex. 25, Heb. 8:5] relating to aspects of this eclipse, that was not only seen over the ocean, but whose shadow was always in contact with these waters, symbolizing the earth’s population. [Hab. 2:14]

The Passover Blood Moon on April 4th, 2015 was the third Blood Moon in the Blood Moon Tetrad of 2014-2015, and was the 1st full moon two weeks after the Total Solar Eclipse at the North Pole, on March 20th, Nisan 1, and the Spring Equinox 2015. This marked not only the opening of the ecclesiastical year in Israel, but also the midpoint in both the Hebrew Sabbatical year of 2014-2015, and the Blood Moon Tetrad over the same period. When we consider that there has never been a Total Solar Eclipse at the North Pole in the history of timekeeping in the Hebrew Calendar, we can see that this Passover/Easter Blood Moon was certainly unique. As we consider the Total Solar eclipse on Nisan 1, we should recall that it also coincided with the Dedication of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. But, the April 4th, 2015 Passover Blood Moon, recalled not only, the first Passover of Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, but also the Sabbath Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. This speaks loudly to the ministry of Jesus Christ designed to fulfill the OT Law, including every aspect of the Passover Lamb’s sacrifice, not only for Israel, but all mankind. With added perspective, we find the revelation of this plan for MosesTabernacle foreshadowing the blueprints for the Jerusalem Temple, as the ministry of the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek was energized in Christ. [Heb. 8:5]

Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle: for, See said He, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. [Exod. 25]

A total solar eclipse at the North Pole on the Spring Equinox takes place about once every 100 centuries, but has never happened on Nisan 1 in Hebrew Timekeeping, especially when combined with a Supermoon, putting this Total Solar eclipse in a class by itself. The Almighty wants our attention focused on these unique heavenly signs like the Total Solar eclipse at the North Pole, at the center of this Blood Moon Tetrad, linked to the May 26th Total Lunar eclipse also placed midway in these Solar Eclipses! Heb. 8 points out that God was telling Moses in building the Tabernacle and its furniture, that he should stick to the pattern God showed to him, in the mount. It is key that God referred Moses to His Holy Mount Sinai, where He revealed the OT Law to him, mirrored in the earthly version of God’s Heavenly Temple, from the North Pole, the highest point of the physical heavens. [Job 26]

As the high priest after the order of Melchisedek, Jesus inherits his double square breastplate of 12 precious stones, symbolizing the authority of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah as Priest-King over Israel’s 12 [4 x 3] tribes [Ex. 28:15-30]. In keeping with the celestial symbolism theme, the breastplate, was designed with a niche holding the Urim & Thummim, or lights and perfections,
representing the two great lights of the Sun and Moon. As oracles of the High Priest, these two stones revealed the wisdom and glory of the Creator, even as the movements of the Sun and Moon in the heavens declare God’s glory: [Ps. 19:1].

Job 26 provides more detail on this intriguing subject.

Job 26:5-13 “The dead tremble, Those under the waters and those inhabiting them.
Sheol is naked before HimAnd Destruction has no covering.
He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.
He binds up the water in His thick clouds, Yet the clouds are not broken under it.
He covers the face of His throneAnd spreads His cloud over it.
10 He drew a circular horizon on the face of the watersAt the boundary of light and darkness11 The pillars of heaven trembleAnd are astonished at His rebuke.
12 He stirs up the sea with His power, And by His understanding He breaks up the storm.
13 By His spirit He hath garnished the heavens; His hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

In Job Chapters 2-3 we find the record of Job, after Satan had afflicted him, speaking from the depths of his sufferings, he curses his day of birth.

Job 3:4-5, 8-10
Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. 5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it. May those curse it who curse the dayThose who are ready to arouse Leviathan.May the stars of its morning be darkMay it look for light, but have none, And not see the dawning of the day10 Because it did not shut up the doors of my mother’s wombNor hide sorrow from my eyes.

These verses in Job make some notable connections with the shadow of death. Intriguingly, these links both carry reference to the darkening of daylight, first seen in cloud covering, and second with the blackness of the day which ominously resembles a total Solar eclipse. Here Job links terror to the “blackness of the day,” along with those who arouse Leviathan, [Job 41] who is another manifestation of the serpent as the sea monster. This again identifies the true source of the persecution, disease and death, from the author of death, the Devil and Satan. This imagery speaks loudly to the Biblical symbolism of Eclipses as negative celestial omens, indicative of the enemy’s persecution in the war for mankind in general and Israel specifically, as activity surrounding the Blood Moon Tetrads in history attests. The recurrent theme seen in the Blood Moon Tetrads however, is always deliverance of the Almighty GodWhose Love for His people is ever true and unfailing.

This Solar eclipse imagery is also found at the crucifixion of Christ, as seen in the apparent period of midday darkness on April 28, 28 AD, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion. There is no sign of an eclipse that I have found on this day, but the shadow of death that stained this day was more palpable than any other in history, and the blackness of this day was most evident spiritually in Jesus’  death. This was completely reversed three days later, however when Christ arose as the “first fruits from the dead.” Thus, the brightness of Lucifer’s day of apparent victory was turned into darkness the moment he turned away from the Almighty-the original and eternal Source of Light. We are reminded of this, looking at the April 4th, 2015Blood Moon in the 2014-15 Blood Moon Tetrad, which took place on both Passover and Resurrection [Easter] weekend.

As the third Blood Moon in this Tetrad, on Passover it commemorates not only the 10th plague of Darkness that consummated the 10 plagues of God’s judgment on Egypt leading to Exodus, but especially God’s protection and deliverance of Israel, which freed them from their Egyptian bondage. This is the dominant theme of the Blood Moon Tetrads, that no matter what persecution the enemy produces, it always works for God’s deliverance, always improving the overall situation of faithful in Israel, and Christians alike.

2. June 10th, 2021, Annular Solar Eclipse between the horns of Taurus the Bull.

Two weeks after the May 26th, 2021 Total Lunar Eclipse, the June 10th, 2021, Annular Solar Eclipse followed. The June 10, 2021, Annular solar eclipse began at sunrise in southern Ontario, Canada. The nearness of these two eclipses occurring back-to- back is called an eclipse season.

The path of this annular solar eclipse touches the North Pole, followed by a total solar eclipse on Dec. 4, 2021 over Antarctica, the first of two polar solar eclipses in 2021, [see #4 below]. Exactly six lunar months (six new moons) after this annular eclipse, another solar eclipse fell on December 4, 2021. Unlike in June 2021, the Dec. 2021 New Moon presented the closest and largest supermoon of the year. The graphic globe below depicts the Annular Solar Eclipse path over the North Pole, extending the polar theme of these eclipse signs.

The path of the June 10th, 2021 Annular Solar Eclipse over the North Pole8


3. Nov. 19th, 2021 97% Partial Blood Moon
on Kislev 15.

This Partial Lunar Eclipse belongs to Saros 126 and is number 45 of 70 eclipses in the series. All eclipses in this series occur at the Moon’s ascending node. The Moon moved south in respect to the node with each succeeding eclipse in the series. This eclipse occurred at the Moon’s ascending node in Taurus. The Moon was placed near the famous Pleiades; the Seven Sisters – during the eclipse. The Partial lunar eclipse of November 19, 2021, is followed two weeks later by a total solar eclipse on December 4, 2021, also denoting an eclipse season.

 
The Beaver Moon lunar eclipse started at 1:02 a.m. EST (0602 GMT), and the moon was 97% covered by Earth’s shadow at its peak. The eclipse ended at 6:03 a.m. EST (1203 GMT). [*]


4. Dec. 4th 2021
, Total Solar Eclipse in Scorpius, during Hannukah week, 11/28 to 12/6/2021.

The Sun will appear to have a dark shadow on only part of its surface. Viewers in parts of South Africa, Namibia, South Georgia and  Falkland Islands, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia will see a partial solar eclipse on Dec. 4.

We referred to a link above with a Blood Moon Tetrad tied to Antiochus IV as a forerunner of the Anti-Christ, due to his desecration of the Jerusalem Temple. This Abomination in God’s Temple demanded that the sanctuary be cleansed by the Israelites, which it was on Kislev 25-at the end of a period of 2300 days [in Daniel’s Prophecy] in 12/16/164 BC; when the Jews instituted the first Hanukkah.

As Rev. Nessle states regarding these 2300 days: “In my analysis of the prophecies of Daniel, I showed that this time span very well could be the entire time span the sanctuary was trodden underfoot by the agents of Antiochus IV. We know in the Book of Maccabees that the end-point of the desecration of the Temple was on Kislev 25, December 13, in 164 BC.”9 This initiated the Hanukkah festival when the Temple was rededicated, due to the desecration of the abomination desolation at the hands of Antiochus IV, as a forerunner of the Anti-Christ.

There was an Annular Solar Eclipse that opened Christmas night to Dec. 26th, 2019 during Hannukah week, which was notable as pointed out by Christian Minister-Pastor Paul Begley, who stated this was the 3rd consecutive year that a solar eclipse appeared during Hannukah.

Israel has been viewed as the hands of God’s prophetic clock in Matthew 24, and Luke 21:24-33. In these gospel chapters, Jesus used Israel to tell us of a generation that will finally see all the prophecies fulfilled.” When Israel was reborn as a NationState in 1948, the “fig tree generation,” was also birthed. As Luke 21:32 says:This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.”  Jesus confirmed his words when He said, ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away’ (Luke 21:33). This generation that sees the fig tree shoot forth will not pass till all these things be fulfilled. 10

The 1948 generation is the generation that will not pass till all things prophesied by Jesus in Mathew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 be fulfilled. There are faithful who refer to Psalm 90:10 as a determinant of the length of a Biblical generation.”

Psalms 90:10: The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they be eighty years, yet is their labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

 According to this position, the following conclusions were drawn. In 2018 this generation was 70 years old the same year that Israel marked 70 years of statehood on May 14th, 1948. But this generation has to attain 80 years for years of labour and sorrow”- [Great Tribulation], bringing us to the year 2028. So then according to them, from 1948 to 2028= 80 years, then this generation is soon cut off as prophesied in Psalms 90. This “cut off” happens when Christ appears at the Armageddon battle. 11

Therefore, since the ending point of this “fig tree” generation would conclude in 2028, and as Jesus said, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled, they have concluded that means the latest for Jesus Christ to return is in the year 2028.

There are 7 years in the Great Tribulation period (the years of labor and sorrow) that must be fulfilled before the generation is cut off. Since we are already in the year 2022, and a new Shemita cycle starts this September, as Mark Biltz points out, we should be alert.

What I find interesting about this scenario is that 2028 stands out for a few reasons. First, 27-
28 AD
 is also known as the “acceptable year of the Lord,” the year Christ opened his earthly ministry. The crucifixion date of Jesus Christ was [Nisan 14], April 24th, 28 AD, and his res
urrection took place [Nisan 17], May 1st, 28 AD. This makes the year 2028 not only the 2,000 year anniversary of these events, but also wraps up the 6000-year period since Creation

With the conclusion of this final eclipse of 2021, Earthlings in 2022, will experience four eclipses: two of the sun and two of the moon. The first of these was a solar eclipse, a partial solar eclipse of April 30 involving the 2nd of two new moons in the month of April, what colloquially is known as a “Black Moon.”

 

5. April 30th, 2022, Partial Solar Eclipse – Nisan 29, 1 week after Passover.

A solar eclipse only occurs at a New Moon phase, when the Sun, Moon and Earth are aligned. If the Moon is new upon landing on the nodal crossing point, a solar eclipse results. Depending on the distances of the Moon to the Earth and the Earth to the Sun, the resulting eclipse will either be total or annular. But in the case of the April 30 solar eclipse, the Moon reached a new phase 23 hours and 26 minutes before reaching the node, which was too far away to allow the moon to pass directly in front of the sun, but still just close enough to allow the moon to cover a part of the sun. 12

During the eclipse, the Sun is in the constellation Aries. The partial solar eclipse of April 30 was visible from parts of the south-eastern Pacific Ocean and southern South America. It began at 2:45 p.m. EDT (1845 GMT) and ended at 6:37 p.m. EDT (2237 GMT), according to NASA’s solar eclipse page. [*]  The partial solar eclipse of April 30, 2022, is followed two weeks later by the Total Lunar eclipse [see below] on May 16, 2022, again denoting an eclipse seasonMay-Aug. of 2022 also witnessed four consecutive Supermoons.


6. May 16th, 2022 Total Lunar Eclipse on
  2nd Passover.  

This total lunar eclipse of May 16 was visible across North and South America, Europe and Africa. It began at 9:32 p.m. EDT (0132 GMT) and lasted about 5 hours and 18 minutes, according to NASA’s Eclipse website. The eclipse peaked at 12:12 a.m. EDT (0412 on May 17 GMT). [https://www.space.com/16830-full-moon-calendar.html] The Moon’s location is in the direction of the constellation Libra.

This lunar eclipse takes place 1.5 days before the moon reaches perigee, its closest point to Earth for the month.
So this full moon is a supermoon. The May 16th, 2022 Total Lunar Eclipse took place on the Second Passover, in the 14-15th Iyyar on the Hebrew Calendar, according to the stipulations in Num. 9:4-12 below, given to Moses by the Lord. However, these are considerations of the OT Law, that Jesus fulfilled as the embodiment of the Passover, who covered these transgressions where the Law was concerned.

Num. 9:4-12
4 And Moses spoke unto the children of Israel that they should keep the PassoverAnd they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month at evening in the Wilderness of Sinai. According to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did the children of Israel. And there were certain men who were defiled by the dead body of a man, so that they could not keep the Passover on that day; and they came before Moses and before Aaron on that day. And those men said unto him, “We are defiled by the dead body of a man. Why are we kept back, that we may not offer an offering of the Lord in its appointed season among the children of Israel?” And Moses said unto them, “Stand still, and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you.” And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, 10 “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: ‘If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the Passover unto the Lord11 The fourteenth day of the second month at evening they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it. According to all the ordinances of the Passover they shall keep it.

 

Oct. 8, 2022: The Draconid Meteor Shower.

The Draconid meteor shower which is active Oct. 6-10, is expected to peak on Friday, October 8, and last through October 10, bringing with it a drizzle of meteors for dedicated stargazers, three days after Yom Kippur.

These dates are key historically from October 7th-8th we find 3 Sukkot/Tabernacle Blood Moons in 32 AD, 1949 and 2014, along with a Penumbral lunar eclipse on the Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot in 70 AD. In 1949 Israel fought for and won their independence as a state, as in 2014 they were fighting Hamas. Both eclipses from October 7th-8th and those falling on October 18th, were all on the Feast of Tabernacles.

7. October 25th, 2022 Partial Solar Eclipse-Tishri 30-Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan


On Oct. 25, the second solar eclipse of 2022 will take place. As in April, this eclipse will be partial, but this time the Moon’s penumbral shadow will fall on the Northern Hemisphere. This partial solar eclipse on Oct. 25 will be visible from parts of Europe, northeast Africa, the Middle East and western Asia. It will begin at 4:58 a.m. EST (0858 GMT) and end at 9:02 a.m. EST (1302 GMT).  [*]

8. Nov. 8th, 2022 Total Lunar Eclipse

The total lunar eclipse of Nov. 8 will be visible across Asia, Australia, the Pacific Ocean and the Americas. It will begin at 3:02 a.m. EST (0802 GMT) and last about 5 hours, 53 minutes, with totality lasting 1 hour, 24 minutes, according to NASA. It will peak at 6 a.m. EST (1100 GMT).  [*]


The total lunar eclipse of November 8, 2022, is preceded two weeks earlier by a partial solar eclipse on October 25, 2022. These eclipses all take place during a single eclipse season. An eclipse season is an approximate 35-day period during which it’s inevitable for at least 2 (and possibly 3) eclipses to take place.

According to Mark Biltz-this Fall, the Nov. 8th, 2022 Blood Moon could begin the Tribulation week because it opens a new Shemita Cycle, that would pick up where the Crucifixion of Christ left off-at the end of a Shemita cycle in 28 AD. For this reason, if the current Shemita does not start the Tribulation week, it won’t start the Tribulation until the next Shemita Cycle in the fall of 2029-30′, [5790].

This concludes our overview section of the 2021-2022 Luni-Solar Eclipses. I would also like to provide a preview of some of the action for next year. In 2023 we have another April-May eclipse season with a Total Solar Eclipse on April 20, 2023, followed with a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on May 5-6, 2023. On April 20, 2023, a “hybrid eclipse, or an eclipse that starts as an annular, transitions to total, then back to an annular before ending, will be visible from the Indian Ocean, western Australia, New Guinea and the Pacific Ocean. The October-Nov. eclipse season includes an Annular Solar eclipse on Oct. 14, 2023, and a Partial Lunar Eclipse on October 28-29. The Oct.14, 2023, an Annular Solar eclipse will sweep from the Pacific coast of Oregon to the Texas Gulf Coast. This map highlights the paths of the total solar eclipses of 2017 and 2024 and the Annular solar eclipses of 2021 and 2023.

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 2.07.23 PM.png

As the Total Lunar Eclipse of May 26, 2021, is uniquely positioned at a celestial center point between two Total Solar Eclipses, each 694 days on either side of May 26th, 2021, the first on July 12th, 2019, and the second Total Solar Eclipse on April 20th, 2023. The Annular Solar eclipse on Oct. 14, 2023 actually serves as the first eclipse that will be crossed over in Texas 6 months later, by the April eclipse in 2024 that also crosses over the path of the 2017 Pan American Eclipse, in the Carbondale area of Illinois. By crossing over the paths of both these eclipses, the message of these three eclipses are linked. The May 26, 2021, Total Lunar Eclipse also holds general midpoint position midway between the April eclipse in 2024 and the August 2017 Pan American Eclipse, forming an “X” in the midwest of North America.  

As we keep our heads to the sky, and our hearts and minds in God’s Word in view of these exciting celestial signs, we anticipate the soon victorious Return of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring us home.

We will see you here, there or in the Air…

God Bless!

Rene’

 

Footnotes

1. Dr. Earnest Martin’s study on Sabbatical Years.
2. IBID
3. “Analysis of Prophecies in Daniel.” [ppg. 15-16.] Jon Nessle
4. The Lord’s Soon Return-Mark Biltz [Youtube video-Jan. 2022]
5.  Courtesy of Paul Grevas: www.bloodmoonscoming.com
6. “Blood Moons Decoded-Mark Biltz [Tipping Point Youtube video]
7. Courtesy of Paul Grevas: www.bloodmoonscoming.com
8. Picture Credit. https://gms.gsfc.nasa.gov/4910
9. The Abomination of Desolation and other Prophetic Terms of Biblical Eschatology, Jon Nessle.
10. http://www.christiantruthcenter.com/the-fig-tree-generation-the-generation-that-will-not-pass/
11. IBID
12. Joe Rao@Space.com [https://www.space.com/partial-solar-eclipse-april-2022-what-to-expect]
13. [*] Space.com notes on these Solar and Lunar Eclipses.

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Biblical Astronomy of The Grand Celestial Alignment of June 2022  1

The heavens were revving up for some celestial fireworks in June of 2022, to be reflected on earth leading into our July 4th celebrations for Independence day!

The Grand Celestial Alignment in June of 2022, picks up on what we saw two months ago in the celestial signs in April of 2022, starting with a union of Mars and Saturn, as the two approached each other closer than a lunar diameter on April 5thApril opened with three bright planets massed low in our east-southeast sky just before sunrise. This was preceded by a triangular massing of Venus-Mars-Saturn in Capricornus on March 28th, 2022. In April 2022, these planets VenusSaturn & Mars are only 6 degrees, apart with Venus to the left, followed by Saturn and Mars in conjunction.

Figure 1.  Capricornus the Celestial Goat-fish. 2 
See the source image

The union of Mars and Saturn, represents interesting symbolism as the Red planet Mars can embody the blood of Christ, which is key during the Passover month of April, in light
of his perfect sinless blood, that he sacrificed for all humanityMars can also represent the Warrior Archangel Michael as he fights for God’s people, against Satan-embodied in Saturn or Satan’s planet. With this conjunction in Capricorn in April 2022, it recalls the same month our Lord was crucified on April 28th28 AD, with a series of planetary conjunctions within a Grand Alignment nearly 2000 years later.

As Christ embodies the Passover in Israel, seen in the celestial symbolism of Capricornus his death and resurrection fulfilled a prophecy of Isa. 53sacrificing his life for the sheep. As Bullinger eloquently put it; “the living fish proceeds from the dying goat, and yet they form only one body. [Eph. 4] That picture which has no parallel in nature, has a perfectly true counterpart in Grace, and the great multitude which no man can number, is redeemed unto eternal life through the death of their redeemer. 3 

Around the 8th of AprilJupiter, which was immersed below the horizon during the first week of April, makes an appearance, expanding this alignment with the other three planets to make it a foursome. By the morning of April 19, all four planets are aligned in a diagonal line of a little over 30 degrees; from lower left to upper rightJupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn, as seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2. The mid-April Alignment of 4 planets in Capricorn, 2022. 4

Passover, kicked off the Feast of Unleavened Bread or Pesach in the Hebrew Year, starting at sundown on Friday, 15 April 2022, ending nightfall on SaturdayApril 23, 2022. During this week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we saw the celestial events, including this planetary alignment in Capricornus following PassoverThe predawn sky on April 19, 2022 in Stellarium shows the alignment of Jupiter, Venus, Mars and SaturnThis alignment, preceded by two planetary conjunctions, the first was Jupiter-Neptune in Aquarius on April 12th, and the 2nd on April 18th with Mercury-Uranus in Aries. 5 

These two planetary unions that included the outer planets of Neptune and Uranus, show that these solar system giants were present in a Celestial Alignment even in April, just not visible to the naked eye, as their fellow outer planets Jupiter and Saturn.

Saturn presently rising before midnight, is visible to the naked eye shining as a bright, golden-white orb glowing in Capricornus. This sign pictured as a Goat-Fish reflects Jesus as he embodies one of two goats-Old Covenant sacrificial animals
on the day of Atonement
, the other of which was the scapegoat. Bullinger says of the two goats; the first of which is the sin offering, God gave it to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord.” [Levi. 10:16-17] The other goat, which was not slain, was released into the wilderness. [Levi. 16:22] Here is the death and resurrection of Christ.

On May 30th, a Jupiter-Venus union, started June’s alignment off, with a bang! Unions of Jupiter-Venus have been key in marking the birth of Christ in 3-2 BC, with other similar signs following. As a reminder, the unions of Jupiter-Venus the sky’s two brightest planets, was also one of the signature planetary unions marking the birth of Christ, with the Jupiter-Venus union on Aug. 12th 3 BC, about a month before the Rev. 12 sign on Sept. 11th, 3 BC. We have seen notable replays of these celestial signs with the Blood Moon Tetrad of 2014-2015, as referenced below in August of 2016.

Figure 3. August 15th, 2016 Jupiter-Mercury-Venus triangular union in Leo. 7

ven_jup_160815

This triangular planetary union in Leo is considered part of the signs of the Celestial Sphinx, which occur in Leo the Lion, or Virgo the Woman, the Alpha-Omega signs of the Mazzaroth, that have united these 12 signs in their thematic telling of the Celestial Gospel since their creation in Genesis. Celestial signs like planetary conjunctions and alignments, for example, are key in marking the birth and Return of Jesus Christ.

This spectacular Jupiter–Venus conjunction in 3 BC was marked again last year in the early dawn of Feb. 11th, 2021 is a precursor to the triple union of VenusMercury and Jupiter, with the Moon on the same day. Not only are the Jupiter-Venus unions significant in marking the birth and return of Christ, but also the unions of Mercury-Venus are noteworthy, as referenced by Dr. Ernest Martin.

In his book, The Birth of Christ Recalculated, Ernest Martin states; “On the morning of  September 1, Venus and Mercury came into conjunction only .35 degrees apart...”

Dr. Martin goes on to tell us how this Mercury-Venus conjunction set the stage for the Jupiter-Venus conjunctions around the birth of Christ, highlighted by their spectacular June 17th 2 BC union:

“After the Sept. 1 meeting with Mercury, Venus journeyed back into the light of the Sun, emerging in the West as an evening star about 20 December, 3 BC, and when this occurred, an observer would have noticed the planet just after sunset moving progressively higher in the sky (going more easterly) with each succeeding day. This movement placed Venus on a collision course with Jupiter which was moving westward. At the period when Venus had just passed its easternmost elongation from the Sun (the farthest east of the Sun that Venus ever reaches) on 17 June, 2 BC, the two planets “collided”. They were 0.04 degrees away from each other. This was a most uncommon occurrence. To an observer on Earth, the luminosity that each planet displayed made them look like one gigantic star. It was as if Venus had stretched herself as far eastward as she was able, in order to join with Jupiter as he reached westward to meet her. This conjunction occurred at the exact time of the full Moon. The whole of the evening sky was being illumined from the east by the full light of the Moon, while the western quarter witnessed the Jupiter/Venus conjunction. Professor D.C. Morton, Senior Research Astronomer @ Princeton University, said the conjunction of 17 June, 2BC, was a notable astronomical event [ZPEB, vol. I, pg. 398]. Such closeness had not been witnessed in generations. Roger W. Sinnott, writing in the journal Sky and Telescope, December, 1968, ppgs. 384-386, referred to this conjunction as a brilliantdouble star” that finally gave the appearance of fusing together into a single “star” as the planets drew nearer the western horizon. He said that only the sharpest of eyes would have been able to split them and that the twinkling caused by the unsteady horizon atmosphere would have blended them into one giant “star” for almost all viewers. “The fusion of two planets would have been a rare and awe-inspiring event” [pg. 386]. Here were the 2 brightest planets in the heavens merging together. This was happening at the period when Venus was approaching her time of greatest brilliance.” 9

Leo The Lion

Leo The Lion

The major signs marking the birth of Christ on September 11th 3 BC, are not only sealed with this triple union of Jupiter-Regulus in Leo, but also by this set of Jupiter-Venus conjunctions in Leo, including the June 17th sign of 2 BC. In addition, the greater majority of heavenly signs marking the birth of Christ were bracketed by 2 Jupiter-Venus unions in 3 and 1 BC.  The first Jupiter-Venus Conjunction marking the birth of Christ took place on August 31st 3 BC, in Leo with the last one occurring on August 21st, 1 BC in Virgo. Here we find an interesting variation on a Celestial Sphinx sign highlighting planetary conjunctions of Jupiter-Venus, taking place during the first fulfillment of the Rev. 12:1-2 prophecy relating to the sufferings of Christ in his ministry as the Passover Lamb. This alerts us that we should look for similar Celestial Sphinx signs as a precursor to Christ’s Second Coming. In this light, it is with great interest that we discover 3 Jupiter-Venus conjunctions that occurred in Leo, followed by Jupiter-Venus conjunctions in Virgo in both 2016 and 2017.

The following dates saw Jupiter-Venus conjunctions in Leo in the Hebrew Jubilee year of 2015:

June 30th, 2015
August 25th, 2015
October 26th, 2015 

Jupiter-Venus in Conjunction

jupiter-venus

The following dates, depict similar Jupiter-Venus conjunctions in Virgo in 2016-2017:

July 27th, 2016
Aug. 26-27th, 2016 [Jupiter enters Virgo] starting its retrograde in Virgo’s womb
Feb. 26th, 2017
Sept. 23rd, 2017 [Virgo clothed with the Sun/Moon @ feet]-Rev. 12:1-2
Nov. 13th, 2017

Now that we have an idea of the impact of celestial activity of Jupiter-Mercury-Venus, and some of their individual unions as signs of the Celestial Sphinx, we can get a sense of their key roles in the birth and return of Christ. These 2 brightest planets; Venus and Jupiter, teamed up to provide the closest planetary union of 2014, and the closest VenusJupiter conjunction until August 27, 2016, noted above. In the eastern dawn, starting in mid-August, these two dazzlingly-brilliant planets moved closest together around August 18, 2014. This notable Venus-Jupiter union, separated by only 1/3 a degree, was the only one
of 2014, between the first two Blood Moons of the 2014-15 Blood Moon Tetrad.

Returning to the June 2022 Grand Celestial Alignment of planets, we find these 5 visible planets appear in the sky as they are ordered in their solar orbits. Scanning from the east-northeast horizon up to the right, we find Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Adding the Moon, which marks Earth’s spot in the lineup from June 23 to 25, which spot is occupied by the outer planet Uranus as viewed from Earth in the banner above, explaining why it is occulted by Earth’s Moon on June 25th.

The June Moon appeared in a series of snapshots, paired to these planets in the order seen below. The Moon, which passed near all five planets in June, makes identifying each planet, on given mornings a lot easier. On Saturday (June 18), for instance, a waning gibbous moon was positioned 6 degrees to the lower right of Saturn, with Neptune.

Super Strawberry Moon-June 14th
Saturn- June 16th
Neptune-June 18th

Jupiter- June 22nd
Mars- June 23rd
Uranus
– Lunar Occultation; June 25th
Venus-June 26th
Mercury-June 27th

Incredibly, the last time this kind of alignment happened was March 5, 1864! The alignment of planets in this specific order last took place in Dec. 2004.

Jupiter the scepter and King Planet- an early morning object, rising in western Pisces,  shining at a brilliant magnitude over 2.5 times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in Earth’s sky. The redeemed multitudes seen in Capricorn’s fish-tail, are also embodied in the adjoining fish decans of Delphinus the dolphin, and Pisces Australis, the fish of the south, and decan of the water sign Aquarius. This theme continues with Pisces, as the Moon pairs with Jupiter in this planetary alignment.

Mars finally comes to the fore as it continues to brighten in its approach to Earth. It rises in the east out of its previous conjunction with the slower moving Saturn, in early April, now shining at magnitude 0.5. The Red Planet Mars is distinguished by its crimson red-orange hue, emphasizing the stainless redeeming blood of Christ.

Venus the Bright and Morning Star rises around the time of dawn’s first glow. At magnitude -3.9, Venus outshines its nearest companion in brilliance, Jupiter, nearly fourfold. The Pleiades star cluster is 9 degrees left of Venus prior to being washed out in the sunlight of dawn. 

Contrary to its fleetness, Mercury was
a late arrival to this early planet party. On May 21, it appeared at inferior conjunction, much too dim to see, hovering just above the dawn horizon to open June. On June 16th however, Mercury was at max elongation, 23 degrees west of the sun, at magnitude 0.6, bordering naked-eye visibility, very low in the east-northeast 30-40 minutes before sunrise, not far to Venus’ lower left.

As we have seen, this Grand Celestial Alignment is a somewhat rare, Celestial sign with many implications for the First and Second advents of Christ. With activity like this, it’s easy to keep our heads to the sky, anticipating the Great Hope of Christ’s return for his saints, and the spiritual body of his church. It is great to be a partaker in this Hope with you all!!

God Bless!

Rene’ 


Footnotes

1.Grand Celestial Alignment of 2022
2. Figure 1 picture Credit-Witstars
3. Witness of the Stars, ppg. 76-77 E.W. Bullinger
4. Stellarium Astronomical Software.
5. [https://www.space.com/april-2022-morning-planets-jupiter-saturn-venus-mars]
6. Witness of the Stars, p. 76, E.W. Bullinger
7. 2016, August 27: Venus-Jupiter Conjunction | When the Curves Line Up
8. The Birth of Christ Recalculated, Ernest Martin
9. Ibid
10. Space.com

*Space.com was a general reference for this blog.

 

 

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The Celestial Signs of April 2022 and Passover

Welcome to our monthly blog for April, 2022 which brings a month full of celestial signs, including planetary conjunctions, massings and alignments, many taking place in Capricorn during the month that brings us Passover, in recognition of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ. From the opening of this busy month in the sky, the New Moon starts the show on April 1st. Many religious calendars use the New Moon as markers to open the months of their year, the Hebrew being the among the most familiar in Biblical Astronomy. For the Jews, the New Moon ends the month of Adar and starts the Passover month of Nisan which takes place on April 15, this year. April opens with three bright planets massed low in our east-southeast sky just before sunrise. This was preceded by a triangular massing of Venus-Mars-Saturn in Capricornus on March 28th, 2022. In April 2022, these planets VenusSaturn & Mars are only 6 degrees, apart with Venus to the left, followed by Saturn and then Mars. This was followed three days later according to the U.S. Naval Observatory, in the early dawn on the US east coast, with a close fly-by of Mars and Saturn, as the two approached each other closer than an apparent lunar diameter on April 5th, as seen in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1. Mars-Saturn conjunction in Capricorn on April 5th, 2022. 1

5 Thrilling Planetary Conjunctions Are Going To Take Place In April, And Here's How To See Each Of Them. 1

This union of Mars and Saturn, has some interesting implications as Mars can represent blood due to its redness, which is significant during the month of Passover in light of the perfect sinless blood of Christ, that he sacrificed for all humanity. Mars can also represent the Warrior Archangel Michael as he fights for God’s people, against Satan-embodied in Saturn or Satan’s planet. With this conjunction in Capricorn in April, it recalls the same month our Lord was crucified on April 28th, 28 AD, with a planetary conjunction series nearly 2000 years after Christ’s crucifixion, more on this later.

Figure 2. Capricorn the Sacrificial Goat

See the source image

We find all three planets in the constellation Capricorn, which is very notable with Passover taking place, as these 3 bright planets align in Capricornthe Mazzaroth sign that combines the Goat with a fish. Bullinger tells us that; “in the Goat we have the atoning sacrifice, while in the fish we have the people for whom atonement is made.”2  The redeemed multitudes seen in Capricorn’s fish-tail, are also embodied in the adjoining decans of Delphinus the dolphin, and Pisces Australis, the southern fish of the water sign Aquarius3 As Christ embodies the Passover in Israel, his death and resurrection fulfilled the prophecy of Isa. 53sacrificing his life for the sheep. As Bullinger eloquently puts it; “the living fish proceeds from the dying goat, and yet they form only one body. [Eph. 4] That picture which has no parallel in nature, has a perfectly true counterpart in Grace, and the great multitude which no man can number, is redeemed unto eternal life through the death of their redeemer. 4

This seems to link to the two miracles of the fish to open, and during the resurrection arrivals of Jesus’ earthly ministry. As nobody is able to number the great multitude of people redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ, perhaps it is fitting that the 153 fish netted in this miraculous catch, is not only a number in the infinite Lucas Series of numbers, but it also relates to the geometric growth of the Acts church via the infinite ratios of Pi, and Phi. This is Christ building the Temple of his body. [Gen. 15:5]

Starting around the 8th of AprilJupiter, which was immersed below the horizon during the first week of April, makes an appearance expanding this alignment with the other three planets to make it a foursome. By the morning of April 19, all four planets are aligned in a diagonal line of a little over 30 degrees; from lower left to upper right: JupiterVenus, Mars and Saturn, as seen in Figure 3.

Figure 3. The mid-April Alignment of 4 planets in Capricorn, 2022. 5

Passover, kicks off the Feast of Unleavened Bread or Pesach for the Hebrew Year beginning at sundown on Friday, 15 April 2022, and ends, nightfall on Saturday, 23 April 2022. Thus, during the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we find the celestial events, including this planetary alignment in Capricornus following PassoverThe predawn sky on April 19, 2022 in Stellarium shows the alignment of Jupiter, Venus, Mars and SaturnThis alignment is preceded by two planetary conjunctions, the first with Jupiter-Neptune in Aquarius on April 12th, and the second on April 18th with Mercury and Uranus in Aries. 6

 

Since it falls during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, this planetary union of MercuryUranus bears a closer look. Mercury-Gabriel is the Messenger archangel who usually brings attention to what he may be introducing. In this case, Uranus is one of the outer planets of the Solar System, and since it was not visible to the naked eye, it does not carry as much press in the Hebrew tradition. However, on April 3rd, 2022, a Lunar occultation of Uranus, occurred which calls our attention, especially when we consider all the other lunar activity taking place with the planets during this time. The idea that the April 18th union of Mercury and Uranus took place in Aries, is also noteworthy, since the celestial chapter of constellations that opened with Capricorn, the dying Goat, closes with Aries the Ram, with life restored via the blood of the Lamb, who takes away the sins of the world, [John 1:29].

Figure 4. The Crescent Moon appears with each of the four aligned planets in Capricorn. 7

In the last week of April, the Crescent Moon takes a snapshot with each of the 4 aligned planets. (Image credit: Stellarium)

The Crescent Moon, looms below Saturn on April 25, Mars on April 26 and finally Jupiter and Venus on April 27. 8 This early morning view of the east-southeast horizon, is greeted the next day with yet another planetary conjunction of Venus and Neptune in Aquarius on April 28th. It is interesting to note that the two planetary unions involving Neptune on the 12th and 28th of April, not only bracket the Mercury-Uranus union on the 18th, but also all the lunar snapshots with each of the 4 aligned planets!

 At a glance, we find the three brightest denizens of the night sky: a 12% lit Crescent Moon, Jupiter 4 degrees top left, and Venus suspended 5 degrees over the slice of lunar light. Venus and Jupiter are separated by 3.2 degrees on the 27th, but only 2 degrees on April 28th, and 1.3 degrees on April 29th. On April 30-May 1, Venus and Jupiter stand together, separated by only .5 a degree in North America. 9 This event occurs during the final week of April with the approaching union of the King Planet Jupiter and Venus, the bright and Morning Star, in Capricornus.

Figure 5. This is the closest Venus-Jupiter conjunction since August 2016(Image credit: Stellarium) 10

The Hebrew name for Capricornus is Gedithe kid or cut off, the same as the Arabic Al Gedi. In Figure 6 below from Robert Wadsworth, we find the star of this name-Algedi in the goat’s horn, with a second star in the goat’sfish’s tail, named Deneb Algedi. This exhibits the unity of the Goat’s sacrificial atonement with the faithful of the spiritual body of his future church, both Jew and Gentile. Many times in Biblical Astronomy the King planet Jupiter plays a key role, as during this time in 28 AD, when we find the King planet in Capricornus, as Jesus finished his earthly ministry. On April 24th, 28 AD, Jupiter was in conjunction with the star Deneb Al Gedi in the fish-tail of Capricornus, as Jesusrulership over the redeemed multitudes seen in Capricorn’s fish-tail, is evident with the Jupiter-Deneb Algedi conjunction in Fig. 6, mirroring the Jupiter conjunction with Venus in Capricorn at the end of April, 2022.

Figure 6Jupiter-Deneb Algedi conjunction seen from Jerusalem on April 24, 28 A.D. 11

 

A key related point with this April 24th sign in Capricornus is this day on the Hebrew calendar was Aviv 10, also the day the Passover Lambs were selected, [Ex. 12:3]. Another meaning of Deneb Al Gedi is the sacrifice comes, which fits since this same day, on Aviv 10 Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey as the perfect sacrifice to redeem all mankind, [Matt. 21:1-11, Zech. 9:9]. 12 

Another celestial sign related to Jesus’ Crucifixion involved the Southern Cross
According to the writings of Richard Hinckley Allen (1838-1908), an expert in stellar nomenclature, the Southern Cross was last seen on Jerusalem’s horizon at 31 degrees 46′ 45″ about the time that Christ was crucified. 13 But due to the Precession of the Equinoxes, a spiraling motion of the Earth’s axis-the Southern Cross shifted out of view further south over the ensuing centuries. The Hebrew name for the Southern Cross is Adom, which means the cutting off, from the prophecy of Dan. 9:26, referencing that the Messiah shall be “cut off.” This corresponds exactly to the Hebrew name for Capricornus as Gedithe kid or cut off, that we saw above in the meaning of the star Gedi. E.W. Bullinger again enlightens us regarding the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet — TAU, which was anciently made in the form of a Cross. 14

Aben Ezra gives the Hebrew name too, of the Southern Cross as Adom, which meanscutting off,as the angel told Daniel of the “cutting off of the Messiah.” And Christ was cut off by being condemned and crucified.”

Joseph Seiss, in his book on the Gospel in the Stars affirms that “the Southern Cross was visible on the horizon of Jerusalem about the time that Christ was crucified. It consists of four bright stars placed in the form of a cross, and is by far the brighest star-group in the southern heavens. Standing directly in the path of the second Decan of Virgo, the double-natured Seed of the woman, and connecting with Libra the price of redemption, it takes the same place in the celestial signs that the Cross of Calvary holds in the Christian system.” 15

Figure 6. The Decan of the Southern Cross. 16

The Southern Cross Constellation

Bullinger discusses how this sign has lost its original meaning of; “It is Finished,” which was Jesus’ last declaration on the Cross at Calgary. As our Lord’s dying declaration, as he gave up his life, for truly none could take it from him, he gave up his “physical” life of the flesh, to obtain eternal life for us all. Christ’s atoning work of redemption is utterly complete and finished when Jesus declared it so. The decan of the Southern Cross is also pictured below in Fig. 7, with Centaurus.

Figure 7. Centaurus with the Southern Cross below Centaurus. 17

See the source image

The Hebrew name for this constellation Bezeh-means despised, which is found in Isa. 53:3; He is despised and rejected of men. The brightest star in the horse’s foreleg; Toliman means the heretofore and the hereafter, marking him as the one which is, which was and which is to come. Sir John Herschell observed this star rapidly growing brighter, making it a possible variable star. 18

From Bob Wadsworth, our late brother in his Biblical Astronomy Newsletter, provided some key historical details on the visibility of the Southern Cross. He showed the “highest position of the Southern Cross seen from Jerusalem in 1000 B.C. At this time, the upper star of the Crux was 17 degrees above the horizon, and the lower star 11 degrees above the horizon. The whole cross was quite visible from Jerusalem around the time of King David.” 19 This links the genealogy of David to Christ through the royal line of Judah.

Wadsworth includes the coordinates of the Southern Cross, seen from Jerusalem on the day of Christ’s Crucifixion as follows; [Newsletter graphics shows] the highest position of the Southern Cross as seen from Jerusalem on April 28, 28 A.D., or the date of the Lord’s crucifixion. The upper star of the Crux was a little over 12 degrees above the horizon, and the lower star was a little over 6 degrees above the horizon. It is most difficult to say if the lower star was visible through atmospheric haze at that time. But it is safe to say that the lower star most likely disappeared from the Jerusalem skies some point between the time of the Lord’s crucifixion and 155 AD, when it was 5 degrees above the horizon at its highest position. Newsletter graphics shows the highest position of the Southern Cross in the year 1000 A.D. Here the upper star is about 6 degrees above the horizon, and the lower star is near 0 degrees. The upper star most likely disappeared from the Jerusalem skies sometime between this date and 1240 A.D., when the upper star was 5 degrees above the horizon at its highest point. This was during the time of the Crusades. 20

The Astronomer Bayer drew the Southern Cross over the hind legs of the Centaur, giving it in his text as moderis crux Ptolemaeo pedes Centauri.” He goes on to say that “it seems remarkable that it was only outlined over the Centaur in the Flamsteed Atlas.” 21

This is unlike the way it is pictured above in Fig. 7, but closer to the way it is found today in the southern hemisphere. Of special interest to our faithful brethren “down under” where autumn is approaching, and the Sun is setting earlier in the southern hemisphere, sunset was at about 6:48 p.m. on April 1, and in Melbourne, Australia it’s at 7:14 p.m. local time. In mid-southern latitudes, by 8:00 p.m. when it is fully dark the Southern Cross was high in the southeastern sky from Melbourne; it is about 40 degrees above the horizon on April 1 (the new moon there occurs at 5:24 p.m. local time on April 1st). The Southern Cross will be above Centaurus, near Alpha Centauri (Rigil Kentaurus). 22

Perhaps our intrepid Michael Toms and some of his “mates” can take a picture of the Southern Crossand post it on the Biblical Astronomy Fellowship Page, with their observations for the rest of us in the Northern Hemisphere? I also want to acknowledge and thank Joseph Damien Cooper for first alerting me to the celestial activity this month, which I’m very thankful for. I can’t always be on top of all the celestial happenings, and the help of wonderful & faithful believers like Joseph, is always much appreciated. He is a great example of how we are the spiritual body of Christ, and we work together to bless each other!

I believe the visible appearance on the horizon from Jerusalem, of the Southern Cross at the time of Christ’s crucifixion, far from chance, served multiple purposes of edification. First, it confirms the Celestial Gospel, reflecting Jesus’ brutal sacrifice on the Cross at Calvary, in a stellar prophecy of the finished work, represented in the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet – TAU,  made in the form of a Cross. A trait of the Gospel in the Stars shows the Creator’s hand in not only forming and making the stars in the skies of the heavens, as a precise timepiece, but also naming and numbering the stars according to His purposes; [Gen. 1:14-19, Ps. 147:4, Isa. 40:26]. This also links the Gospel in the Stars-God’s Word written in the Heavens inseparably with written Scripture. The entire record of OT Scriptural Messianic prophecies of his long-awaited ministry being confirmed, not only in Christ’s birth, ministry, resurrection and Ascension, also confirmed beyond a shadow of doubt in the Gospel of the Stars.

As we recognize Passover and Resurrection Saturday, we certainly have much to consider as we honor and praise our Lord Jesus Christ and his unmatched work of redemption, that freed us from our bondage of the flesh, even as the Jews were freed from their bondage at Passover. As we ever rise above the darkness of this world as the superconqueror we have been made in Christ, this is the only kind of “made man” with eternal rewards.

In Joyful Rejoicing-God Bless!

Agape’ Rene’ 

 

 

Footnotes

1. https://www.space.com/april-2022-morning-planets-jupiter-saturn-venus-mars
2. Witness of the Stars, E.W. Bullinger, p. 75
3. IBID, Footnote p. 75
4. IBID, ppg. 76-77.
5. Figure 3 picture credit; Stellarium
6. https://www.space.com/april-2022-morning-planets-jupiter-saturn-venus-mars
7. IBID, Figure 4 picture credit; Stellarium
8. https://www.space.com/april-2022-morning-planets-jupiter-saturn-venus-mars
9. IBID
10. Figure 5 picture credit; Stellarium
11. Figure 6 picture credit; Biblical Astronomy Newsletter, Bob Wadsworth.
12. Biblical Astronomy Newsletter, Bob Wadsworth.
13. Star Names their Lore and Meaning, p. 185, R.A. Allen.
14. Witness of the Stars, E.W. Bullinger, ppg. 48-50.
15. Gospel in the Stars, Joseph Seiss
16. Fig. 6. picture credit: https://www.space.com/29445-southern-cross-constellation-skywatching.html
17. Witness of the Stars, E.W. Bullinger, p. 40 Figure 7 picture credit on the Centaur with Southern Cross.
18. IBID
19. Biblical Astronomy Newsletter, March/April 1999, Bob Wadsworth
20. IBID
21. Star Names their Lore and Meaning, p. 185, R.A. Allen.
22. https://www.space.com/april-2022-morning-planets-jupiter-saturn-venus-mars

 

 

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