Witnessing a Blood Moon from Yerushalayim

As I mentioned before on this blog, I've made a commitment to my Elohim to observe the Chagim, the three Festivals commanded anciently by Elohim to be observed by all males in the place where He chose for His Name to abide.  And I choose to do this in the actual place where He chose for His Name to abide, that place being Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).  My commitment is to do this for as long as I am able, and this means physically, financially, among other things.  Since Chag HaSukkoth (The Festival of Tabernacles) is upon us, I am now seeing part of that commitment through by coming to Yerushalayim to observe that Festival before Him.

I arrived in Tel Aviv yesterday around 3:15 p.m. and was eager to get to Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) before sundown.  Because I follow the actual New Moon visible from Yerushalayim to determine my months (as the Torah more than adequately indicates) and not the traditional calendar of the Jews introduced in the 4th century, my first day of Sukkoth was not yesterday as it was for most Jews, but will begin on Tuesday evening after sundown and end on Wednesday evening after sundown (September 29-30); however, I knew I would need to carry a lot of luggage to my apartment, which is a significant trek from my parking site to the apartment I rent every year to observe these Chagim.  I also knew I'd have to do some quick shopping, and carry the cargo resulting from that as well.  And since I rent an apartment in a very Jewish neighborhood, I just didn't want do these treks in front of them after sundown, when their first day of Sukkoth, an annual Shabbat day, began.  I'm keenly aware of how such things can cause offense, and since they don't understand and couldn't easily be made to understand the nature of our disagreement on the timing of the Appointed Times, I felt (and feel) that it's a good idea to avoid such things as much as possible.  I had also planned to get my sukkah (temporary dwelling) out of storage at my friends' place in the City Center and put it up before sundown.

I barely accomplished the first part of this, and really had no hope of doing the latter.  After going through immigration, getting my luggage, renting a car, driving to Yerushalayim, and shopping, I had only enough time before sundown to carry all of the luggage (two suit cases and two carry-ons) and all three bags of groceries in a single trek.  It was a rough trip, but I was able to do it.  There was however no hope of putting up the sukkah, and I gave up on that idea as I really only need to put it up before Sundown on Tuesday, more than a day away.  The truth is, by this point with all of the sleepless travelling, flight connections in Newark, New Jersey and Frankfort, Germany, and almost no rest time in between, I was just flat out exhausted and went to bed for the evening around 9 p.m. after observing that the Moon was indeed full.

I woke up inexplicably around 4:35 a.m. and went up to the lovely rooftop balcony of the apartment I had rented, the very place I will be putting up my sukkah in the days to come, and sat down with a drink to take in the night air.  Then I saw it... the same Moon I had seen earlier, only it was no longer full.  It was about 1/3 of the way darkened.  I have to say that I was pretty alarmed at first.  I mean, you don't see this kind of thing every day, and immediately the prophecies of Yoel (Joel) and Yeshua (Jesus) came to mind about the moon not giving its light.  The blood was pumping, let me tell you.

I had to watch it all the way through because I still wasn't sure it would be a full lunar eclipse.  It might be only partial, I was thinking.  So I watched as the moon slowly but surely became completely darkened.  Right at the point when no crescent was visible, someone in the distance blew a shofar three times, each one a rather long blast in succession.  Though he was not really close to where I was, the sound pierced through Yerushalayim like one would expect it to on a quiet night like this one.

It didn't take long for me though to realize what had happened.  I had realized it long before the Moon was fully darkened.  I had known about this lunar eclipse more than a year ago, but I had been ignoring it for that year because of the peripheral attachments that were being made to it, attachments of significance that I didn't share.  As a result of this, I had forgotten about it completely.  I was immensely fortunate that the ills of jet-lag had woken me up in time to see this phenomenon in action.

But I was also fortunate for the lesson it taught me about reading into celestial events something that may not actually be there.  As I mentioned, the reason I had blocked this out of my mind was because of all of the prophetic associations being made with this "blood moon" phenomenon.  It isn't that I begrudge folks for having these opinions and looking with some interest, especially since this was the fourth lunar eclipse in the last two years, with each eclipse happening in exact six months increments, making for a phenomenon known as a Lunar Tetrarch event.  It is certainly an interesting celestial event, so of course, note should be paid.  My real problem with it was more or less the resolute surety that many have connected to the event, as if there can be no doubt at all that this is THE event that Yoel and Yeshua spoke about in their prophecies.

But before we look at this, let's take a look at what the two main prophecies from Yoel and Yeshua actually say:
"And I shall give signs in the shamayim (heavens or skies) and upon the earth: blood and fire and columns of smoke, the sun is turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of YHWH!" (Yoel / Joel 3:30-31).
"And immediately after the distress of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars shall fall from the shamayim, and the powers of the shamayim shall be shaken." (Mattityahu / Matthew 24:29-30).
Granted, I am sure some will be able to interpret these verses differently, but if we take what this says literally, it is telling us that both the Sun AND the Moon will be darkened (with the Moon's darkness turning the color of blood) at basically the same time, or at least in very close proximity to each other.  Celestially this kind of double eclipse is an impossibility.  Why?  Because the circumstances that cause each type of full eclipse are mutually exclusive.

A total eclipse of the moon is basically when the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon, and the Earth is uniquely positioned to block the light of the Sun from reaching the Moon, in turn preventing the Moon from reflecting that light back to Earth.  This is usually visible from any point at which the Moon is visible in the night sky, and completely hidden from those places in which the Moon is not visible, for what I believe are obvious reasons.

A total eclipse of the Sun is basically when the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun, and the Moon is uniquely positioned to block the Sun completely from a particular viewpoint on Earth, making the Sun look like a large black dot with a slight ring of fire around the outer edges of its circle (which is the sun's still visible corona).  Though the Sun and the Moon are much differently sized objects with the former drastically outsizing the latter, they both appear the same size from the perspective of Earth due to their different distances.  Hence, the Moon can actually block the Sun completely from at least one viewpoint of the Earth.  Notice, I said from a particular viewpoint, because unlike Lunar Eclipses, which will be visible from any area in which the Moon is visible, total Solar Eclipses are not visible from just any area in which the Sun is visible.  The percentage of the Sun which is blocked is entirely dependent upon the area from which it is viewed.  This perspective visible positioning of the Moon and the Sun must be just right for the Sun to be completely visibly darkened.  While the Sun may appear fully eclipsed in one location, in another location at the same time, only a partial eclipse may be visible, and in still another, no eclipse will be visible at all.

So basically, one requires the Earth to be between the Sun and Moon, and one requires the Moon to be between the Sun and the Earth.  What this means is that for what Yoel and Yeshua describe here to actually occur is at least impossible from a normal analysis of the physics of these events.  What this will likely mean for those who don't take the prophecies of the Scriptures seriously is that those verses are describing an impossible event and are thus nonsensical.  But what that should mean for anyone who takes these verses seriously (i.e. myself and those who are reading this for an understanding of these prophecies) is that this cannot be describing a normal eclipse of either the Moon or the Sun.  It has to be describing something unheard of, something never yet witnessed, something which cannot be explained by the fixed cycles of the Moon and the Sun, and further, something that likely couldn't be so precisely calculated for time and place as can be done for cyclical eclipses.

Notice that Yeshua implies exactly such an unheard of event when he adds that the "powers of the shamayim (heavens or skies) will be shaken."  Essentially this means that what we will see is something much more dramatic than even the double eclipse.  We'll see something that will definitely cause the world to take notice.  Yoel adds that we will see "blood and fire and columns of smoke" among the signs in the skies that Elohim will demonstrate.  There's a lot more to what they describe than eclipses, even the normally impossible double eclipse described here.

This future event is, I believe, something far greater and FAR more unique than the Lunar Tetrarch that certain Christian ministers have termed a "Blood Moon".  Lunar Tetrarchs are an event combo that has occurred seven other times since Yeshua came to the Earth  The reason this one is considered special by those ministers is because each of the events occurs on the traditional Jewish calendar's days for Pesach and the first day of Sukkoth.  Remember though, as I pointed out before, that if one goes by the method that the Torah clearly implies by observing actual new moons by looking for the opening crescent sliver, those days are a bit off anyway.  The traditional Jewish calendar was introduced in the fourth century A.D. in an attempt to approximate the appearance of new moons in Yerushalayim after they could no longer be observed effectively by dispersed Jews exiled from the land of Yisrael (Israel).  Therefore that calendar does not actually follow those lunar starting points in the first place, even now when Jews are more able to view the events directly in the night sky, having largely returned to the land of Yisrael.

Since the current Jewish calendar only attempts to approximate those dates, the resulting dates on that calendar are only sometimes correct, while at most other times they can be off by several days, usually from one to three.  This year they are off by two days.  So no, this lunar eclipse did not actually happen on the first day of Sukkoth, not by any calendar computational methods that either Yoel or Yeshua would have been familiar with.  Even if all four HAD happened on the right day, there's still the issue that only the last one was even visible from Yerushalayim (or any part of Yisrael) in the first place, simply due to the location of the moon in the night sky and the time of day in that land.

The hard cold fact is that full solar eclipses, full lunar eclipses, and even lunar tetrarch events, are not so rare in even very recent times.  They are much too common to identify them as definite signs of the end without some more information and research to tie them all together.  So what am I really trying to say here?  I'm trying to say that when someone is telling you that some celestial event is significant, you don't need to completely discount it, but you should also avoid a complete buy in until you've been able to do a little research of your own.  Dig a little deeper.  Try to see if all of the claims being made are valid, or if they are found wanting.  Check each assumption used as a building block toward the thesis they present and validate that these are solid axioms and not just faulty assumptions.  We are told to test every ruach (spirit), and that has to include the ruachot (spirits) behind claims such as these.  Even now, I would not tell you to discount these things completely, but definitely be careful about how much you invest into something like this and always do your own research on those claims before selling the barn.

Always remember that the Ruach HaKodesh is a ruach of power, love, and a sound mind.  It is not the ruach of hype and exaggeration.  Just recently on Facebook someone posted images they claimed were "pictures of the Blood Moon over Jerusalem".  These images were certainly incredible, but also very obviously fake.  The moon in those pictures was a deep rich red, with full light reflecting (in other words, not eclipsed by any stretch of the imagination), and each displayed a Moon about 20 times the size than the Moon which actually appeared in the sky that night during the eclipse.  What's more, some of them showed the deep red Blood Moon halfway over the horizon in the dark of night, one of the most startling ones showing it halfway over the horizon behind the Kotel (Wailing Wall or Western Wall) with thousands of Jewish men and women praying at its banks.  I can assure you that the scenario these photos displayed of the moon over the horizon in Yerushalayim was impossible, as the sun rose while the eclipsed Moon was still in the upper quadrant of the sky, basically causing it to become difficult to see due to the overwhelming sunlight, as its eclipsed state slowly receded hours later.  Here's a picture I took from my rooftop balcony in Yerushalayim of the Eclipse shortly after it became full.  It shows what the Eclipsed Moon really looked like in respect to the night sky not too long before sunrise:

So that giant red Moon you've been seeing is that tiny star-like spec in the night sky of Yerushalayim.  And here it is, zoomed as best as I could:

So why so many exaggerated claims about giant blood moons over Yerushalayim and the Kotel? Because even basically good people can, in their desire to believe something so strongly, make some details up as they go along.  Knowing then that the propensity to deceive is so great, and that the viral media world is full of much more false information and hype than it is truth, you should always strive to tread very carefully upon it.

Chag Sameach (Happy Festival) to all of you observing Chag HaSukkoth (The Festival of Tabernacles) this year.  I hope you have a truly joyous Chag before YHWH Our Elohim!

P.S. I'd like to send out a special thank you to whichever resident of Yerushalayim blew that shofar at the very moment the Moon became fully eclipsed and went completely dark (or red, as it were),  That was a very nice touch, and I can only imagine that it startled the life out of more than a few of the city's observers!

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for your balanced assessment and eye witness report. A refreshing commentary amidst all of the hype.