The Blood Moon Story
September 28th, 2015 should be a day everyone is paying attention to, right? After all there will be an extremely rare lunar event known as a blood moon. The moon will appear to be crimson or a dull reddish copper color as it passes into the earth’s shadow. A total lunar eclipse can only occur during a full moon and only under very specific conditions with its entirety being in the shadow. Normally, the moon passes above or below the earth’s shadow and misses an eclipse completely, while other times it’s only partially obstructed. Although it happens about twice each year on average, this date is tied to prophetic claims that it will herald in the fabled apocalypse detailed in the Christian Biblical text.
When four consecutive blood moons happen in close succession, as we have been experiencing, the event is called a tetrad. A tetrad is a very rare occurrence happening only 55 times in the last 2000 years. If we add in the religious aspect, with special attention to the Jewish teachings, we learn that this particular tetrad of four consecutive blood moons also fell on Jewish feast days. This has only occurred 10 times in the last 2000 years and only 3 other times in the last 500 years. Jewish historians tell of major events happening to the Jewish people in close proximity to the last three blood moon cycles and therefore have prophesized a major event to happen soon.
Tetrads and Jewish Interpretation
The most recent event took place during the tetrad of 1967-1968 with the Jewish people regaining complete control over the divided city of Jerusalem. On June the 7th of 1967, Jordan launched an offensive against Israel during the infamous 6 Day War, where the combined forces of Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan sought to wipe Israel off the map. The larger forces of Arabs had superior firepower and nearly double the troop strength as compared to Israel, yet the Israelis were determined and in the end won the war and nearly tripled their total land holdings in the process, of which Jerusalem was a portion thereof. Because they were able to rout an opposing force of that size, the people of Israel firmly believed that it was “Gods will” that the outcome was as such.
On May 14th, 1948, just before the tetrad of 1949-1950 and it was the rebirth of the Nation of Israel. When the Roman legions destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Jewish people were without a country of their own, alive but spread across the world. The events of World War II and the horrific treatment the Jews received under Adolph Hitler brought world attention to their plight. After the war ended, the nation was created by David Ben-Gurion utilizing land vacated by the British in the Middle East. Both The United States and the USSR recognized the nation immediately and later Israel was given UN Membership.
Prior to the statehood event, we must look far back into history at the tetrad which occurred in 1493-1494. In 1492, the Spanish King gave all Jews an ultimatum, either convert to Catholicism or leave Spain. About 20% of the Jews converted and the rest fled Spain. The years following the proclamation were forever known in history as The Spanish Inquisition, when church sanctioned troops captured and tortured those who were not “sincere” in their conversion. The torture was inhumane and legendary with people being burned alive, limbs torn off, and flesh peeled from the bones in order to extract a confession. One story circulated many years after the horrific event cites the voyages of Christopher Columbus as a mission to discover a new place for the Jews to settle permanently. Add the little known fact that the financing for the mission did not come from the crown as commonly thought, but was from two former Jews who had been forced to convert. Louis de Santangel and Gabriel Sanchez fronted Columbus an amazing sum from their personal fortunes to pay for the trip, giving rise to the rumor that Columbus himself was either a converted Jew or practiced Judaism in secret. Now there is a high degree of debate on the goal of the voyage, but considering America has more Jews than Israel living in the country, one can only wonder.
This particular tetrad is soon coming to its final date. On April 15, 2014 during the Jewish holiday of Passover the first blood moon occurred. On October 8, 2014, during the Feast of the Tabernacles was the second and the third on April 4, just as Passover draws to a close. The fourth and final of the Tetrad will happen on September 28 in the midst of the Feast of Tabernacles. And now the Jews find themselves on the precipice of another potential culture or world changing event as the eclipse comes near. One thought several years ago was that a peace agreement between the Jews and the Arab states would be struck, bringing an end to thousands of years of war and strife; however current events lead almost everyone to disagree that this is happening soon. With the Syrian conflict still raging and the tenuous situation over the Iran nuclear program plus the constant and daily killings of Christians by ISIS, things aren’t looking good for peace. Being that this eclipse is concurrent with a supermoon, there is even more of an expectation of a great event.
Christian and Mormon Doomsday Scenarios
Now Evangelical Christians with the support of many conspiracy theorists believe that this blood moon is the harbinger of doom, where dramatic worldwide events will unfold that are the beginning of the end of the world scenario known as the Apocalypse. This modern day prophesy can be linked loosely to several passages in the Christian Bible found in the books of Acts, Revelations, and the book of Joel from the Hebrew Bible. Evangelical Christians are claiming that it’s no coincidence that the latest Tetrad is linked to Jewish religious festivals. Also they derive symbolic relationships in the physical event such as equating the blood red transformation of the moon to signify the blood sacrifice of Passover and also to connect the shed blood of Jesus Christ to atone for the sins of mankind.
The Church of Latter Day Saints or more commonly known as Mormons also have a stake in the religious fanfare surrounding the blood moon. Julie Rowe, a well-known Mormon writer has documented the upcoming blood moon as a sign of the apocalypse in her novels. In Utah where the Mormon Church is headquartered, stores have been reporting record sales on emergency supplies, food for storage, water, and other disaster related equipment as residents are preparing for an impending gloom and doom scenario where earthquakes or other natural disasters will somehow be part of the unfolding events. There is widespread but controlled panic being fueled by a heavy dose of scaremongering. Mormons are usually required to keep in-home food storage and be prepared, but currently things are at a peak level. Despite the senior members of the church called “elders” calling for calm amongst the flock and denouncing the theories of the end of the world, church members are not taking any chances.
What Choice Are You Making?
So, depending on your religion, we’ll either get an asteroid hitting earth and all life will cease, the Jews will inherit the earth, Jesus will be returning to take his rightful place as ruler of the earth, or any of a number of other scenarios with pieces or parts of the former ones. All religion aside, what we can tell you is that the blood moon will be an awesome viewing event. Because it’s a supermoon, the eclipse will look larger and feel closer to earth than other full moons, making the viewing event all the more exciting. People who live in the Central and Eastern part of the United States will have the best view if the weather is clear, with the eclipse starting around moon rise and continuing until about midnight. Viewing a lunar eclipse can be a fun event for the entire family as there is no special eye protection needed like with a solar eclipse.
This is the final lunar eclipse of 2015 and ironically this one occurs on the first full moon of the fall, which we commonly call the Harvest Moon. The equinox in fall is a time of year when the length of day and night are equal and once that fall date passes, the days start getting shorter quite rapidly. The term Harvest Moon is tied to the fact that many of the fruits and vegetables needed to get early Americans through the long winter would ripen and be ready for harvesting around this time. The extra light generated by the bright moon allowed farmers to work late into the night making sure they had everything done before the first frosts.