Total Eclipse of the Sun

colander eclipse shadow

A friend took this picture of his eclipse shadow using a colander.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.  He also made the stars.  God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.  And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day, (Genesis 1:14-19, emphasis mine).

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea,” (Luke 21:25, Jesus speaking, emphasis mine).

On Friday there was a total eclipse of the sun over Europe.  Here in Italy it was actually only a quarter, but the Faroe Islands (where I will be going next month) got a near total eclipse.  I wasn’t able to see it because of the clouds over Milan.  But friends in other parts of Europe saw it very well, and even took pictures (see above).

Personally, I wasn’t terribly disappointed because this was my second chance at a total eclipse of the sun.  The first time was in Atlanta in 1984.  I was working in an office building downtown and was able to get outside.  I didn’t have a viewing filter or viewing device.  But I had read about the double-shadow effect the eclipse would have on objects below.  The larger, fuzzy part of the shadow is called the umbra, and the smaller, more defined part is called the penumbra.  Sure enough, the peach tree in the vest pocket park below my office showed the double shadow effect.  It was very cool.

But this solar eclipse is more than just an interesting show in the sky.  Consider the following amazing facts about the total solar eclipse of 2015:

  • There hasn’t been a solar eclipse on March 20, the day of the spring equinox, since 1662.
  • This is the first time in human history (about 100,000) that a spring equinox solar eclipse has happened in the northern hemisphere.
  • This is a total solar Eclipse by a Super Moon, meaning that the moon is at perigee, the closest point in its orbit of earth.
  • And this is a Super Dark Moon since it is a new moon.
  • This is also the first seasonal appearance of the sun in the arctic regions.
  • All these facts add up to a convergence that only happens once in approximately 500,000 years.

And as if all that wasn’t amazing enough, when you take into account the Biblical significance of this event, you get some more interesting things to note:

  • This solar eclipse fell on the first day of the Hebrew month of Nisan—the day of the grand opening ceremony of the Tabernacle of Moses, when the fire fell from heaven and lit the altar.
  • The Torah portion being read in every synagogue this weekend is Leviticus 1-5, which records the events of that day, mentioned above.
  • March 20 marks the exact center-point day on the Hebrew calendar of the Shemitah year, the sabbatical year in which the farmlands are left fallow and all outstanding debts are erased.

In an interview with Charisma Magazine, Jonathan Cahn (author of The Harbinger) says, “It’s worthy of note that all these moedeem (signs) in the heavens are marking the exact center-point of the moedeem of the Shemitah on earth.”

Mark Biltz (author of Blood Moons) said, “I see all this as a new era beginning since it is the first day of the religious year, happening at the North Pole is like midnight and a new era has begun for the nation of Israel.  Especially right after the elections and we have a total lunar eclipse coming on Passover on April 4th.”

The lunar eclipse Biltz mentions is the second Passover eclipse in a row, and the third in the Blood Moon Tetrad.  A Blood Moon Tetrad is when there is a lunar eclipse on the first day of Passover and the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles two years in a row.

The Talmud (the Jewish book of tradition) says: “When the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel.  If its face is as red as blood, (it is a sign that) the sword is coming to the world.”  So, a lunar eclipse is seen as a bad omen for the Jewish people and Israel.  While a solar eclipse is seen as a bad omen for the world.

Every time a Blood Moon Tetrad has occurred on Jewish feast days, a big event has happened to the nation of Israel.  Blood Moon Tetrads have only happened seven times since Jesus walked the earth.  The most recent BMT’s were in 1948, when Israel became a country again (for the first time since 70 AD), and in 1967, when Israel won control of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War—two of the most significant dates in Israeli history.  Before that, you have to go all the way back to 1492, when the Jews were expelled from Spain.

So what could be the next big event for the nation of Israel?  I believe that the Jews will be allowed to rebuild their Temple.  More on that tomorrow.  Keep looking up!  God is good!

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