New Book: Daniel's 70 Weeks

Appendix 5: When the Moon turned to Blood

Joel 2:28-32: “And it shall come to pass AFTERWARD, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh...I will pour out My Spirit in those days... And I will show wonders in the Heavens...the SUN shall be turned into DARKNESS, and the MOON into BLOOD, BEFORE the Coming of the Great and Awesome (Glorious) Day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”

This Prophecy predicted that just BEFORE the climactic event of Messiah’s Manifestation in Glory, there would be two Signs in the Heavens (one in the Sun and the other in the Moon), and then AFTER this event, He would pour His Spirit out on all flesh, and salvation would be given to all who call upon Him as Lord and God.

Acts 2:16-21: “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh... I will pour out My Spirit in those days...I will show wonders in Heaven above... The SUN shall be turned into DARKNESS, and the MOON into BLOOD, BEFORE the coming of the Great and Awesome (Glorious) Day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass, that whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Here, on the Day of Pentecost. Peter, in the first sermon preached after Christ’s Death and Resurrection, proclaimed that the events of Christ’s First Coming were a fulfilment of this Prophecy, although it seems that the introductory form of words he used: “This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel” were deliberately chosen to leave open the possibility of a future fulfilment at the Second Coming (rather than the more usual formula: “that it might be fulfilled”). In selecting Joel’s Prophecy as the first Messianic Prophecy that he would proclaim as being fulfilled in

Christ, Peter must have found it it to be one of the most impressive. I propose that this was not just because of its reference to the outpoured Spirit, but also because the associated Signs in the Heavens were perfectly fulfilled, just as Joel predicted!

Some say that although Peter quoted Joel 2:28-32 in full, only the part about the Spirit being poured out was actually fulfilled at that time. However, if that were so, it would have made more sense for Peter to have just quoted the part that was fulfilled, rather than adding in all the verses that were not fulfilled, which would be self-defeating. In quoting the Prophecy in full (rather than just a selection), Peter was surely pointing out that it all had a fulfilment at the First Coming: (1) in the Signs in the Heavens that had to happen beforehand, then (2) in the Day of the Lord’s glorious Resurrection, as well as (3) in the Outpouring of the Spirit afterwards. Therefore, in Acts 2:20, in proving the Messiahship of Jesus, Peter was pointing to the fact that in connection with His Death and Resurrection, the SUN had recently turned to DARKNESS, and the MOON to BLOOD, in fulfilment of Joel’s Prophecy.

This is confirmed by the fact that the first heavenly Sign was clearly fulfilled, for Gospels tell us how the Sun was supernaturally turned to Darkness, while Jesus was on the Cross (see Appendix 4). This took place 2 days BEFORE the Resurrection, the Day of His Glorious Manifestation as: “Lord and Christ” - Acts 2:36), in perfect agreement with Joel’s prediction. When Peter pointed out how the unique supernatural darkness, that his congregation had experienced only 7 weeks before, was predicted by Joel in connection with Messiah’s Manifestation and the Outpouring of His Spirit, it must have been very impressive! However, there were two Heavenly Signs mentioned by Joel (and quoted in Acts 2) as happening together as a two-fold witness, one in the Sun, and the other in the Moon. Therefore, according to Acts 2, we should also expect that ‘the Moon turned to Blood’, at about the same time, shortly before the Resurrection of Christ, in fulfilment of Joel 2!

If we can demonstate that this actually happened on the day of the Passover in AD 33, on the very same day that the Sun was turned to Darkness, then this would be a great confirmation of both Joel’s Prophecy and Peter’s Preaching, proving that Jesus is the Messiah! Moreover, it would help us fix the exact day of His Death!

The ‘Moon turning to Blood’ is a graphic description of a lunar eclipse. The phrase: ‘Moon turned to Blood’ has been commonly used for LUNAR ECLIPSES for many centuries, because of the reddish colour of the light refracted onto the moon through the earth's atmosphere (see the picture on the next page). This expression dates back to at least 300 BC, for we have an example of its use from the time of Alexander the Great. Some well-documented ancient eclipses were described as the Moon turning to Blood. Here are three examples:

(i) At the lunar eclipse of 20 September 331 BC, 2 days after Alexander crossed the Tigris, the Moon was described by Quintus Curtius (History of Alexander) as ‘suffused with the colour of blood.’

(ii) The lunar eclipse of 31 August AD 304, at the martyrdom of Bishop Felix, was described in Acta Sanctorum as: ‘when he was about to be martyred the moon was turned to blood.’

(iii) The lunar eclipse of 2 March AD 462 was described in the Hydatius Lemicus Chronicon: ‘On March 2, with the crowing of cocks after the setting of the sun, the full moon was turned to blood.’

In the medieval European annals compiled by G.H.Pertz there are so many lunar eclipses described by ‘the moon turned to blood’ that the phrase is clearly used as a standard description. The prophecy of Joel clearly speaks of a lunar eclipse.

What causes the Moon to bleed? Although the moon is in the earth’s shadow during an eclipse, some sunlight still reaches it by being refracted as it passes through

the atmosphere. The light reaching the moon is red, since scattering by air molecules and very small particles as it goes through the atmosphere removes more of the light at the blue end of the spectrum. Thus, in times of recent earthquake activity causing dust in the air (such as at the Crucifixion), the reddening effect is greatly strengthened.

 

The Moon ‘turned to Blood’

 

s 70 Weeks24

 

Tertullian records that Pontius Pilate, Governor of Judea, wrote a Report of all the events surrounding the Crucifixion and sent it to the Emperor Tiberias Caesar in Rome (Apologeticus 5 and 21). We have manuscript fragments of this ‘Report of Pilate’ which provide independent evidence that the Moon appeared like Blood following the Crucifixion. One fragment from this ‘Report of Pilate’ states:

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