Joel, and the Combined Signs in the Heavens.

This page was originally a part of Coming Signs 2.  Given the overall length of CS2, and that this page is a project in it’s own right, it was split off from the original project.

Here is the link to Coming Signs 2, where this material comes into play for the timing of the tribulation:

http://tribulationrisingcom.fatcow.com/coming-signs-2-joel-and-the-timing-of-the-end/

There are a seemingly limitless number of interpretations to the chronology of the tribulation as there are stars in the skies.  If you can imagine it, you will probably find a teacher that teaches it.

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring  -Luke 21:25

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring -Luke 21:25

I have seen everything from stacking the numbered judgments on top of each other with the like numbers occurring together (the first seal, trumpet and vial occur together, followed by the second of each, then the third, etc.), to fitting them all into the space of 30 days.

I will not rehash the details of each of these at this point.  We will cover a few of the more popular arrangements in the graphs and illustrations that will follow.

That said, we have discussed timing markers that the Lord “installed” in the Bible specifically to guard against false doctrine.  These markers set the timing of the tribulation, and are mathematical facts that cannot be countered.  However, they are also hidden in plain sight and literally require the Lord to remove the blinders to see them.  Likewise, they are what I call “face palm” revelations, as every single one the Lord has revealed results in the subsequent “face palm” every time they are realized.

“How did I miss that???”

Simply put – the Lord kept the blinders on until He was ready for you to see these things, or you had not yet reached the point where you would abandon the false positions your flesh was so beholden to.  At any rate, you shall know soon enough which was the case for yourself.

Before we get into the illustrated timeline constructions, we need to start with a foundation from the Book of Joel.  The Prophet Joel provides the critical key to understanding the start and ending of the tribulation.  It is the Book of Joel where the Lord ties both together using the declared keeper of the times and seasons – the sun and moon, with an emphasis on the moon.

Typical false doctrine dealing with the timing of the tribulation.

Typical false doctrine dealing with the timing of the tribulation.

The Lord literally bookends the tribulation with specific signs in the heavens.  However, there is no other book in the Bible which contains both sets of signs.  Every other prophetic book covers either the starting or ending signs.  Most scholars – novice and professional – simply lump both sets into one series of events, never noticing the differences.

This has led to many false doctrines, most of which are used to deny the soon return of the Lord prior to the tribulation.  This has been achieved by redefining and rewriting the timing of the tribulation – declaring it to be only 3.5 years, or declaring that the Book of Revelation is not chronological, or stacking the judgments to place the starting and ending signs into a single event.

This image shows a typical false doctrine interpretation of the tribulation.

This image shows a typical false doctrine interpretation of the tribulation.

Any examination of the Book of Joel requires first that we establish the layout of the book itself.  As with most of the books in the Bible, Joel was written in a certain style where the conversation flows “section by section”.  You have seen the effects of this before.  You encounter this every time you read Matthew chapter 24, the Book of Hebrews, the Book of Revelation, the sermon on the mount, etc.  It seems as though the author simply “jumps” from one subject to another.  For those without a background in writing, or practiced in the study of the original languages this can be a bit maddening and hard to follow.

It helps to remember that conversations in the Bible flow in a manner similar to what we see today.  Think of a conversation between yourself and a close friend.  The conversation can flow very quickly, with no real context for an outside listener.  It will bounce back and forth, moving at a pace familiar only to those involved.  Yet, you and your friend understand exactly what you are saying to each other, even when details are left out. This is best illustrated when Paul speaks of the last trump, yet never actually defines what it is.  Everybody involved in the conversation already knew what it was, as they all lived it year after year.  As we discussed on another page, the 7th trumpet of judgment would not be revealed for another 40 years, yet Paul is discussing the last trump as though it’s a household thing.  Of course, that’s because it was.

Here is the prophetic layout of the Book of Joel:

1:1 to 1:12 – The last trump and Gog / Magog

1:13 to 1:20 – The calling of the Great Assembly

2:1 to 2:11 – When it is called, this is the judgment that will come

2:12 to 2:17 – Those that are called to mercy and the Assembly

2:18 to 2:27 – Before these things, the coming restoration of Israel

2:28 to 2:32 – The Assembly shall come to pass at these signs

Chapter 3 – It is finished!

The Book of Joel is the prophetic picture and context of the Great Assembly, and how it ties together with the end times.  As a book, it has but one primary purpose with regards to the end times – it sets the timing and the context of the rapture.  It is the primary picture in the Old Testament of what Peter describes in 2 Peter, chapter 3.  It sets the timing of the Great Assembly to the start of the tribulation, and sets the timing of the tribulation itself.

The first question that arises is how we know can know that this is indeed the prophetic layout of the Book of Joel.  After all, it is not easily discernible upon initial inspection.  However, with a little prayer and assistance from the Lord, a deeper examination reveals that the signs in the heavens are the key to the context of the Great Assembly and the timing of the tribulation.  Let’s take a closer look at the signs in the heavens found in the Book of Joel.

Joel 2:10-11 KJV – The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:

And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

Joel 2:30-32 KJV – And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.

Joel 3:14-15 KJV – Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

I included the immediate context for each set of signs.  Now, we need to introduce the three key scriptures which are taken with the above verses to set the timing of the tribulation:

Matthew 24:29-30 KJV – Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mark 13:24-26 KJV – But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

Revelation 6:12-13 KJV –  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

We can add additional context to the discussion, given by the words of Peter in the Book of Acts.  Notice the signs that he highlights from the Book of Joel, and their relation to the imparting of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost:

Acts 2:20-21 KJV – 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

More on this in a moment.

When taken together, the scriptures above provide eight different general signs in the heavens that are attached to the times of the end and the tribulation.  These are:

The sun is turned to darkness.

The sun becomes black as sackcloth.

The moon shall be darkened.

The moon shall not give her light.

The moon became as blood.

The stars withdraw their shining.

The stars fall from heaven.

The stars fall to the earth.

We will detail the signs in the earth later in this presentation.

The question becomes whether or not all of these events speak to a singular occurrence, with different descriptions – or are the different descriptions an indication of separate events?  

The second question becomes what can we learn form Joel if these are indeed indications of multiple events?

That is exactly what this project will uncover.

In order to ascertain the answers, we must examine the different pieces to see any differences.  In each of the scriptures we listed, the sun is the first celestial body which is given as a sign.  This is a good place to start our examination.  In each of the examples above, the sun is listed as being darkened, except in the case of Revelation 6:12, where the sun is said to be “black as sackcloth”.  On face value it seems that there is little difference between the scriptures.

It only seems that way, however.

The first thing that bears noticing is that the Book of Joel uses two terms to describe what is occurring to the sun as opposed to one, which is what we would expect if the same event was being described for all three.  Actually, there are three terms used, with two being nearly identical.  We will detail this subtle difference later in the presentation.

Joel 2:10 and 3:15 both use a form of the Hebrew word “qadar” – קָדַר – which means “to be dark”.  This is no surprise.  We have the word “dark” in 2:10 and “darkened” in 3:15.  However, both use nearly the same form of “qadar” –  שֶׁ֤מֶשׁ וְיָרֵ֙חַ֙ קָדָ֔רוּ וְכוֹכָבִ֖ים אָסְפ֥וּ – translated meaning “grow dark” or “shall be darkened”.  This is the subtle difference that will come into play later.

Here is where things get interesting.  In Joel 2:31, we have the words “into darkness”.  At first. there would seem to be little distinction between the three verses.  However, in 2:31, the text uses a form of “chosek” instead of “qadar”.  This is significant for this reason.

Chosek” – חֹ֫שֶׁך – is translated as “darkness, or obscurity”.

The sun is turned into obscurity.

Anybody familiar with the Hebrew language will automatically understand that the difference in the forms and uses can literally be night and day – and in our case it is.  Here are the expanded descriptions is both variations on the words for darkened and darkness:

qadar: to be dark

Original Word: קָדַר

Part of Speech: Verb

Transliteration: qadar

Phonetic Spelling: (kaw-dar’)

Short Definition: mourning

Brown-Driver-Briggs

קָדַר verb be dark (dull-coloured, compare Arabic be dirty(on = ד see NöZMG xl (1886), 729); Late Hebrew Hiph`il (of face) shew gloom; ᵑ7J קְדַר be dark); —

Qal Perfect consecutive וְקָדַר Micah 3:6; 1singular קָדַרְתִּי Jeremiah 8:21, etc.; Participle קֹדֵר Psalm 35:14 +; plural קֹדְרִים Job 5:11; Job 6:16; — be dark, of sky Jeremiah 4:28 (leaden-coloured, as with clouds, see Hithpa`el), of sun and moon Joel 2:10; Joel 4:15; figurative of lack of revelation from ׳י, עֲלֵיהֶם הַיּוֺם ׳וְק Micah 3:6; of turbid stream Job 6:16; figurative of mourning (probably be squalid, of neglected person and dress of mourner, compare 2 Samuel 19:25)Jeremiah 8:21; Jeremiah 14:2 (לָאָרֶץ, metaphor of gates); Job 5:11;Job 30:28 (בְּלֹא חַמָּה), Psalm 35:14; Psalm 38:7; Psalm 42:10;Psalm 43:2.

Hiph`il 1. darken: Perfect1singular consecutive וְהִקְדַּרְתִּי Ezekiel 32:7 (object stars), compare Imperfect1singular suffix אַקְדִּירֵם עָלֶיךָ Ezekiel 32:8.

2 cause to mourn וָאַקְדִּר עָלָיו לְבָנוֺן Ezekiel 31:15.

Hithpa`el Perfect3plural וְהַשָּׁמַיִם הִתְקַדְּרוּ עָבִים 1 Kings 18:45and the heavens grew dark with clouds.

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

be blackish, be make darken, heavily, cause to mourn

A primitive root; to be ashy, i.e. Dark-colored; by implication, to mourn (in sackcloth or sordid garments) — be black(-ish), be (make) dark(-en), X heavily, (cause to) mourn.

Now, here is chosek:

Choshek: darkness, obscurity

Original Word: חֹ֫שֶׁך

Part of Speech: Noun Masculine

Transliteration: choshek

Phonetic Spelling: (kho-shek’)

Short Definition: darkness

Brown-Driver-Briggs

ח֫שֶׁךְ noun masculineExodus 10:21 darkness, obscurityabsolute חשֶׁךְ Genesis 1:2 75t. (+ Ezekiel 8:12 strike out Co A B etc.); construct id. Exodus 10:22; suffix חָשְׁכִּי Psalm 18:29 = 2 Samuel 22:29; —

1 darkness (opposed to אוֺר) literal Genesis 1:2,4 (P), Isaiah 45:7;Job 26:10; Ecclesiastes 2:13, compare in imprecation Job 3:4,5 (וצלמות ׳ח) = לילה Genesis 1:5,18 (P), compare Joshua 2:5 (JE),Isaiah 45:19; Job 17:12; Job 24:16; Job 38:19; Psalm 104:20;darkness in mines Job 28:3; of extraordinary darkness, in EgyptExodus 10:21 (twice in verse) (E); אֲֿפֵלָה׳ח Exodus 10:22 (E), Psalm 105:28, from pillar of cloud Exodus 14:20; at Mt. Sinai Deuteronomy 4:11; Deuteronomy 5:20; of clouds of theophany 2 Samuel 22:12 =Psalm 18:12; of darkness in death, or She’ô l, 1 Samuel 2:9; Job 10:21(וצלמות ׳אֶרֶץ ח), Job 17:13; Job 18:18; Psalm 88:13; Proverbs 20:20 (׳אִישׁוֺן ח = extreme of darkness).

2 = secret place(s) Isaiah 45:3; Job 12:22 (“” צלמות); = hiding-place Job 34:22 (“” id.), compare Psalm 139:11; Psalm 139:12; — on Ezekiel 8:12, see above 3 figurative,

= distress Isaiah 5:30; Isaiah 9:1; Isaiah 29:18 (figurative of blindness), Isaiah 42:7; Isaiah 49:9; Isaiah 58:10; Isaiah 59:9; Isaiah 60:2; Lamentations 3:2; Micah 7:8; Psalm 18:29 = 2 Samuel 22:29; Job 15:22,23,30; Job 20:26; Job 22:11; Job 23:17; Job 29:3; Psalm 107:10; Psalm 107:14 (in both “” צלמות), Psalm 112:4; Ecclesiastes 5:16; Ecclesiastes 11:8.

= dread, terror, symbolic of judgment Amos 5:18,20; Zephaniah 1:15; Nahum 1:8; Ezekiel 32:8; Joel 2:4; Joel 3:4.

= mourning Isaiah 47:5.

= perplexity Job 5:14; Job 12:25; Job 19:8; confusion Psalm 35:6.

= ignorance Job 37:19; Ecclesiastes 2:14.

= evil, sin Isaiah 5:20 (twice in verse); Proverbs 2:13.

= obscurity Ecclesiastes 6:4 (twice in verse).

חשׁך (see Biblical Hebrew חֹשֶׁךְ darkness, √ חשׁך).

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

darkness, night, obscurity

From chashak; the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness — dark(-ness), night, obscurity.

That is a lot to absorb, so I will summarize what each word means, and what each adds to the discussion.

The use of of lə·ḥō·šeḵ in Joel 2:31  can be summarized as “deprived of light”, or that the “light is taken”.  In other words, it is the near total absence of light.

However, the use of qā·ḏā·rū in Joel 2:10 and 3:15 can be summarized as “darkness, as opposed to black”, or “blackness, as opposed to black”.  In other words, it is akin to what we would commonly describe as “the dark of night” as opposed to the “pitch blackness from the absence of all light”.

In Joel 2:31, lə·ḥō·šeḵ is a verb denoting an active state, not typically seen as normal.  It speaks to an unusual state in which there is no comparison.  Indeed, the falling of a state of total light deprivation – from the sun no less – can certainly be seen as a rare condition.

By contrast, in Joel 2:10 and 3:15, qā·ḏā·rū  is a noun in the masculine form, denoting its use as a proper label describing a condition that is not unknown.

In fact, the different uses for the original form of qā·ḏā·rū  confirm the familiar use of the word in describing a condition more akin to a night of “normal” darkness.  Clearly, the falling of a darkness that is akin to the night is hardly normal when it is not expected in the nighttime hours, especially since the text tells us that this condition stems from the sun itself.  Yet, the Prophet Joel is clearly distinguishing between the two conditions of darkness that fall in the three different examples.

There is a very good reason for this.  We will detail that reason in a moment.

Here is the operative thing to remember.  All three of these descriptions of the events in the sun were written by the same man, in the same letter – with two of the different events being found in the same sitting.  In other words, unlike the differences found between two different authors that can be chalked up to creative differences in writing, the Book of Joel has no such distinction.

When Joel separates the two types of events by dramatically altering the definitions of the words for “darkness”, it tells us that he was in fact seeing two DIFFERENT types of darkness.

One darkness was the near total absence of light, with the sky growing pitch black.

The other darkness was similar to the darkness he witnessed every single night.

“Isn’t that the same thing when you get down to it?”

No, not by a long shot.  Look at it like this – it is the difference between being outside at midnight with your eyes open, and being blindfolded in a pitch black room, where all of the openings for light have been sealed off.  One darkness is unpleasant if experienced long enough.  The other darkness will bring on madness from the deprivation.

There is a reason these two different states of darkness are achieved off of events that appear to be nearly the same.  The answer resides in what we will discuss next.

Matthew 24:29 KJV – Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Mark 13:24-25 KJV – But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

These scriptures appear to announce the same type of events we found detailed in Joel 2:10 and 3:15.  All four of the scriptures in question point to the sun being darkened.  Furthermore, at first examination all four seem to describe similar events regarding the moon also being darkened.  We will examine the events connected to the moon in just a moment.  Likewise, we will address the additional description tied to the stars – now “falling from heaven”.

Both Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:24 use the exact same Greek script to describe the event occurring in the sun:  ὁ ἥλιος σκοτισθήσεται καὶ ἡ.  Just as we found in Joel 2:10 and 3:15, these are the only two references in the New Testament that use this script to describe the darkening of the sun – skotisthēsetai.

This is a form of the word skotízō:

Strong’s Concordance

skotizó: to darken

Original Word: σκοτίζω

Part of Speech: Verb

Transliteration: skotizó

Phonetic Spelling: (skot-id-zo)

Short Definition: I darken

Definition: I darken.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 4654: σκοτίζω

σκοτίζω: passive, perfect participle ἐσκοτισμενος (Ephesians 4:18 R G); 1 aorist ἐσκοτίσθην; 1 future σκοτισθήσομαι; (σκότος); to cover with darkness, to darken; passive, to be covered with darkness, be darkened”: properly, of the heavenly bodies, as deprived of light ((Ecclesiastes 12:2)), Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24;Luke 23:45 (T WH ἐκλείπω (which see 2)); Revelation 8:12;Revelation 9:2 (L T WH σκοτόω, which see); metaphorically, of the eyes, viz. of the understanding, Romans 11:10; ἡ καρδία, the mind (see καρδία, 2 b. β.), Romans 1:21; men τῇ διάνοια, Ephesians 4:18 R G. (Plutarch (adv. Col. 24, 4; Cleomed. 81, 28); Tzetzes, hist. 8, 929; the Sept. several times for חָשַׁך; (Polybius 12, 15, 10; 3Macc. 4:10; Test xii. Patr., test. Rub. § 3; test. Levi § 14).)

Here is the critical piece to the discussion:

“to cover with darkness, to darken; passive, to be covered with darkness, be darkened”: properly, of the heavenly bodies, as deprived of light ((Ecclesiastes 12:2)), Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24”

This is what we discovered in our earlier discussion:

“However, the use of qā·ḏā·rū in Joel 2:10 and 3:15 can be summarized as “darkness, as opposed to black”, or “blackness, as opposed to black”.  In other words, it is akin to what we would commonly describe as “the dark of night” as opposed to the “pitch blackness from the absence of all light”.

This tells us that Joel 2:10, 3:15, Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:24 appear to be detailing the same type of event when it comes to the occurrence in the sun.  All four scriptures tell us that the light of the sun will be taken from the earth when this event comes to pass.  It occurs in a intensity similar to nightfall.

It is now time to bring in the next scripture in our analysis of the Book of Joel:

Revelation 6:12-13 KJV –  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

You will recall that the moon becoming “as blood” is also a key component in Joel 2:30 also.  It appears that both scriptures detail a darkening of the sun – more accurately an obscuring of the sun as we saw earlier, followed by a blood moon.  We can assume that both scriptures in fact detail the same event, but for one distinct difference.  Revelation chapter six details something quite different in its language – the sun becomes “black as sackcloth of hair”.  What exactly does this mean?

The key resides in the statement “black as sackcloth of hair”, μέλας ὡς σάκκος τρίχινος.

However, it would not seem so at first.  When you examine the original language above, you are left with an incredibly profound discovery.  The original Greek literally translates into “black as sackcloth of hair”.

melas: black

Original Word: μέλας, αινα, αν

Part of Speech: Adjective

Transliteration: melas

Phonetic Spelling: (mel’-as)

Short Definition: black

Definition: black.

hós: as, like as, even as, when, since, as long as

Original Word: ὡς

Part of Speech: Adverb

Transliteration: hós

Phonetic Spelling: (hoce)

Short Definition: as, like as, how, while, so that

Definition: as, like as, about, as it were, according as, how, when, while, as soon as, so that.

sakkos: sackcloth

Original Word: σάκκος, ου, ὁ

Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine

Transliteration: sakkos

Phonetic Spelling: (sak’-kos)

Short Definition: sack-cloth

Definition: sack-cloth, a sign of mourning.

trichinos: of hair

Original Word: τρίχινος, η, ον

Part of Speech: Adjective

Transliteration: trichinos

Phonetic Spelling: (trikh’-ee-nos)

Short Definition: made of hair

Definition: made of hair.

At this point in the process I was at a bit of a loss.  This revealed little in the way of new information.  So, it was with a little contemplation and a lot of prayer on the subject that the Lord gave me the direction I needed to go:

“What exactly is sackcloth – and is it actually black?”

This is what Vine’s records for sackcloth:

SACKCLOTH

(1, 4526), “a warm material woven from goat’s or camel’s hair,” and hence of a dark color, Rev. 6:12; Jerome renders it “saccus cilicinus” (being made from the hair of the black goat of Cilicia; the Romans called it “cilicium”); cf. Isa. 50:3; it was also used for saddlecloths, Josh. 9:4; also for making sacks, e.g., Gen. 42:25, and for garments worn as expressing mourning or penitence, Matt. 11:21; Luke 10:13, or for purposes of prophetic testimony, Rev. 11:3.¶

Dictionary of the Bible: Pleroma-Zuzim

Sackcloth (pv sak aeKKos saccys) was a coarse woven materials from goats and camels hair and dark of a color Hence it as we see from Rev 6:19 are Became the black as sackcloth of hair (aiKKot) for the color (rplxivot cf) Is 50 Sir 25 darkeneth her countenance like sackcloth reading (aixKoi) with (B Also np) a mourner lit one WHO wears dark soiled garments RS1 414 n 2. A similar material was called by the Romans cilicium from Being prepared from the hair of the black goats of Cihcia Hence it Jerome’s rendering (saccus cilicinus) Rev 6 from the fact (That Were) sacks made of coarse haircloth (esta J) in Genesis 42B pi use as a synonym of (nnrou). Hence it-through the medium of Greek and Latin sack and sackcloth though our haircloth is the more Appropriate rendering Also It was used for saddlecloths, Joshua 9

Apologies for the broken text – this came from an older scanned book.

Believe it or not, there are surprisingly few images of sackcloth on the internet, and even less of ancient Biblical sackcloth.  However, between the given definitions and the images we can find, we get a deeper understanding of what exactly “black as sackcloth of hair” truly reveals.

sackcloth

While much of the ancient sackcloth was indeed black, it can also appear “dark gray” of “light black”.  Likewise, a good deal of sackcloth was closer in description to “dark brown”, even bordering on “darkest brown”.  It also had a common distinction of being inconsistent in color – being darker in some areas, lighter in other areas.  This inconsistency, when combined with the color of the cloth will offer surprising revelations later in the presentation.

Let’s bring something back into the discussion that we covered earlier:

~~~ The use of of lə·ḥō·šeḵ in Joel 2:30  can be summarized as “deprived of light”, or that the “light is taken”.  In other words, it is the total absence of light.

However, the use of qā·ḏā·rū in Joel 2:10 and 3:15 can be summarized as “darkness, as opposed to black”, or “blackness, as opposed to black”.  In other words, it is akin to what we would commonly describe as “the dark of night” as opposed to the “pitch blackness from the absence of all light”.

In Joel 2:31, lə·ḥō·šeḵ is a verb denoting an active state, not typically seen as normal.  It speaks to an unusual state in which there is no comparison.  Indeed, the falling of a state of total light deprivation – from the sun no less – can certainly be seen as a rare condition.

By contrast, in Joel 2:10 and 3:15, qā·ḏā·rū  is a noun in the masculine form, denoting its use as a proper label describing a condition that is not unknown.

In fact, the different uses for the original form of qā·ḏā·rū  confirm the familiar use of the word in describing a condition more akin to a night of “normal” darkness.  Clearly, the falling of a darkness that is akin to the night is hardly normal when it is not expected in the nighttime hours, especially since the text tells us that this condition stems from the sun itself.  Yet, the Prophet Joel is clearly distinguishing between the two conditions of darkness that fall in the three different examples. 

“Black as sackcloth of hair” declares that sackcloth is black as in the absence of light.  It declares that the “black” associated with traditional Biblical sackcloth is the standard being set for the event in question.  It does not bring sackcloth to a new level of black – it sets the level of black in the event to what the author would have seen in the sackcloth of his day. ~~~

Given the evidence examined so far, we can now conclude that the signs in the sun found in Joel, Matthew, Mark and Revelation detail two different events.  Furthermore, the Greek and Hebrew language used shows that these two events bookend the tribulation, with Joel 2:10, 3:15, Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:24 denoting signs occurring at the Second Coming, just before the Judgment of Nations.  Joel 2:30 and Revelation 6:12 likewise speak the an event that takes place at the start of the tribulation, with the opening of the sixth seal.  We detail the start of the tribulation further on other pages here on Tribulation Rising.

At this point we could safely assume the the remaining signs in the moon and stars are likewise different, especially given that the nature of celestial events all work in concert together.  The differences in the signs occurring in the sun indicate that there is likely a shift in how the moon and stars interact as well.  That said, given that the signs in the heavens have become one of the primary vehicles by which false doctrine has flourished, and the return of the Lord denied, it is incumbent that we move forward and leave no stone unturned.  Let us consider the next set of signs indicated by scripture.

Joel 2:10-11 KJV – The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:

Joel 2:30-32 KJV – And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood,

Joel 3:14-15 KJV – Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.  The sun and the moon shall be darkened,

Matthew 24:29-30 KJV – Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

Mark 13:24-26 KJV – But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

Revelation 6:12-13 KJV –  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

Acts 2:20-21 KJV – 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood,

I did not include the rest of each scripture past the signs in the moon, as we cover the remaining signs in just a moment.  In the scriptures above, we see that the signs in the moon come in three different variations:

The moon is darkened;

The moon shall not give her light;

The moon is turned to blood.

I am going to address something based on a comment I saw from somebody not too long ago.  It was in a discussion on this topic, and the consensus was that all of these signs are the same.  Aside from the fact that we now know the signs in the sun are different, describing different events – there is something that I am surprised I would even need to say.

The very fact that we can see a blood moon with our own two eyes makes it impossible that the blood moon is the same event as the moon “not giving its light” – or as more accurately recorded “the moon shall NOT give her light”.

If the moon cannot give light, then there is no light to see the bloodish color it turns.

If we find that there is a connection between the moon “not giving its light” and the blood moon, then there must be another premise at play that we have not yet addressed.  

We will compare the differences between “darkened”, “blood”, and “not give her light”.  We can also examine each of the scriptures to see if “moon” is indeed the same in each, or if there are differences even in what would seem to be the exact same word.

Also, given the difference in the text when it comes to the moon, it bears mentioning that the moon is the primary time keeping method for Israel and the Jews.  As we consider all of these scriptures, we need to remember that there is a reason why the signs in the moon are the primary distinguishing factor:

Genesis 1:14-15 KJV – And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

Psalms 104:19 KJV – He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.

Seasons indeed – this is truly a prophetic statement.

For Joel 2:10 and 3:15, we see the word qā·ḏā·rū used again, which was the exact same word used for the signs in the sun.  It should be noticed that qā·ḏā·rū is being applied to both the sun and moon.  Also, there is no natural separation in the statement when written in the original Hebrew, it indicates that the signs in the sun and moon will occur together, and be darkened at the same time by the same process.  “The use of of qā·ḏā·rū in Joel 2:10 and 3:15 can be summarized as “lessening of light”, or that the “light is taken”.  In other words, it is the absence of most light.”

This is a good point to bring Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:24 into the comparison, as we now know the signs in the sun in these two scriptures are the same types of events detailed in Joel 2:10 and 3:15.  If they are the same type, then we should likewise expect to see that the signs in the sun and moon are also combined events, just as we found in Joel.

Here is the Greek script for the “moon shall not give her light”:

“ἡ σελήνη οὐ δώσει τὸ φέγγος αὐτῆς,”

The heart of this statement are the words “not give her light”, which is more accurately translated “not give the light of her”.  From this, “not”, “give” and “light” is where we will find the answer.

Strong’s Concordance

ou, ouk, ouch: not, no

Original Word: οὐ

Part of Speech: Particle, Negative

Transliteration: ou, ouk, ouch

Phonetic Spelling: (oo)

Short Definition: no, not

Definition: no, not.

nay, neither, never, no

Also (before a vowel) ouk (ook), and (before an aspirate) ouch (ookh) a primary word; the absolute negative (compare me) adverb; no or not — + long, nay, neither, never, no (X man), none, (can-)not, + nothing, + special, un(-worthy), when, + without, + yet but.

See also ou me,mekos.

see GREEK me

see GREEK ou me

see GREEK mekos

Strong’s Concordance

didómi: to give (in various senses lit. or fig.)

Original Word: δίδωμι

Part of Speech: Verb

Transliteration: didómi

Phonetic Spelling: (did’-o-mee)

Short Definition: I offer, give

Definition: I offer, give; I put, place.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 1325: δίδωμι

δίδωμι τί without a dative, and δίδωμι τινα.

δίδωμι τί;

with the force of to cause, produce, give forth from oneself:ὑετόν, from heaven, James 5:18; καρπόν, Matthew 13:8; Mark 4:7, 8f (Deuteronomy 25:19; Sir. 23:25); σημεῖα, Matthew 24:24;Mark 13:22 (not Tdf.); Acts 2:19 (Exodus 7:9; Deuteronomy 13:1, etc.);ὑπόδειγμα, John 13:15; φέγγος, Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24(φῶς, Isaiah 13:10); φωνήν, 1 Corinthians 14:7f; διά τῆςγλώσσης λόγον, 1 Corinthians 14:9; γνώμην, to give one’s opinion, to give advice, 1 Corinthians 7:25; 2 Corinthians 8:10.

Strong’s Concordance

pheggos: light, brightness

Original Word: φέγγος, ους, τό

Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter

Transliteration: pheggos

Phonetic Spelling: (feng’-gos)

Short Definition: brightness, light

Definition: brightness, light, splendor, radiance

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 5338: φέγγος

φέγγος, φέγγους, τό (akin to φαίνειν), from Aeschylus andPindar down, light: of the moon, Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24; of a candle or lamp, Luke 11:33 R G T Tr marginal reading (cf.ἀστραπή, Luke 11:36). (Joel 2:10; Joel 3:15 (); Ezekiel 1:4, 13, 27;Hosea 7:6.) [SYNONYMS: αὐγή, φέγγος, φῶς: φῶς light — the general term, (of the light of a fire in Mark 14:54; Luke 22:56);φέγγος a more concrete and emphatic term (cf. Luke 11:33), the bright sunshine, the beam of light, etc.; αὐγή a still stronger term, suggesting the fiery nature of the light; used of shooting, heating, rays. A Greek spoke of ἡλίου, φῶς, φέγγος, αὐγή; or, φωτόςφέγγος, αὐγή; or, φέγγους αὐγή; but these formulas are not reversible. Schmidt, chapter 33; cf. Trench, § xlvi.]

We can put the three core definitions here together, and see if they indeed match what Joel tells us in 2:10 and 3:15:

“with the force of to cause, produce, give forth from oneself”, “brightness, light, splendor, radiance”, “nay, neither, never, no”.  In other words, here is what Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:24 is revealing.

With the force of to cause, produce, give forth from oneself no brightness, light, splendor, radiance of the moon.

Recall again what Joel revealed about both the sun and moon in 2:10 and 3:15:

~However, the use of qā·ḏā·rū in Joel 2:10 and 3:15 can be summarized as “darkness, as opposed to black”, or “blackness, as opposed to black”.  In other words, it is akin to what we would commonly describe as “the dark of night” as opposed to the “pitch blackness from the absence of all light”.  ~

We now know beyond all doubt that the signs in the sun and moon are the same type of event in all four the the given scriptures, and appear separate from the blood moon found in Joel 2:30 and Revelation 6:12.  Given the direct similarities in the signs in the sun also, we will add one last confirmation with a cursory examination of “blood moon” found in both Joel and Revelation.  However, there is a specific exception that we will detail later in the study.

Moon:

Strong’s Concordance

yareach: moon

Original Word: יָרֵ֫חַ

Part of Speech: Noun Masculine

Transliteration: yareach

Phonetic Spelling: (yaw-ray’-akh)

Short Definition: moon

While this is the same word used in all three scriptures in Joel, indicating that it is indeed the moon as we know it – there is a difference in the form and script in Joel 2:31.  This is a difference that will be further highlighted in the New Testament, especially Revelation 6:13.

Here is the script in Joel 2:31 – יֵהָפֵ֣ךְ לְחֹ֔שֶׁךְ וְהַיָּרֵ֖חַ לְדָ֑ם לִפְנֵ֗י – wə·hay·yā·rê·aḥ

Here is the script in Joel 2:10 and 3:15 – שֶׁ֤מֶשׁ וְיָרֵ֙חַ֙ קָדָ֔רוּ וְכוֹכָבִ֖ים – wə·yā·rê·aḥ

We will return to this difference in a moment.  Now, let’s bring in “blood” from Joel 2:31:

“into blood” – lə·ḏām – לְחֹ֔שֶׁךְ וְהַיָּרֵ֖חַ לְדָ֑ם לִפְנֵ֗י בּ֚וֹא

Strong’s Concordance

dam: blood

Original Word: דָּם

Part of Speech: Noun Masculine

Transliteration: dam

Phonetic Spelling: (dawm)

Short Definition: blood

bloody innocent

From damam (compare ‘adam); blood (as that which when shed causes death) of man or an animal; by analogy, the juice of the grape; figuratively (especially in the plural) bloodshed (i.e. Drops of blood) — blood(-y, -guiltiness, (-thirsty), + innocent.

see HEBREW damam

see HEBREW ‘adam

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin

a prim. root

Definition

blood

NASB Translation

blood (303), bloodguilt (2), bloodguiltiness (12), bloodshed (27), bloody (7), death (1), guilt of blood (2), homicide or another (1), life (1), lifeblood* (2).

In short, blood means blood when it comes to the moon.  This is a far different definition and impression than we are given when Joel speaks of the dark or darkened moon, which is characterized by the total absence of light.  Stated differently, in the Book of Joel we can see the blood.  It is the darkened moon that cannot be seen, as it suffers from an absence of light.

It should be noted that there is a difference between the moon not giving it light, and something obscuring the light that is given.  We saw this highlighted in the definitions given earlier, and it will come into play later as we have mentioned already.

Let’s bring in Revelation 6:12 and confirm what is becoming obvious by this time – that the blood moon mentioned here is in fact the same event spoken of in Joel 2:31.  We can likewise confirm the same in Acts 2:20.

Moon:

Strong’s Concordance

seléné: the moon

Original Word: σελήνη, ης, ἡ

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: seléné

Phonetic Spelling: (sel-ay’-nay)

Short Definition: the moon

Definition: the moon.

From selas (brilliancy; probably akin to the alternate of haireomai, through the idea of attractiveness); the moon — moon.

see GREEK haireomai

Here is where it gets interesting.  Earlier, we saw that “moon” in Joel 2:31 used a different form and script than was used in Joel 2:10 and 3:15.  We stated that this difference would be highlighted in Revelation.  Here is the actual form and script of seléné used in 6:12.

καὶ ἡ σελήνη ὅλη ἐγένετο – “and the moon whole became”

We see a distinction that is left out of the KJV and several over translations, but is picked up in the ESV as “full” – it is the word “whole”, which is found in the original Greek.  This is the final piece of the puzzle for placing the signs in the sun and moon in their proper context in the Books of Joel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts and Revelation.  We will return to this in a moment.

Continuing with the blood moon in Revelation 6:12, let’s examine the meaning of “blood”:

αἷμα (haima) – ἐγένετο ὡς αἷμα – became as blood

Strong’s Concordance

haima: blood

Original Word: αἷμα, ατος, τό

Part of Speech: Noun, Neuter

Transliteration: haima

Phonetic Spelling: (hah’-ee-mah)

Short Definition: blood

Definition: blood (especially as shed).

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 129: αἷμα

αἷμα, (τος, τό, blood, whether of men or of animals:

  1.  It is used of those things which by their redness resemble blood:αἷμα σταφυλῆς the juice of the grape (‘the blood of grapes,’Genesis 49:11; Deuteronomy 32:14), Sir. 39:26 Sir. 50:15; 1 Macc. 6:34, etc.; Achilles Tatius 2:2; reference to this is made in Revelation 14:18-20. εἰς αἷμα, of the moon, Acts 2:20 (Joel 2:31 ()), equivalent to ὡς αἷμα Revelation 6:12.

We can now definitively conclude that the blood moon in Revelation 6:12 is in fact the exact same event prophesied by the Prophet Joel in 2:31.  Acts 2:20 provides the final confirmation of this also:

Acts 2:20 N-ANS

GRK: σελήνη εἰς αἷμα πρὶν ἐλθεῖν

NAS: AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE

KJV: the moon into blood, before that great

INT: moon into blood before come

Acts 2:20 N-NFS

GRK: καὶ ἡ σελήνη εἰς αἷμα

NAS: INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD,

KJV: darkness, and the moon into blood,

INT: and the moon into blood

Both examples above highlight “blood” and “moon” in Acts 2:20, both definitions which have already been detailed in the examination of Revelation 6:12.  It is the same script and form of “blood moon” in both Revelation and Acts.

At this point, we need to recap what we have learned so far:

Joel 2:10, 3:15, Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:24 all detail the same type of signs in the sun and moon.  At the end of the tribulation, when the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ returns with the Saints, there will be a combined event in the sun and moon.  This event occurs at the Second Coming, just before the Judgment of Nations in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.

In one event, the sun and moon will be darkened, with light taken from both and the descending of near total darkness will fall upon the earth.

However, in Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20 and Revelation 6:12, we see a different set of events.

There will be a removal of most of the light of the sun, followed by a blood moon.  These two events will occur separately.  They will herald the start of the tribulation at the sixth seal (the start comes at the seventh seal), followed by the signing of the seven year accord with Israel at the seventh seal.  There will be darkness that descends on the earth, yet not total darkness (though it will be fairly close to total darkness).  Likewise, the darkness will occur in degrees, as opposed to a nearly instantaneous occurrence at the end of the tribulation.

It should be noted that this speaks to a level of light, as opposed to the exact condition of the sun.  The sun can be covered, yet still give light.  That light can penetrate obstructions even when the sun itself is not visible.

The question now shifts to the what exactly would cause both of these events to occur, and what phenomena matches what the Bible details.  The answer resides in two separate indications in the scriptures:

The indication of the whole moon found in Revelation 6:12, and the description given in the New Testament of the stars “falling from the sky” and “falling to the earth” found in Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:25 and Revelation 6:13 – and the differences between falling stars and stars that fail to give their light in Joel 2:10 and 3:15.

Let’s begin with the signs in the stars.

We can start with the use of a category listing to show the different scriptures and the signs they bring.  This listing will help us to detect any differences in the signs when all of the scriptures are taken together.

The start of the seven year tribulation

The sun turned to darkness Joel 2:30, Acts 2:20, Revelation 6:12

The turned to blood Joel 2:30, Acts 2:20, Revelation 6:12

The stars fall to earth Revelation 6:13

The end of the seven year tribulation

The sun and moon go dark Joel 2:10*, 3:15, Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24

The stars withdraw their shining Joel 2:10*, 3:15

The stars fall from heaven Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24

There are several observations that can be made from the listing above:

The end of the tribulation will have the stars withdraw their shining*.

This does not happen at the start of the tribulation, however*.

The start of the tribulation will have the stars falling to the earth.

The end of the tribulation will have the stars falling from heaven.

*We will see an interesting development later in the study.  For now, what we have revealed here is critical to understanding something that Joel 2:10 will show.

We can work our way down the list, starting with the stars withdraw their shining at the end of the tribulation.  Let’s examine the meaning of “stars” and “withdraw their shining” to see exactly what is being said, and if it is what it appears to be.

“and the moon grow and the stars lose their brightness” – וְיָרֵ֙חַ֙ קָדָ֔רוּ וְכוֹכָבִ֖ים אָסְפ֥וּ נָגְהָֽם – wə·ḵō·w·ḵā·ḇîm

This is the same text and script in both Joel 2:10 and 3:15. This tells us that both will have the same meaning and use.  While we are not concentrating on the phrase “and the moon grow”, we include it here to set the context for each of the two scriptures and confirm the overall script for both.

Strong’s Concordance

kokab: a star

Original Word: כּוֹכָב

Part of Speech: Noun Masculine

Transliteration: kokab

Phonetic Spelling: (ko-kawb’)

Short Definition: stars

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin

from an unused word

Definition

a star

NASB Translation

star (2), stars (35).

Brown-Driver-Briggs

כּוֺכָב noun masculineGenesis 15:5 star (Late Hebrew id.; Aramaicכּוֺכְבָא, כּוֺכַבְתָּא , , feminine form specifically of planet Venus, see also WeSkizzen iii. 36, 38; Arabic Generally ofsingle stars and probably Aramaic loan-word, WeSkizzen iii. 173; Ethiopic ; probably for *כבכב see Mahri kubkob, kobkib, etc., MaltzanZMG 1873, 227 and Assyrian kakkabu DlHWB 336; Punic κακαβουμ(Dioscorides), name of a plant, probably from shape of seed-cup, BlauZMG xxvii, 1873, 529; on formation compare NöM § 109 BaNB § 138. 1) —

simile of brightness of righteous Daniel 12:3; not pure (זַכּוּ) before God Job 25:5 (“” moon); darkened in Yahweh’s judgment Joel 2:10; Joel 4:15; Ezekiel 32:7 (“” sun and moon; so) Isaiah 13:10 (“” also כְּסִילֵיהֶם); ~

Simply stated, “stars” in Joel 2:10 and 3:15 are exactly what they appear to be in the text.  We can bring in the texts from the New Testament at this point and verify that we have the same meaning given for “stars” as well.

Stars – ἀστέρες – asteres:

 Matthew 24:29 N-NMP

GRK: καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες πεσοῦνται ἀπὸ

INT: and the stars will fall from

Mark 13:25 N-NMP

GRK: καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες ἔσονται ἐκ

INT: and the stars will be out of

Revelation 6:13 N-NMP

GRK: καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες τοῦ οὐρανοῦ

INT: and the stars of heaven

Strong’s Concordance

astér: a star

Original Word: ἀστήρ, έρος, ὁ

Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine

Transliteration: astér

Phonetic Spelling: (as-tare’)

Short Definition: a star

Definition: a star.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 792: ἀστήρ

ἀστήρ, ἀστέρος, ὁ (from the root, star (probably, as strewn over the sky), cf. ἄστρον, Latinstella, German Stern, English star; Fick, Part i. 250; Curtius, § 205; Vanicek, p. 1146; from Homer down); a star: Matthew 2:7, 9, 10 (accusative, ἀστεραν א* C; see ἄρσην at the end); ; Mark 13:25; 1 Corinthians 15:41; Revelation 6:13;Revelation 8:10-12; Revelation 9:1; Revelation 12:1, 4

We now have confirmation that the use of “stars” in all of the scriptures in question are indeed referencing the phenomena that we would know as stars, and not some off the wall indication that no one would figure out.  However, that is still a wide berth.  Here is what I mean.

When we use the word “star” or “stars”, we could be referring to actual stars, as in sun’s throughout the galaxies that give light visible to the earth.  Yet, we could be talking about planets that appear as stars.  Still, we could be speaking of distant comets.  Even with our advanced scientific understanding, we still refer to all of these things as “stars”.  Generally stated, if it is not the moon, anything that is visible in the nighttime sky is called a “star”, even though it may not be a technical star.

This same premise holds true even during the daylight hours.  We may be looking upon actual stars that are bright enough to be seen in the sunlight.  We also refer to meteor showers and falling debris as “shooting stars”, even when visible during the day.

If we still call all these things “stars” during our advanced age, how much more was this done in the days of the Bible, when looking up saw only the sun, moon, stars and the heavens?

None of the scriptures or evidences above indicate the difference between the stars that shine at night, meteors, meteor showers, asteroids – or any other object in the sky however.  In the days of the Bible, there was no known difference between these events, except in what each was observed doing.  All were stars, and all functioned as stars.  Certain actions were more rare, and prophetic in their interpretations.  Even comets were seen by ancient eyes as a form of “stars”.  Likewise, unknown objects that fell from the skies were called stars as well.  Basically, if it was in the skies, and not a bird – it was a star.

In fact, “star” has a myriad of meanings in the Bible, both in the Old and New Testament.  We touch on some of these additional meanings in the project on John, Angels and Martyrs as the final proof of the pre-trib rapture.

We can look again at Strong’s to see evidence of this.  We have detailed the Strong’s definition for “star” above, yet there is more that we can reference.

Strong’s Concordance – 3556

kokab: a star

Original Word: כּוֹכָב

Part of Speech: Noun Masculine

Transliteration: kokab

Phonetic Spelling: (ko-kawb’)

Star, planet, a luminary in the night sky; by extension: human power (such as a king), heavenly powers (that serve God); stargazer, one who studies the movements of the stars to predict the future.

There are three things that are worth noting.  First, “star” is defined as a luminary in the night sky.  Second, it is a human power such as a king.  We detail this extensively in “John, Angels and Martyrs”.  Third, “stars” are an extension of God’s power in the heavens.  This will be an important distinction later in this presentation.

It should also be noted that the Hebrew understanding for “stars” is critical to even the Greek text of the New Testament.  Here is why.  All of the authors of the New Testament were Jewish.  They grew up as Jews, studying Jewish things, in the land of the Jews.  Even though they wrote the New Testament in Greek, it was their Jewish heritage that set the understanding for the things recorded.

That said, it is the first point that bears the most on this discussion.  Here is what we have in “luminary” from Dictionary.com:

  1.  a celestial body, as the sun or moon.
  1. a body, object, etc., that gives light.
  1. a person who has attained eminence in his or her field or is an inspiration to others:

one of the luminaries in the field of medical science.

adjective

  1. of, relating to, or characterized by light.

As we can see, a star is more than just a distant sun giving its light.  It is more accurately detailed in the Bible as a body in the heavens that gives it’s light, with no specific attachment to the modern definition of “stars”.

The next piece we need to examine is the word for “night”.  Is “night” simply the period opposite daylight hours?  Or does it have a greater meaning and understanding beyond the common usage?  “Night” is used over 230 times in the Bible.  It is found in nine different uses in both the OT and the NT.  In these 230 uses, we see variations that run from the period opposite daylight hours, to the falling of night as an indication of the descending of darkness and evil.

Let’s go back to Vine’s, and see what it reveals.  Here is the Hebrew understanding found in the OT:

NIGHT   (, 3915), “night.” Cognates of this noun appear in Ugaritic, Moabite, Akkadian, Aramaic, Syrian, Arabic, and Ethiopic. The word appears about 227 times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods.  6 means “night,” the period of time during which it is dark: “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night” (Gen. 1:5—the first biblical appearance). In Exod. 13:21 and similar passages the word means “by night,” or “during the night”: “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud … and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.” This word is used figuratively of protection: “Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; [betray] not him that wandereth” (Isa. 16:3). 6 also figures deep calamity without the comforting presence and guidance of God, and/or other kinds of distress: “Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night …?” (Job 35:10).  During Old Testament times the “night” was divided into three watches: (1) from sunset to 10 P.M., (Lam. 2:19), (2) from 10 P.M. to 2 A.M. (Judg. 7:19), and (3) from 2 A.M. to sunrise (Exod. 14:24).

Here is the Greek understanding found in the NT:

NIGHT (by, in the)

nux (“, 3571) is used (1) literally, (a) of “the alternating natural period to that of the day,” e.g., Matt. 4:2; 12:40; 2 Tim. 1:3; Rev. 4:8; (b) of “the period of the absence of light,” the time in which something takes place, e.g., Matt. 2:14 (27:64), in some mss.); Luke 2:8; John 3:2 (7:50, in some mss.); Acts 5:19; 9:25; (c) of “point of time,” e.g., Matt. 14:27 (in some mss.), 30; Luke 12:20; Acts 27:23; (d) of “duration of time,” e.g., Luke 2:37; 5:5; Acts 20:31; 26:7 (note the difference in the phrase in Mark 4:27); (II) metaphorically, (a) of “the period of man’s alienation from God,” Rom. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:5, lit., “not of night,” where “of” means ‘belonging to;’ cf. “of the Way,” Acts 9:2; “of shrinking back” and “of faith,” Heb. 10:39, marg.; (b) of “death,” as the time when work ceases, John 9:4.

We see that “night” is more than just the period opposite daylight hours.  It is a time of darkness in its wider sense.  Not just an absence of light, but also of descending evil.  We can evidence this further by looking again at Strong’s.

Night – ḥō·šeḵ – 2822 – Darkness, dark, blackness, gloom, often darkness has associated meanings of gloom, despair, terror, ignorance, or hard to understand.

ḥō·šeḵ is a form of word that we have already detailed.  We can highlight the meaning with something we stated earlier.

It is this understanding that comes into play later in the discussion.  This is the heart of what comes at the start of the tribulation.  With that, let’s brings something back into the discussion that we covered earlier when we detailed the meaning of “black as sackcloth of hair”:

~~~ The use of of lə·ḥō·šeḵ in Joel 2:30  can be summarized as “deprived of light”, or that the “light is taken”.  In other words, it is the total absence of light.

However, the use of qā·ḏā·rū in Joel 2:10 and 3:15 can be summarized as “darkness, as opposed to black”, or “blackness, as opposed to black”.  In other words, it is akin to what we would commonly describe as “the dark of night” as opposed to the “pitch blackness from the absence of all light”.

In Joel 2:31, lə·ḥō·šeḵ is a verb denoting an active state, not typically seen as normal.  It speaks to an unusual state in which there is no comparison.  Indeed, the falling of a state of total light deprivation – from the sun no less – can certainly be seen as a rare condition.

By contrast, in Joel 2:10 and 3:15, qā·ḏā·rū  is a noun in the masculine form, denoting its use as a proper label describing a condition that is not unknown.

In fact, the different uses for the original form of qā·ḏā·rū  confirm the familiar use of the word in describing a condition more akin to a night of “normal” darkness.  Clearly, the falling of a darkness that is akin to the night is hardly normal when it is not expected in the nighttime hours, especially since the text tells us that this condition stems from the sun itself.  Yet, the Prophet Joel is clearly distinguishing between the two conditions of darkness that fall in the three different examples.

 “Black as sackcloth of hair” declares that sackcloth is black as in the absence of light.  It declares that the “black” associated with traditional Biblical sackcloth is the standard being set for the event in question.  It does not bring sackcloth to a new level of black – it sets the level of black to what the author would have seen in the sackcloth of his day. ~~~

This is the critical premise in understanding what “stars” will reveal as we go further into this study.  “Stars” are not just the scientifically defined stars as we understand them today.  To the contrary, they are any body in the sky that produced or shown light.  Not only during the nighttime hours, but during any period of darkness. As we said earlier, if it was in the sky, and it was not the sun, moon or a bird – it was a star.

Now, let’s bring in the definitions for “falling to earth”, “falling from heaven” and “not giving their light” and establish the similarities and differences:

Withdraw their shining – not giving their light

’ā·sə·p̄ū — 4 Occurrences (only two shown)

Joel 2:10

HEB: קָדָ֔רוּ וְכוֹכָבִ֖ים אָסְפ֥וּ נָגְהָֽם׃

NAS: And the stars lose their brightness.

KJV: and the stars shall withdraw their shining:

INT: grow and the stars lose their brightness

Joel 3:15

HEB: קָדָ֑רוּ וְכוֹכָבִ֖ים אָסְפ֥וּ נָגְהָֽם׃

NAS: And the stars lose their brightness.

KJV: and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

INT: grow and the stars lose their brightness

 nā·ḡə·hām — 2 Occurrences

 Joel 2:10

 HEB: וְכוֹכָבִ֖ים אָסְפ֥וּ נָגְהָֽם׃

NAS: And the stars lose their brightness.

KJV: shall withdraw their shining:

INT: and the stars lose their brightness

 Joel 3:15

 HEB: וְכוֹכָבִ֖ים אָסְפ֥וּ נָגְהָֽם׃

NAS: And the stars lose their brightness.

KJV: shall withdraw their shining.

INT: and the stars lose their brightness

Strong’s Concordance

asaph: to gather, remove

Original Word: אָסַף

Part of Speech: Verb

Transliteration: asaph

Phonetic Spelling: (aw-saf’)

Short Definition: gathered

 assemble, bring, consume, destroy, fetch, gather in, together, up again,

A primitive root; to gather for any purpose; hence, to receive, take away, i.e. Remove (destroy, leave behind, put up, restore, etc.) — assemble, bring, consume, destroy, felch, gather (in, together, up again), X generally, get (him), lose, put all together, receive, recover (another from leprosy), (be) rereward, X surely, take (away, into, up), X utterly, withdraw.

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin

a prim. root

Definition

to gather, remove

NASB Translation

 4 gather and take away, remove, withdraw 1 Samuel 14:19 (object hand), Jeremiah 10:17 (bundle, followed by מִן), leprosy 2 Kings 5:11(see צרע); compare also מִצָּרַעַת ׳א, remove (set free) a man from leprosy 2 Kings 5:3; 2 Kings 5:6; 2 Kings 5:7; Genesis 30:23; Isaiah 4:1(reproach), Psalm 85:4 (wrath, “” הֵשִׁיב), Jeremiah 16:5 (peace, followed by מִן), Joel 2:10; Joel 4:15 (light), Psalm 26:9 (נֶפֶשׁ) soJudges 18:25; Psalm 104:29 (רוּחַ) see also Job 34:14 (followed byאֶלֿ); hence destroy 1 Samuel 15:6 object person); passive אֲסֻפֵי רָעָב destroyed with hunger Ezekiel 34:29; also Infinitive absoluteJeremiah 8:13; Zephaniah 1:2 (joined with הֵסִיף from סוף, see Köi. 445; considered Hiph`il Infinitive absolute by BaNB 73 see above)

 Strong’s Concordance

nogah: brightness

Original Word: נֹ֫גַהּ

Part of Speech: Noun Feminine

Transliteration: nogah

Phonetic Spelling: (no’-gah)

Short Definition: brightness

 brightness, light, clear shining

From nagahh; brilliancy (literally or figuratively) — bright(-ness), light, (clear) shining.

see HEBREW nagahh

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin

from nagah

Definition

brightness

NASB Translation

bright (1), bright light (1), brightness (10), dawn (1), light (1), radiance (4), sunshine (1).

Brown-Driver-Briggs

  1. נֹ֫גַהּ noun feminineHabakkuk 3:4 brightness; — ׳נ absoluteAmos 5:10 +; construct Isaiah 4:5 +; suffix נָגְהָם Joel 2:10; Joel 4:15; — brightness of a (clear, sunshiny) day Amos 5:10 (“” אוֺר; opposed toאָפֵל, חשֶׁךְ), 2 Samuel 23:4 (מִמָּטָר after rain); so figurative of Zion’s dawning, זַרְחֵךְ ׳נ Isaiah 60:3 (“” אוֺר); of her righteousness כַּנֹּגַהּIsaiah 62:1 (with article only here and Ezekiel 1:28), “” כְּלַמִּיד יִבְעָ֑ר; of moon Isaiah 60:19, of stars Joel 2:10; Joel 4:15; of theophany 2 Samuel 22:13 = Psalm 18:13 (in storm); compare Ezekiel 1:4,27,28,׳כְּבוֺד י ׳נ Ezekiel 10:4; כאור ׳נ Habakkuk 3:4; לָאֵשׁ ׳נ Ezekiel 1:13,אֵשׁ לֶהָבָה ׳נ Isaiah 4:5; בְּרַק ׳נ חֲנִיתֶ֑ךָ Habakkuk 3:11 (of glitter of׳יs spear; “” אוֺר חִצֶּיךָ); of individual, לוֺ ׳וְאֵין נ Isaiah 50:10(figurative of distress “” חֲשֵׁכִים); so ׳וְאֹרַח צַדִּיקִים כְּאוֺר נProverbs 4:18 the path of righteous men is like a light of brightness.

 Fall from heaven

 πεσοῦνται (pesountai)

 Matthew 24:29 V-FIP-3P

GRK: οἱ ἀστέρες πεσοῦνται ἀπὸ τοῦ

NAS: AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky,

KJV: and the stars shall fall from heaven,

INT: the stars will fall from the

 πίπτοντες (piptontes) — 1 Occurrence

 Mark 13:25 V-PPA-NMP

GRK: τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πίπτοντες καὶ αἱ

NAS: AND THE STARS WILL BE FALLING from heaven,

INT: of the heaven falling and the

Strong’s Concordance

piptó: to fall

Original Word: πίπτω

Part of Speech: Verb

Transliteration: piptó

Phonetic Spelling: (pip’-to)

Short Definition: I fall, fall under

Definition: I fall, fall under (as under condemnation), fall prostrate.

fail, fall down

A reduplicated and contracted form of peto (pet’-o); (which occurs only as an alternate in certain tenses); probably akin to petomai through the idea of alighting; to fall (literally or figuratively) — fail, fall (down), light on.

see GREEK petomai

of descent from a higher place to a lower;

properly, to fall (either from or upon, equivalent to Latinincido, decido): ἐπί with the accusative of place, Matthew 10:29; Matthew 13:5,(),; (T omits; L WH Tr marginal reading brackets the verse); Mark 4:5; Luke 8:6 (here T Tr WH κατέπεσεν), 8 Rec.; Revelation 8:10;εἰς τί (of the thing that is entered; into), Matthew 15:14; Matthew 17:15; Mark 4:7 (L marginal reading ἐπί); Luke 6:39, R G L marginal reading (but L text T Tr WH ἐμπεσοῦνται); G L T Tr WH (; L T TrWH); John 12:24; εἰς (upon) τήν γῆν, Revelation 6:13; Revelation 9:1; ἐν μέσῳ, with the genitive of the thing, Luke 8:7; παρά τήνὁδόν, Matthew 13:4; Mark 4:4; Luke 8:5; to fall from or down: followed by ἀπό with the genitive of place, Matthew 15:27; Matthew 24:29 (here Tdf. ἐκ; Luke 16:21); Acts 20:9; followed by ἐκ with the genitive of place (Mark 13:25 L T Tr WH); Revelation 8:10; Revelation 9:1; equivalent to to be thrust down, Luke 10:18.

οὐρανοῦ (ouranou)

Matthew 24:29 N-GMS

GRK: ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ αἱ

NAS: WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers

KJV: shall fall from heaven, and the powers

INT: from the sky and the

Mark 13:25 N-GMS

GRK: ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πίπτοντες καὶ

NAS: WILL BE FALLING from heaven, and the powers

KJV: And the stars of heaven shall fall,

INT: out of of the heaven falling and

Strong’s Concordance

ouranos: heaven

Original Word: οὐρανός, οῦ, ὁ

Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine

Transliteration: ouranos

Phonetic Spelling: (oo-ran-os’)

Short Definition: the sky, the heaven

Definition: heaven, (a) the visible heavens: the atmosphere, the sky, the starry heavens, (b) the spiritual heavens.

air, heaven, sky.

Perhaps from the same as oros (through the idea of elevation); the sky; by extension, heaven (as the abode of God); by implication, happiness, power, eternity; specially, the Gospel (Christianity) — air, heaven(-ly), sky.

see GREEK oros

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 3772: οὐρανός

οὐρανός, οὐρανοῦ, ὁ (from a root meaning ‘to cover,’ ‘encompass'; cf. Vanicek, p. 895; Curtius, § 509), heaven; and, in imitation of the Hebrew שָׁמַיִם (i. e. properly, the heights above, the upper regions), οὐρανοί, οὐρανῶν, οἱ, the heavens (Winers Grammar, § 27, 3; Buttmann, 24 (21)) (on the use and the omission of the article cf. Winer’s Grammar, 121 (115)), i. e.:

 the vaulted expanse of the Sky with all the things visible in it;

the sidereal or starry heavens: τά ἄστρα τοῦ οὐρανοῦHebrews 11:12 (Deuteronomy 1:10; Deuteronomy 10:22; Euripides, Phoen. 1); οἱ ἀστέρες … τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, Mark 13:25; Revelation 6:13; Revelation 12:4 (Isaiah 13:10; Isaiah 14:13); αἱ δυνάμειςτῶν οὐρανῶν, the heavenly forces (hosts), i. e. the stars (others take δυνάμεις in this phrase in a general sense (see δύναμις, f.) of the powers which uphold and regulate the heavens): Matthew 24:29;Luke 21:26; αἱ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, Mark 13:25 (Hebrew הַשָּׁמַיִםצְבָא, Deuteronomy 17:3; Jeremiah 33:22; Zephaniah 1:5); so ἡστρατιά τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, Acts 7:42.

Stars falling to earth

Revelation 6:13 N-GMS

GRK: ἀστέρες τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἔπεσαν εἰς

NAS: and the stars of the sky fell

KJV: And the stars of heaven fell unto

INT: stars of heaven fell unto

This is the same form used for “heavens” that was used in Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:25.  You can refer back to the study above for the transliterations and root of the word ouranos.

Revelation 6:13 V-AIA-3P

GRK: τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἔπεσαν εἰς τὴν

NAS: of the sky fell to the earth,

KJV: of heaven fell unto

INT: of heaven fell unto the

Again, this is the same form of the word piptó used in Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:25, which we have already covered above.

Revelation 6:13 N-AFS

GRK: εἰς τὴν γῆν ὡς συκῆ

NAS: fell to the earth, as a fig tree

KJV: unto the earth, even as

INT: unto the earth as a fig tree

Strong’s Concordance

gé: the earth, land

Original Word: γῆ, γῆς, ἡ

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: gé

Phonetic Spelling: (ghay)

Short Definition: the earth, soil, land

Definition: the earth, soil, land, region, country, inhabitants of a region.

country, ground, land, world.

Contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe (including the occupants in each application) — country, earth(-ly), ground, land, world.

HELPS Word-studies

1093 gḗ – properly, the physical earth; (figuratively) the “arena” we live in which operates in space and time which God uses to prepare us for eternity.

 The physical earth (1093 /gḗ) is the temporary, probationary place to live out moral preferences “through the body,” i.e. as free moral agents(cf. 2 Cor 5:1-10). In this way, God makes an eternal record ofeverything we do on the earth. Through faith, each scene of life becomes equally, eternally significant (cf. Mt 13:31,32,17:20; cf. also Lk 16:10; Lk 17:6; 2 Pet 1:1).

[The OT Hebrew term, 776 /asitía (“earth”), also refers to the physical earth as “God’s arena” – “the physical theater” in which our eternal destiny freely plays out.]

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 1093: γῆ

γῆ, genitive γῆς, ἡ (contracted from γεα, poetic γαῖα), the Sept.very often for אֶרֶץ and אֲדָמָה, earth;

At this point we now have the needed pieces to summarize and conclude the similarities and differences between the signs, and declare the events as the scriptures actually record them.  Let’s bring back in the listing we used earlier to summarize what we had found:

The start of the seven year tribulation

The sun turned to darkness Joel 2:30, Acts 2:20, Revelation 6:12

The moon turned to blood Joel 2:30, Acts 2:20, Revelation 6:12

The stars fall to earth Revelation 6:13

*Key observation – the stars will not go dark as a part of the starting signs of the tribulation.  This is a key factor in determining what actually occurs.

*Key observation – The moon is described as whole in the original Greek, translated as “full” in the ESV.

*Key observation – these are three separate events, occurring at separate times.  They can be near in timing and occurrence, but they are separate none the less.  Also, though they are separate, there is nothing in the evidence which prevents them from having a causal link, or a primary factor bearing responsibility for all three.

First will come the sun turned to darkness, a condition which speaks to the obstruction of light as opposed to the darkening of the sun.

Second, at a different point in time separate from the sign in the sun – the moon will be turned to blood.

Third, there will be the sign of stars falling to the earth.  It will also occur separate from the other two events, as the first two occur separate from each other**.

** We mentioned this a moment ago.  There is nothing that prohibits a singular cause for all three events.  There is nothing that declares the timing.  They can happen spaced days apart, or one right after the other.

Now, let’s bring something back into the discussion that we mentioned earlier:

~ Moon:

Strong’s Concordance

seléné: the moon

Original Word: σελήνη, ης, ἡ

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: seléné

Phonetic Spelling: (sel-ay’-nay)

Short Definition: the moon

Definition: the moon.

From selas (brilliancy; probably akin to the alternate of haireomai, through the idea of attractiveness); the moon — moon.

see GREEK haireomai

Here is where it gets interesting.  Earlier, we saw that “moon” in Joel 2:31 used a different form and script than was used in Joel 2:10 and 3:15.  We stated that this difference would be highlighted in Revelation.  Here is the actual form and script of seléné used in 6:12.

καὶ ἡ σελήνη ὅλη ἐγένετο – “and the moon whole became”

We see a distinction that is left out of the KJV and several over translations, but is picked up in the ESV as “full” – it is the word “whole”, which is found in the original Greek.  This is the final piece of the puzzle for placing the signs in the sun and moon in their proper context in the Books of Joel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts and Revelation.  We will return to this in a moment.~

This is a fundamental piece of the puzzle for this reason – it reveals the phase of the moon during this event.  It tells us that the blood moon comes with the full moon.  If you have spent anytime studying the seven Feasts of Israel, or the Hebrew calendar, you will doubtless understand the significance of this.  Likewise, it helps to establish the phase or condition of the moon during the “darkening” phase.

New Moon in Greek:

Strong’s Concordance

Strong’s Greek 3561

1 Occurrence

νεομηνίας — 1 Occ.

Colossians 2:16 N-GFS

GRK: ἑορτῆς ἢ νεομηνίας ἢ σαββάτων

KJV: or of the new moon, or

INT: of feast or new moon or Sabbath

nouménia: new moon.

Original Word: νουμηνία, ας, ἡ

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: nouménia

Phonetic Spelling: (noo-may-nee’-ah)

Short Definition: the new moon as a festival

Definition: the new moon, first of the month.

new moon.

Feminine of a compound of neos and men (as noun by implication, ofhemera); the festival of new moon — new moon.

see GREEK neos

see GREEK men

see GREEK hemera

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 3561: νεομηνία

νεομηνία, see νουμηνία.

STRONGS NT 3561: νουμηνίανουμηνία, and according to a rarer uncontracted form (cf. Lob. ad Phryn., p. 148 (Lightfoot on Col. as below; WH’s Appendix, p. 145)) νεομηνία (so Ltext Tr WH), νουμηνίας, ἡ (νέος, μήν a month), new moon(Vulg.neomenia; barbarous Latinnovilunium): of the Jewish festival of the new moon (BB. DD., under the phrase, New Moon), Colossians 2:16. (The Sept. chiefly for חֹדֶשׁ; also for חֹדֶשׁ אֶחָד, Exodus 40:2; and חֹדֶשׁ רֹאשׁ, Numbers 10:10; Numbers 28:11; see μήν, 2. Pindar,Aristophanes, Thucydides, Xenophon, others.)

Strong’s Concordance

neoménia: a new moon

Transliteration: neoménia

Short Definition: moon

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin

from neos, and mén

Definition

a new moon

NASB Translation

new moon (1).

New Moon in Hebrew:

Strong’s Concordance

chodesh: new moon, a month

Original Word: חֹ֫דֶשׁ

Part of Speech: Noun Masculine

Transliteration: chodesh

Phonetic Spelling: (kho’-desh)

Short Definition: month

monthly, new moon

From chadash; the new moon; by implication, a month — month(-ly), new moon.

see HEBREW chadash

 Strong’s Concordance 

kese or keseh: full moon

Original Word: כֵּ֫סֶא

Part of Speech: Noun Masculine

Transliteration: kese or keseh

Phonetic Spelling: (keh’-seh)

Short Definition: moon

 NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin

from chadash

Definition

new moon, a month

NASB Translation

month (204), month and months (1), month throughout the months (2), months (33), new moon (17), new moons (9).

Brown-Driver-Briggs

חֹ֫דֶשׁ282 noun masculineGenesis 7:11 (feminine ᵑ0 Genesis 38:24 but masculine Sam Di) (newness), new moon, month (on formation compare LgBN 144; on usage, names, etc., Muss-ArnJBL 1892, 72 ff., 160 ff.) — ׳ח absolute Genesis 7:11 +; construct (rare) Genesis 29:14 +; suffix חָדְשׁוֺ Numbers 28:14 2t.; חָדְשָׁהּHosea 2:13; Jeremiah 2:24; plural חֳדָשִׁים Genesis 38:24 +; constructחָדְשֵׁי Exodus 12:2 2t.; suffix חֳדָשָׁיו Job 14:5 2t.; חָדְשֵׁיכֶם Isaiah 1:14; Numbers 28:11; חָדְשֵׁכֶם Numbers 10:10; —

Full Moon in Hebrew (for good measure):

time appointed

Or keceh {keh’-seh}; apparently from kacah; properly, fulness or the full moon, i.e. Its festival — (time) appointed.

see HEBREW kacah

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin

of uncertain derivation

Definition

full moon

NASB Translation

full moon (3).

Brown-Driver-Briggs

כֶּ֫סֶא Proverbs 7:20, כֶּ֫סֶה Psalm 81:4 noun [masculine] full moon (compare Aramaic ; origin dubious, compare LagSymn. i. 93; perhaps Assyrian loan-word; compare Assyrian kusêu, headdressor cap, = agû, id., and also full moon (as tiara of moon-god ?), DlHWB, sub kusêu, kubšu, agû; yet see Brock) — ׳לְיוֺם הַכּ Proverbs 7:20; as a feast-day, ׳בַּכּ Psalm 81:4 (opposed to בַּחֹדֶשׁ, at the new moon).

The reason it becomes important to show the differences between the moon, full moon and new moon is that it allows us to differentiate the signs, and determine exactly what Joel, John and the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ were revealing.  By showing the differences in the forms and script, it allows us to conclude that the use of each word was specific, and not “accidental”.  It shows that each use was intentional, and that there were indeed words available to the authors if they had desired to express something different.

Stated differently, when John says “the moon whole”, there was no misunderstanding on his part.  The full moon was a fixture in Jewish life as six of the seven feasts occurred by the light of the whole moon.

Likewise, the lack of use of “new moon” tells us that the new moon was indeed understood.  This is no surprise as the new moon was the start of the new month, the new year and the Feast of Trumpets.

However, it reveals something more that most don’t think about.  It reveals something that we have long forgotten, but would have been understood in the times of the Bible.  It is more accurate to say that it is understood today, just not widely understood:

 The differences between the “new moon” and the “dark moon” on the phases on the moon’s 29.5 day cycle.

There had been something that was a mystery to me.  When Israel would wait for the start of the Feast of Trumpets, they were waiting on the first silver sliver of the moon.  This would follow two or three days where the moon was dark.  I never could figure out why the first silver sliver was the operative piece.  The Bible called for the new moon to be the primary timekeeper, and when the moon finally went dark you had the new moon.

I simply assumed that the first silver sliver made timekeeping more precise.  So,when the moon hit the phase known as new moon, Israel simply waited until the silver sliver, as they could now declare “15 days to the full moon”.  However, this explanation was thin to say the least, as the cycles of the moon are 29.5 days.  In other words, regardless of when you start the countdown to the full moon, it was going to be the same amount of days.  Waiting the extra two or three days made no real difference on the overall monthly calendar.  Either you had three days of darkness at day 27, 28 or 29 – or you had the darkness at days 1, 2 and 3.

That was until I started researching this subject.

What we now call “new moon” is actually traditionally known as “dark moon”, with the new moon being that actual first appearance of the silver sliver.  Believe it or not, the first time I encountered this was on Wikipedia!  While Wikipedia is not considered a viable source for academic citation in research, it is a tremendous place to start to get ideas on where to take your research.  I wasn’t attempting to even start with Wikipedia.  I just happened to see a link that popped up when I was searching in general.

This would be the critical missing piece of the puzzle for a number of things I was researching.  From the first article on Wikipedia I branched out, eventually ending up researching the Jewish phases of the moon and how the calendar was calculated.  It explained why the Sanhedrin was so adamant in the testimony of witnesses that saw the first silver sliver, and why the punishment for lying about it was nothing short of “severe”.  It also explained why it was the first silver sliver, as opposed to the first day of darkness.  Again, calculating the month is just as easy for the dark moon as it is for the first silver sliver.  It also explained why the words uttered to the Sanhedrin were this:

“I have seen the moon reborn!”

In Israel, the first silver sliver was the new moon – not the three days of darkness.

These distinctions effectively give us three different states of the moon for which prophecy is now predicated:

The new moon (first silver sliver).

The moon (all phases between the new moon and the whole moon).

The whole moon (full moon).

Here is where this gets interesting.  What we must remember is that the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ alone understood the truth behind how the sun, moon and stars actually work together.  He spoke in terms that the disciples would understand, but behind His words was the full knowledge of creation.

Everybody else spoke on these things from a point of limited understanding and observation.  Nobody else would have known the big picture on how the earth rotates, the moon orbiting the earth – or that the sun did not move around the earth.  All they would have known is that the sun came up in the morning, set in the evening, and when night was come there was the moon and stars.  Anything beyond these consistent occurrences was indeed prophetic.

Of course they were right.

Here are a number of observations that they most likely would not have made, nor be able to confirm if they had:

The blood moon ONLY comes with the whole or full moon.

A solar eclipse ONLY comes with the dark moon, and not the new moon.

The blood moon ONLY occurs when the sun is in a position that both are not visible in the same sky (they can both be visible for a short time after the eclipse has ended, however).

A total solar eclipse (as opposed to annular or partial) alone brings three of the signs we have discussed so far, all at the same time, in the same sky, as a part of a singular event. –

The sun is totally darkened, to the absence of sunlight;

The moon is totally darkened, as it is in the phase once known as “the dark moon”;

The stars are not visible, and their light does not penetrate the shadow of the sun. Though it is black as night, it is not actually night time – the same effect that prevents starlight from overshadowing sunlight is still in effect.

That is how it can be blacker than night, yet no stars are visible.  Remember, in the days of the Bible, that level of darkness comes ONLY with the night.  The night ALWAYS comes with starlight.

Each of these observations speak only to naturally occurring conditions.  They do not speak to supernatural fulfillments of the Lord, nor to other events that are not a part of the natural celestial cycle.

It should be noted that the annular solar eclipse is very similar to the total solar eclipse, with the notable exception of the burning ring of light around the edges.  It has a very ominous appearance, yet still fits the exact descriptions given in the Bible of the sun going dark.  It is not unreasonable to assume that an annular eclipse may have been what was seen by Joel and John.  Its appearance is certainly the stuff of nightmares if you do not understand the science behind it.

The blood moon still gives light, and the blood moon cannot exist without this light (that is why we can see the blood red color, and why “the moon not giving it’s light cannot be the blood moon).  Though, the blood moon does result in a heavily diminished light.  The blood moon combined with other phenomena (such as cloud cover) will give the distinct impression that the moon has ceased to give it’s light.

Unlike the sun, the moon (blood or otherwise) is not strong enough to overshadow star light.  In other words, the moon cannot cause the stars to go dark.

While solar eclipses are by no means rare (usually at least one per year), nor are blood moons (lunar eclipses) – what is rare is the appearance of either in the same geographic location on the earth.

When was the last time you witnessed a full solar eclipse where you live?

eclipse 2

Typically, it takes 400 to 600 years for a total solar eclipse to show up in the same place.  It takes less time for the blood moon to show up twice, as there are usually two blood moons per year.  Yet, they are nearly as rare in some parts of the earth.  Still, you can go years without seeing a blood moon in the Middle East, and especially Israel.  Sometimes, it can account to hundreds of years.

 *This does not take into account the absolute rarity of the occurrence of the blood moon on the Feast Days of Israel, visible in Israel.

So, what does all of this tell us so far?

We can now declare that the signs of the sun and moon being darkened together are in fact a total or annular solar eclipse***.  This is further evidenced by scriptures which also tell us that this event will see no starlight in the skies, though a darkness that is beyond that of normal “night” will fall – a distinction that makes it necessary to declare that the stars will not give their light.

*** There is a singular exception that we will cover later in the presentation.  This exception is critical to the timing to the start of the tribulation, and does not diminish what we have discovered so far.  It will actually strengthen what we are discussing.

We can declare that stars will likewise fall to the earth as well.  This is a condition which is not affected by the sun, moon and stars going dark, as the falling stars generate their own light as they move through the atmosphere.  This will be a meteor shower, cosmic debris falling to the earth, or any other phenomena that has typically been seen as “falling stars” – which fits the ancient description of “stars” falling to the earth.

stars falling

We can declare that these events happen at the same time, on the same day or days (there is no indication in the Bible of how long any of these signs last – it is pure assumption to assign any ending value to their duration).

We can declare that the sign of the sun being darkened, followed by the blood moon, is in fact two separate signs, occurring at two separate times.  This is further evidenced by the fact that the Bible does not declare the stars will stop shining during either of these events as it does with the solar eclipse.  We cannot declare the length of the separation, nor that a singular event does not cause all three.  Likewise, we cannot declare that these three events will not occur in a very short period of time.

We can only declare that each will be separately distinguishable.

solar-eclipse-wallpaper

There is likewise no indication how far in advance these signs will occur, nor how many times they will occur given in the Bible.  Rather, we know simply that they occur, and do so before the coming time of the tribulation.

We can declare that there will be stars falling from the heavens in connection with these signs as well.  Given that we see a separation between the signs in the sun and moon, it leaves open the distinct possibility that the falling stars likewise occur with a separation from the other two events.

*Key observation – there are two separate signs in the stars at the end of the tribulation.

*Key observation – each of these signs occur at the same interval in time.  First are the signs in the sun and moon which occur together, as a part of the same event.

Second is the stars withdrawing their light.  This happens as a part of the first signs, yet it maintains it’s own separate identity.  Stated differently, even if they occur at the same time – it is still the signs in the sun and moon, followed by the withdrawing of starlight.

This is a critical distinction to understanding what actually happens.

Third, there will be stars falling from the heavens during the first two events.

The end of the tribulation will have the stars withdraw their shining.  This does not happen at the start of the tribulation, however.

The start of the tribulation will have the stars falling to the earth.  The end of the tribulation will have the stars falling from heaven.

In addition to the natural separations that occur between these signs in nature, we can see from the manner in which the original Greek and Hebrew text was written that these separations were also written into the Bible.  When someone declares that the sun going dark and the moon turning to blood in Joel 2:31 are occurring at the exact same moment, it is a position that the original language simply does not support.  This is a statement that is further supported by the original written language, and the manner in which it does indicate that the signs in the sun and moon in Joel 2:10 and 3:15 do occur at the same time.

This distinction is sealed by the fact that both were written by a single author, in a single document, in a single sitting.

So, with all of this, here is what we now know beyond all doubt:

The start of the seven year tribulation

Three primary events:

Partial solar eclipse, the blood moon and falling stars predicted.

The sun goes completely dark* – Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, Revelation 6:12

The moon turns to blood Joel – 2:31, Acts 2:20, Revelation 6:12

The stars fall to the earth Revelation 6:13

eclipse 3

The end of the seven year tribulation

Three primary events:

Total or annular solar eclipse, the stars are dark and falling stars predicted.

The sun and moon go dark Joel 2:10*, 3:15, Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24

The stars withdraw their shining Joel 2:10*, 3:15

The stars fall from heaven Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24

Basic RGB

*As we have indicated earlier, there is another revelation that will come into play during the beginning of the tribulation that involves both of these elements.

At this point, I need to bring in a section from the “Coming Signs” page that is relevant to the discussion.  Here is the excerpt from “Coming Signs”:

~ In 2015, the March 20th solar eclipse and the September 28th blood moon will be visible from Israel.  Likewise, this is the final blood moon of the tetrad.  There is a partial solar eclipse on September 14th also.

The Orionids meteor shower runs from October 2nd through November 7th.  Its best viewing days are October 21st and 22nd.  The Draconids meteor shower runs from October 6th through the 10th.  The best viewing days are October 8th and 9th.

I know, you are really underwhelmed at this point.  So was I.  Then I took this to the Jewish calendar and looked at the feast days.  Here is what I found:

On September 14th, 2015 – the Feast of Trumpets – we start with a solar eclipse.

That is followed by a fully visible blood moon on September 28th – the Feast of Tabernacles.

On October 6th we have the appearance of the Draconids meteor shower, which will be at its best viewing just two days later.  However, October 6th is the first day following the conclusion of Sukkot.  Not just the seventh day of Sukkot – but the 8th day.

There is an 8th day principle that is also prophetic.  More on this in a moment.

Also, on the 5th day of Sukkot, we have the Orionid meteor shower – just for good measure.  That would be two meteor showers occurring at the same time when Sukkot ends.

What does this all mean?

Well, it comes down to this – we see a total solar eclipse in Israel on March 20th.  This is a prophetic sign of war and distress to the world.  Following this, we have the solar eclipse on Trumpets – which means woe to the world again, the blood moon on Tabernacles – which means woe to Israel, and falling stars on the day after Tabernacles ends – which also means woe to Israel.

For those keeping score at home, following a global omen to the world on Passover, we have all three elements of Revelation 6:12-13 – the sun is darkened, the moon turns to blood and the stars falling – in that order.  However, there is also the element of the new moon, or the moon not giving its light.  Let’s add it in as well, and see where we stand:

Feast of Trumpets – September 14th, 2015 – Solar Eclipse – “the sun turned black as sackcloth”.

Feast of Trumpets – September 14th, 2015 – New Moon – “the moon shall not give its light”.

Feast of Sukkot – September 28th, 2015 – Blood Moon – “the moon turned to blood”.

Fifth Day of Sukkot – October 2nd, 2015 – Start of Orionids Meteor Shower – “stars fell from the heavens”.

First Day after Sukkot – October 6th, 2015 – Start of Draconids Meteor Shower – “stars fell from the heavens”.

This is significant as it starts the day after the “8th day of Sukkot”.  The 8th day principle is the demonstrating principle of eternity.  It is the reason we celebrate Easter Sunday, even above Passover.  The fact that it is the “dragon” shower is just an added bonus – also, it is the “8th day” that Satan brought the fall to sin in the garden – and on the “8th day” the Christ arose and redeemed all of creation from that fall.

Here is the shocking part – all but the solar eclipse are visible in Israel.  The solar eclipse, however, will be visible in South Africa – not  far from Israel.  However, as we see from the two prior tetrads, it does not have to be visible in Israel to be prophetic.

In the space of 19 days, we have every required sign in the heavens for Revelation 6:12 – all on the fall feast days of Israel.

Does this mean that the tribulation starts during the fall feast days in 2015?  No.

It doesn’t mean that it won’t, either.  Revelation 6:12 occurs with the opening of the 6th seal – which occurs just before the signing of the treaty and starts the tribulation.  If these signs are prophetic for the start of the tribulation, then it means that the seven year treaty is signed shortly after September 14th, 2015.

As we said earlier, we are seeing “the signs before the signs” – warning signs that the Lord knew we would be able to detect before they happened.  They are the Lord’s way of using all of the “greatly increased knowledge” of Daniel 12 to get our attention – while there is yet time.  It is his way of saying “Look, you can see for yourself that every one of these predicted signs are possible.  Stop doubting me and get ready.  You won’t have forever to figure this out.” ~~~

There is another issue that we must address – is there anything in the Bible that prohibits the blood moon tetrad from being a part of the fulfillment of the blood moon sign in Revelation chapter 6?  This requires an examination of the meaning of “before” in the Bible.  This will tell us if there is any prohibition on the timing of the blood moon that prevents it from occurring over the space of a year and a half.

From the Old Testament

Strong’s Concordance

panim or paneh: face, faces

Original Word: פָּנִים

Part of Speech: Noun Masculine

Transliteration: panim or paneh

Phonetic Spelling: (paw-neem’)

Short Definition: before

before

paniym  (paw-neem’)

the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.)

Joel 2:31:

Before – לִפְנֵ֗י – lif·nei – 6440 – face, faces – from panah

Strong’s Concordance

 From the New Testament

prin: before

Original Word: πρίν

Part of Speech: Adverb

Transliteration: prin

Phonetic Spelling: (prin)

Short Definition: formerly, before

Definition: formerly, before.

before, ere.

Adverb from pro; prior, sooner — before (that), ere.

see GREEK pro

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 4250: πρίν

πρίν ((according to Curtius, § 380 comparitive προιον, προιν,πρίν)), as in Greek writings from Homer down:

an adverb previously,formerly (cf. πάλαι, 1): 3Macc. 5:28 3Macc. 6:4, 31; but never so in the N. T.

with the force of a conjunction, before, before that: with an accusative and aorist infinitive of things past (cf. Winers Grammar, § 44, 6 at the end; Buttmann, § 142, 3); πρίν Ἀβραάμ γενέσθαι, before Abraham existed, came into being, John 8:58; also πρίν ἤ (cf. Meyer on Matthew 1:18), Matthew 1:18; (Acts 7:2); with an aorist infinitive haying the force of the Latin future perfect, of things future (cf.Winer’s Grammar, 332 (311)): πρίν ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι, before the cock shall have crowed, Matthew 26:34, 75; Mark 14:72; Luke 22:61; add, John 4:49; John 14:29; also πρίν ἤ, Mark 14:30; Acts 2:20 (where L T Tr WH text omit ἤ); πρίν ἤ, preceded by a negative sentence (Buttmann, § 139, 35), with the aorist subjunctive having the force of a future perfect in Latin (Buttmann, 231 (199)), Luke 2:26 (R GL T Tr marginal reading, but WH brackets ἤ), and R G in Luke 22:34;πρίν ἤ, followed by the optative of a thing as entertained in thought,Acts 25:16 (Winers Grammar, 297 (279); Buttmann, 230 (198)). Cf.Matthiae, § 522, 2, p. 1201f; Alexander Buttmann (1873) Gram. § 139, 41; Klotz ad Devar. ii. 2, p. 720ff; Winers Grammar (and Buttmann), as above.

Lets bring in one more piece to wrap up this puzzle:

Luke 21:25-27 KJV – And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

There are several observations that need to be made here.  In the full context of Luke 21, as well as the context above, we can see that Luke ascribes no specific time period to the signs in the sun, moon and stars.  The only thing that can be determined beyond doubt is that these are signs are attached to the times of the end and the tribulation.  It is assumption pure and simple that declares that Luke is speaking to a specific set of signs at a specific time.

Remember, we have determined that there are two primary sets of signs in the heavens when it comes to the tribulation – those that come before and those that come after.  When Luke 21:25 is taken with the definitions of “before” found in Joel 2:30 and Acts 2:20. we can say beyond contest that the blood moon tetrad indeed can be prophetic, and may in fact be a central part of Revelation chapter 6.

Furthermore, the context of Joel 2:27-32 tells us that the signs in the heavens simply come before the tribulation, along with several other signs that we are likewise seeing manifest today.  That is yet another evidence that the blood moon tetrad is indeed prophetic of the end times.

Here is the final piece of evidence on the blood moon tetrad:

Acts 2:16-21 KJV – But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

As with all end times prophecy, we are seeing a direct and literal fulfillment come to pass before our very eyes.  Yet, as with all scripture there are four levels of meaning and interpretations – literal, secondary, third and sod, the level of mysteries.

This tells us that there is a literal fulfillment of Joel’s words in the end times, which we are now witnessing first hand.

It tells us that there is the secondary prophetic meaning which we see in Acts at the day of Pentecost.  Remember, 2,000 years to us is but two days to the Lord – the last two days before the coming Sabbath rest.

It tells us that there is a level of mysteries meaning that is beyond the scope of this conversation.

Acts chapter two is the final confirmation that the blood moon is indeed a sign of the end times, one that can and will come the entire duration of the age of the church.  It is truly a rare sign, one that always holds prophetic implication for the Jews and Israel.  Consider that three of the eight tetrads have occurred in the last 70 years, and each one confirmed direct prophetic fulfillment’s of the rebirth of Israel and the retaking of Jerusalem.

Luke 21 and Acts 2 both show that there is no specific time given for these signs other than the end times.  However, immediately there will be those that will counter with the different scriptures which show a specific timing, such as Revelation chapter six.  So, which scripture is correct?

All of them.

Remember, there are no accidents in the Bible.  There are no statements made “just because”.  If you have one scripture that declares a specific time for a sign to appear, and another scripture that declares only a general time frame, then what you have is a sign that will occur during BOTH periods.  In the case of the blood moon, you have this very thing.  The blood moon is a general sign of the days just before the rapture and tribulation.  We know this from Luke 21 and Acts 2.  However, it is a specific sign given during at an exact time as well – shown in the various scriptures we have detailed in this project.

I will close this part of the discussion by including a response I gave to a gentleman who declared that it was not possible the the tetrad is prophetic.  It was his assertion that because the tetrad blood moons did not occur on the day that Israel was reborn, or the day the Jerusalem was recaptured, that the tetrads were nothing more that cosmic coincidence.

blood-moons-feast-dates

As he so poetically stated – “God does not do near misses”.

Normally he would be right.  However, these are not normal times.

Here was my response to him:

“I will share a few verses that clearly show the Lord will send signs of the end both before and after the specified prophetic event.  This is critical as it goes to the heart as to whether or not the tetrad can indeed be a sign of Israel and Jerusalem – or the greatest fluke and coincidence in the history of signs in the heavens.

At this point, I need to remind you of something you said earlier.  You have stated emphatically that if it is not in the Bible then it is false.

Keep this position in mind as I show you what comes next:

In the study above, there are several things that became apparent – and critical to the timing of the tribulation.

Some of the heavenly signs come before the tribulation.

Some of the signs come after the tribulation.

Some of the signs given that come before are specific.

Some of the signs given are general.

Remember this – there are no errant words in the Bible.  You spoke of “close” and assumption – the same holds here.  After all, the Lord is quite capable of ensuring that any word He so chooses can end up in the Bible.

There are no accidents in other words.

Here are several scriptures that speak to the timing of the signs:

Matthew 24:29 – After

Mark 13:24 – After

These prove that the Lord can indeed send the tetrad after Israel and Jerusalem, as opposed to on the same day.

Acts 2:19 – Before

Acts 2:20 – Before

Joel 2:31 – Before

Joel 3:15 – After

Also, Joel 2:10 declares the darkened moon after the tribulation, the same as 3:15.

Now, here is the interesting thing – Luke 21:25.  This particular scripture simply declares that there shall be signs in the sun, moon and stars – yet it does not ascribe the particular sign, nor the timing.

We assume that it simply echos what Matthew and Mark say, but this is not accurate.  The original wording is different, and the Greek leaves us with the understanding that these signs are as much a condition of the times as they are a direct sign of the start or completion of the tribulation.

I hold that they do indeed mirror Matthew and Mark, yet I cannot ignore the actual wording the Lord used in the Bible.  As you said earlier – if it’s not in the Bible then it’s not right (paraphrasing).

Well, it happens to be in the Bible.

Does this distinction matter?  Absolutely!  This same premise is also what I found in an in-depth study of the differences between the last trump and the 7th trumpet of judgment – and how they are not the same.  I also found this premise when I was defending against a gentleman that tried to use slick words to explain why “escape” in Luke 21:36 did not mean the rapture, but meant escaping through the tribulation.

tetrad 1

Remember – assumption births more false doctrine than anything else.

Let’s keep this simple and straightforward.  We will confine this response to the meaning of the words “before” and “after” – and show that they mean exactly that.

To be clear, they do not mean “before, and during” in the case of before the tribulation.  Nor do they mean “during, and after” in the case of after the tribulation.

They mean specifically before and after.

In the case of “before”, here is what we have:

There are 13 occurrences of before in the Greek – which is where most of the signs are addressed.  They all use the same form of the word “prin”:

Matthew 1:18, 26:34, 26:75

Mark 14:30, 14:72

Luke 2:26, 22:61

John 4:49, 8:58, 14:29

Acts 2:20, 7:2, 25:16

STRONGS NT 4250: πρίν

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance

before, ere.

Adverb from pro; prior, sooner — before (that), ere.

see GREEK pro

πρίν ((according to Curtius, § 380 comparitive προιον, προιν,πρίν)), as in Greek writings from Homer down:

an adverb previously,formerly (cf. πάλαι, 1): 3Macc. 5:28 3Macc. 6:4, 31; but never so in the N. T.

with the force of a conjunction, before, before that: with an accusative and aorist infinitive of things past (cf. Winers Grammar, § 44, 6 at the end; Buttmann, § 142, 3); πρίν Ἀβραάμ γενέσθαι, before Abraham existed, came into being, John 8:58; also πρίν ἤ (cf. Meyer on Matthew 1:18), Matthew 1:18; (Acts 7:2); with an aorist infinitive haying the force of the Latin future perfect, of things future (cf.Winer’s Grammar, 332 (311)): πρίν ἀλέκτορα φωνῆσαι, before the cock shall have crowed, Matthew 26:34, 75; Mark 14:72; Luke 22:61; add, John 4:49; John 14:29; also πρίν ἤ, Mark 14:30; Acts 2:20 (where L T Tr WH text omit ἤ); πρίν ἤ, preceded by a negative sentence (Buttmann, § 139, 35), with the aorist subjunctive having the force of a future perfect in Latin (Buttmann, 231 (199)), Luke 2:26 (R GL T Tr marginal reading, but WH brackets ἤ), and R G in Luke 22:34;πρίν ἤ, followed by the optative of a thing as entertained in thought,Acts 25:16 (Winers Grammar, 297 (279); Buttmann, 230 (198)). Cf.Matthiae, § 522, 2, p. 1201f; Alexander Buttmann (1873) Gram. § 139, 41; Klotz ad Devar. ii. 2, p. 720ff; Winers Grammar (and Buttmann), as above.

OK – the word “after” in the Greek.

This is “meta” – Strong’s 3326.  In the case of the signs in the heavens, it means after, in terms of time of occurrence as in Matthew 24:29 – see below:

There are 473 occurrences (you will just have to take my word on this – I am not listing them all).

Strong’s Concordance

meta: with, among, after

Original Word: μετά

Part of Speech: Preposition

Transliteration: meta

Phonetic Spelling: (met-ah’)

Short Definition: with, after

Definition: (a) gen: with, in company with, (b) acc: (1) behind, beyond, after, of place, (2) after, of time, with nouns, neut. of adjectives.

3326 metá (a preposition) – properly, with (“after with”), implying “change afterward” (i.e. what results after the activity). As an active“with,” 3326 (metá) looks towards the after-effect (change, result) which is only defined by the context.

[3326 (metá) before a vowel is written met (meth).]

iας ἡμέρας, Acts 15:36; Acts 24:24; οὐ μετά πολλάς ταύτας ἡμέρας, not long after these days (A. V. not many days hence), Acts 1:5, cf. DeWette at the passage and Winers Grammar, 161 (152); (Buttmann, § 127, 4);μετά τρεῖς μῆνας, Acts 28:11; μετά ἔτη τρία, Galatians 1:18, etc.; μετά χρόνον πολύν, Matthew 25:19; μετά τοσοῦτονχρόνον, Hebrews 4:7. added to the names of events or achievements, and of festivals: μετά τήν μετοικεσίανΒαβυλῶνος, Matthew 1:12; μετά τήν θλῖψιν, Matthew 24:29;Mark 13:24; add, Matthew 27:53; Acts 10:37; Acts 20:29; 2 Peter 1:15;μετά τήν ἀνάγνωσιν, Acts 13:15; μετά μίαν καί δευτέραννουθεσίαν, Titus 3:10; μετά τό πάσχα, Acts 12:4 cf. Acts 20:6; with the names of persons or things having the notion of time associated with them: μετά τοῦτον, αὐτόν, etc., Acts 5:37; Acts 7:5; Acts 13:25; Acts 19:4; μετά τόν νόμον, Hebrews 7:28; μετάτό ψωμίον, after the morsel was taken, John 13:27 (cf. Buttmann, § 147, 26); followed by the neuter demonstrative pronoun (cf. Winer’s Grammar, 540 (503)): μετά τοῦτο. John 2:12; John 11:7, 11; John 19:28; Hebrews 9:27; (Revelation 7:1 L T Tr WH); μετά ταῦτα (cf.Winer’s Grammar, 162 (153)), Mark 16:12; Luke 5:27; Luke 10:1; Luke 12:4 (Winer’s Grammar, as above); ; Acts 7:7; Acts 13:20; Acts 15:16;Acts 18:1; John 3:22; John 5:1, 14; John 6:1; John 7:1; John 13:7;John 19:38; John 21:1; Hebrews 4:8; 1 Peter 1:11; Revelation 1:19;Revelation 4:1; Revelation 7:1 (Rec.), ; , and very often in Greek writings it stands before the neuter of adjectives of quantity, measure, and time: μετ’ οὐ πολύ, not long after (R. V. after no long time),Acts 27:14; μετά μικρόν, shortly after (A. V. after a little while),Matthew 26:73; Mark 14:70; μετά βραχύ, Luke 22:58; also before infinitives with the neuter article (Latinpostquam with a finite verb (cf.Buttmann, § 140, 11; Winer’s Grammar, § 44, 6)); — the aorist infinitive: Matthew 26:32; Mark 1:14; Mark 14:28; Mark 16:19; Luke 12:5; Luke 22:20 (WH reject the passage); Acts 1:3; Acts 7:4; Acts 10:41; Acts 15:13; Acts 20:1; 1 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 10:26.

As I said earlier, this is just one area where we can look.  A full study is required of the signs in the heavens, the Book of Joel, and the chronological markers that the Lord installed in the Bible specifically to prevent false doctrine from subverting the timing of the tribulation.

I then finished the conversation with this observation:

I would not be so quick to declare that the tetrad is not a part of the signs in Revelation chapter 6.  There are still two more blood moons left, and the last one will be visible in Israel.

(I then detailed the signs that will occur in the space of 19 days around that final blood moon, which I also shared above).

Also, why would the Lord need to send a blood moon tetrad after the fact, as a confirmation of what happened with Israel and Jerusalem?  Are these events not enough to proclaim that the Bible is indeed correct?

To that, I would offer this thought.  How many of us have heard this?

“These are not the Jews the Bible speaks about!”

“This is not the Israel the Bible was talking about!”

“These are not real Jews!”

“Israel has NOT fulfilled a SINGLE prophecy!”

“The Holy Land does not belong to the Jews and Israel – they have stolen the land!”

“Palestine never belonged to the Jews.  They have subverted the Bible!”

“The Jews need to be wiped off the earth!”

“Israel will be annihilated!  God wills it!”

Now, you get the picture.

That is why the blood moon tetrad is indeed prophetic.  I would also recommend a study that Perry Stone did on the blood moons to determine if they met the prophetic test of Joel chapter 2.  I am including a link to the online store at VOE Ministries in case you are interested.

Spoiler alert – the tetrad does meet the Biblical test and IS prophetic to the times of the end and the tribulation.

http://www.voe.org/store/dv158-blood-moons-rising-and-the-passover-patterns

Be sure to take what you have learned here, and apply it to Coming Signs 2!

In the name of the most blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


  • A confirmation site for those in the tribulation.