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Blood Moon and Its Significance to Religion

Blood Moon and Its Significance to Religion
The golden crosses of the Novodevichy Monastery in Moscow are silhouetted against the full moon before the start of the lunar eclipse, 04 May 2004. (Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 02 April 2015 03:20 PM EDT

A blood moon refers to the orange-reddish color cast on the moon by the Earth’s shadow during some total lunar eclipses, but the term doesn’t originate from the science of astronomy.

The idea of a blood moon has become popular online during this lunar tetrad, four full lunar eclipses in a row, which started with two this year and will end with two next year on April 4 and Sept. 28. But the primary significance of a “blood moon” has its roots for some in religious references made in the Bible.

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In the Book of Acts, for example, the Bible says, “And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”

The first blood moon this year, on April 15, 2014, occurred on the second day of Passover; the Oct. 8, 2014, eclipse occurred during the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles. The two in 2015 will occur again during Passover and the Feast of the Tabernacles known as Sukkot.

In 2013, televangelist John Hagee said he believed the coming four blood moons meant that something significant would happen in the Middle East, involving Israel, between April 2014 and October 2015. In a book and television special that aired before the first lunar eclipse, the pastor talked about “direct connections between four upcoming blood-moon eclipses and what they portend for Israel and all of humankind,” Hagee told CNN.

"There are no solar or lunar accidents," Hagee, who leads a church of some 20,000 members, told CNN.

In an article for The Christian Post’s Opinion section, Hagee wrote that during previous blood moon lunar tetrads that fell near Jewish feast days, significant religious events occurred.

• In 1493-94, the Edict of Expulsion, during which all Jewish people who refused to convert to Catholicism were banished from Spain, came during the lunar tetrad.
• In 1949-50, the lunar tetrad came as the State of Israel was created, Hagee wrote, “in which God gathered the Jewish exiles from the nations of the world and brought them home to the land of covenant as foretold by the Old Testament prophets.”
• In 1967-68, the four blood moons came with the Six-Day War, when Jerusalem was “finally reunited with the State of Israel,” Hagee wrote.

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Verses like the one in Acts, which is repeated in Joel, caused many to wonder whether the 2014-15 lunar tetrad might bring about or be part of the end of times.

Irvin Baxter of EndTime Ministries took a look at the attention being given in the media and by various religious groups to the four blood moons in 2014-15.

Like Hagee, he pointed to biblical references of blood moons significant events tied to past celestial occurrences. “One of the greatest prophetic fulfillments in the last 2,000 years lies just ahead of us. The Bible prophesies that a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians will soon be signed,” Baxter said. The peace agreement is the beginning of more significant events, he added, pointing to a Middle East peace agreement marking the beginning of the “Final Seven Years to Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus to the earth.”

But Christians are divided on the significance of blood moons and the end of times.

Rev. Mark Hitchcock, of Edmond, Oklahoma, told The Oklahomian that he doesn’t believe the blood moons are part of Biblical prophecy. He even wrote a book about the subject, “Blood Moon Rising: Bible Prophecy, Israel and the Four Blood Moons.”

“I examine the historical and scriptural information that they use and basically come to the conclusion that the conclusions they draw on this blood moon prophecy of 2014 and 2015 are not valid,” he told the Oklahomian.

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A blood moon refers to the orange-reddish color cast on the moon by the Earth's shadow during some total lunar eclipses, but the term doesn't originate from the science of astronomy.
blood moon, significance, religion
Thursday, 02 April 2015 03:20 PM
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