According to NASA, there are about two lunar eclipses per year. This time there happens to be four all within 18 months - something astronomers call a tetrad.

I'm slightly surprised I've not seen much about this yet (maybe a good thing?), but it does seem as though this is an event certain Christians have been waiting for - and writing books about! I came across this on a recent Huffington Post article which gives this story also about church leaders saying these moons are "an omen of Armageddon and Second Coming of Christ", but I'm not so sure about that.

I did recognise one of the names mentioned, though: John Hagee, a Texas megachurch pastor. It was probably something I read about him and these so-called "blood moon prophecies" before, which happens to be what his book is about ("Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change").

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Apparently, since this upcoming tetrad involved the "blood moons" landing on or during Jewish holidays, that means something drastic will happen (see diagram, right), which history also apparently shows.

The Jewish Talmud (book of tradition / Interpretation) says; "When the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel. If its face is as red as blood, (it is a sign that) the sword is coming to the world." ... Every time a blood moon pattern has appeared on Jewish feast days a big event affects the nation of Israel. The event affectingIsrael begins just before the actual years of the blood moons. To understand what will happen in the 2014 - 2015 "blood moons" you must understand the pattern of blood moons in the past.

It was confirmed by NASA that we have had "blood-red moons" on the first day of Passover and the first day of Sukkoth on back-to-back years seven times since 1 A.D. Three of these occurrences were connected to 1492 (the year the Jews were expelled from Spain by Queen Isabella) , 1948 (statehood for Israel and the War of Independence), and 1967 (the Six-Day War) — some of the most significant days in Jewish history. According to NASA - Four 'blood-red' TOTAL lunar eclipses WILL fall again on Passover and Sukkoth in 2014 and 2015… the same back-to-back occurrences at the time of 1492, 1948 and 1967.

(Source: Pray4Zion, emphasis theirs)

blood_moon_dates.jpg
The so-called "Blood Moons" prophecy
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While it does seem quite coincidental that certain major events in Jewish history have happened during these lunar eclipses, I won't completely discount that this might be more than just coincidental timing, as Gen 1:14-15 does state that the celestial bodies are made by God for "signs and for seasons" and as ways to track time, but I won't hold my breath for "Armageddon" or the Second Coming, as Hagee expects.

This time, Hagee suggests that a Rapture will occur where Christians will be taken to heaven, Israel will go to war in a great battle called Armageddon, and Jesus will return to earth. Hagee planned a special televised event on Tuesday (April 15) on the Global Evangelism Television channel.

But NASA does not consider tetrads as especially rare, saying in a statement that there will be eight sets of tetrads before the year 2100. The most unique thing about the upcoming tetrad is that they are visible from all or parts of the United States, NASA stated. (HuffPost)

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Harold Camping's (failed) billboard predictions

If these are a sign for the Jewish nation - shouldn't it be visible in Israel, Jerusalem and the surrounding area? Or is it, as often these self-proclaimed prophets will have it, only an American-centric event, just for American Jews? Maybe I'm just being facetious and cynical now after hearing of, and seeing, so many of these false prophecies (anyone remember Harold Camping's billboard campaign in 2011?).

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Here's a prediction I will make though, and one I'm sure will come to pass: Hagee, and others like him, will no doubt reap in oodles of books sales and be yet another man getting rich off of the gullibility of Christians.

It just seems to me, going by the quotes in the Huff Post article, that this is more about cashing in on the times, rather than trying to predict the signs of the times.

"A string of books have been published surrounding the event, with authors referring to a Bible passage ... “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord,” Joel 2:31 says"

"In his book, Hagee says something will happen to the nation of Israel due to the tetrad ... Hagee writes that every time a tetrad occurs on Jewish feast days, something traumatic and “world-changing” happens to Israel."

"This time, Hagee suggests that a Rapture will occur where Christians will be taken to heaven, Israel will go to war in a great battle called Armageddon, and Jesus will return to earth. "

Greg Boyd (a Christian  theologian, pastor, and author) seems to be the only one quoted that sounds like he has any sense. I'll leave you with his wise words:

[T]he predictions [are] a waste of time, maybe even bordering on astrology.

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