A so-called “Blood Moon” is scheduled to dominate the night sky on September 27, a spectacular — but not uncommon — celestial event that will delight astronomers and casual viewers alike. As it turns out, a handful of believers — Christians and Jews alike — are issuing “prophecies” predicting that the Blood Moon will signal the end of the world, Food World News is reporting.
They are wrong.
First, a little explanation: The term “Blood Moon” is just a way of describing a lunar eclipse. The “blood” simply refers to the moon’s reddish color during a lunar eclipse — it has nothing to do with war, or death, or, you know, blood. Lunar eclipses — partial or total — happen a couple of times every year, just as they have for hundreds of millions of years, and will continue to long after humans have gone extinct.
As the Washington Post notes, the past four Blood Moons — er, lunar eclipses — have all been total eclipses. This sequence of four consecutive total lunar eclipses is called a “tetrad” — that is, a sequence of four events — and this particular tetrad has caught the attention of various Christian and Jewish preachers.
Among them is John Hagee and Mark Biltz, both of whom see parallels between ancient Scripture and the occurrence of the Blood Moon. Biltz explains as follows.
“The last time there was a tetrad was back in the 1900s, and to my amazement, they also fell on the feasts of Passover and Tabernacles, When I noticed the years these phenomena occurred, my mind began reeling. The last two times there were four blood moons in a row, they happened, first, right after Israel became a nation in 1948, and then again when Israel retook Jerusalem in 1967.”
And it’s not only Christian preachers who have taken notice of this sequence of Blood Moons: Rabbi Mendel Kessin believes that each Blood Moon brings the world closer to the Messiah — that is, the savior of the Jewish people.
“Each one of these is a messianic advancement. There are incredible events that predate the messiah.”
The Bible does, in fact, speak of the moon being the color of blood, in the context of end-of-the world prophecy, both in the Old Testament (“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord,” Joel 2:31) and the New (“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord,” Acts 2:20).
One particular preacher, Rev. Efrain Rodriguez, takes the connection between those predictions and the recent series of Blood Moons so seriously that he wrote a letter to NASA, warning the space agency that he’d predicted that an asteroid was “entering the airspace of the town of Arecibo in Puerto Rico, striking the sea between the island of Mona and Mayaguez and triggering a magnitude-12 earthquake.”
NASA, for its part, isn’t buying that prediction, and issued a statement debunking it.
“There is no existing evidence that an asteroid or any other celestial object is on a trajectory that will impact Earth. In fact, not a single one of the known objects has any credible chance of hitting our planet over the next century. There is no scientific basis, not one shred of evidence, that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates.”
What these apocalyptic Blood Moon predictions fail to take into account is the fact that there is absolutely nothing special about the current Blood Moon cycle. Although a sequence of four total lunar eclipses is pretty cool, it’s not particularly rare: there will be eight such tetrads in the 21st century. The only thing unique about this September’s Blood Moon is that it’s the final event of the first tetrad of this century.
Look for the next so-called “Blood Moon,” whether or not it will predict the end of the world, on September 27 and 28.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock / muratart]