In all the excitement surrounding the 2014-2015 lunar tetrad, several books and doubtless tens of thousands of online articles were written drawing connections to these lunar eclipses and the ‘blood moons’ of prophecy. In some of these articles, writings of ancient rabbis were cited to support claims that these blood moons were omens related to the nation Israel.
In ‘Mystic’ rabbi issues ominous warning on eve of blood moon, Leo Hohmann reports:”The Talmud discusses the significance of astronomical events in human history, stating that a solar eclipse is a warning to the nations, while a lunar eclipse signifies danger for the Jewish people, who are likened to the moon.”
Hohmann is sourcing from Ein Yaakov: The Ethical and Inspirational Teachings of the Talmud (c. 1500), a commentary on The Talmud (a collection of rabbinical writings). Again, it is not inspired Scripture; it is a commentary from the clergy of a people who have studied the Word of God since Moses’ day.
Ein Yaakov: on what authority?
The Holy Bible tells us in Genesis 1:14 that God placed, “lights in the expanse of the heavens” to “separate the day from the night, and . . . for signs and for seasons and for days and for years.”
The Ein Yaakov is not Holy Scripture. It contains teaching and reflection collected over thousands of years from Jewish teachers who have studied the Old Testament their entire lifetimes. The portion on eclipses is a small part of these writings based on centuries of study of the Word of God and observation of events related to eclipses as part of the signs in the sky set in place by God at the creation of the world.
The Ein Yaakov offers insights to both lunar and solar eclipses on page 223.
A lunar eclipse comes because people:
- Write forged documents;
- Bear false witness;
- Raise small livestock (an unfair business practice); and,
- Cut down good trees — even their own trees — for it shows ungratefulness to God for His bounty.
A solar eclipse happens when:
- The leader of the Sanhedrin dies but is not properly eulogized;
- An engaged woman is sexually assaulted within the walls of the city, cries out for help, but no one responds;
- Homosexuality; and,
- Two brothers are killed at the same time.
Coming for whom?
Since the perspective of the Ein Yaakov is that the world is made up of Israel on the one hand and “idol worshippers” on the other, it lays out for whom the eclipse comes like this:
“When the sun is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for idol worshippers; when the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel.”
Today, the world is divided as the world and the church.
Those who live where?
- If the sun in an eclipse comes from the east (morning sky), it is a sign for those living in the east.
- If it comes from the west, the bad omen is for those in the west.
- If it comes at noon, however, it is for the whole world.
Again, directions/times of day are as if standing in Israel.
What does it bring?
- If its surface is red like blood, it is a sign the sword is coming;
- If gray or dark, like sackcloth, famine is coming, and,
- If it has both colors, then both sword and famine are coming.
Does it come soon?
- If a solar eclipse comes in the morning, disaster may be postponed; however,
- If a solar eclipse comes in the evening, disaster will come soon.
- (The text notes that some people think the reverse).