Photo Credit: Maurits Verbiest via Flickr
Blood Moon, the Hague Kijkduin 3.30 AM

A “blood moon” will appear around most of the world on Friday night, as the moon will enter the shadow of the earth in the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century. The total eclipse will last 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, preceded and followed by a partial eclipse. So that for 3 hours and 54 minutes, the moon will be in the earth’s shadow, according to NASA.

The lunar eclipse will be visible from Europe, Africa and the Middle East between sunset and midnight of Friday, July 27, and between midnight and sunrise on July 28 in much of Asia and Australia.

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Lunar eclipses are associated with the Blood Moon: due to its reddish color, a totally eclipsed moon is referred to by that ominous name. When sunlight passes through the earth’s atmosphere, it filters and refracts in such a way that the green-to-violet lights on the spectrum scatter more strongly than the red light. This results in the moon looking redder.

The much referenced Christian blood moon prophecy, which appears in two New Testament books, based on the Hebrew text in Joel 3, verses 1-5. The original goes:

“And behold, after that, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and they will prophesy, your sons and your daughters, your elderly, will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. And upon the slaves, and upon the handmaidens in those days I will pour out my spirit. And I shall endow miracles in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun will turn into darkness, and the moon to blood—before the arrival of God’s great and terrible day. And then whomever calls out the name of God shall survive. Because on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem will be refuge, as God has spoken, and for the remnants, as God has called.”

Acts 2:19-21 goes: “And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor 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.”

Revelation 6:11-13 goes: “And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. 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.”

From a traditional Jewish point of view, we have no way of deciding with certainty that the messianic era will or will not be ushered in by a blood moon eclipse. On the other hand, we are obligated to anticipate the arrival of the messiah every day, a time frame which absolutely includes Friday, July 27, 2018.

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