QUESTION: Do you think the upcoming total eclipse is a biblical sign?
In a word, no. An eclipse, though rare, is a natural phenomenon that occurs on a regular, totally predictable schedule and has since God created the heavens and the earth. Furthermore, an eclipse is only visible to certain geographic areas and only lasts for a few minutes.
Jesus, of course, spoke of the sun being blacked out and the moon turning to blood and the stars falling from the sky. This is symbolism, though —clearly not literal.
The prophets who lived before Jesus spoke in similar terms. For example, in the 13th chapter of Isaiah the day of Jehovah is accompanied by the same foreboding celestial phenomena; verse 10 stating: “For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give off their light; the sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will not shed its light.”
In reality, the day of Jehovah came upon Jerusalem in the form of the Babylonian juggernaut that was acting as God’s appointed executioner.
Similarly, the prophecy of Joel foretells of a great army of locusts devastating the world, accompanied by apocalyptic signs: “Into the city they rush, on the wall they run. Onto the houses they climb, through the windows they enter like a thief. Before them the land trembles and the heavens rock. Sun and moon have become dark, and the stars have lost their brightness. Jehovah will raise his voice before his army, for his camp is very numerous. For the one carrying out His word is mighty; for the day of Jehovah is great and very awe-inspiring. Who can endure it?”
Revelation uses the same imagery as well, where it says: “And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and a great earthquake occurred; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the entire moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell to the earth as when a fig tree shaken by a high wind drops its unripe figs. And the heaven departed as a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and every island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the high officials, the military commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, and every free person hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. And they keep saying to the mountains and to the rocks: ‘Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’”
Surely a brief, two-minute eclipse would hardly cause everyone on earth to scurry in panic and dread. Revelation is presented in signs —symbols. The Scriptures are foretelling a great crash that will rock civilization —bringing it to its knees. It will seem as if the sky has fallen, that the sun has gone dark. These signs will coincide with the return of Christ.
More than likely this symbolism betokens the literal pall that will darken the skies as a result of the detonation of nuclear weapons and the resultant signature mushroom clouds they produce. Not only would governments collapse but the sun, moon and stars would literally be diminished by the great plumes of smoke and ash. Another likely scenario, an EMP generated by high-altitude nuclear blasts could cause great portions of the world to be plunged into darkness.
The prophecy of Joel seems to indicate this very thing, where Jehovah states: “And I will give wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awe-inspiring day of Jehovah.”
Indeed, the events associated with the return of Christ are not naturally occurring phenomena, such as an eclipse, or a passing comet or a so-called blood moon. The darkening of the skies will be a result of the madness unleashed by men, influenced by demons. It will serve as an undeniable, foreboding signal that this world is going to be completely destroyed and its reigning gods, Satan and his demons, are going to be deposed by Jesus Christ.