The Great American Eclipse – What Does It Mean?

by PJ Hanley

The Bible tells us that the Sun, Moon and Stars, are not just for lights and seasons and years, Picture1but for signs as well.

“And God said, let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” Gen 1:14

This does not mean that their movements always contain messages for us, but when the events are rare and over our head, they can be clear signs from heaven. Secular minded folks, however, rely on their education regarding these things. They dismiss the notion outright that a conjunction or an eclipse might be a message from God. Sadly, many Christians also mock the significance of these events despite the clear teaching of the Bible. But those who have their minds renewed and are eagerly awaiting Him[1], weigh them carefully. Consider the Magi, who came from the East to worship the newborn King, because in their astronomical observance, they saw a rare conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in the constellation Leo. This looked like a very bright star that signaled the Messiah’s birth. This event is recorded in the gospels and is not considered strange or weird. Furthermore, Jesus Himself told us that there would be signs in the heavens.

There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Luke 21:25-26

This does not mean, that when we see a sign in the cosmos, the Tribulation has come or Jesus will arrive the day after. What we are told is that signs in the heavens will occur and increase in intensity before His return. Therefore, we must be wise and consider the possible significance of rare conjunctions and alignments of the sun, moon and stars. With this as a backdrop then, let us consider the Total Solar Eclipse that takes place on Monday (Aug 21, 2017) in the United States of America.

Yankee Doodle Darkness

The Eclipse will begin sometime around 9AM and carve a path from Oregon to South Carolina. The only land it will cross is the United States. Many are reporting that the last time this happened was in 1776, at the birth of the nation.[2] I cannot verify this with hard data, but if it is true, then it is astonishing. However if it is false, it would mean that this would be the first time ever a Total Solar Eclipse crossed the land mass of the United States alone. Furthermore, seven years from now, on April 8, 2024 (Nissan 1st)[3], another one will cross our country from the South marking an x or the Hebrew letter TAV (which means sign or mark) on the map. What does all this mean, you may ask? Well before we consider that, let’s look at the following amazing facts about this solar eclipse.

  1. The totality line will cross 12 States. All the rest of the country will see a partial eclipse. The number 12 is very significant in the Bible since it represents government, authority and power. It is also the number that represents a nation. Israel had 12 tribes, Solomon had 12 princes, and Jesus chose 12 apostles.
  1.  The path of darkness will be 70 miles wide. The number 70 is also very significant in the Bible. It is the number of the nations listed after the flood[4], the length of a generation, and the time of exile for Israel. The number is extremely significant for Jerusalem.[5] Incidentally, the first town to see darkness will be Salem, Oregon, which is named after Jerusalem. At the same time this is occurring, night will fall in Jerusalem. Could this be a sign of God’s judgment on America for our attempts to divide His Holy City for the last 30 years or so?
  1. The first contact is in Oregon, the 33rd State in the Union. It ends in South Carolina on the 33rd parallel on the 233rd day of the year. What is with the 33rd? I don’t know, but the totality will cross all the major fault lines, Cascadia, Yellowstone and the New Madrid. Also, the number 33 has a special relationship with earthquakes since the Richter Scale uses this number.
  1. The path of the eclipse is so situated that every state of the Union will have some of it!

Bad Omen?

Biblically speaking, darkness is not a sign of good to come. It was one of the plagues in Egypt[6] and will also be a plague in the Tribulation period.[7] The Sun turning to darkness is prophesied many times to occur at the end of the age. This will concur with God’s wrath and judgment on the world – though that is not simply an eclipse. Also, when Jesus died there was an earthquake and darkness fell on the land for three hours. This would rule out an eclipse, however, the darkness indicated judgment coming on the nation. Therefore, since an eclipse is a darkening of the Sun, it has never been viewed as a good sign, especially when it comes at certain specific times and dates.

Historically eclipses of the Sun are viewed as a portent of destruction or war. In these cases, it is a warning to repent and get right with God before disaster comes. This is particularly true when the eclipse occurs on the 1st of the Hebrew month of Elul, as this is the time of repentance. Moses fasted forty days and nights and Jesus did the same. The forty days from Elul 1st are set apart for repentance in preparation for Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement and Judgment. Yom Kippur occurs forty days after the 1st of Elul. Interestingly, this American Eclipse occurs on the 1st of Elul, which is August 21st this year. Other very significant eclipses have also fallen on this date signifying a time to repent. Some have fallen on other dates, warning of horrific events that perhaps could have been prevented had people repented and turned to God. For instance, it is believed that Nineveh had such an eclipse cross the nation in 763BC, prior to the coming of Jonah. Other events, such as an uprising and plague, together with this sign, apparently got their attention so that when Jonah came preaching repentance (on Elul 1st ), they were given forty days to repent. This they did and were spared. Unfortunately, others who got similar signs did not. Let us consider for a moment some of the other significant eclipses in history that seem to have signaled disaster or judgment.

June 8, 1918

A total eclipse crossed the United States on June 8, 1918.  It was not unique to the USA but it came just after the country had entered World War 1. On June 6, the Battle of Belleau Wood involving the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division began. It was one of the most ferocious battles fought by American troops during the War. During the three-week fight against the Germans, Americans experienced their first significant battlefield casualties with 5,000 killed. There was also a flu pandemic this year, which killed 50 million worldwide. It was also the year the war ended and President Woodrow Wilson became his global experiment that would lead to the League of Nations and eventually the UN.

AUG 21ST 1914

On Aug 21 of 1914, which was 1st of Elul, there was a total solar eclipse across Poland and on through the Ottoman Empire, just after the beginning of WW1.

“The Battle of Tannenberg was fought between Russia and Germany from 26–30 August 1914. The battle resulted in the almost complete destruction of the Russian Second Army and the suicide of its commanding general, Alexander Samsonov. A series of follow-up battles (First Masurian Lakes) destroyed most of the First Army as well and kept the Russians off balance until the spring of 1915. The battle occurred in what is now north-eastern Poland, and it happened five days after the eclipse centered just 281 miles from the battle. The eclipse was on 21st August – the day German and British troops first clashed on the Western Front.  Britain’s first military casualty, John Parr, died within minutes of the eclipse.[8]

Also, just as the eclipse continued throughout the Ottoman Empire, the war did also, and by the end it was no more. Instead, the British were in control of the Holy Land and the way was prepared for the return of Israel.

May 9th, 1948 – Korea

Big elections were planned for 10th May 1948. Just one day before, the United Nations agreed it was only going to monitor voting in the south, and on that very day – 9th May 1948 – there was an eclipse exactly over Korea.  Violence on the peninsula soon escalated, and by 1950 it was a full-scale war.


Whatever Monday’s spectacle means; it will surely be awe inspiring. Yet, for those of us who understand the signs of the times, there is great concern about what may be coming upon our beloved nation. As we study the End-Time scenario in our Bibles, America does not appear anywhere in the drama. That seems to suggest we cease to be a superpower and are no longer involved in the Middle-East. The reason for this is a bit scary. What is going to happen? With the recent riots of hate groups, the all-out rebellion against our constitution and laws, the threat of terrorism, and potential war with Korea, Russia, Iran, and even China, this Great American Eclipse could be a serious warning indeed. Are we entering another momentous time of world war? Is the Union splitting apart once again? Will we splinter into tiny countries? The collapse of our nation’s values and foundation has left us hopelessly divided. Perhaps even worse – could the promised earthquakes and explosions of magma, be about to take place? I don’t know. Maybe nothing at all will happen after the eclipse? Nevertheless, as you put on your special glasses to view the spectacular sight, make sure you have repented and surrendered to Christ, and while you’re at it, pray for the American people.

[1] Hebrews 9:28

[2] https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/solar-eclipses-in-history/2/

[3] Nissan 1st is the beginning of Spring on the Hebrew calendar.

[4] Genesis 10:32

[5] Daniel 9:24

[6] Exodus 10:21

[7] Revelation 16:10

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tannenberg

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