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'A Darkness so Thick You Can Feel It': Biblical Examples of Solar Phenomena

07-15-2017

You couldn't avoid it. Everyone on Monday was talking about or looking at the solar eclipse that passed over the entire United States on August 21.

It was a big deal because one hadn’t been visible from the continental United States in 37 years and one hadn’t passed over the whole country in almost 100 years.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking out a significant chunk of the Sun’s rays.

So what does the Bible have to say about this strange natural occurrence?

There are passages scattered throughout scripture that talk about the sun being blacked out or darkness descending on the land.

Sounds kind of like an eclipse, right?

During the plagues of Egypt, God covered the land in a darkness. Exodus 10:21-23 says, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward heaven, and the land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it.” So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days. During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived."

And during Jesus’ crucifixion in the New Testament, something similar happens.

Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.’ Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon," says Mark 15:32-33.

There are also biblical prophecies about the sun going dark.

Revelation 6:12 reads, “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.”

And different passages in different books predict what seems to be the same thing.

Matthew 24:29 also foretells a sort of eclipse, or something like one. It says, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened.”  Mark 13:24 essentially says the same thing.

And both Joel 2:31 and Acts 2:20 say that the sun has to go dark, and the moon must turn “into blood,” before the “day of the Lord,” happens.

So while this may be a strange occurrence, it’s no secret to God or the authors of the Bible. In fact, many believe that God uses signs and wonders in the heavens to communicate with His people.

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