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Is The April 8 Solar Eclipse a Sign of God’s Judgment?

Recently, someone taped a three-page letter to the door of our church that stated that “God’s judgment is coming to America on April 8, 2024.” Facebook and YouTube are littered with Doomsday Prophets all proclaiming that America will be judged as the moon eclipses the sun on April 8. What, if anything, is so significant about this upcoming solar eclipse? Why are so many convinced that this eclipse is a harbinger of judgment?


If I understand what “some” people are claiming about the upcoming eclipse on April 8th, it will be a judgment on America, or even on the world. There are some who are even trying to say that it will be the sign of the second coming of Jesus. Basically, they claim that there are seven cities in the United States named Nineveh. Then they go through great lengths to “prove” that the path the eclipse will take across on the United States just happens to form a line directly over all seven of those cities named Nineveh. They go on to say if you go back to our previous eclipse and look at the path it crossed the United States at that time, the two eclipses together seem to form an “X” over America, as if to say that America is being “X’d” out in judgment.  


Then they quote Matthew 12:39 where Jesus says, “No sign will be given to this generation except for the sign of Jonah.”  Proponents of this view then try to argue that this same eclipse just happened to occur when Jonah was spit up by a great fish, and preached to the people of Nineveh that judgment was coming. Furthermore, proponents go on to “claim” that during the upcoming eclipse on April 8, the stars will form a “whale” constellation (this has actually been proven false by astronomers). So, they put it all together and say this is a sign of God’s judgement coming on America. 


For starters, there are not seven cities there are actually eight cities in the United States named Nineveh those cities are located in; Indiana, Adair County Missouri, Lincoln County Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, and Ohio. However, the truth is that out of the eight cities named Nineveh only two of them are actually in the direct path that the eclipse will travel (Ohio and Virginia).


Secondly, the proponents of this doomsday prophecy, do not quote the entire context of Matthew 12:39, where Jesus Himself gives the interpretation of what the sign of Jonah is. He was not talking about celestial signs in the stars. Matthew 12:39-40 in full context says, “No sign will be given to this generation except for the sign of Jonah, for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”  


As far as the claim that the same eclipse happened at the exact same time Jonah was in Nineveh, astronomers do confirm that it’s possible that within a ten-year window at approximately the same time period Jonah was in Nineveh there was an eclipse. However, that’s not precisely the exact same time, it’s a ten-year window. But whether or not there was an eclipse isn’t really relevant, because in the book of Jonah it wasn’t the eclipse that got everyone’s attention, it was the fact that he survived 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a whale or great fish, that happened to spit him up on the shore. The Ninevites worshipped the goddess Inanna sometimes called Nina who was depicted as a fish within a house. So, when the great fish spit Jonah out and he actually survived he instantly captured everyone’s attention. The fact that he was alive after 3 days and 3 nights was the miraculous sign that caused all of Nineveh to repent not an astronomical sign in the heavens. Furthermore, Jesus in Matthew 12:39-40 was interpreting what the “sign of Jonah” actually is. It is NOT a star formation in the heavens. Jesus made it clear that the sign of Jonah was a sign of His death, burial and ultimately His resurrection, when He would rise from the dead after 3 days.


All of that to say I would not give any credence to the claims that judgement is coming in April. In December 21 of 2020, the great conjunction the planets of Saturn and Jupiter took place. Social media was ablaze with one supposed prophecy after another saying the convergence of Saturn and Jupiter would mark the end of the world and the return of Jesus. December 21 passed, and Jesus did not return. Then on November 8 2022, when there was a Blood Moon, the YouTube Doomsday Prophets were claiming that the end of the world was coming. The moon turned blood red, and the world went on. But regarding the last day or day that Jesus would come back, Jesus said “No man knows the day or the hour” (Matt 24:36). Therefore, it’s safe to say that “no man knows,” means the YouTube prognosticators surely do not know. Their track record proves that Jesus was right when He said, “no man knows.”


The Bible tells us to “eagerly await the return of our Savior” (Philippians 3:20, NLT). While we should be excited to see Jesus come for His church and He could come for us at any moment. We need to temper our excitement, and make sure we don’t fall for every false prophet on YouTube. Jesus said, “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen one. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time” (Matthew 24:23-25, NLT). 



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