Book Review: Four Blood Moons

BloodMoonby Deana Chadwell    1/18/14
Not long ago I stood in the parking lot at church with the rest of the evening congregation and stared at the moon. It was blood red. I’d never seen one before – it was the eeriest, most chilling spectacle. I almost expected it to start dripping. So when I needed to round out my Amazon order (I’d rather pay for another book than pay for shipping.) John Hagee’s Four Blood Moons caught my eye.

Hagee is pastor of the giant Cornerstone Church in San Antonio and has authored several New York Times bestsellers. Four Blood Moons, his most recent book, bears the portentous subtitle Something is About to Change. That resonates since all of us who are paying attention have that ominous feeling crawling down our spines. His thesis revolves around a combination of NASA forecasts about the coming solar and lunar eclipses, Jewish feast days, and ancient prophecies.

He does a good job early on in the book legitimizing the business of looking to the heavens for signs. He reminds the reader of God’s control over the universe by retelling the story of Joshua the day the sun stood still, and Hezekiah’s experience with the moving of the sundial. Of course he also deals with the Star of Bethlehem, which reminded me of Rick Larson’s wonderful video of the same name and all the heavenly messages God has sent throughout human history. It was partially Larson’s work on the Star that set me up to take Hagee’s argument seriously.

His thesis centers on the three times in the last 500 years that four lunar eclipses have coincided with 4 Jewish holidays in consecutive order over a period of 2 years. This arrangement is referred to as a tetrad. The moons appear on Passover in the spring, again on Succot in the fall, then the pattern repeats itself the following year and in the midst of this series of lunar eclipses a solar eclipse also occurs. Big deal, right? But here’s Hagee’s point: Those last three tetrads started in the years 1492, 1948, and 1963.

He spends several chapters clarifying for the reader just what happened in those years:

• In 1492 not only did Columbus sail the ocean blue, but Ferdinand and Isabella kicked the Jews out of Spain – it marks the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition. The substantial Jewish population of Spain was either killed (thousands burned at the stake) or sent packing. Their considerable property was confiscated – no doubt part of that fortune paid for Columbus’s trip to the new world.

• In 1948, following the Holocaust, Israel was declared as an independent nation and Jews from all over the world re-gathered in their ancient homeland.

• In 1967 the Jews fought the decisive and miraculous Six-Day War which brought all of Jerusalem under Jewish control.

That’s just the backstory. Hagee goes on to explain that, according to NASA, the next tetrad begins this year at Passover. Another one happens in the fall at Succot, then comes a total solar eclipse and then a repeat of the 2014 blood moons in the spring and fall of 2015. So his question is: what is going to happen?

He answers this question by going to prophecy. He works his way through prophetic passages in Joel and Acts warning that the sun will be darkened and the moon turn to blood before the 2nd Coming. He looks closely at Ezekiel’s description of the coming Middle East war clearly involving an attack on Israel by, guess who?, Russian and Iran. Funny those two would be conspiring even as we speak to eradicate Israel.

Hagee admits to not knowing exactly what will happen, but merely insists that something, regarding Israel, something momentous is about to happen. He’s not saying that every time an important event happens to/with Israel that four blood moon occur, but that every time, in the last 500 years, that a tetrad has occurred, Israel has been in the middle of some huge event. And he’s saying, quite convincingly, that it’s about to happen again.
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Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com. • (3830 views)

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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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16 Responses to Book Review: Four Blood Moons

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Another writer who has made serious use of the Ezekiel prophecies (though not the blood moons) is Joel C. Rosenberg (not to be confused with the SF writer Joel Rosenberg). Of course, another possible interpretation is that it simply foreshadows the great attempt by Iran to destroy Israel. (In her Thanksgiving video, satirist Sunny Lohmann gave thanks to the condo in Israel she bought for $500 — then wondered why it was so cheap as a photo of the Iran nuclear deal agreement appeared.)

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Being a skeptic about “prophets” and their prophesies, I am inclined to think that most such books are written for an audience which is nervous about present day problems and looking for some type of assurance, in a manifest form, that God really is watching over us. A ready market for selling lots of books.

    History is replete with such predictors and predictions as mankind, or at least some large percentage of mankind, is always in such a state. I would venture to say all such predictions have been shown to be false and faded into a well deserved oblivion.

    Since the Spring of 2014 is upon us, we should be able to witness the veracity of Hagee’s prophecy. But given the vagueness of his prediction, he will no doubt be able to come up with some “happening” which will fulfill his prediction.

    At least he does not have the chutzpa to predict the return of Christ.

    • Sorry about your skepticism — but allow me to point out that every single prophecy regarding the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ came to pass — and I’m not talking about vague Nostradamus predictions — specific, verifiable predictions. Isaiah 53 for instance. There’s no logical reason why the rest won’t be. More and more of the Revelation prophecies are becoming technologically possible and the Ezekiel and Jeremiah predictions as well as Psalm 83 are starting to look more and more like front page headlines than something written 3,000 years ago. Hagee isn’t out on a weird limb by himself – he’s coming to the same conclusions that most careful Bible scholars are coming to. Thanks for reading.

      • faba calculo says:

        Many of the prophecies concerning Jesus didn’t look much like prophecies in their original context, but were kind of shoe-horned into being such.

        Take the whole “out of Egypt did I call my son” allegedly being confirmed by the flight of Jesus and His parents into Egypt and later returning. Read the text it’s based on, and it looks nothing like a Messianic prophecy.

        This sounds like The Jupiter Effect for a whole new generation.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Isaac Asimov once mentioned seeing a Jewish Bible in Spain in which the word almah in Isaiah was left in the original Hebrew rather than translated, because the word simply means “young woman”, not necessarily a virgin, but it was treated as a prediction of virgin birth by Christians and the Jews considered it inadvisable to translate the word honestly. In his Guide to the Bible, he doesn’t even consider the passage a far future prediction, but a short-term one to buck up Hezekiah in the face of the invasion by Sennacherib.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            “young woman”, not necessarily a virgin

            We have quite a few of those these days. And we have a word for that, but you can’t say it in polite company. 😀

          • faba calculo says:

            Interesting that you mention Asimov’s Guide To The Bible. I read it like 20 years ago. However, as I recall, he gives short shrift to the fact that, when the Jews went to translate almah into Greek, they chose parthenos, which has a very strong connotation of “virgin”, and not just “young girl”. So the idea that the Messiah would be born of a virgin may not have originated with the Christians.

            Still, this is another example of an alleged prophecy of the Messiah where, if you read the actual test, it sounds like it’s nothing of the sort.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Matthew in particular liked to link Jesus to old prophecies, and sometimes he seems to have been a bit overeager and thus found what he wanted to find.

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    ” In 1492 not only did Columbus sail the ocean blue, but Ferdinand and Isabella kicked the Jews out of Spain – it marks the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition”

    The Spanish Inquisition was formed at Isabella’s request in the 1470’s. The intent was not to expel the Jews from certain Spanish territories, it was to insure the “Conversos” and others were in fact practicing Catholicism. So the the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition could not have had anything to do with the tetrad of 1492.

    It was not the Inquisition which caused the expulsion of the Jews in what had now become a unitary Spanish State. It was a royal decree that in 1492 gave Jews in Spain the choice of converting or leaving. As to the thousands burned at the stake, the estimates of persons executed during the 350 life of the Spanish Inquisition is estimated to be around 2,000 based on documents from the Autos de Fe’. That works out to fewer than 6 per year on an average basis. This is not a small number. Most of those killed were in the first 50 years of the Inquisition and there were a large number of Protestants included in the number. Muslim converts who did not really practice Christianity are also killed. There were also witches and other such persons executed. So the Inquisition had bigger aims than simply going after the Jews although more Jews were killed than others groups.

    As to Columbus, Conversos were major financiers of his trip.

    “He looks closely at Ezekiel’s description of the coming Middle East war clearly involving an attack on Israel by, guess who?, Russian and Iran.”

    Russia is mentioned nowhere in the Bible. It is not clear what place is meant with Magog, but Gog’s allies (with the exception of Gomer) are located in the area of modern day Turkey.

    Passover this year starts at sundown April 14th and ends April 21st. Unless Hagee’s prediction is open ended, we should see some major happening in Israel soon.

    I think skepticism is a healthy thing. Many people claim to be doing God’s work, but as is made clear in the Bible, many of them really aren’t. Maybe Hagee is or maybe he isn’t, that is not for me to judge, but I can use my reason to cast a discriminating eye on his pronouncements.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’m just about done watching the HBO series, “Rome,” for the second time. It was interesting to see how prophesy (including the practice of augury wherein one would “take the auspices”….the root, of course, of something being “auspicious”) played an important role in daily life. They were always looking at the entrails of dead animals or finding omens in every act or part of nature.

      And that is the way of mankind. Whether or not there is an intelligent intent behind various occurrences, we will try to find them nonetheless. My own predilection is toward seeing a comet as just a comet, and a hen’s liver as just a hen’s liver. I think if we took an objective look at the fulfillment of omens, prophecies, and auguries, the success ratio wouldn’t be good. But it’s interesting to think about.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        “a hen’s liver as just a hen’s liver”

        Brad,

        I think this is where we have a fundamental parting of the ways. I see a hen’s liver as the first step to a chopped liver sandwich with mustard and onions. I prefer rye bread but could be convinced to take in on wheat.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Livy often cited portents and omens in his history. Even more interesting in some ways, though it doesn’t involve prophecies, is the Athenian response to their desperate victory at the Arginusae — they executed the victorious commanders for failing to save their sailors in the sea (and in particular for failing to perform the appropriate funeral rites on them, thus condemning them to wander instead of reaching their final rest in Hades).

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’ve read only a bit about Athens. It seems they truly had a self-destructive streak driven by hubris….not unlike our society of today.

  4. ladykrystyna says:

    This post brought to mind my own brief research on Catholicism and the Book of Revelation. Hollywood movies always connect the two. But I don’t recall ever learning anything close to what was portrayed about the Anti Christ, the number of the beast, etc.

    I discovered that the Catholic Church does not take a Left Behind literal translation point of view of that final book of the Bible.

    Not to say that Catholics don’t believe in the Second Coming. Just not in the way it is portrayed in Hollywood and the Left Behind series.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      This may explain why so many people err in presenting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The first “went forth conquering and to conquer” and the second “was given the power to take away peace” — so we could interpret them as conquest and war, or perhaps war and civil disorder. The third (offering “a ration of wheat for a day’s wages” in at least one translation) clearly refers to famine; and the fourth, on a pale horse, is Death followed by Hades given power to kill a fourth of the population “with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts”. It’s possible that “they” who are given this power to kill were all the horsemen together, in which case the Fourth might be pestilence (some versions apparently give him a pale green horse).

      Incidentally, as a bit of a lark, I once worked up the Beast as being a group of liberal ideologues (666 in number). And Bill Clinton was the Great Whore of Babylon, before whom the leaders of the world bowed.

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