Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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The Four Blood Moons

Martyn McGeown

When the moon passes directly behind the earth, and the sun, earth and moon are in direct alignment, there is a lunar eclipse. Because in a total lunar eclipse the moon has a reddish glow, it is sometimes called a “blood moon.”

In recent years and months, John Hagee, pastor of Cornerstone Church, San Antonio, Texas, has been fuelling speculation of something significant happening on the date of these blood moons.

His theory is as follows.

First, God has given the sun, moon and stars as “signs” (Gen 1:14). Hagee interprets these signs to be God’s “billboards,” with which the Almighty warns the inhabitants of the earth, and especially Israel, of important events. Second, blood moons are associated in Scripture with the second coming (Joel 2:31). Of course, Hagee here assumes that when Scripture prophesies, “the moon will be turned into blood,” it refers to a lunar eclipse. Third, since lunar eclipses (or blood moons) are relatively common, Hagee looked for some really significant blood moons in history. He focused not on individual eclipses, but on sets of four lunar eclipses, called lunar tetrads. Since there have been 87 such tetrads since the birth of Christ, Hagee zeroed in on lunar tetrads that have coincided with Jewish feast days (the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles). Of those, there have been (not counting the ones we have just experienced in 2014-2015) eight. Of those eight, Hagee ignores five (162/163, 795/796, 842/843. 860/861, and 1949/1950) and concentrates on three.1

Those three occurred in 1493/1494 (the Spanish Inquisition), 1949/1950 (the “rebirth of Israel as a nation”), and 1967/1968 (The Six Day War). Since very significant events happened for Israel on those three tetrads, Hagee speculated that truly momentous, earth-shattering events would happen on the most recent tetrad (2014/2015). God is getting our attention! Something big is about to happen for Israel! At least, that was his claim in his 2013 book Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change.

Something big did happen. Excitement and speculation grew; Hagee’s book became a bestseller among gullible Christians; and the media mocked when (yet again!) nothing occurred in September 2015.

Hagee’s theory falls apart upon closer scrutiny. Remember that Hagee arbitrarily discards five of the eight tetrads as theologically insignificant. What about the Spanish Inquisition? Hagee focuses on the Edict of Expulsion, by which King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain banished the Jews from Spain. It was signed on March 31, 1492. The first blood moon of that tetrad occurred on April 21, 1493, almost a year after the Edict of Expulsion was signed!2 Similarly, Israel was recognised by the UN in December 1948, some four months before the first eclipse of that tetrad in April 13, 1949, which means that again God’s “signal” to the Jews was late. And as for the most recent tetrad (April 15, 2015; October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015 and September 28, 2015), nothing happened, except that some us were able to admire the blood red hue of the moon.

Ah, but what about the significance of these tetrads falling on Jewish feast days? Is God not telling us something in that? First, since the Jewish calendar is lunar (our calendar is solar), full moons often fall on Jewish feast days, so there is nothing surprising in that. Second, lunar eclipses are beautiful, but there are not billboards from heaven warning us of impending doom. Third, if God was really interested in warning the Jews, why was there no tetrad before AD 70, or at the time of the Holocaust? Fourth, Jewish Feast Days are insignificant in the New Testament age, having been abolished with the coming of Christ (Col. 2:16; Belgic Confession, Article 25). Fifth, God has warned the Jews, and all nations, in the sending of His Son, the resurrection of His Son from the dead, and the promise of a Day of Judgment, all of which is recorded in sacred Scripture (Acts 17:30-31). To paraphrase Luke 16:31, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though a lunar tetrad appear in the heavens.”

Hagee is wrong on several basic points. First, the tetrads of lunar eclipses are not the fulfilment of Joel 2:31 and other passages, which prophesy the moon turning to blood. That happens at the end of the world, and not throughout history. Second, we are not to find our eschatology in the stars (that is astrology, not eschatology) but in Scripture. Third, and probably most important, the modern state of Israel is not God’s chosen people. Hagee is a radical dispensationalist. He believes that it is the Christian’s duty to support Israel politically, financially and in every other way possible. God does not have a “special programme” for Israel which includes the rapture of the church.

Let there be no confusion. The modern secular, ungodly state of Israel is not, and shall not be in the future, God’s chosen people. God’s people are the church. We must not be carried away by strange end times speculation, but be sober and wait for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, we should expect more eschatological foolishness as the coming of the Lord draws nigh.

1 Hagee, who borrows much of this theory from Mark Biltz, appeals to NASA for the accuracy of the dates of the blood moons. NASA’s website,, lists all the tetrads in history (accessed October 13, 2015).
2 The exact dates of Hagee’s first tetrad were April 21, 1493; September 25, 1493; March 22, 1494; and September 15, 1494.