US Eclipse and September Constellation Alignment Cited as “End Times” Evidence

The once-staid broadsheet newspaper the Daily Telegraph poses an alarming question:

Will the 2017 solar eclipse cause a secret planet called ‘Nibiru’ to destroy Earth next month?

…David Meade, author of ‘Planet X – The 2017 Arrival’, asserts the planet Nibiru (also known as Planet X) will crash into our own on 23 September 2017.

…33 days after the US’ total solar eclipse – on the 23 September – the stars will align just as the book of Revelation says they will before the world ends. This, Meade points out, “is indeed an amazing omen and a frightful sign.”

Revelation’s chapter 12 depicts a “great sign”: that a “woman clothed with the sun, with the Moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head” will “give birth”.

On September 23, Meade says, the Moon will appear at the feet of the constellation Virgo (a virgin woman). At the head of Virgo there will be 12 stars, the nine stars of Leo and the planets Mercury, Venus and Mars.

The quotes from Meade are as “Meade told The Daily Star earlier this month”; the Daily Star previously publicised Meade’s views in January, and then again the day before the Telegraph article, with “more evidence… shared exclusively with Daily Star Online”.

This is typical August “silly season” fodder. Meade is an obscure figure, although according to the bio-blurb for his self-published Kindle book Planet X – The 2017 Arrival, he has “worked at a high level in the Government as well as with several Fortune 1000 Companies in Research”. He also has a website, where he expounds his theory in more detail (dates concerning the modern state of Israel feature) and advertises another book, The Prepper’s Guide to Surviving EMP Attacks, Solar Flares and Grid Failures.

However, while Meade is an outlier and the “Planet X” claims are extravagant, he’s not the only one to see the Great American Eclipse and the astronomical alignment of 23 September as having special spiritual significance. The context here is a nineteenth-century idea that can be summed up in the title of Joseph Seiss’s book The Gospel in the Stars (1882), in which the Greek zodiac was interpreted as a pagan corruption of symbolism in the skies that is more properly understood in relation to the Bible. Perhaps the highest-profile current exponent of this idea is Pastor Mark Biltz, who in 2010 came to the attention of WND with claims about Arcturus for which he cited a different nineteenth-century work, E.W. Bullinger’s The Witness of the Stars (1893), as I blogged at the time.

Two years previously, Biltz had first argued that the blood moon tetrad of 2015 would have spiritual significance, and as the date approached WND Books produced Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs, complete with a foreword by WND editor Joseph Farah. Biltz keeps his “decoding” conveniently vague, telling WND in a new article that “I do not predict the future as much as I like to analyze the past”. The Blood Moons and the astronomical events of this year do not mean that we can predict a calamity for a particular day; they are only supportive evidence that “we are definitely in the times of the Messiah”. Thus (links in the original):

“God declared in the last days Jerusalem would become a cup of trembling for all nations, which is exactly what is happening… Israel becoming a nation in a day was a fulfillment of end-times prophecy. Jerusalem being restored to Jewish hands in 1967 was a fulfillment of end-times prophecy. The Balfour declaration in 1917 and the first Zionist congress in 1897 are all signs the end times are closing in.

“The total lunar eclipses in 2014/2015 on Passover and Sukkot were signs Messiah is at the door. The solar eclipse this August is a sign as well as the sign in the stars at the end of September. So yes, we have been in the last of the last days since 1897…”

The End Times having started 120 years ago provides a bit of leeway for future projections. One of those links takes us to an earlier quote:

“We have had signs involving the four blood moons on the biblical feasts of Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015,” he said. “We have had and will have significant signs with the sun having total solar eclipses on March 20 of 2015, the first day of Nisan beginning the calendar year. Then we will have a solar eclipse this August 21 of 2017 which is at the time of the beginning of the month of Elul, the month of repentance. A month later, there will be additional signs in the stars during the 10 days of awe, with the constellation Virgo being ‘crowned’ with 12 stars from the constellation Leo for the first time.”

1 Elul corresponds with 23 August in 2017, although Hebrew dates begin with sundown the night before, meaning that 1 Elul also corresponds with the evening of 22 August. Thus the evening of 21 August and daytime of 22 August are actually the last day of the month of Av, but this is commemorated as Rosh Chodesh Elul, the start of the month of Elul.

The “crowning” of Virgo with “12 stars” from Leo (or 9 stars from Leo plus three planets, which is presumably what Biltz meant to say) is not in fact a unique occurrence; I claim no expertise in astronomy, so in this I defer to a professional astronomer, Christopher Graney, who writes that “this basic arrangement happened before — in September 1827, in September 1483, in September 1293, and in September 1056”.

It should also be noted that the link to the Book of Revelation is something of a stretch. According to the text of Revelation 12: 1-6:

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.  The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

If the first “great sign” that “appeared in heaven” is the constellation of 23 September (the “birth” supposedly indicated by the position of Jupiter – a point also addressed by Graney), where does that leave the second sign? There’s a whole symbolic drama here, not just an image of a woman giving birth. There is no reason to suppose that the author was referring to astronomical observations at all, although his obscure symbolism allows for all kinds of interpretations. Also, it’s not even clear that the “woman” is supposed to be Mary the mother of Jesus, even though this identification forms an element of the interest in Virgo (2).

Interestingly, the sceptics in this instance include the fundamentalist Creationists of Answers in Genesis.

Footnotes

(1) Biltz’s belief in the importance of the Hebrew calendar for Christians is further expounded in his book God’s Day Timer: The Believer’s Guide to Divine Appointments, published by WND Books last year. It comes with endorsements from Joel Richardson, promoter of the “Islamic Antichrist” theory, and from Carl Gallups, the pro-Trump pastor notorious for mocking bereaved Sandy Hook parents as actors.

(2) Some Catholics have also been drawn into this interpretation; a piece at Life Site News links the phenomenon to the 2015-2016 Year of Mercy and the hundredth anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima.

One Response

  1. If the End Times are upon us what’s the point of buying his books?
    He hasn’t thought this through has he?

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