Due to forest fires up north, the sky has been pretty smoky some days. My mother is a photographer who never misses a moment to snap a cool picture. I’ve nabbed this “red sun at night” photo from her Facebook feed.
She always gets a lot of likes for her stuff and supportive comments. This morning I noticed this comment from a friend of hers in New Brunswick.
It-s written in the Bible…that wewill see lhe moon red,,,,”
(Ignore the weird spelling and punctuation in this case; English is not the woman’s first language and she has no typing skills to speak of but she still wants to take part in the conversation.)
My first temptation was to retort with a comment of my own but I decided to put it here instead:
The bible also bans the eating of shellfish. Pick what part you want to follow, I guess…
(Seafood is big in New Brunswick.)
She’s confused the Mom’s Sun with the bible’s Moon in her comment but never mind that for now. What does the bible say about the Moon? First off, the anonymous storytellers were not astronomers. I take from the only version of the bible I’ll read, the Skeptic’s Annotated, starting at Genesis:
In an apparent endorsement of astrology, God places the sun, moon, and stars in the firmament so that they can be used “for signs”. This, of course, is exactly what astrologers do: read “the signs” in the Zodiac in an effort to predict what will happen on Earth. 1:14
God makes two lights: “the greater light [the sun] to rule the day, and the lesser light [the moon] to rule the night.” But the moon is not a light, but only reflects light from the sun. And why, if God made the moon to “rule the night”, does it spend half of its time moving through the daytime sky? 1:16
(32:7-8) God “will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.” To Ezekiel, the sun is just a little light that can be covered with a cloud, and the moon produces its own light.
Ezeikial 46:6 mentions the moon but only in terms of how to properly honour God on a New Moon night by sacrificing “a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram.”
Why do people insist prayer in schools is what God wants? Maybe he really just misses the smell of blood and flesh burned in his name. Focus less on prayer in schools and more on holy BBQs! No wonder he sends floods and earthquakes! There’s always a flood or an earthquake within a couple weeks of a new moon! Haven’t you noticed that? It’s proof I tell you! Proof!
But I digress.
The winning entry in the possible moon verses comes out of – you probably guessed already – Revelations. In this case, chapter 6. To sum up,
Jesus (the 7-horned, 7-eyed, 7-holy spirited dead lamb from chapter 5) begins breaking seals and all kinds of bad shit happens. Before each seal is broken, a beast tells John to “come and see.”
Seals One through Five are supposed to unleash all manner of horror on the world, essentially the four horsemen of the apocalypse to rain death and destruction on everyone plus all the dead martyrs so they can see their killers get what’s coming to them, I suppose. Seal Six:
Sixth seal: A great earthquake, the sun becomes black, and the moon red, the stars fall from heaven, mountains and islands move around, and everyone on earth wishes they were dead (if they’re not already).
(6:12) “There was a great earthquake; and the sun became black … and the moon became as blood.”
(6:13) “The stars of heaven fell unto the earth.”
(6:14) “Heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
And 6:14 is there to once again illustrate the fact that these authors didn’t understand how the universe worked. Stars aren’t loosely hung on a black bed sheet and at risk of falling to the earth if someone shakes them a little. And falling stars aren’t even falling stars in the first place. Total misnomer. It’s always meteors.
Speaking of, we’re in the midst of the yearly Perseids show, running from July 13 to August 26 and supposed to peak around August 12/13 or so. If you like watching that sort of thing.