"The sun will be darkened, & the moon will not give its light." How do events like this affect superstitious humans?

by fulltimestudent 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • fulltimestudent

    The Gospel of Matthew's homily on the signs connected with the imagined return of christ, features an element of the sign that seems to really scare superstitious people.

    Matthew 24:29 reads: "Immediately after the distress of those days "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;"

    In the nineteenth century such an even occurred twice in the 19th century and apparently became part of Charlie Russell's conviction that the end of the world was nigh, Charlie, of course, was a 'man of faith' accepting the bible as true and not willing to search for alternative explanation for such events. If Charlie R. had been the sort of person that continually asks why, his life and ours may have taken a different course.

    I cannot quote where in his mass of writings he cites those 19th C events (its a long time since I've bothered to be interested in his writings), but mention them he did, and saw these events as proof of the imminent return of jesus christ.

    So let's look at these two 19th C.natural occurrences, and compare them to another occurrence some 1400 years ago.

    The 19th C events occurred in 1814-16 and again circa, 1883. The reason for the sun and moon being darkened was volcanic activity, easy for us to appreciate, but more difficult for religiously superstitious people.

    The Wikipedia encyclopedia notes the 1814-16 event: Quote."The year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer (also the Poverty Year and Eighteen Hundred and Froze To Death)[1] because of severe climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F).[2] This resulted in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere.[3]

    Evidence suggests that the anomaly was predominantly a volcanic winter event caused by the massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) . This eruption was the largest eruption in at least 1,300 years (after the extreme weather events of 535–536), and perhaps exacerbated by the 1814 eruption of Mayon in the Philippines." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer )

    Charlie was, of course, not an eye-witness to that event, but was alive for the second, 1883 event: An eye-witness account describes the after affects - "The air grew steadily darker and darker, and at 10:30 a.m. we were in total darkness, just the same as on a very dark night. The wind was from the west-ward, and began to increase till it reached the force of a hurricane.

    So we let down both anchors and kept the screw turning slowly at half speed in order to ride over the terribly high seas which kept suddenly striking us presumably in consequence of a "sea quake," and made us dread being buried under them. Awnings and curtains from forward right up the main-mast, three boat covers, and the uppermost awning of the quarter deck were blown away in a moment. Some objects on desk which had been lashed got loose and were carried overboard; the upper deck hatchways and those on the main deck were closed tightly, and the passengers for the most part were sent below.
    Heavy storms.
    The lightning struck the mainmast conductor six or seven times, but no damage. The rain of pumice-stones changed to a violent mud rain, and this mud rain was so heavy that in the space of ten minutes the mud lay half a foot deep.
    Kept steaming with the head of the ship as far as possible seawards for half an hour when the sea began to abate, and at noon the wind dropped away entirely. Then we stopped the engine. The darkness however remained as before, as did also the mud rain." (from VanSANDICK)

    (http://historyofgeology.fieldofscience.com/2010/08/august-27-1883-krakatoa-day-world.html )

  • Bobcat

    See this post and included links (on another site) that interprets Mt 24:29 and its counterpart in Luke (Luke 21:25-26) within the time frame that Jesus gave: He said that the events he referred to (in Mt 24:29) would occur "immediately after the tribulation of those days" and that "all these things" would occur before 'this generation passes away.' (Mt 24:34)

    One of the links also attempts to fit the "time and times and half a time" of Dan 12:7 to these events.

  • WTWizard

    This happens all the time. During a new moon, the moon does not give off any light--and neither does the sun after it has gone down. You get past astronomical twilight, only the stars give off their light (and a few planets, if they are near opposition to the sun). True, they are still giving off light, but it is missing your section of the earth at that time.

    It also happens during a total solar eclipse. This happens at a new moon--obviously, the moon is not giving off its light toward the earth and the sun is being blocked by the moon. And what happens when you get a big storm? Usually, the light is blocked from sun, moon, and stars. I have seen thunderstorms that have done that, only to have the light return once the storm passes (of course, there is a source of light--that is called lightning).

    Neither have anything to do with that foul god joke-hova.

  • Acluetofindtheuser

    Norse mythology has an event called Fimbulwinter that supposed to happen in the future. This is a time when there are 3 consecutive winters with no warming between them. Odin reports that Fenrir, the wolf, has devoured the sun and he asks the other gods on how it will be replaced. After the 3 winters are over and the sun is replaced then the gods go to war with each other. That war is called Ragnarok. Odin and Fenrir kill each other. Thor and a giant snake serpent kill each other. Loki and Heimdallr kill each other. Tyr, the god of war, kills and is killed by Garmr the Hell hound.

  • smiddy3

    Genesis talks about the two great luminaries one for the day and one for the night ,OK ?

    As far as the luminary for the day ( Sun) in most of the earth it does appear to rise in the morning and set in the evening of each and every day throughout the 365-6 days of the year.

    However in the Arctic regions both north and south that may not always be the case .

    The sun never rises or else the sun never sets. For a good period of time .

    In the case for the luminary of the night (moon) that`s not always the case .Because some nights the moon just fails to appear simply because its visible during the day time on the other side of the earth.

    So in actual fact their are many times during the year that the moon will not give its light and that has always been the case .

  • waton
    Because some nights the moon just fails to appear simply because its visible during the day time on the other side of the earth.S3

    which will be the case in 1965 days from now, when the Moon will be in the morning sky over North America, bathed in earth shine, and then will block out the sun, in a solar eclipse. The Moon will be shining, but the sun not.

    Go and see it. verify, that humans can predict the future, it's only wt that can't, listen to the humans that can.

  • Ultimate Axiom
    Ultimate Axiom

    My sister became a Witness in the late 60s, and was largely responsible for me joining. She got cancer about ten years ago and was a loyal dub right to the end. One thing she said before she died was that she was so disappointed not to be able to witness the signs in the sun and the moon (as per the God’s Kingdom Rules book, page 226). It was the only time I felt so sad for her being a Witness, to have spent her whole adult life waiting for something that was never going to happen.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Before science explained things rationally for us, the world was buzzing with supernatural forces.

    For the ancients, looking upward was to glimpse the divine heavens. For them it was as if the circular world was covered by an inverted glass bowl; the events in the sky, the weather, the passage and phasing of sun moon and stars were all played out at the level of the heavenly dome. They were so lofty and so wonderful--they must have meaning since everything had a 'spiritual' meaning. Life back then was as Thomas Hobbes said echoing Job: "short lived and brutish," there must be something better. The heavens are above the Earth, down here is the home where us poor mortals dwell and the heavens are the abode of the immortal gods-- then it would follow to look to the heavens for a sign!

    You can after all predict the coming weather especially if you live outdoors, you become able to read the signs. By reading the position of the stars and the position of the sunrise and sunset by markers on the horizon, you can accurately say what time of year it is without a printed calendar-- and therefore know when to sow each of the different crops.

    The heavenly canopy was not just predictive but also a source for universal folk myth. All children being taught these tales handed down through endless generations the things represented by the heavenly constellations. Being universally superstitious, these stories also were taken literally to predict divine revenge and cataclysmic change. The Bible perpetuated many of these sentiments by changing them from oral tradition to written text.

    Today only superstitious people believe in prophecies.

  • Vidqun

    Perhaps viewing it from another angle might be helpful. One should keep in mind that some Biblical prophecies could have a primary as well as a secondary fulfillment. If you believe that you are in good company. A number of scholars (e.g., Jerome, Martin Luther) would view Antiochus IV Epiphanes as a type of the Antichrist. And that would explain the partial or secondary (imperfect) fulfillments of Daniel’s prophecies during the years leading up to the second century BCE. The full or primary (perfect) fulfillment would occur, with new role players, during the end time (cf. Dan. 11:40-45). Most famous example of a double fulfillment must be the composite sign of Jesus’ end time prophecy, which deals with the conclusion of the Jewish system, yet corresponds to his parousia at the conclusion of the present system (cf. Matt. 24, 25; Mark 13; Luk. 21). Note also some OT prophecies deal primarily with Israel and its neighbors, but then reminds the reader of the day of the LORD and the final reckoning of the human race. E.g. Is. Is. 2:9-12, 17, 19-21; Joel 2:30, 31; cf. Rev. 6:12-17.

  • Half banana
    Half banana
    " One should keep in mind that some Biblical prophecies could have a primary as well as a secondary fulfillment."

    More importantly one should keep in mind that the Bible is useless for prophecy.

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