The Sun, Moon And Stars Of Matthew 24:29

This Olivet Discourse Deception study is about the meaning of the Sun, Moon and Stars of Matthew 24:29.

The ‘sun, moon and stars’ are symbolic of earthly dignitaries, great political authorities and great lights in the political or religious heavens.

We know this because in Genesis 37:8-10, Joseph had a dream, ..”And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me. So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” It was symbolic of the power structure.

Here are examples which are clearly not about the literal sun, moon and stars.

Isaiah 13:10 is referring to the Babylonian leaders being removed from power by the Medo-Persians.

For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

Isaiah 13:17 confirms this with, “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them,”

Isaiah 34:3-5 foretold the destruction of the Edomites and other nations which were enemies.

Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.”

Ezekiel 32:6-8 points to the Babylonians desolating Egypt, removing the Pharaoh (Sun) and his leaders (moon) from power.

I will also water with thy blood the land wherein thou swimmest, even to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of thee. And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD.”

Applying the symbols to Matthew 24:29, we can see that the Jewish leaders having their power structure removed, is clearly indicated.

As a result of the ‘people of the prince‘ of Daniel 9, the Roman army of Prince Titus; the temple and Jewish leadership system were desolated.

The High Priest was the Sun, the Sanhedrin Council was the Moon, and the many rabbis were the stars.

Mark 13:24-25 says:

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

This fulfilled the prophecy in Daniel 12:7, that said that the power of the holy people, the Jewish leadership, would be scattered.

And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

The disciples would have clearly understood that it was symbolic.

And this very destruction of Jerusalem is represented by the Prophet Joel by showing wonders in heaven and in earth – darkening the sun, and turning the moon into blood.

“And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” Joel 2:30-31

Commentaries from great theologians about the Sun, Moon and Stars of Matthew 24:29:

Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible:

Shall the sun be darkened, etc. The images here used are not to be taken literally. They are often used by the sacred writers to denote any great calamities. As the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars would be an inexpressible calamity, so any great catastrophe, any overturning of kingdoms or cities, or dethroning of kings and princes, is represented by the darkening of the sun and moon, and by some terrible convulsion in the elements. Thus the destruction of Babylon is foretold in similar terms, Isa 13:10; and of Tyre, Isa 24:23. The slaughter in Bozrah and Idumea is predicted in the same language, Isa 34:4. See also Isa 50:3; 60:19-20; Eze 32:7; Joe 3:15. To the description in Matthew, Luke has added, Lu 21:25 there should be “distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts falling them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming upon the earth.” All these are figures of great and terrible calamity. The roaring of the waves of the sea denotes great tumult and affliction among the people, Perplexity means doubt, anxiety; not knowing what to do to escape. Men’s hearts failing them for fear, or by reason of fear. Their fears would be so great as to take away their courage and strength.

Adam Clarke (1837)

“Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man. The plain meaning of this is, that the destruction of Jerusalem will be such a remarkable instance of divine vengeance, such a signal manifestation of Christ’s power and glory, that all the Jewish tribes shall mourn, and many will, in consequence of the manifestation of God, be led to acknowledge Christ and his religion. By.. of the land, in the text, is evidently meant here, as in several other places, the land of Judea and its tribes, either its then inhabitants, or the Jewish people wherever found.” (On Matt 24:30)

John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

Immediately after the tribulation of those days,… That is, immediately after the distress the Jews would be in through the siege of Jerusalem, and the calamities attending it; just upon the destruction of that city, and the temple in it, with the whole nation of the Jews, shall the following things come to pass; and therefore cannot be referred to the last judgment, or what should befall the church, or world, a little before that time, or should be accomplished in the whole intermediate time, between the destruction of Jerusalem, and the last judgment: for all that is said to account for such a sense, as that it was usual with the prophets to speak of judgments afar off as near; and that the apostles often speak of the coming of Christ, the last judgment, and the end of the world, as just at hand; and that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, will not answer to the word “immediately”, or show that that should be understood of two thousand years after: besides, all the following things were to be fulfilled before that present generation, in which Christ lived, passed away, Mt 24:34 and therefore must be understood of things that should directly, and immediately take place upon, or at the destruction of the city and temple,

Shall the sun be darkened: not in a literal but in a figurative sense; and is to be understood not of the religion of the Jewish church; nor of the knowledge of the law among them, and the decrease of it; nor of the Gospel being obscured by heretics and false teachers; nor of the temple of Jerusalem, senses which are given into by one or another; but of the Shekinah, or the divine presence in the temple. The glory of God, who is a sun and a shield, filled the tabernacle, when it was reared up; and so it did the temple, when it was built and dedicated; in the most holy place, Jehovah took up his residence; here was the symbol of his presence, the mercy seat, and the two cherubim over it: and though God had for some time departed from this people, and a voice was heard in the temple before its destruction, saying, “let us go hence”; yet the token of the divine presence remained till the utter destruction of it; and then this sun was wholly darkened, and there was not so much as the outward symbol of it:

and the moon shall not give her light; which also is to be explained in a figurative and metaphorical sense; and refers not to the Roman empire, which quickly began to diminish; nor to the city of Jerusalem; nor to the civil polity of the nation; but to the ceremonial law, the moon, the church is said to have under her feet, Re 12:1 so called because the observance of new moons was one part of it, and the Jewish festivals were regulated by the moon; and especially, because like the moon, it was variable and changeable. Now, though this, in right, was abolished at the death of Christ, and ceased to give any true light, when he, the substance, was come; yet was kept up by the Jews, as long as their temple was standing; but when that was destroyed, the daily sacrifice, in fact, ceased, and so it has ever since; the Jews esteeming it unlawful to offer sacrifice in a strange land, or upon any other altar than that of Jerusalem; and are to this day without a sacrifice, and without an ephod:

and the stars shall fall from heaven; which phrase, as it elsewhere intends the doctors of the church, and preachers falling off from purity of doctrine and conversation; so here it designs the Jewish Rabbins and doctors, who departed from the word of God, and set up their traditions above it, fell into vain and senseless interpretations of it, and into debates about things contained in their Talmud; the foundation of which began to be laid immediately upon their dispersion into other countries:

and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; meaning all the ordinances of the legal dispensation; which shaking, and even removing of them, were foretold by Hag 2:6 and explained by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 12:26 whereby room and way were made for Gospel ordinances to take place, and be established; which shall not be shaken, so as to be removed, but remain till the second coming of Christ. The Jews themselves are sensible, and make heavy complaints of the great declensions and alterations among them, since the destruction of the temple; for after having taken notice of the death of several of their doctors, who died a little before, or after that; and that upon their death ceased the honour of the law, the splendour of wisdom, and the glory of the priesthood, they add1,

“from the time that the temple was destroyed, the wise men, and sons of nobles, were put to shame, and they covered their heads; liberal men were reduced to poverty; and men of violence and calumny prevailed; and there were none that expounded, or inquired, or asked. R. Elezer the great, said, from the time the sanctuary were destroyed, the wise men began to be like Scribes, and the Scribes like to the Chazans, (or sextons that looked after the synagogues,) and the Chazans like to the common people, and the common people grew worse and worse, and there were none that inquired and asked;

that is, of the wise men there were no scholars, or very few that studied in the law,

Kenneth L. Gentry (1997)

“The cloud-coming of Christ in judgment is reminiscent of Old Testament cloud-comings of God in judgment upon ancient historical people and nations. The nature of the event has to do with a ‘Cloud-Coming’ of Christ. It is necessary here to understand the Old Testament backdrop for a proper comprehension of the matter. The Old Testament frequently uses clouds as indicators of divine judgment. That Christ’s taking vengeance of that exceeding wicked nation is called Christ’s “coming in glory,” and his “coming in the clouds,” Daniel 7.

Marcellus Kik (1971)

“This clause has been thought to relate definitely to the second, visible, and personal coming of the Lord.  But in the light of well-defined biblical language, the reference is rather to a coming in terms of the events of his providence in judgment against his enemies and in deliverance of his people..  Many commentators have taken it for granted that the expression “coming in the clouds” refers to a visible coming of Christ.  A careful study of the Scriptures, however, reveals that that is not a necessary interpretation.” (An Eschatology of Victory, p, 140-141, cf. 142-143)

“The judgment upon Jerusalem was the sign of the fact that the Son of man was reigning in heaven. There has been misunderstanding due to the reading of this verse, as some have thought it to be ‘a sign in heaven.’ But this is not what the verse says; it says the sign of the son of Man in heaven. The phrase ‘in heaven’ defines the locality of the Son of Man and not of the sign. A sign was not to appear in the heavens, but the destruction of Jerusalem was to indicate the rule of the Son of Man in heaven.”

“The apostle Paul states in the eleventh chapter of Romans that the fall of the Jews was a blessing to the rest of the world. He speaks of it as the enriching of the Gentiles and the reconciling of the world. The catastrophe of Jerusalem really signalized the beginning of a new and world-wide kingdom, marking the full separation of the Christian Church from legalistic Judaism. The whole system of worship, so closely associated with Jerusalem and the Temple, received, as it were, a death blow from God himself. God was now through with the Old Covenant made at Sinai: holding full sway was the sign of the New Covenant.”  (ibid., pp. 137-138)

“The Old Testament is filled with solar, lunar, and stellar language depicting great political upheaval.  The rise of kingdoms is compared to the brightness of the sun, moon, and stars.  The brightness of these heavenly bodies means that a nation is in ascendancy.  When a nation is described as falling – coming under the judgment of God – it is compared to the sun and moon going dark and stars falling from the sky.” [Last Days Madness: The Folly of Trying to Predict When Christ Will Return (Atlanta: American Vision, 1977),96.]

As you can see, the symbolic language of Matthew 24:29 is describing the casting down of the Jewish leaders from power, ending the Jewish national existence.

David Nikao

Next Olivet Discourse Deception Study: Gathering Together His Elect

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jake Wilson October 24, 2018 at 7:51 pm

Sorry David,

But you are wrong again.

Matthew was not written in code as Revelation, hence the sun, the moon, and the stars don’t signify anything. Christ was talking about literal signs in the heavens, but of course you need to turn them into symbols to make them fit your theory.

Could you then please tell me what “distress of nations” and “the sea and the waves roaring” symbolise? I am sure you will find some fancy explanation… – how about: “The waves symbolise the waves of slaves and refugees which spread in the Roman Empire after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD” (I think there are plenty of people who would believe such stupidity).

In my Bible the period between the end of Israel’s Great Tribulation in 1948 and Messiah’s return is described thus:

After the tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall. And upon the earth there shall be distress of nations, with no way out; the sea and the waves roaring. (MARK 13:24-25, LUKE 21:25)

In 1948 a total solar eclipse preceded a blood moon tetrad, i.e., four total lunar eclipses in a row which fell on Pesach and Sukote alternately – the first such tetrad in 500 years (the last one had occurred in 1493 during the Spanish Inquisition). The same happened in 1966 with a blood moon tetrad spread over 1967/1968. Lastly, a third blood moon tetrad unfolded, falling on the same feast days and intersected by a total solar eclipse on 1st Aviv, the month when Egypt was destroyed and Israel crossed the Red Sea – that Aviv was 3½ years ago, a time span heralding judgment. Other heavenly signs include the increase in asteroids and meteors or falling stars, last year’s US Eclipse as well as the celestial alignment on the third day after Yom Truah (September 23rd 2017). It was virtually the same alignment as at Yeshua’s birth on September 11th, 3 BC, fulfilling REV 12:1-5 and the Sign of the Son of Man (MT 24:30):

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed in the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And she being with child cried out in travail, and she gave birth to a Son, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. REV 12:1-2, 5

We have had two tsunamis drowning 250,000 people, two nuclear catastrophes rated at the highest level, the last one caused by a tsunami, the previous killing a million people (in the aftermath; of course not officially published). We have seen an increase in war, terror and migrant threats since 9/11, the worst global recession since the Great Depression and over 10,000 people wiped out by Ebola. Today 20 million people are being threatened by the worst famine since WW2.

So, what do you think is still missing, David? Pope Francis promoting some silly RFID chips?

We are so close to Armageddon and God’s fiery vengeance, but – “as in the days of Noah – they knew not until the flood came, and took them all away” (also thanks to websites like yours).

Regards,

Jake

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David October 24, 2018 at 8:05 pm

Jake, you tell me that I’m wrong, again. You point to websites like mine that are misleading people. You reject the many answers that I’ve taken time to provide. And then you ask me “what do you think is still missing, David?” You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, because no doubt you disagree with my explanation of the fulfillment of Revelation too.

You ignore the many scriptures which show that the sun, moon and stars, point to leadership organization.

Isaiah 13:10 is referring to the Babylonian leaders being removed from power by the Medo-Persians.

“For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.“

Isaiah 13:17 confirms this with, “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them,”

Isaiah 34:3-5 foretold the destruction of the Edomites and other nations which were enemies.

“Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.”

Ezekiel 32:6-8 points to the Babylonians desolating Egypt, removing the Pharaoh (Sun) and his leaders (moon) from power.

“I will also water with thy blood the land wherein thou swimmest, even to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of thee. And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD.”

It’s really easy to see how the High Priest (sun), the Sanhedrin (moon) and the many Jewish priests (stars); were indeed were darkened, as their temple was destroyed and they were killed.

You disagree with practically all of my explanations. Time will tell who is right.

I’ll stick with taking Messiah at His clear word, that all of the things that He described in His Olivet Discourse were fulfilled in that generation.

David

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Jake Wilson October 24, 2018 at 8:41 pm

Well, you don’t expect me to agree with you if I think you are wrong, do you?

I am not ignoring the above Scriptures, but they simply don’t apply to Matthew because Matthew wasn’t written in code – it’s as simply as that.

Why should the signs in the sun, etc. be symbolic if the rest of Matthew is not?

But you always evade and never give answers. What do “the sea and the waves roaring” signify? No answer. Did the Dead Sea start roaring in 70 AD? So what does it symbolize?

No need to answer that, David, but I hope you get the point.

Reply

David October 25, 2018 at 1:33 am

Were Isaiah 13:10, Isaiah 34:3-5 and Ezekiel 32:6-8 written in code? No. Scripture has given us clear examples, and we see that it applied to the Jewish leadership system.

You not agreeing that the Olivet Discourse narrative was fulfilled in the 1st century, doesn’t change the facts. 1.1 million Jews died in and around Jerusalem. Nobody buried the dead bodies, as the Roman army was camped outside the city. Bodies were stacked in heaps around Jerusalem, and in the temple area. Bodies filled the trees surrounding Jerusalem. And the birds and animals feasted on the dead bodies.

The temple was destroyed, the city desolated and the Jewish leaders were either killed or sold into slavery.

The Abomination of Desolation is symbolic. Messiah coming in power and glory is symbolic. The eagles (the Roman army) gathering where the carcase is symbolic.

The sea and waves roaring is symbolic. Waters symbolically point to people. A sea is a large group of people, the three divisions of the Roman army, who FLOODED Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and killed hundreds of thousands of Jews by the sword.

There was 1,290 days from when the first division of the Roman army surrounded Jerusalem in 66 CE, fulfilling the prophecy of the Abomination of Desolation; until 70 CE, when the Roman army fulfilled Daniel 9:26-27, as the ‘people of the prince’ flooded the city to desolate it. “and the end thereof shall be with a FLOOD, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”

The prophecies of Daniel 9, Daniel 12 and Matthew 24 are all connected.

Reply

Matthew November 22, 2018 at 8:56 pm

Hi David,

Could you please provide a more detailed explanation of Luke 21:25-28? People being anxious about the roaring of the sea and of the waves seems like it could also refer to the current fear people have about rising sea levels with global warming and the tsunamis that have happened in recent decades. Also, what does it mean that the disciples’ redemption is drawing near? How is it possible that this could be fulfilled by the destruction of Jerusalem?

I am a Christian, but confused and undecided on how to interpret Matthew 24/Luke21/Mark 13. Your material has been very helpful already. Thankyou!

Reply

David December 17, 2018 at 3:37 am

Hi Matthew, I apologize for the slow response!

Luke 21:32-3 says, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”

So that tells us that what Messiah described in Luke 21:25-28 was fulfilled in that generation, and that it’s not about the end times.

Luke 21:25 is pointing to the High Priest (sun), Sanhedrin (moon) and priests (stars) being removed from power by the Roman army, who desolated the temple and Jerusalem. Read http://theolivetdiscourse.com/the-sun-moon-and-stars-of-matthew-24-29/

Luke 21:26 is pointing to the Jewish leadership system, the temple, and the Jewish nation, being desolated; which no doubt caused onlookers to be in fear.

Luke 21:27 is pointing to Messiah coming in power and glory, commanding the Roman army to carry out His work. Josephus and others saw armies in the heavens around Jerusalem, to symbolize it’s desolation. Read http://theolivetdiscourse.com/matthew-24-messiah-coming-in-the-clouds-with-power-and-great-glory/

Luke 21:28 is pointing to the saint who had escaped Judea and fled to the mountains, that after they saw all of these things take place, then they would be safe. Messiah said that the elect would endure until the end of the time of tribulation.

Redemption can mean deliverance, so it would read “your deliverance draweth nigh.” The saints were delivered, saved, from the catastrophe that came upon the Jews; when 1.1 million Jews died in and around Jerusalem from famine, pestilence, infighting, suicide, crucifixion and by the Roman sword.

Josephus records that not one believer was killed.

After this time of great tribulation, the saints were gathered together and given their marching orders, to go preach the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire.

I hope that provides some clarity!
David

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