Four Blood Moons
Christian Movie Review
It’s called a blood moon tetrad — four successive total lunar eclipses.
But it’s more than that. Blood moons happen all the time, frankly — at least, in the big scheme of things, over the course of centuries and millennia.
What is more rare, however, is when a blood moon tetrad falls exactly on the Jewish Feast of Passover in the spring and the Feast of Tabernacles in the fall for two consecutive years. The last time that happened was 1967, the year that several Arab nations attacked Israel and launched the Six-Day War. Before that, the last blood moon tetrad to fall exactly on the Biblical feast days occurred in 1948 when Israel became a nation, just before it was invaded by, yes, you guessed it, the surrounding Arab nations, which led to Israel’s War of Independence.
And before that, the last blood moon tetrad to fall on the Biblical feast days occurred in the years 1493-1494, when 200,000 Jews were expelled from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition — some of whom traveled with Christopher Columbus and established communities in the New World.
In summary, only three blood moon tetrads in the last 522 years have occurred exactly on the Biblical feast days, and in each case something extremely significant happened to the Jewish people.
Verses in the Bible about Eclipses and Blood Moons
The Bible, from the Hebrew scriptures to the New Testament books, declares that signs in the Heavens — solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, and blood moons — would serve as prophetic sign posts to the world alerting us that significant events were soon going to happen in connection to Biblical prophecy. In the Hebrew scriptures, the prophets Isaiah (Isa. 13:10), Ezekiel (Ezek. 32:7), and Joel (Joel 2:10, 2:31, and 3:15) all connected eclipses to end time prophecy. Jesus made the same connection in the Gospels (Matt. 24:29, Mark 13:24, Luke 21:25) as does the major prophetic book about the end times, the Book of Revelation (Rev. 6:12 and 8:12).
And every prophecy is in relation to the Jewish people and Israel. (Though, whether you believe that means Israel literally or means the Church — or both — is a separate matter not relevant to this discussion at the moment.)
For these reasons the jaw-dropping timing of these blood moon tetrads with Jewish feasts — and with major Jewish historical events — seems to line up with how the Bible connects the signs in the heavens with major end times events related to Israel.
The Rare Blood Moon Tetrad Happening Today
And, as it turns out, we are in the middle of the fourth blood moon tetrad in over 500 years to occur on Biblical feasts — the first tetrad since the 1967 Six-Day War that will occur exactly on the feast days. The third blood moon of this tetrad just occurred this past weekend during the Feast of Passover. The final blood moon of the tetrad will happen this fall during the Feast of Tabernacles. The first two blood moons of this tetrad occurred on Passover and Tabernacles in 2014.
Will another major event related to Israel occur during (or shortly after) this current blood moon tetrad, which will end in the fall of 2015? Did the major Middle East events in 2014 — the massive invasion of Gaza by Israel after Hamas murdered three Israeli teenagers, the Syrian crisis, or the rise of ISIS — have anything to do with these signs in the heavens? Does the recent lifting of Iran sanctions and the new diplomatic deal with Iran, which many believe all but guarantees Iran will develop nuclear weapons, have any connection to this rare intersection between a blood moon tetrad and the four Jewish feasts of 2014 and 2015? Is something major about to happen that is somehow connected with the Jewish people?
What does it all mean?
Well, that’s exactly what this docu-drama, directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Keith Merrill, attempts to answer. It is based on a book by John Hagee, though it includes opinions from a variety of scholars — from physicists to rabbis. It includes a dramatization of the Jewish expulsion from Spain, the Israel War of Independence, and the Six-Day War, and it features interviews with Dinesh D’Souza, Dennis Prager, Hugh Ross, Shlomo Riskin, Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, and John Hagee — to name a few.
Before I examine the film in more detail, let’s cover any parental guidance issues in case you’re thinking of bringing the kids…
Parental Guidance Issues at a Glance…
Sexual Content/Nudity/Themes of Sexuality/Romance: None.
Violence/Gore: A Jewish man is shown hanging from a torture device by his hands in a Spanish prison during the Spanish Inquisition. The device lifts him up, and he wails in pain. He has wounds on his body. It is not graphic or gory — just intense. There’s mild war violence (soldiers shooting at each other and wounded soldiers with bloody bandages), but no gore.
Alcohol/Drug/Smoking Content: None.
Frightening/Intense Content: The Inquisition scene and war scenes fall within a PG to maybe mild PG-13 level of intensity, mainly because of the torture scene.
(Review continues below)
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Entertainment Value and Film Craft
The dramatization is better than most documentaries that intersperse live action drama with interviews. The actors and production value for the Christopher Columbus/New World scenes, the 1948-1949 War of Independence scenes, and the Six-Day War scenes are gripping and effective enough to affect you emotionally.
The interviews and narration scenes, however, feel a bit jarring when interspersed with the live action drama, though still effective in delivering the vital information and maintaining interest. I will admit, though, I was eager to get back into the dramatizations. They are the highlights of the documentary.
That being said, it was fascinating to hear the opinions of such a wide variety of people — from Christian scholars to Jewish rabbis — and that was the primary strength and appeal of the interview segments.
The film lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes, though in my showing they also featured a panel discussion after the credits in which scholars and public figures get into more of the nitty gritty details of the topic. The panel segment stretches the entire viewing experience to about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The Film’s Point of View Regarding the Four Blood Moons
The film definitely presents the point of view that the bizarre intersection of Jewish feasts, blood moon tetrads, and major Jewish historical events is not coincidental. It also presents the point of view that God’s promise to “bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel” (Gen. 12:1-3) is still very active today.
What I found especially fascinating was its exploration of the three historical events: the Jewish expulsion from Spain, the formation of Israel and the ensuing War of Independence, and the Six-Day War. The film dives into little known stories and some background information from each event that I did not know about, such as:
* The potential Jewish heritage (or, at the very least, the admiration he had for Jews) that Columbus had — and how that led to him bringing many Jews with him to escape the persecution and find re-settlement in the New World.
* The events leading up to the re-establishment of Israel as a nation — a mind-boggling fulfillment of an ancient prophecy from thousands of years ago
* The details of the War of Independence in Israel and how volunteer pilots from America (including from my hometown!) went to Israel and became Israel’s temporary substitute air force, which turned the tide of the war in Israel’s favor. (The pilot school in my hometown also trained Israeli pilots who flew alongside the American pilots.)
* Shocking accounts from the Six-Day War which can only be described as miracles. These bizarre events, which were witnessed, documented, and corroborated by both the Israeli army and the Arab armies who attacked Israel, turned the tide of a war that Israel — at least on paper — had no business winning.
These are just a few of the fascinating historical details that the documentary unearths.
Whether you believe these Jewish feast/Israel-related blood moon tetrads are designed by God to be prophetic sign posts to humanity or you believe it’s all a big coincidence, one thing is certain: this documentary presents the “Yes, I believe it’s God” side of the argument with many fascinating historical details and an interesting mix of interviews; and it does all of it in an engaging way with high quality live action drama — certainly higher quality than the majority of documentaries I’ve seen.
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