The sky on the day of Yahweh (Joel 3:15-3:15)

“The sun

Is darkened.

The moon

Is darkened.

The stars withdraw

Their shining.”

The heavens will darken during the day of Yahweh. The sun and the moon will go dark, while the stars will no longer shine.

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The signs that the day of Yahweh was coming (Joel 2:30-2:32)

“I will show portents

In the heavens,

As well as on the earth.

There will be

Blood,

Fire,

Columns of smoke.

The sun shall be turned

To darkness.

The moon shall be turned

To blood.

This will happen

Before the great day

Of Yahweh comes.

Before the terrible day

of Yahweh comes.

Then everyone

Who calls

On the name of Yahweh

Shall be saved.

In Mount Zion,

In Jerusalem,

There shall be

Those who escape,

As Yahweh has said.

Among the survivors

Shall be those

Whom Yahweh calls.”

Yahweh, via Joel, talked about the signs that the day of Yahweh was coming. There would be signs in the heavens and on earth, with blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun would darken and the moon would turn to blood before the great and terrible day of Yahweh. Everyone who called on Yahweh would be saved at Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Some would escape. Others would survive, but they would be called by Yahweh.

A vision of the day of Yahweh (Joel 2:10-2:11)

“The earth quakes

Before them.

The heavens tremble.

The sun is darkened.

The moon is darkened.

The stars

Withdraw their shining.

Yahweh utters

His voice

Before his army.

How vast is his host!

Numberless are

Those who obey

His command.

Truly,

The day of Yahweh

Is great.

It is so terrible!

Who can endure it?”

Thus, there is a fusion of the swarm of locusts with the day of Yahweh. The earth would quake. The heavens would tremble. The sun and the moon would become dark. The stars would not shine. Yahweh would utter his strong voice before this vast numberless army. They all would obey his command. The day of Yahweh would be a terrible, but great day. Who would be able to endure this?

The blessings of the heavenly bodies (Dan 3:40-3:41)

“Bless the Lord!

Sun!

Moon!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Stars of heaven!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!”

Just like the heavenly beings with God, so too the sun, the moon, and the stars of heaven were to sing praise to God and highly exalt him forever.

The darkening of the skies (Ezek 32:7-32:8)

“‘When I blot you out,

I will cover

The heavens.

I will make

Their stars dark.

I will cover

The sun

With a cloud.

The moon shall

Not give its light.

I will darken

Above you

All the bright lights

Of the heavens.

I will put darkness

On your land.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that he was going to blot out the Pharaoh. He was going to close off the heavens also. He was going to make the stars dark and cover the sun with a cloud. Meanwhile, the moon would not give any light. All the bright lights of the heavens would go dark over the land of Egypt.

The weak idols compared to the heavenly bodies (Bar 6:66-6:67)

“These weak idols

Can neither curse

Nor bless kings.

They cannot show signs

In the heavens

For the nations.

They cannot shine

Like the sun.

They cannot give light

Like the moon.”

Once again, this shows the weakness of these false idols, since they can neither curse nor bless kings. They cannot show signs in the heavens for the various nations. They cannot shine like the sun. They cannot give light like the moon. Instead of berating the nature gods of the sun or the moon, this author praises them. His emphasis was on those weak wooden man made false idols. Notice that this author believes that the moon gives light. In fact, we often still speak of moonlight. When in fact, the light from the moon is really a reflection of the sun.

Listen to God (Jer 10:1-10:2)

“Hear the word

That Yahweh speaks to you!

O house of Israel!

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Do not learn

The ways of the nations!

Do not be dismayed

At the signs of the heavens!

The nations

Are dismayed at them.’”

Jeremiah and the house of Israel were told to listen to the word of Yahweh, God. They were not to learn the ways of other nations that followed the heavenly signs, a reference to the worship of stars, the moon, the sun, and comets. Many nations are dismayed by them, and thus worship them.