Shemitah Years & Blood Moons, Oh My!

Shemitah Years & Blood Moons Oh My!

My daughter, who is in 3rd grade, recently completed a nightly study of the moon. Besides being “Daddy” to protect her from the nighttime darkness, I didn’t give much thought to her study. Frankly, I don’t remember studying lunar cycles, probably because it didn’t include a ball or a number, to which I was more inclined.

Her study of the moons might have prepared me for the conversation wave about “Blood Moons” (lunar eclipses) and the corresponding prophetic claims in regards to finances.

If you have not heard this, the theory is that the years 2014 and 2015 provide a convergence of events that will cause a severe financial crash. We are in the midst of a series of four total lunar eclipses. Each of the eclipses coincides with a Hebrew holiday. Additionally, the year marked from autumn of 2014 to autumn of 2015 is considered a Shemitah year, more commonly known as a Sabbatic seventh year at which a mandated “debt release” took place as seen in the Old Testament (see Leviticus 25).

The claims within this ‘movement’ may differ somewhat, but the general theory seems similar. Pastor Mark Blitz, televangelist John Hagee, and perhaps most prominently, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn are leaders in this movement.

Rabbi Cahn suggests that the Shemitah year is turned from a blessing to a curse (particularly financial) when it is not observed, thus causing a major economic shift that will occur in the fall of 2015 in close proximity to the September 28th lunar eclipse. (The April 4th lunar eclipse was perhaps another target date but that has since passed without major disruption.) Rabbi Cahn’s materials backdate Shemitah years (2015, 2008, 2001…) and align significant historical events with these dates.

My first thought was this is another unfortunate attempt to “crack the code,” but I thought I would explore it further. Jerry Bowyer, a Christian economist, writer, and President of Bowyer Research has publicly addressed the topic, and as he said, “It’s important to be fair to a theory like this when you first hear it no matter how strange it seems on the surface. The Bible is filled with strange things and the Bible is true. So, strange things can be true. They can be true; that doesn’t mean they must be true. Things have to be tested.”

So, on to the testing…The Christian Post published an opinion article by Bowyer who also collaborated with Jay Ryan, author of Signs and Seasons: Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy, on a research paper addressing the Blood Moon/Shemitah conversation. (Go to and search “bowyer” to reference his opinion article which also includes a link to the research paper.) His fact checking should give pause if you’re basing your financial strategy on this theory. I’ll attempt to summarize a few points:

­First, regarding the Shemitah, it’s guesswork to know when the original Shemitah year occurred. Rabbi Cahn, in his calculations, also fails to account for the “Jubilee” which is ordained every 50th year as in Leviticus 25. Additionally, many of the events attributed to Shemitah years didn’t actually occur in those years when dates are closely examined.

“Lunar eclipses during the Biblical feasts are conventional occurrences for the simple reason that the Hebrew calendar is a lunar calendar. Certain Holy Days occur on new or full moons precisely because they are timed to them.”

Specifically, in regards to previous lunar eclipse/Biblical feast tetrads, “It’s hard to square (the) theory about tetrads as warnings if the warnings mostly occur after the event, and were not visible to the people (Israel) being warned.”

The bottom line is because a discussion is confidently communicated, seemingly fact-driven or ascribed to the Bible, doesn’t make it true. The financial markets may decline this year — I don’t know. My concern is that this topic piques interest (which is fine) and emotions (which is not fine when it conflicts with principled, biblical decision-making).

Biblical prosperity is clearly based on prioritizing obedience, dependence and Spirit-led contentment. I do not believe there is an “easier” route. “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5).

Christ’s message for the Church is primarily mission-driven (“Make disciples of all the nations.”) and relationship-driven (“Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness”; “Love your God”; “Love your neighbor.”) Even admonitions to “be on the alert,” which one could justify as reason to interpret times or seasons, are primarily focused on remaining in relationship with the Lord, which underscores the true path to biblical prosperity.

If you are basing your decisions on fear or rumor, be diligent to check for truth. Open the word of God and see for yourself….

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