As fireworks fill the night sky on the Fourth of July, people will surely notice the changes taking place to the full moon,  the first of the summer season, as it slowly changes color. Though the lunar change will be subtle, a one-hundred-year-old prophecy warns that this eclipse is in omen that should the nations force Israel to give up land in Israel, a foreign leader will pay with his life.

A lunar eclipse takes place when the earth is between the sun and the moon, and the moon passes through the earth’s shadow. The Fourth of July will present a  partial penumbral lunar eclipse in which the moon misses the inner, darkest part of Earth’s shadow, and instead, it glances the outer, less dark part of the shadow.  This will subtly darken a part of the lunar surface. About 35% of all eclipses are of the penumbral type, which can be difficult to detect even with a telescope. Another 30% are partial eclipses, which are easy to see with the unaided eye. The final 35% or so are total eclipses.

This eclipse will be entirely visible on July 4-5 through much of the Americas, though some northwestern areas of the United States and Canada will only be able to see the eclipse at moonrise. Those in much of Africa and parts of Western Europe can see a bit of the eclipse at moonset.

The eclipse will not be visible in Asia, Eastern Europe, northeastern Africa or the northernmost parts of North America.

The face of the moon will appear to turn a darker silver color starting at 11:07 p.m EDT according to Space.com. The eclipse “maximum” will occur almost 30 minutes after midnight at 12:29 a.m. EDT on Sunday. The time of the eclipse will occur earlier in areas west of the Atlantic. On the west coast, the eclipse will likely only be visible at moonrise, which is 9:45 p.m. PDT. The entire event will last nearly three hours.

The penumbral lunar eclipse will be the final of three consecutive astronomical events constituting a complete “eclipse season.”  On June 5, a penumbral eclipse was visible in  Asia, Australia, Europe, and Africa. On June 21,  an annular “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse was visible in  Africa and Asia, including the Central African Republic, Congo, Ethiopia, southern Pakistan, northern India, and China. 

Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King Davids Tomb on Mount Zion, emphasized that a lunar eclipse can clearly contain a message from God. He cited Genesis as the source. 

Hashem said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate day from night; they shall serve as signs for the set times—the days and the years; Genesis 1:14

The rabbi noted that the interpretation of these “signs” will be essential in the days preceding the Final Redemption as God’s intent will be expressed in nature. 

After that, I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; Your sons and daughters shall prophesy; Your old men shall dream dreams, And your young men shall see visions. I will even pour out My spirit Upon male and female slaves in those days. Before the great and terrible day of Hashem comes,* I will set portents in the sky and on earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke; The sun shall turn into darkness And the moon into blood. Joel 3:1-4

“The sun and the moon are how God will announce the Final Redemption, so everyone can see and everyone will have the ruach hakodesh (holy spirit, prophetic ability) to understand,” Rabbi Berger explained. “This was also true before the Exodus in Egypt, when all the Jews were given the prophetic ability to understand that it was time. Unfortunately, even then, some chose not to leave Egypt.”

“A modern man does not understand how God appears in nature, how God speaks to us through nature,” Rabbi Berger said. “To the prophets, this was very clear.”

The rabbi referred to a discussion of eclipses in the Talmud (Sukkot 29a) which specifies that lunar eclipses are a bad omen for Israel since Israel is spiritually represented by the moon. If the lunar eclipse takes place in the east side of the heavens, then it is a bad omen for all the nations in the east, and similarly, if it occurs in the western hemisphere of the sky, it is a bad sign for all the nations in the west.

The rabbi cited Yalkut Moshe, a book of kabbalistic insights written in 1894 by Rabbi Moshe ben Yisrael Benyamin in Munkacs, Poland.

“If the moon is eclipsed in the month of Tammuz, a ‘sultan’ will die suddenly and great troubles will follow,” Rabbi Berger quoting yet another esoteric source.  The eclipse will occur on the 12th day of the month of Tammuz. “When the moon is eclipsed in Tammuz, a king of ‘luazi’ will die suddenly and a great confusion will follow, leading to great problems.”

“Luazi” is generally translated as foreign, as seen in the Book of Psalms.

When Yisrael went forth from Egypt, the house of Yaakov from a people of strange (foreign) speech. Psalms 114:1

“This clearly refers to troubles for the non-Jews,” Rabbi Berger said, citing the Talmud. “The word ‘sultan’ is not generally used. It is only used in reference to Arab leaders. And since the Muslims mark their months only by the moon, this seems to be a sign for them, those who built the gold dome that sits atop the Holy of Holies.”

At the end of this section describing the omens contained within eclipses, the Talmud states a disclaimer: “When Israel does the will of the place (God), they have nothing to fear from all of this,” citing the Prophet Jeremiah as a source.

Thus said Hashem: Do not learn to go the way of the nations, And do not be dismayed by portents in the sky; Let the nations be dismayed by them! Jeremiah 10:2

Rabbi Berger noted that the lunar eclipse comes just a few days after the Knesset is going to vote on annexing parts of Judea and Samaria. The vote comes as a result of a coalition deal between Netanyahu, head of the Likud Party, and his political opponent, Benny Gantz, head of the Blue and White Party. As per the agreement, the government can pursue annexation of 132 Jewish cities and towns and the Jordan Valley. This represents 30 % of the West Bank allocated to Israel under the Trump administration’s peace plan. The plan also conditionally provides for a Palestinian state on the remaining 70% of the territory. 

“The Land of Israel does not belong to any man to give away,” Rabbi Berger said. “The eclipse is a warning to both Israel and the nations to remain true to the covenant and the land.”