But so we won't get too sidetracked with the date setters [I will deal with them later.], is this the "Sign of Jonah?" The reason many believe that it is, is that many historians, Bible Scholars, and Archaeologists believe that a total Eclipse of the Sun occurred in Ancient Ninevah on June 15, 763 BCE, approximately the time that Jonah would have been preaching in Ninevah. Adding further excitement are ancient manuscripts and artifacts which suggest that According to Assyrian tradition, in the event of a total solar eclipse, the King would give up his throne to an outsider until the danger had passed. [You may read more about the Ancient Eclipse and Jonah in a work published in 1979 by Donald Wiseman, here.] Also, we know that an Eclipse or something occurred while Jesus was hanging on the cross, as there was darkness for the space of 3 hours. But was that the Sign of Jonah?And what does the Bible say? The following passage is from Matthew 12.
Jesus was pronouncing judgment on the Pharisees for their unbelief in constantly seeking for a sign. So Jesus said He would only give them one sign, being the Sign of the Prophet Jonah. But what was that? We must look at the passage to get a better idea. Many of the Pharisees had just committed the Unpardonable Sin by blaspheming the work of the Holy Spirit, being done through Christ. They were mocking Him, saying "Give us a Sign" or some miraculous work. Of course, they had already seen many signs and wonders which they refused to acknowledge. So, He gives them just one sign, which pointed to His greatest Miracle, His resurrection from the dead. "AS JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE WHALE'S BELLY; SO SHALL THE SON OF MAN BE THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH." His Resurrection IS THE SIGN OF JONAH! So while it is interesting to note that perhaps an Eclipse was used of God to validate the preaching of Jonah to the pagan Gentile City of Ninevah, an Eclipse is not the Sign of Jonah.
So, is there any prophetic significance to the Eclipse that just occurred? Again we turn to Scripture. On the 4th Day of Creation, God created the Sun, Moon and Stars, and He said in Genesis 1:14, "...And let them be for signs..." Psalm 19:1 tells us that the Heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork." So, certainly phenomena of nature should cause us to stop and look up to see God's perfect plan and order coming about.
Luke 21:25, in the context of the Coming of the Son of Man, states: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;"
So certainly, these things can be in conjunction with the return of the Lord, but we must exercise caution and not be dogmatic, because Jesus said, "No man knoweth the day nor the hour." We can't say for certain, but must live as the Early Apostles with a constant hope and expectation of His return. So don't become alarmed by the Date Setters! Live with the Blessed Hope Every Day!
To tie all of this together, the Sign of Jonah, is 3 fold: 1. It gives us hope that because Jesus died and Rose, we too will rise; 2. It is the Greatest Sign and Wonder that the world has ever seen in that a Man Died, and Rose, never to die again, and has become the Savior of the World; but 3. It serves as a warning of impending judgment!
Because of their leaders unbelief, the Nation of Israel and the Jewish people would be cut off for the next 1900+ years. We in America, are not above the judgment of God. We have murdered a whole generation in the womb since 1973; we have embraced perversions and abominations as normal expressions of love; and we have become the habitation of demons full of hatred, envy, strife and violence. SO WHY WOULDN'T HE JUDGE US!?! The sad thing about the last days is that in Revelation 9, when the Wrath of God is being poured out, it tells us in verse 21, "They Repented Not!" MAY WE REPENT BEFORE JUDGMENT IS POURED OUT! And may we live in light of the Blessed Hope, watching, and waiting with expectation for His Return! God bless!