1.  God covered Egypt with darkness as a sign of  His judgment

 God  prophesied that He would use the Lights of heaven as signs (Genesis 1: 14 & Jeremiah 10: 2).  I found one direct link with “lights” in a prophecy about the judgment and destruction of Egypt. This  was given by Prophet Ezekiel on 1st Adar (12th Jewish month) during the 12th year of Jehoiachin’s captivity. This would have been 585 BC, since Ezekiel was taken into captivity with King Jehoiachin in 597 BC.

God had said that He would cover the land with darkness at the time of the fulfillment of the prophecy given by Ezekiel:

And when I shall put thee out, I will cover (kacah/3680) the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover (kacah/3680) the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.

 All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD  (Ezekiel 32: 7 & 8)

Ezekiel’s prophecy reveals are 4 dimensions to the covering of the heaven:

  • Covering of the sun with clouds
  • Darkness of the bright lights of heaven
  • Darkness at night – moon will not give its light
  • Darkening of the stars

The result is that the entire land would become dark. The remainder of the text describes the desolation and grief that would fall upon the land of Egypt when God “put them out”.

2. What does God mean when He said, “I will cover the heaven?”

I  tracked kacah/3680,  the Hebrew word used in the text for “cover” and found  four references revealing that God uses clouds to cover (kacah/3680)  the heaven and block out the light (Job 36: 32; Psalm 147: 8; Ezekiel 38: 9 & 16).  Here are 3 cross references:

a. The heaven became black with clouds, wind and rain when Prophet Elijah prayed for the end of the severe, three year drought (1 Kings 18: 45).  Severe cloud cover is associated with rainy conditions and weather systems such as tornados, cyclones and hurricanes. Referring back to Ezekiel’s prophecy, it could be that Egypt may have experienced accompanying severe and unusual weather systems at the time of fulfillment.

b. During the 9th plague, Egypt experienced a 3 day plague of thick, painful darkness over the land which Moses brought on at God’s command. There was no reference to accompanying weather systems during this plague.

This was the penultimate plague and meant that the nation had received prior, serious warnings which had not been heeded  (Exodus 10: 20 – 23).

c. God covered the earth with darkness for a three hour period (during the 6th to 9th hour) as Jesus hung on the cross (Luke 23: 44). During this period, He was hidden from the eyes of His executioners and His untold suffering during those final hours of  life is unknown.  This period represented the height of man’s rebellion against  God and was spiritually a period of intense darkness.

Most importantly, Jesus had prophesied that Israel would be invaded by its enemies and would  not be delivered because they had rejected Him in the day of their visitation.  The darkness over the land represented the desolation and death into which the nation of Israel was about to be plunged for hundreds of years (Luke 19: 41 – 44).

When applied proportionately to a century, the SIGN 6th – 9th hour represents year 69 CE, the final year of Jewish resistance before the city of Jerusalem was totally destroyed by the Romans. The resistance began in 66 CE (double 6th).

3. God also covers the heaven with locusts.

Ezekiel’s prophecy in 585 BC is a repeat of  history. Egypt had experienced the terrible judgment of God as darkness covered the land of Egypt in the time of Moses.

  •  During the plagues of  Egypt, Moses stretched out his rod and a grievous swarm of locusts covered(kacah/3680)  the entire land; making it impossible to see the earth and darkening the land (Exodus 10: 14 & 15).
  • Also Prophet Joel (about 835 – 796 BC), spoke of the impending plague of locusts which would cover the land of Israel like clouds and thick darkness (Joel 1 through 2: 21).

4.  Getting to the meat of the matter about signs in the heaven

At the present time, my current understanding is that the sun, moon and stars were created for the purpose of giving Light, as God said.  Eclipses and other naturally occuring phenomena are therefore related.  Signs, however, refer to unusual or outstanding events related to the sun, moon and stars.  Scripture records of darkening of the heavens refer to:

  • severe weather systems
  • plagues of locusts
  • plagues of darkness
  • intense darkness at the death of the Lord

We need to pay attention these  and interpret their meanings whenever they occur unexpectedly in history.  Signs of intense darkness indicate that a period of further desolation is impending.