The mystery of the Sun, Moon and Stars in many of the Apocalyptic Prophecies on the surface bring us terrible visions of catastrophic end-of-the-world scenarios and often taken literally by many bible prophecy experts, as they look for signs of asteroids and blood red moons to signal the start for end-times events. However, the bible does teach us how to interpret the symbols of the “sun,” “moon” and “stars” early within the first book of the bible. Genesis Chapter 37 and Joseph’s dream is the great starting point to understanding this mystery of these celestial objects. Even the Apocalypse itself can be self-interpreting with the meaning of “stars” within Revelation Chapter 1, to be applied later in chapters 8 and 12. In the decoding of the interpretation of the dream, we know Joseph’s father and mother were represented as the Sun and Moon, and this relationship is expanded upon in the new testament epistles of St. Paul often showing the spousal relationship between the two as Christ (the Sun of Righteousness) is the Bridegroom of the Church-Bride symbolically represented as the moon in the vision of Joseph. And the “stars” in the vision were represented Joseph’s brothers the patriarchs of Israel. The stars can also be interpreted as bishops or leaders of the church according to Revelation chapter 1, as the bishops are the bright beacons of light used to navigate and guide the church analogous to steering a ship through the darkness of the “waters” of the moral world. Thus taking these three symbols and applying them to the moral and metaphysical world, we can perhaps better understand the meaning behind some of the most difficult verses we read in the Olivet Discourse and Book of Revelation, and view these symbols are not necessarily associated with literal cataclysmic end-of-the-universe type events, but instead are providing clues about the days of apostacy and schism which we are currently living in today – the immediate “days” of Matthew 24-29. And perhaps it was only after the greatest period of tribulation “of those days” in the church in the latter part of the Middle Ages that we would witness the final climax of apostacy as a result of the direct consequences of the Protestant Reformation and Age of Reason in response to the “tribulation of those days“? The Greek author Apostolos Makrakis in his various commentaries on the New Testament and the Apocalypse applies these symbols in such a way that they are interpreted by the same symbols and meanings used in Genesis 37. These are some of the quotes on the application of Genesis 37 symbols of the sun, moon and the stars.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days, shall the sun be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.”– Matthew 24:29
The great migration of nations and the famines and pestilences and earthquakes in various places Christ calls the beginning of sorrows. But the beginning of sorrows proceeds and ends at a certain time. And the end of affliction and sorrows is signified by the darkening of the Sun and the moon and the falling of stars from heaven. When the Sun and Moon are darkened, and when the stars fall headlong down from their places, then tribulation has reached its utmost stage which however marks the end of affliction and the rise of the Sun of joy. But the darkening of the Sun and the Moon and the fall of the stars are interpreted in relation to the ethical and not to the physical world. The darkening of the Sun with regard to the ethical world represents ignorance of Christ; the darkening of the moon represents the deadening and laxity of the Church of Christ; and the fall of the stars stands for the disintegration of the pastors and teachers of the Church from knowledge to ignorance, from holiness to sin, and from righteousness to lawlessness. And these ethical evils continue for a time and times and half a time, in accordance with the interpreted Apocalypse of John the Theologue, 1260 days, interpreted as years, during which time Satan rules over the earth through the two beasts one of which dominates the East and the other the West. But when this period of the authority of Satan has elapsed the following prophesied events take place. – On the Olivet Discourse, Ch.24, Interpretation of the Gospel of Matthew, A. Makrakis
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood: and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” – Revelation 6:12-14
It is indeed noteworthy that the darkening of the sun and the moon and the falling of the stars are applied by the Apocalypse to the moral world, also, in which Christ represents the sun; the church, the moon; and the teachers or bishops, represent the stars. The prophecy, then, is that before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the light of Christ will vanish from the earth, that His Church, as a result of the persecution and slaying of Christians, will be red with flowing blood, and that the bishops and teachers of the churches will gradually desert from the faith to embrace infidelity, being drawn to it through the fascination or delusion of the Devil. These things which are usually taking place in the moral world, are depicted by analogous signs and phenomena of the physical world; for a change of law and system in the moral world necessitates a change in the physical world also, which was created and exists for the moral – On the Sixth Seal, Interpretation of Book of Revelation, A. Makrakis
“And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.” – Revelation 8:12
The latter scourge, as well as the former, is referred to in connection with the large Christian community within the Roman empire. The Sun of the souls in the Christian community refers to Christ; the Moon which gives light in the absence of Christ, is the universal Church; while the stars which add their light to that of the moon are the pastors and teachers of the Church. The smiting of the sun, the moon, and the stars, together with the darkened one-third of each, is a scourge and a misfortune to the enlightened Christian community, involving the domination by Satan and darkness of one-third of the whole community. This scourge is the consequence of the fall from heaven of the great star which embittered one-third of the rivers and the fountains of water. For, after the fallen Origen corrupted the philosophic knowledge of the Scriptures by his preposterous allegories, and after he attempted to interpret the Scriptures through the theories of ancient philosophy, while in ignorance of the highest criterion of Christ’s philosophy and truth. it was natural for the philosophic character of Christ to be misinterpreted and for the Christian world to be deprived of the light of Christ’s philosophy. Christ is the one and only mentor and teacher among men – an omniscient and all-wise mentor – and the source of all sound knowledge and science. Therefore, he says: “I am the light of the world. He who comes after me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” And “I am the way and the truth and the life,” and again, “call not yourselves teachers, for one is your teacher, Christ.” Thus, we can see that Christ is in substance the truth and the source of all knowledge and science and that He is ranked as the logical and ontological criterion of all truth. – On the Fourth Trumpet, Ch.8, Interpretation of Book of Revelation, A. Makrakis