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The rare alignment of constellations near the end of September 2017 has Biblical scholars and astronomers wondering if the End Times are on the way — but is there really anything to the hype? YouTube videos are getting tens of thousands and even millions of views, and searches for “Revelation 12” are up around the world. While there is some disagreement about the exact significant of September 23, 2017, there is enough interest in the date to dig deeper to understand the meanings behind the signs.
The prophecy that many mention is found in Revelation 12:1-2: “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a women clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” This verse could potentially be interpreted as the Virgo constellation, and the fact that the moon will be near Virgo’s feet while the sun shines on her head during this rare heavenly happening.
Supposedly, this particular configuration of stars and planets only happens once every 7,000 years, which some authors believe will cause Israel to fall into tribulation, causing the church to fall into rapture. However, there are multiple flaws with this theory. The most important being that this may not be as rare of an event as the hype attempts to portray: the sun passes through Virgo every year and remains there for nearly a month. Astronomers note that this or a very similar constellation are likely to happen around every 12 years and not the millennia currently being promoted. Additionally, astrology — which is divining the future through reading the stars — is condemned by the Christian church in Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
It can be difficult to know what to believe. There are solid Scriptural statements against astrology, but there are also some interesting heavenly alignments that are scheduled to happen this year. Only time will tell if September 23, 2017 is the scheduled date of the Rapture or simply another day in the paradise called Earth.