Sun goes down at noon!
When has this ever happened?
The answer is, “not yet.”
Amo 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:
I saw one footnote for this verse that said the sun was just having an eclipse, but that is not what it says. A solar eclipse is described in scripture, as “turning to sackcloth,” or just “turning black.” Here, there is movement mentioned. The sun is “going down.” And when the sun sets, the earth will be darkened.
Why would God do this?
At first glance, one would think that the words are either symbolic, or for those times, but if one looks closer at the passage, and the surrounding chapters, one can see it is for a much future time. And the meaning is literal, but it does not give an immediate reason. One has to explore the other chapters, put this in context, and then look to the future to find an explanation.
Expressions are such as “in that day,” and the “days are coming.” So what future “day” is Yahweh talking about? Notice, He did not say “on” that day, indicating a singular day. He said “in that day,” meaning “in that time period.”
This reminds me of this passage, quoting Jesus (Yeshua), when the disciples asked him this question:
Mat 24:3 And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
Mar 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
These passages could either reflect
1. a lesser number of days, or
2. a shorter version of a 24 hour day.
Jesus is discussing the end times here, and all the punishments that would be inflicted on people for their sins. The punishments are really unbearable.
To show some mercy during this time, God would either “shorten” the total number of days, if people could wait that long, or make the punishment only last a certain number of hours per day, since the pain is without any relief.
Since Daniel and other prophets had predicted a SET NUMBER of days, the number of days cannot be changed. It is possible that God would be making each day shorter, in order to give relief in the middle of each day of judgment, and allow an opportunity for the person to reflect and repent, before the next day started.
If the person repented, then he might be spared any further punishment. What a great God we serve, showing mercy in the middle of wrath!
When does this happen?
Amos 8 & 9 deal with the end times, but it starts in the time of Amos. Amos was a contemporary of Isaiah, Jonah, and Hosea. There was no destruction as described in his time.
There are several clues, which have to be pieced together, and not interpreted separately, or the wrong time period would be identified. Some punishments have also occurred in the past, and would be repeated, if the situation was the same at a future time. Remember what is said about Israel can also be interpreted as for the church and the world, when it comes to the Word, sin and judgment:
1. A finality and severity to the judgment
Amo 8:1 ….The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.
Amo 9:2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:
2. Destruction of the temple and the people in it
Amo 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: [there shall be] many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast [them] forth with silence.
Amo 9:1 I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.
3. Inflation and false trade
Amo 8:4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,
Amo 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
4. Famine of the Word of God, much travel seeking it
Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find [it].
5. Misplaced worship
Amo 8:14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, lives; and, The manner of Beersheba lives; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.
6. Sifting of the remnant from among ALL the nations
Amo 9:9 For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as [corn] is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
7. Raising of the “Tabernacle of David” during a time when Gentiles are called by God’s name, not just Jews.
Amo 9:11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:
Amo 9:12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that does this
*** Gentiles (“heathens” J ) called by His name are called Christians.
*** Plans are in the works now for another temple, as the Jews await their Messiah.
8. Replanting Israel in the land, never to be pulled up again
Amo 9:14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
Amo 9:15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God
Looking at the list, 1-5 could have happened at any time, and did, and punishments occurred at those times. But then there is a progression, with 6-8, and we find ourselves in modern times. Number 3 reminds me of the stock market failure, with businessmen charging high interests and false prices, and robbing the poor.
So, the point here is that the Sunset at Noon prophecy did not have to occur during the time of Amos, because of the references about the future times. But now, we are in that future time.
The passages quoting Jesus imply that the days (ie. each day) will be shortened to give relief to those who are suffering judgment. If any of us see this “sign” of the sun setting at noon, and the earth becoming dark, we will know we are in the Great Tribulation, which follows the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place.
I hope and pray that anyone reading this is not there, at that time. I also pray that all consider, and reflect upon, Jesus and His salvation, which is the only place of safety for the present, and the future.