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The Revelation 12 sign prophecy is an apocalyptic belief that an astronomical alignment on September 23, 2017 fulfilled the first two verses of Revelation 12. This date coincided with the Autumnal equinox and the end of the Catholic September Ember Days. This theory, promoted by some Christians and Christian news organizations, proposed that a literal fulfillment of the prophecy made in the Book of Revelation 12:1-2 occurred on this date over Jerusalem.
The passage in the Book of Revelation 12:1-3 describes "a woman clothed with sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth." (NIV). Some people believe that an astronomical alignment involving the constellations Virgo and Leo, the sun, moon, and planets Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter that occurred in September 2017 fulfilled this prophecy word-for-word. The sign is also known as the Woman of the Apocalypse. Some of the most common Christian interpretations of this passage interpret the woman as Mary or ancient Israel, the man child as the incarnate Jesus and the (teknon) child being the Body of Christ, and the woman's other offspring as the Church that forms during the tribulation.
On April 7, 2011, William Tapley's channel ThirdEagleBooks published the first video about the alignment entitled "Stellarium" giving the 2017 date of the great sign and explaining how the planetary alignment that year matched the text of Revelation 12 better than a 2011 alignments, which he said three earlier videos from other people had mentioned. A few months later, on July 30, 2011, Scott Clarke from ERF Ministries posted a video on YouTube describing the alignment.
During 2011, Scott Clarke continued to popularize the alignment on YouTube. On December 10, 2012, Unsealed World News suggested that the purported sign might be connected to the rapture of the Church. Also in 2017, Luis B. Vega connected the sign to a "Conception Comet".
The Apocalypse of John describes "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head." Proponents of the Revelation 12 Sign say that the woman represents the constellation Virgo and the crown of twelve stars represents the nine stars of the constellation Leo in conjunction with Mercury, Mars, and Venus. The moon appears to be under the "feet" of the constellation Virgo in September 2017 and the sun will be passing through the constellation, which proponents interpret as the woman being "clothed with the sun". The second verse of the twelfth chapter of John's Apocalypse goes on to say that the woman "was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth." Some people suggest this will be fulfilled because the planet Jupiter will be traversing the constellation after having undergone apparent retrograde motion after entering what they perceive to be Virgo's "womb" around November 20, 2016. Jupiter exits the lower part of the "womb" 42 weeks later, which is the approximate length of a human gestation (normal gestation periods lasting from 37 to 42 weeks).
It was also discovered that the apparent retrograde of Jupiter in the womb of Virgo was preceded by C/2017 E1 (Comet Borisov) which is being called the Conception Comet. This comet traveled from the loins of the constellation Leo to the womb of the constellation Virgo on November 17, 2016, just before the entrance of Jupiter into the womb. Some proponents of the Revelation 12 Sign are suggesting that this comet represented the divine insemination of the woman, which subsequently produced the male child (Jupiter). This will be the comet's only trip through our solar system as it is not a solar orbital. The complete astronomical alignment occurred on September 23, 2017, over Jerusalem.
The Revelation 12 Sign may have coincided with the High Holy Day of Rosh Hashanah on the Jewish calendar, which is also called the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets is the first of the Fall Feasts and its timing is traditionally based on the visibility of the new moon, which in 2017 is began on the evening of September 20 and ended on the evening of the 22nd . Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year celebration, in this case marking the end of the year 5777 (sometimes abbreviated to the significant number 777) and the beginning of 5778.
Interpretations of Revelation 12 vary, but the general consensus of those who promoted this theory was that the September 2017 alignment was the Great Sign which is described in this passage of Scripture: that the woman represents the nation of Israel, which they believe is about to enter into a multi-year period of Tribulation, and the male child represents the global Church, which might be raptured to Heaven before the Tribulation period begins according to Revelation 12:5. Many proponents say that in order for people to escape before this impending judgment on the world and be "raptured", they must accept that the Christian Messiah Jesus Christ died for their sins, rose again, and is the only means of being reconciled to God. These views are shared by all of the major proponents of the Revelation 12 Sign Prophecy.
Media attention and criticism
A number of critics have offered rebuttals of the purported sign arguing that the sign is not unique or is only astrology. Critics include Answers in Genesis author Dr. Danny Faulkner, Christian author Joel Richardson, Jan Markell from Olive Tree Ministries, Christian bible prophecy author Craig C. White, Christian blogger and author Tim McHyde.
Examples of rebuttals include Faulkner's statement that "Jupiter appears in the part of Virgo corresponding to her womb, along with the sun in Virgo and the moon at her feet for a day or two every 12 years or so", and Craig C. White statement that "the Apostle John says that 'there appeared a great wonder in heaven'. He doesn't say 'there will be a great wonder in heaven'. He doesn't tell us to 'look for a great wonder in heaven'", According to Tim McHydes, "Clarke's theory, like all invented prophecy theories, depends on taking a verse out of its context and re-purposing it to serve some new theory. When you ignore the context of a verse, you are set up to misinterpret it. That's how you turn a solid reliable Bible prophecy into an unreliable quasi-biblical man-made prophecy interpretation." Unsealed World News responded to criticisms by simply reiterating their belief.
- Blood moon prophecy
- Unfulfilled Christian religious predictions
- David Meade, an conspiracy theorist who also predicted an apocalyptic event on September 23.
- "Bible Gateway passage: Revelation 12:1-2 - ,King James Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- Saunder, Rev. William. "Woman Clothed with the Sun", Arlington Catholic Herald, 2004. Catholic Education Resource Center. Retrieved July 6, 2011 Archived July 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- Julie Zauzmer (March 15, 2017). "The first solar eclipse to cross America in 99 years is coming. To some, it's an act of God". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- "The Revelation 12 Sign Compendium". Unsealed World News. January 11, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- William Tapley (April 7, 2011). "Stellarium". YouTube. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
- "God's Calendar: A Shocking Story". Unsealed World News. December 10, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- Lauer, Greg (May 2017). "The Exit Sign". A Little Strength. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- "Revelation 12 sign - Conception Comet C/2017 E1". www.fivedoves.com. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
- "The Temple Institute: Rosh HaShana in the Holy Temple: The Late Arrival of a Witness". Retrieved 2017-07-29.
- "September, 2017 - Jewish Calendar". Retrieved 2017-07-29.
- "Bible Gateway passage: Revelation 12:5 - King James Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- Daniel Matson (February 4, 2017). "Revelation 12 – The Sign for Israel". Signs of the End. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
- Scott Clarke. "About Salvation - Get Washed Clean!". ERF Ministries. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
- "Revelation 12 Sign". Revelation 12 Daily. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
- Alex Beam (June 19, 2017). "It's the end of the world as we know it — again". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
- Christopher Graney (January 25, 2017). "Biblical Signs in the Sky? September 23, 2017". The Catholic Astronomer. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- Dr. Danny R. Faulkner (May 1, 2017). "What Will Happen on September 23, 2017?". Answers in Genesis. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- Joel Richardson (February 13, 2017). "THE FALSE SIGN OF SEPTEMBER 23, 2017". Joelstrumpet.com. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- Jan Markell (May 13, 2017). "It Could Happen Today". Olive Tree Ministries. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- Craig C. White. "Biblical Signs in the Sky? September 23, 2017". Revelation 12 sign – September 23 Rapture: The child in Revelation 12 is Jesus not the Church. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
- Tim McHyde. "What The September, 2017 Revelation 12 Sign Tells Us". What The September, 2017 Revelation 12 Sign Tells Us. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
- Dr. Danny R. Faulkner (May 1, 2017). "What Will Happen on September 23, 2017?". Answers in Genesis. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
- "Why The Revelation 12 Sign Can't Be Debunked". Unsealed World News. August 1, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
- "A Defense Of The Revelation 12 Sign And Its Connection To The Rapture". Unsealed World News. February 14, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- "The Celestial C-Section". Unsealed World News. January 11, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
- "AT&T AUDIENCE Network Premieres Documentary Film "The Sign" on Sept. 14 at 8 p.m." AT&T Newsroom (Press release). September 6, 2017.
- Broome, Jamison (2017). The Final Harbinger: Countdown to Rosh Hashanah 2017 and the Sign of Revelation 12. Revelation 12 Ministries. ISBN 9780692885321.
- Matson, Daniel (2015). Israel: The Handwriting in the Heavens. Joy Publishing. ISBN 0-939513-09-9.
- Prinsloo, Jaco (2016). God's Roadmap to the End. Smashwords. ISBN 9781311009227.
- Moser, Phil (2017). The Revelation 12 Sign. Archway Publishing. ISBN 9781480847200.
- Vega, Luis (2016). The Great Sign of Virgo. Lulu Publishing.