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Rev 6:12  And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood; 

Rev 6:13  and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig tree casteth her unripe figs when she is shaken of a great wind. 

Rev 6:14  And the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 

Stop right here…. This is devastation on a massive scale.  What could be happening that such a massive series of events happen?
Everything in this verse has in the English like or as which makes it metaphor and or simile.  This is John in his day describing what he is seeing in comparison to known examples of his day.  A great earthquake; or a “mega seismos” in the Greek, takes place. These Greek words are just that, a great commotion or shaking or quaking or movement. Now the conjunctive kai or and the sun or helios (…the sun; by implication light) becomes black like sackcloth.  Now notice I included a partial definition (helios Strongs Greek #2246) of this word because of relevancy.  The writer may well not be talking about the orb itself but the light we see from the vantage point of the Earth! Now if we presume to think in this manner, as the word itself does lend to that thought, then it is the light of the sun that becomes like as if covered in sackcloth.  The word for black is the color black (melos) but it black as sackcloth.  I want to look at that word for sackcloth for a moment.  Strongs Greek #4526 sakkos Of Hebrew origin [Strongs Hebrew # 8242 śaq From (Strongs Hebrew #8264 shâqaq A primitive root; to course (like a beast of prey); by implication to seek greedily: – have appetite, justle one against another, long, range, run (to and fro).) ; properly a mesh (as allowing a liquid to run through), that is, coarse loose cloth or sacking (used in mourning and for bagging); hence a bag (for grain, etc.): – sack (-cloth, -clothes).]; “sack” cloth, that is, mohair (the material or garments made of it, worn as a sign of grief): – sackcloth.

Now all these images converge the images of coursing about or a mesh that liquid can run through which is made of mohair.  I went online and looked into mohair and found it to be of a goats hair, that is wiggly in strand (coursing)When made into clothing it has a complete cover in its weave, as it were, of the skin; thus very opaque.  So then something is obscuring opaquely the light of the sun, not the sun itself.
At the same time the moon becomes like or as blood. The moon (selene) … “brilliancy”  so then its not the orb itself again but the brilliancy or COLOR that changes to the color of human blood (aima) uncertain derivation literally blood figuratively grape juice. Either way it will be a dark crimson to purplish color at night.  As if this was not enough we have stars (aster) falling to earth in the same manner as a fig casts of unripe or hard figs when shaken in a (mega animos) mighty or great wind. I will have to ask a horticulturalist friend of mine about this but I could imagine the figs would pelt the ground in waves as they are ripped from the tree during a sirocco or high speed wind storm which one would have gotten in the Mediterranean of John’s day.  Now if this is so then we have “rocks” pelting the earth in the middle of all of this.  Good God what could do that?
To put the frosting and icing on this cake the whole thing does two more things.  First it causes EVERY, John is very specific here, mountain and island to be “moved out of place” and second it causes the sky to roll up like or as a scroll being rolled closed.

Now the first is nothing short of a tectonic plate shift on a global scale.

The second I have pondered for a long time until I considered a small scroll being rolled shut.  Large scrolls would have two staves at each end of the scroll and they would roll towards each other furling the paper scroll around them till they touched and then it would be bound shut.  But a smaller one might only have one.  It would be then rolled like a roll of paper towels or toilet paper.

Now if clouds are seen to be doing this the action would be that of roiling or boiling sky.  If there were two massive thunderhead type cloud formations rolling into each other making the sky “boil” what would be devastating enough to cause all this at one time.  The effects of the bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima approximate the boiling sky but not the rest.
Here’s where I go out on the limb.  What if, as my brilliant daughter put forth, the “astera” weren’t space rocks but debris returning from being flung into orbit?  When certain volcanoes erupted in recent years they produced ash that occluded the light of sun locally for quite a few hours.  At night it could produce a blood moon.  It could produce the ash columns rising like boiling sky but it would be local and it might rain debris.  When Krakatoa blew in 1883 the seismic activity was allegedly reported until early in 1884.  But this is worse… far worse.  What if Yellowstone blew up?  It is a caldera class volcano and is said to be the park itself as being on the caldera.  Apparently this is a 34- 45 mile wide caldera which is a corner of Wyoming, of all things.  This is huge.  If it blew there would be catastrophic damage done planet wide and the United States would most likely be gone for good or at least reshaped beyond belief!  The ash and debris of the park would be flung upwards fairly high up maybe into the stratosphere only to rain down again.  The ash would be a planet wide problem and it might even produce an reduction of light by the sun and moon for a part of the day and the night…  its said the thing is overdue for a major blow out.
There was a program on Netflix about Dr Shoemaker of the Shoemaker-Levy comet.  He discovered that our planet does it’s solar orbit amid a plethora of asteroids and meteors some of which are easily the size of mountains.  They seem to run in near miss orbits around us as we move through space.  If ever any one of them were to hit us places like Crater Lake in Arizona would be the result. He did a major study on impact and his findings eerily match the descriptions of this catastrophe.
Nuclear exchanges could also do similar damage, of a certainty but they would almost certainly also truly ruin the environments globally. I cant rule this out however.  So then what we have is something that will cause a global tectonic plate shift that is noticeable.  It will cause the effect of “boiling sky” it will kick up or cause enough cloud cover to occlude the sun and such an effect might also make the moon look like a blood moon.  Interestingly enough also there are blood moons that occur naturally from time to time… could such a catastrophe happen during one of them?  The point in all this analysis is this; the preceding impacts of the horsemen and the above mega disaster are enough to right at this point have men of low and high stature running for cover and seeking to suicide rather than face what they perceive to be the GREAT DAY OF THE LORD.

Look at the response to all this below…  THEY KNOW!
Rev 6:15  And the kings of the earth, and the princes, and the chief captains, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman and freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; 

Rev 6:16  and they say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 

Rev 6:17  for the great day of their wrath is come; and who is able to stand? 
Can they see His face?  How do they really know? Or as is most likely, is this a very human reaction to difficult times and horrific disasters during such times?   What if anything actually stands out here?  In Paul’s day he was in some part driven by that he wanted to see the whole world won for Christ and the church well established by the time of the “second return”, which he felt could be in his lifetime.  The Christians in the Roman era on the night Rome burned (you have to admit that locally the sky was boiling with smoke!) thought “this is it, here He comes”.  Over and over during human history since Jesus and since the utterance of John’s words Christians have tried to put the puzzle together in practically every generation.  Paul is well spoken to say “wherefore comfort one another with these words” because the comforting thought in such times is that Christ is going to return and set things right.  One thing I can say of a certainty here is this climate will purify the church like nothing else will.  Persecution and dire circumstances will have His people call on Him faster than any known or unknown revival.  Sadly we shouldn’t need such things to cause us to look on high, but it seems we do.
Now taking a last look at these verses in light of the preceding; the fact that everyone from every stripe and rank of society is heading for caves in mountains and thus, high ground, indicating that below a certain altitude there may not be land or people or society per se, and hiding themselves in caves and what not, tells us the scope of devastation of the local society.  It is so bad that there is no other place to flee to.   One last note here, though it doesn’t apply, are the words of Jesus about the Abomination that desolates.  He told people to flee to the mountains to get out of town as it were, when they saw it.  All this may well be, but a birth pang.

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