A Breakdown of the April 8, 2024 “The Great American North American” Solar Eclipse [The Nineveh Eclipse]: Jonah, Nineveh, Sixes and Sevens and the Legitimacy of These Claims

A Breakdown of the April 8, 2024 “The Great American North American” Solar Eclipse [The Nineveh Eclipse]: Jonah, Nineveh, Sixes and Sevens and the Legitimacy of These Claims

The upcoming solar eclipse is the catalyst of massive internet speculation and controversy. Many Christians believe the eclipse will mark the beginning of the Second Coming and have connected it to peculiar parallels between biblical prophecy and scripture, astronomy and geography. 

Some believe the eclipse is an indication that Christ will soon come. Others interpret it as a warning that will quickly be followed by mass destruction. Another faction believes that the eclipse is the beginning of the end or the beginning of Armageddon. All in all, legions of Americans and others across the continent believe that something big is about to happen. 

But are these beliefs fact or fiction? Moreover, does April 8th actually mark the beginning of an end? Are people genuinely worried about the salvation of others, or are some hoping for the destruction of others because of worldly wickednesses? 

We’re only a week away from one of the most debated solar eclipses in United States history. In this piece, we’ll examine each major claim and discuss its legitimacy. 

Jonah, the Whale and the Biblical City of Nineveh

Perhaps you’ll recall the biblical story of Jonah, recounted in the Book of Jonah. Jonah, also known as Yonah (in Hebrew) or Yūnus (in the Quran), was a recalcitrant prophet who was commanded by God to preach repentance to the wicked city of Nineveh, or today’s Mosul in the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

Nineveh was considered the most wicked and violent city of its time, known then as a city of vice, and Jonah was reluctant to fulfill his calling. Rather than sailing east to Nineveh, Jonah tried to flee his calling by boarding a ship headed west for Tarshish— likely a region by the Mediterranean Sea. 

Then, a great storm greeted the ship. The sailors determined that it was the fault of Jonah, and they either flew the reluctant prophet overboard, or he volunteered to jump— biblical historians disagree here. Jonah then was swallowed by a whale or large sea creature, and he remained in its belly for three days until it spit Jonah out on shore.  

After being released, Jonah felt rebuked by God. He decided to fulfill his divine mission and go to Nineveh. There, he begged the corrupt city to repent, including its king. After, Jonah lingered outside the city walls and awaited their destruction, disbelieving that his preaching would lead anyone to repent. 

Shockingly, the city did repent, and its population was spared. But why? This is the most peculiar part of the story; the most wicked, violent “Heathen city” listened to a lone prophet from an enemy nation and proceeded to repent to God for their ways. Wouldn’t they regard him as a single lunatic and dismiss him altogether? Moreover, why was Jonah not simply killed from the start? What could possibly prompt the capital city of Nineveh to take Jonah seriously and follow his preaching?

The answer to this lingering question has been jabbed at for quite some time, although to be honest, nobody truly knows why. Yet one possible explanation forges the link between Nineveh, the Second Coming of Christ and the Great North American Solar Eclipse.

The Bur-Sagale Eclipse on June 15, 763 B.C.

Eclipses occur on perfectly defined cycles. Modern calendaring, astronomy and astrology allow us to predate and postdate each eclipse, and due to this, we know that the famous Bur-Sagale eclipse occurred over ancient Nineveh on June 15, 763 B.C. The eclipse is even recorded in the city’s history. 

There’s no precise way to pinpoint the dates of Jonah’s preaching in Nineveh, but biblical scholars believe it was between the years of 773 and 755 B.C. The span of this window is wide— eighteen years— but we do know that 763 B.C. occurred within it, so it’s certainly plausible that Jonah preached right before or during the eclipse. 

Many believe that Jonah must have preached right before or during the Bur-Sagale eclipse solely because the theory provides an excellent explanation for why Nineveh chose to repent. In fact, it might have been the only event large enough and coinciding with Jonah’s preaching to convince a corrupt population and its king to listen to a lone, enemy prophet. Then again, we can’t truly know this for sure.

The Great North American Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024

How does this story connect to the upcoming solar eclipse? Many believers point to a prophecy from Christ to a group of Pharisees and teachers of the law in Matthew 12:38-40. 

Christ said, “a wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of earth.”

A group recently discovered that on April 8, 2024, the solar eclipse will be a constellation of Cetus, which is the whale. The whale was Jonah’s sign to follow the Lord’s orders— and likely the sign from the Matthew 12 prophecy. This could link North America, particularly the U.S., to Nineveh, and thus, a warning of repentance or destruction.

The same group claimed that the eclipse will pass directly (meaning a full eclipse) over seven cities named Nineveh. They also asserted that there are only seven cities named Nineveh in the U.S.— and the eclipse will directly pass over each of them. To deepen their point, the number seven is highly relevant in biblical numerology. 

Further, many believers point to the 2017 American solar eclipse, which purportedly passed through seven cities named Salem, which is derived from the Hebrew verb “shalom,” or “peace.” People believe that this eclipse marked a seven-year period of peace, to be followed by the 2024 American eclipse, crossing over the Seven Cities of Nineveh, a warning of destruction. 

Additionally, some internet users have pointed out, if you map out the paths of both eclipses, it paints an “X” over America, possibly marking the end of peace. Others mention a third eclipse, predating 2017, and when you include that pathway on a U.S. map, it supposedly creates a Hebrew letter.

Interestingly, while many legions discuss the Seven Cities of Nineveh on social media, another large group claims that there are actually six cities by the name of Nineveh— and “six” is another compelling number because it’s associated with 666, the mark of the beast.

One social media user claimed that between the 2017 and 2024 eclipses, there will be a span of six years, six months, six weeks and six days. Users jumped at this theory, combining it with the theory of the six cities named Nineveh, which are expected to be in full view of the eclipse.

This narrative is persuasive and ominous, so naturally, it’s received viral attention on various social media platforms. Further, it certainly seems like the dots connect— but has any of this information actually been vetted?

The Legitimacy of These Claims

YouTube user Gospel Lessons, in a recent video, offered an excellent and thorough analysis of the current speculation and theories about the upcoming eclipse. When you begin to vet each theory, the whole idea seems to unravel a bit. 

In reality, he pointed out, there are actually eight cities in the U.S. named Nineveh, and one in Canada. Only two of these cities— the ones in Indiana and Ohio— are actually in the direct path of the full solar eclipse. Most of the remaining cities named Nineveh are close to the path, and two (in Missouri and Virginia) aren’t even remotely close to the path. 

Including Canada’s Nineveh, seven cities are either near or on the solar eclipse’s full-view path, or excluding Canada’s Nineveh, six cities are near or on the path. 

“If we open it up to cities that will see [either] the full eclipse or a partial eclipse, then it would be all eight U.S. and one Canadian cities named Nineveh,” Gospel Lessons said. “But keep in mind, if you open it up to cities that would see a full or partial eclipse, that would include every city in the United States.”

Then, there’s the claim of the six years, six months, six weeks and six days between eclipses.

“In reality, it is six years, seven months and eighteen days between eclipses, and even if you take one of the months, making it six months rather than seven, and adding 28 to 31 days,” Gospel Lessons calculated. 

“Then, depending on which month you choose to convert to weeks, we add those days to the remaining eighteen days, which equals 46 to 49 days, which we divide by seven to get six weeks, taking 42 of the remaining 46 to 49 days, leaving four to seven days, depending on which month we converted to weeks.”

“So, if we choose April, June, September or November, because these months have 30 days in them, then we truly get 6 years, 6 months, 6 weeks and 6 days between solar eclipses, but only because there are 2 leap years between these 2 eclipses as well.”

As you can see, the math in order to actually achieve the six years, six months, six weeks and six days is complicated. It requires a bit of number-fudging by picking a specific month to convert into weeks and to stretch that, so it fits the 6/6/6/6 prophecy.

Further, the modern world most widely uses the Gregorian calendar to calculate each of these numbers. The “mark of the beast” and “666” were discussed by John the Revelator in the Book of Revelation, who probably used either the Jewish calendar or the Julian calendar. Factoring this massive difference in calendaring, we can’t necessarily rely on our ability to map the dates out similarly to how one would during biblical times.

Regarding the prophecy of Matthew 12 and the constellation of Cetus, Gospel Lessons points to the second half of the verse. 

“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth,” Jesus told the Pharisees in Matthew 12:40.

“Christ is using what happened to Jonah being 3 days in the belly of the whale to illustrate when Christ will come forth out of the Tomb resurrected. He’s telling the scribes and the Pharisees that there can be no greater sign than when he rises from the grave, having overcome death and Hell,” Gospel Lessons interpreted.

“Furthermore, if we look at the constellations during the eclipse, you can see the moon over the sun in this graphic generated by the Stellarium software. The eclipse itself is in Pisces and not in Cetus, although it is pretty close, just one constellation over, and this remains true no matter where in the United States you are on the eclipse’s path.” 

When examining the “6/6/6/6” rumor, the nine cities named Nineveh (with only two in complete view), and the Pisces, rather than Cetus, constellation, it seems that the details surrounding the upcoming eclipse are being fudged and sensationalized a bit to make it fit a biblical prophecy. Some social media users have actually stretched out images of the U.S. map to force the Nineveh cities to fit the direct path of the eclipse.

“It feels like some of these things are a bit backwards, as some people see things like the Great American eclipse coming, and then they look for further evidence that substantiate their beliefs and claims, which can be the number of Nineveh cities, or a constellation or whatever, and then they fudge the numbers a bit or stretch the maps a bit just because it seems just so close,” said Gospel Lessons.

Others, still, aren’t intentionally stretching the truths, but they’re susceptible to believing what they’ve read on the internet without further inquiry. The Second Coming of Christ is certainly coming someday, and it might even be soon— but likely, none of us know when or are even capable of anticipating a date for that. 

However, we each have autonomy and God-given free will to believe what we want to believe. And if the upcoming April 8, 2024, eclipse motivates you to repent and build a closer relationship to God, or if it mobilizes you to begin testifying to unsaved loved ones, then do it. That’s probably exactly what you’re being called to do.

“There is no greater sign [of the end of the world] than just looking around you and seeing the decay of society and corruption within,” said YouTube user JayDee8864.

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