Sun, Moon, and Stars

The sun moon and stars created on day four give light to the earth below. They are called rulers of the day and of the night, symbols or types of the spiritual and temporal rulers on earth. When Joseph dreams of the sun, moon, and stars bowing down to him, Jacob immediately and rightly understands these symbols to represent himself as the sun, the head of the chosen people of God, his wife, the moon, and his other sons, the stars. Likewise in the prophets, frequently the sun is said to be darkened, and the moon to not give its light or to be turned to blood (as in an eclipse), and the stars to not shine or to fall from the heavens. Isaiah 13 is a characteristic example. He takes up a discourse against Babylon; God is going to move the Medes against them to destroy them without pity. Man, woman, and child will be thrust through, houses spoiled, wives ravished. For the Babylonians, this is an earth-shaking event. Their world, their empire, is being torn down and replaced with another. The sun, moon, and stars, will be darkened—their king, rulers, and priests will no longer give their light, their direction, their uncovering judgment on the earth (see also Eze 32, Joel 2, 3, Amos 8, Matthew 24).

It is significant that each of the days of creation are given as evening and morning, a period of darkness followed by the dawning of the light. The whole Jewish calendar was almost entirely ruled by the moon. The months and the phases of the moon dictated the timing of feasts and holy days. Even the years were reckoned by the moon, adding months as needed to keep the calendar in sync with the seasons. The history of the Jews until Christ can be said symbolically to be night, ruled by moon and stars. With Christ comes the day.