THE FOUR BLOOD MOONS OF 1967-68
Yet I have chosen Jerusalem,
that My name may be there
–2 CHRONICLES 6:6
The third occurrence of a Tetrad of Blood Moons significant to Jewish history, as reported by NASA, was in 1967-68. Why was this significant to Jewish history? 1967 was the year the city of Jerusalem was reunited with the Jewish people for first time in nearly nineteen hundred years.
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BLOOD MOONS OF 1967-68
The Tetrad of Blood Moons of 1967-68 occurred on the Jewish holidays of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles:
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This third Tetrad, beginning in 1967, occurred on the Jewish holidays of Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles with the total solar eclipse occurring on November 2, 1967, before Passover of 1968.
What was happening to the Jewish people during this time?
THE PRICE OF INDEPENDENCE
See how your enemies growl,
how your foes rear their heads.
With cunning they conspire against your people;
they plot against those your cherish.
“Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation,
so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”
(PSALM 83:2—4 NIV)
Israel was at war from the moment they declared statehood.
The War of Independence of May 15, 1948, through March 10, 1949, occurred the day after Israel’s rebirth. . . . The war was fought along the entire length of the country’s border; against Lebanon and Syria in the north; Iraq and Transjordan in the east; Egypt, assisted by contingents from the Sudan, in the south; and Palestinians and volunteers from Arab countries in the interior of Israel.
It was the bloodiest of Israel’s wars with a total of 6,373 killed in action. The jubilant celebration of the nation’s rebirth was over. Sandwiched between the War of Independence and the Six-Day War was the Sinai War of October 29 through November 7, 1956, which was fought against Egypt over the control of the strategic Sinai Peninsula.
In 1967, the Arab nations, committed to driving the Jewish people into the sea, once again rallied against Israel. On May 15, as Israel commemorated their Independence Day, the buildup of Egyptian troops began moving into the Sinai near the Israeli border. By May 18, Syrian troops were prepared for battle along the Golan Heights.
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On May 18, 1967, The Voice of the Arabs radio station proclaimed:
As of today, there no longer exists an international
emergency force to protect Israel. We shall exercise
patience no more. We shall not complain any more to
the UN about Israel. The sole method we shall apply
against Israel is total war, which will result in the ex-
termination of Zionist existence. [Isi Leibler, The Case For Israel (Australia: The Globe Press, 1972) 60.]
On May 20, Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad threatened Israel with the following declaration:
Our forces are now entirely ready not only to repulse
the aggression, but to initiate the act of liberation it-
self, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab
homeland. The Syrian army, with its finger on the trig-
ger, is united. . . . I, as a military man, believe that the
time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation. [Isi Leibler, The Case For Israel (Australia: The Globe Press, 1972) 60.]
On May 27, Nasser of Egypt challenged Israel:
“Our basic objective will be the destruction of Isra-
el. The Arab people want to fight,” he said. [Isi Leibler, The Case For Israel (Australia: The Globe Press, 1972) 60.] The
following day, he added: “We will not accept any . . .
coexistence with Israel.” [Isi Leibler, The Case For Israel (Australia: The Globe Press, 1972) 18.]
On May 30, King Hussein of Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt. Nasser then announced:
The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are
poised on the borders of Israel . . . to face the chal-
lenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq,
Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation.
This act will astound the world. Today they will know
that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour
has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious ac-
tion and not declarations. [Isi Leibler, The Case For Israel (Australia: The Globe Press, 1972) 60.]
President Abdur Rahman Aref of Iraq joined in the vicious war of words:
The existence of Israel is an error which must be recti-
fied. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy
which has been with us since 1948. Our goal is clear—
to wipe Israel off the map. [Isi Leibler, The Case For Israel (Australia: The Globe Press, 1972) 18.]
On June 4, Iraq joined the military alliance of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.
The Arab rhetoric was matched by the mobilization of hostile Arab forces. Approximately 465,000 enemy troops, with more than 2,800 tanks, and 800 aircraft surrounded Israel. [Chaim Herzog, The Arab-Israeli Wars (New York: Random House, 1982), 149.]
THE HAND OF GOD
He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might
know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so
that you might always fear the LORD your God.
(JOSHUA 4:24 NIV)
The Six-Day War was a war of miracles. . . . There was no military reason for their victory; . . .
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THE CONQUEST OF SHECHEM
Israel’s military commanders recognized that the taking of Shechem would be one of the toughest and bloodiest battles of the war. The largest crossing of the Jordan River began in the country of Jordan and continued through the Samarian Mountains and into the city of Shechem. Abraham used this very crossing as he entered into the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:6).
The Jordanian army assumed that Israel would enter Shechem through their coastal region so they placed their heavy artillery and tanks on the other side of the city overlooking the roads leading to Shechem from the west. The IDF (Israel Defense Force) decided to outmaneuver the enemy by first fighting to the north and west and then coming back down to enter Shechem from the east, which was “the back door” of the city.
Colonel Uri Banari gives his eyewitness account: [Original text on pages 215-19 from R. Menachem Mendel Kasher, The Great Era (Torah Shelemah Institute).]
At the entrance to Shechem stood thousands of Ar-
abs who waved white handkerchiefs and clapped
their hands. In our naivete, we returned greetings and
smiles. We entered the town and wondered: We are
advancing and there is no disorder, no panic, the local
armed guards stand by with rifles in their hands keep-
ing order, and the crowds are cheering.
Suddenly something happened which changed the
entire picture in a moment. One of our officers want-
ed to disarm an Arab guard. When the latter refused,
our officer fired a shot in the air. At that moment, all
the crowds disappeared and streets emptied out. The
Arabs began sniper fire.
I didn’t comprehend what had transpired. Only
later, did I understand.
The residents of Shechem thought that we were the
Iraqi forces who were due to arrive from the direction
of Jordan. The numerous enemy tanks were situated
on the west side of Shechem. They woke up to their
error very late.
The Arabs were surprised; the fear of the Jews fell
upon them. In Hebron, and in Shechem, in Jenin and
in Jericho the Arabs were heavily armed. There was
not even one small Arab village without arms. With
great haste, the Arabs, however, hid their weapons and
didn’t consider using them. They raised their hands up,
and flew white flags of surrender from every edifice.
The fear of G-d fell upon hundreds of thousands of
proud Arabs, who were filled with hatred and loathing
for Israel. Only yesterday, they had sworn to fight until
their last drop of blood.
A DIRECT HIT
In the late hours of the night, an IDF truck loaded with arms and shells parked next to a building in Jerusalem. Its mission was to bring a fresh supply of ammunition to the front line outposts. The element of danger was great for if the truck was hit by enemy fire, the subsequent explosions of all the ammo would bring all the buildings in the area down on their inhabitants.
Suddenly the whistling of an approaching enemy shell was heard, and the shell, indeed, scored a direct hit on the vehicle. But the Arab shell did not explode. It remained perched atop the pile of Israeli shells in the truck.
EIGHTEEN AGAINST TWO
Yisrael, a cab driver who was drafted to fight in the Six-Day War as part of the paratroop unit assigned with conquering the Straits of Tiran, gave the following account upon his return:
The Israeli soldiers didn’t have to parachute out of
the Nord airplanes which took them to the Tiran
Straits. They landed like spoiled tourists in the air-
port, because the Egyptian regiment which was on
guard there fled before the Israeli troops were visible
on the horizon.
After landing, I was sent with another reserve
soldier, and electrician, to patrol the area. When we
had distanced ourselves two kilometers, an Egyptian
halftrack appeared before us filled with soldiers and
mounted with machine guns on every side. We had
only light weapons with a few bullets that couldn’t stop
the halftrack for a second. We couldn’t turn back, so
we stood there in despair, waited for the first shot, and
for lack of a better idea, aimed our guns at them.
But the shots didn’t come.
The halftrack came to a halt, and we decided to
cautiously approach it. We found eighteen armed sol-
diers inside sitting with guns in hand, with a petrified
look on their faces. They looked at us with great fear
as though begging for mercy. I shouted “Hands up!”
As we were marching them and I had returned to a
state of calm, I asked the Egyptian sergeant next to me,
Tell me, why didn’t you shoot at us?”
He answered, “I don’t know. My arms froze—they
became paralyzed. My whole body was paralyzed, and
I don’t know why.”
It turned out that these soldiers didn’t know that
the Straits of Tiran were already in Israeli hands; why
didn’t they eliminate us?
I don’t have an answer. How can one say that G-d
didn’t help us.
THE FINGER OF GOD
IDF Director of Operations Maj. Gen. Ezer Weizmann was asked by Mr. Levanon, the father of a fallen pilot, how he explains the fact that for three straight hours, Israeli Air Force planes flew from one Egyptian airstrip to another destroying the enemy planes, yet the Egyptians did not radio ahead to inform their own forces of the oncoming Israeli attack.
Ezer Weizmann, who later served as president of the State of Israel, was silent. He then lifted his head and exclaimed, “The finger of G-d.”
HA’ARETZ NEWSPAPER’S BOTTOM LINE
Following his blow-by-blow analysis, the military correspondent for the secular Ha’aretz newspaper summed up the Six-Day War with the admission: “Even a non-religious person must admit this war was fought with help from heaven.”
A JOURNALIST’S EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT
A German journalist summarized:
Nothing like this has happened in history. A force in-
cluding 1,000 tanks, hundreds of artillery cannons,
many rockets and fighter jets, and a hundred thousand
soldiers armed from head to toe was destroyed in two
days in an area covering hundreds of kilometers filled
with reinforced outposts and installations.
And this victory was carried out by a force that
lost many soldiers and much equipment, positions,
and vehicles. No military logic or natural cause can
explain this monumental occurrence.
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King Hussein of Jordan proposed a cease-fire before the IDF could take back the Old City of Jerusalem. World leaders put increasing political pressure on Israel, demanding that they accept the proposed truce. Then suddenly, King Hussein changed his mind, refusing to submit to the very conditions of the cease-fire that he personally put in place! . . .
The Old City had been under Jordanian control since 1948. For nineteen years the Jewish people had been prohibited from the Western Wall where they had prayed for thousands of years before. It took just three days for Israeli forces to defeat the Jordanian army. On the morning of June 7, the order was given to take back the Old City of Jerusalem.
Israeli paratroopers stormed the city and secured it. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan arrived with Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin to formally mark the Jews’ return to their historic capital and their holiest site. At the Western Wall, the IDF’s chaplain, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, blew a shofar to celebrate the event.
In total, 21,000 of Israel’s enemies were killed during the Six-Day War; Israel lost 779 soldiers. Jerusalem became the capital of the Jewish people once again. David Ben-Gurion was right when he declared, “In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.”
God’s signature was on the miraculous victory of the Six-Day War. He signaled this historic event with the third series of Four Blood Moons. The trials and tribulation of war finally brought forth triumph for the Jewish people—the unification of their beloved Jerusalem.
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