Thanks to a nice bit of search by Fredrick Baltz, reported in the July/August 2017 issue of Biblical Archeology Review, an important ancient solar eclipse has been brought to light.
The year was 702 B.C. The Assyrian Empire has destroyed the Northern Kingdom of Israel some 20 years before and now was setting its sights on Hezekiah’s Kingdom of Judah. Then, with the Assyrian threat hanging over his head, King Hezekiah became deathly ill. The prophet Isaiah told him to put his house in order, for he was going to die. But, the king cried out to the Lord, and the Lord sent Isaiah back to the king.
Through Isaiah God told Hezekiah that He had heard his prayer and would give him is more years of life. Even more, God promised to save Jerusalem from the Assyrians. As a sign, God made the sunlight move backwards on the stairway of Ahaz. Scholars have puzzled of the backwards movement of sunlight, but Fredrick Baltz has shown that the apparent backwards movement of sunlight and shade occurs during solar eclipses. Such an eclipse crossed over the Middle East on March 5, 702 B.C. Later that year there was an eclipse on the first day of the Hebrew repentance season of Teshuvah, inviting the nation to return to God.
Hezekiah’s healing apparently emboldened him to stand against the Assyrian Army the next year, and as He had promised God destroyed the Assyrian Army surrounding Jerusalem. However, the Bible tells us that Hezekiah became proud (2 Chronicles 32:25). He bragged about his wealth to the Babylonians and was rebuked by the prophet Isaiah, but was content to avoid disaster in his own lifetime rather than seek revival to save in Israel. Then during the 15 years of life God gave him, he had a son, an heir, but did not train him up in the ways of the Lord. It was his son Manasseh who became the most wicked king of Judah and led the people into the rebellion against God which culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Babylonians.
Now in 2017, on August 21, God is sending us another Teshuvah eclipse and another chance to repent and return to Him. Like Hezekiah, we have received prophetic words to put our house in order. We have been called to cry out to God as Hezekiah did, and we pray for deliverance, but we must not stop short as Hezekiah did, being content to see peace only in our own lifetime. No, we must ask for nothing less than revival, and train up the next generation to carry it forward.
We are asking the Church to humble itself and seek God’s face, as Hezekiah did, during the 40 days of Teshuvah 2017 which begins with the solar eclipse spanning America on August 21. For more information see our recently released book Teshuvah Eclipses or our website at Teshuvah2017.com.
The time is short and the enemy is at the gate. Join us in praying for revival, unity of the Church, and healing of our land.