Revelation 6:12: the Blood Moon & the Atmosphere

Many interested in Bible prophecy have paid close attention to lunar eclipses in recent years. A big reason for this focus is that the Bible warns that the moon’s appearance will become as blood prior to the coming of Christ. Revelation 6:12 states:

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;” (Revelation 6:12)

A lunar eclipse is one way for the moon’s appearance to resemble blood. However, it is not the only way. In this article, I will describe another way that the moon can appear as blood.

Will a Lunar Eclipse Cause the Blood Moon in Revelation?

Before I begin with the main part of this article, I want to explain why I am skeptical that the blood moon in Revelation 6:12 will be a result of a lunar eclipse.

  1. Lunar eclipses appear for a short amount of time. The longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century only appeared for 1 hour and 42 minutes. We don’t know how long the blood moon of Revelation will appear. But, if the blood moon of Revelation will last for a long time it will not be the result of a lunar eclipse.
  2. Lunar eclipses are not visible to the whole world. For instance, the blood moons from the much-hyped tetrad in 2014-2015 were not seen by large parts of the world.
  3. Scriptural evidence indicates that the blood moon in Revelation may be the result of a different event. We’ll see that soon.

Now to the main part of the article…

Before the Blood Moon & Day of the Lord

Revelation 6:12 mentions that a great earthquake will occur before the sun turns black as sackcloth and the moon becomes as blood:

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;” (Revelation 6:12)

Revelation 6:17 adds that these signs will arise just before the start of the Day of the Lord:

“For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

Keep these details in mind….

Pillars of Smoke

Joel 2:30-31 and Acts 2:19-20 tell us that a lot of smoke-“pillars of smoke”-will be present as the start of the Day of the Lord nears:

“(30) And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. (31) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.” (Joel 2:30-31)

“(19) And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: (20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:” (Acts 2:19-20)

Given that a lot of smoke will be present in the atmosphere, we have to consider the possibility that the smoke could influence how the moon appears to those on Earth at that time.

Smoke & the Blood Moon

Universe Today, a popular astronomy website, has an article focused on answering why the moon sometimes turns red.

  • The article mentions that the moon can turn red during a lunar eclipse.
  • The article also mentions that the moon can turn red after a volcanic eruption. An eruption emits a lot of particulate matter (ash, smoke, etc) into the atmosphere. The particulate matter in the air scatters blue and green colors away and enables the color red to pass through easier.

The great earthquake (Revelation 6:12), fire, and the pillars of smoke (Joel 2:30 & Acts 2:19) indicates that there’ll be huge geological instability across the planet near the start of the Day of the Lord. We can deduce from this that it is likely that:

  • Many volcanoes will erupt and send lots of particulate matter into the atmosphere.
  • The entire planet could be covered by particulate matter from these eruptions.
  • The blood moon caused by these eruptions could be seen by everyone since it takes time for smoke to clear from the atmosphere.

Blood Moon Video


It’s unlikely that the blood moon in Revelation will be the result of a lunar eclipse. It’s much likelier that the blood moon will come from the geological instability that will arise as the Day of the Lord nears.

I urge you to not get caught up in the hype of date setters who claim that a big event will happen because a lunar eclipse is coming up. I have run across many people who have made failed predictions in recent years because they used a lunar eclipse as the basis for their date setting.

Do You Want to Study Bible Prophecy? Get My Free eBook!

Join my mailing list, and as a special welcome gift, I’ll send you my eBook guide to studying Bible prophecy. You’ll also get my latest articles and updates delivered to your inbox.

Your privacy is valued. For more information, please read the Privacy Policy.

Prophecy Proof Insights Guide to Studying Bible Prophecy
Share This Post
Wayne Croley
Wayne Croley

Hi! I’ve studied and written about Bible prophecy since I was a teenager. My goal is to make Bible prophecy easy for you to understand while avoiding the sensationalism seen elsewhere. I am the author of Prophecy Proof Insights on the End Times, a comprehensive book about the end times. I hold an M.B.A. and degrees in Managerial Economics and Political Science.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    • I live in California so I do see the sky get covered in smoke when there are big wildfires. Last week I saw an orangish/reddish moon in the sky. Seeing that further convinces me that the changes in the moon and sun’s appearance associated with the 6th seal is due to huge amounts of particulate matter in the atmosphere.

  1. I’ve thought about the possibility of Yellowstone erupting. But I wonder whether the consequences of a Yellowstone eruption be too severe for Earth…

    • They actually believe now that it will be a super volcanic eruption at Yellowstone. It is really more of a matter of when! I am a beliver in our Savior Jesus Christ. I believe in GOD his mighty power. I belive he knows what was going to happen before it did, and things on Earth like Yellowstone where set in place for a day that os near. People may say what they will about me but i believe that the scientist believe in the bible, but they always seem to leave him off the credits. GOD was the driving force that caused the Big Bang Theory! Trust me when I say if you read the message to Philistia in the bible I believe found in Zephaniah, you will be able to see it coming to pass. The bible calls them by there old names but it we know them as Palestine and Siria the middle East and Asia all now in conflict as he said it would. They have there doomsday clock which is moving closer to 12 everyday, scientist believe when it reaches 12 there will be major catstrophy all over the world. in the message to philistia it mentions noon. I said all this to say that the Lord, the living GOD is real. He has always been and will forever be. I want anyone who reads this to believe in his oower believe in his return and to give themselves to him and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior before his return. I believe it has already started and by the time everyone catches on it won’t matter. Everyone is so easy to believe in anything, why is it so hard to believe in God and his power. All he does for us and continues to do for us give him a chance. I can give testimony to his power. People say GOD doesn’t talk to you, I am here to say yes he does! They say that you cant feel him, I am here to say yes I have , they say you cant touch him he touches you, if you will allow it. Let everyone who has an ear hear what the lord is saying to them! Lastly my advice to everyone is seek him you will find him, speak to him sincerely and he will speak to you, when he does recognize him and do as he instructs you too

    • Hello, this Al from PA…
      I heard that on December 21, 2016 or 2017 – not sure of the year(?), most of the planet quaked. I saw the monitors online, and they all ‘seemed’ to register earthquakes all over the globe… Any thoughts??

      • If that happened, it still pales in comparison to the seismic activity the world will likely experience following the opening of the 6th seal. Revelation 6:14 indicates that every mountain and island would be moved out of their place:

        “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”

        This is indicative of extreme seismic activity on a global scale. It’s not a surprise people at that time will seek refuge from one’s taking place. Luke 21:25-26 describes roaring seas and waves (perhaps tsunamis?)-also indicative of massive seismic activity on a global scale

  2. Immanuel Velikovsky and his theory, as written in “Worlds in collision”, can’t be ignored when studying this topic. Albert Einstein was a close friend of his and was studying his work when he (A.E.) died. I would not say I agree 100% but it is important enough that it can’t be ignored.

  3. Good write up, I am just wondering what a “great earthquake” might be. It would have to be larger than the one that Japan had recently, to cause that kind of particulate, or it would have to cause volcanoes to erupt along with it. Either way, when the bible says that there will be a GREAT EARTHQUAKE, it is probably going to be one that is not covered by our current grading system. Yikes!!