Revelation 6:12 Index
"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;"
Research Material

" . . . the sixth seal . . . "

  • The time of tribulation that took place under the fifth seal was over. Christ said in Matthew 24 that signs would appear in the havens that would begin a period referred to as "the time of the end" (Daniel 12:9) in Scripture. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" (Matthew 24:29). (KC 103)
  • The timing of these events set them apart as a fulfillment of the signs in this prophecy. Matthew lists the events, but John enumerates the order in which they take place. "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). "And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind" (Revelation 6:13).
  • The sixth seal started in the mid-1700s, marking the beginning of the last period of time before Jesus returns. This is one of the places where many people get lost in the book of Revelation because the seventh seal does not appear until Revelation 8:1. The reason for this is that John inserts an interlude, describing what is taking place with the Lord's followers by answering the question about the Second Coming of Christ that is asked at the end of the sixth chapter, "Who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:17). (KC 105)

" . . . there was a great earthquake . . . "

  • The Lisbon Earthquake of November 1 1755:
    • It was in Spain and Portugal that the shock manifested its extreme violence. At Cadiz the in flowing wave was said to be sixty feet high. Mountains, "some of the largest in Portugal, were impetuously shaken, as it were, from their very foundations, and some of them opened at their summits, which were split and rent in a 2onderful manner, huge masses of them being thrown down into the adjacent valleys. Flames are related to have issued from these mountains." At Lisbon "a sound of thunder was heard underground, and immediately afterwards a violent shock threw down the greater part of that city. In the course of about six minutes sixty thousand persons perished. The sea first retired, and laid the bar dry; it then rolled i, rising fifty feet or more above the ordinary level." (Sir Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, p. 495). (KC 103)

" . . . the sun became as black as sackcloth of hair . . . "

  • The Dark Day of May 19, 1780:
    • "Almost, if not altogether alone, as the most mysterious and as yet unexplained phenomenon of its kind. . . . stands the dark day of May 19, 1780, - a most unaccountable darkening of the whole visible heavens and atmosphere in New England." (R. M. Devens, Our First Century, p.89) (KC 103-104)
    • "Fear, anxiety, and awe gradually filled the minds of the people. Women stood at the door, looking out upon the dark landscape; men returned from their labor in the fields; the carpenter left his tools, the blacksmith his forge, the tradesman his counter. Schools were dismissed, and tremblingly the children fled homeward. . . . Candles were used; and hearth fires shone as brightly as on a moonless evening in autumn . . . Fowls retired to their roosts and went to sleep, cattle gathered at the pasture bars and lowed, frogs peeped, birds sang their evening songs, and bats flew about. But the human knew that night had not come." (The Essex Antiquarian, April, 1899. Vol. 3, pp. 53-54). (KC 104)
    • During his 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy often closed his speeches with the story of Colonel Davenport, the Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives. "On May 19, 1780, the legislature of Connecticut was in session at Hartford. A very general opinion prevailed, that the day of judgment was at hand. The House of Representatives, being unable to transact their business adjourned. A proposal to adjourn the council was under consideration. When the opinion of Colonel [Abraham] Davenport was asked, he answered, 'I am against an adjournment. The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for an adjournment: if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.'" (Connecticut Historical Collections, p.403). (KC 104)

" . . . and the moon became as blood."

  • "Though at nine o'clock that night the moon rose to the full, “it had not the least effect to dispel the deathlike shadows.” After midnight the darkness disappeared, and the moon, when first visible, had the appearance of blood." (GC 308)