Well, raggthyme7, I can only explain the impression that I drew as an avid 10-year-old amateur astronomer in 1964 after contemplating Luke 21:25a & Matthew 24:29-30a numerous times and that is that when Jesus told His apostles in Luke 21:25a that "there will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars...," then that means that He was telling His apostles that there will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars.
This is not meant to offend, but it's unfortunate when we use 10-year-old contemplation instead of the Scriptures, to understand the Scriptures. We know the Lord Jesus was referred to by Moses as The Prophet... so we should expect Him to speak at times in prophetic language
similar to say, Isaiah. In chapter 13, Isaiah is prophesying against Babylon:
1The burden against Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw....
6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore all hands will be limp,
Every man’s heart will melt,
8 And they will be afraid.
Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them;
They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth;
They will be amazed at one another;
Their faces will be like flames.
9 Behold, the day of the Lord comes,
Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger,
To lay the land desolate;
And He will destroy its sinners from it.
10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not give their light;
The sun will be darkened in its going forth,
And the moon will not cause its light to shine.
I realize this chapter has been recently mentioned, but I'd like to share what a few non-Preterist
commentaries say about the sun, moon and stars in this prophecy....
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
For the stars of heaven - This verse cannot be understood literally, but is a metaphorical representation of the calamities that were coming upon Babylon. The meaning of the figure evidently is, that those calamities would be such as would be appropriately denoted by the sudden extinguishment of the stars, the sun, and the moon.
As nothing would tend more to anarchy, distress, and ruin, than thus to have all the lights of heaven suddenly and forever quenched, this was an apt and forcible representation of the awful calamities that were coming upon the people. Darkness and night, in the Scriptures, are often the emblem of calamity and distress
(see the note at Matthew 24:29). The revolutions and destructions of kingdoms and nations are often represented in the Scriptures under this image
. So respecting the destruction of Idumea Isaiah 34:4 :
And all the hosts of heaven shall be dissolved,
And the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll;
And all their host shall fall down,
As the leaf falleth from off the vine,
And as a falling fig from the fig-tree.
So in Ezekiel 32:7-8, in a prophecy respecting the destruction of Pharaoh, king of Egypt:
And when I shall put time out,
I will cover the heavens, and make the stars thereof dark,
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
And the moon shall not give her light.
And the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee.
And set darkness upon thy land.
(Compare Joel 2:10; Joel 3:15-16.) Thus in Amos 8:9 :
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
For the stars of heaven "Yea, the stars of heaven" - The Hebrew poets, to express happiness, prosperity, the instauration and advancement of states, kingdoms, and potentates, make use of images taken from the most striking parts of nature, from the heavenly bodies, from the sun, moon, and stars: which they describe as shining with increased splendor, and never setting. The moon becomes like the meridian sun, and the sun's light is augmented sevenfold; (see Isaiah 30:26); new heavens and a new earth are created, and a brighter age commences. On the contrary, the overflow and destruction of kingdoms is represented by opposite images. The stars are obscured, the moon withdraws her light, and the sun shines no more! The earth quakes, and the heavens tremble; and all things seem tending to their original chaos,
See Joel 2:10; Joel 3:15, Joel 3:16; Amos 8:9; Matthew 24:29; and De S. Poes. Herb. Prael. 6 et IX.
And the moon shall not cause her light to shine - This in its farther reference may belong to the Jewish polity, both in Church and state, which should be totally eclipsed, and perhaps shine no more in its distinct state for ever.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the stars of heaven,.... This and what follows are to be understood, not literally, but figuratively, as expressive of the dismalness and gloominess of the dispensation, of the horror and terror of it, in which there was no light, no comfort, no relief, nor any hope of any; the heavens and all the celestial bodies frowning upon them
, declaring the displeasure of him that dwells there:.......... see Acts 27:20 by the sun, moon, and stars, may be meant king, queen, and nobles, whose destruction is here prophesied of; it being usual in prophetic language, as well as in other writers (f), to express great personages hereby.
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
13:6-18 We have here the terrible desolation of Babylon by the Medes and Persians.
Those who in the day of their peace were proud, and haughty, and terrible, are quite dispirited when trouble comes. Their faces shall be scorched with the flame. All comfort and hope shall fail. The stars of heaven shall not give their light, the sun shall be darkened. Such expressions are often employed by the prophets, to describe the convulsions of governments.
God will visit them for their iniquity, particularly the sin of pride, which brings men low. There shall be a general scene of horror...
Do you disagree with this interpretation of Isaiah 13, specifically the desolation of Babylon expressed by the "darkening" of the constellations? If not, why the sudden switch to the literal when reading the NT?
Shouldn't we at least consider the Hebrew Scriptures in our attempt to exegete the meaning
of Luke 21:25 and Mat 24:29? After all, Jerusalem was
referred to by Peter as "Babylon".... and in prophesying it's
desolation the Lord eludes to the same sort of "signs" in the sun, moon and stars as did Isaiah. Interesting...