Questions From Readers
Luke 21:25, 26 reads: “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth anguish of nations, not knowing the way out because of the roaring of the sea and its agitation, while men become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” The similar passage at Matthew 24:29 reads: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
These texts are to be understood primarily in a literal sense. Why so? Because of the compelling force of consistency. Modern-day events in fulfillment of prophecy make it clear that the statement at Luke 21:10, 11 is fulfilled literally. It says: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be great earthquakes, and in one place after another pestilences and food shortages.” It is therefore reasonable to put a literal construction on the rest of Lu 21 verse 11, which reads: “And there will be fearful sights and from heaven great signs.” These “fearful sights” and “great signs” undoubtedly refer to the same things mentioned in Luke 21:25, 26 and Matthew 24:29, namely, visible, physical, material celestial disturbances. This, however, does not mean that a figurative construction of these prophecies is not possible. No, but such is a secondary or parallel application. Incidentally, the primary meaning of these prophecies is referred to in the book “Your Will Be Done on Earth,” page 320.
Acquire wisdom; and with all that you acquire, acquire understanding.—Prov. 4:7.