An Eclipse at the Crucifixion?
There is not the slightest reason to consider this "darkness" as an eclipse of the Sun. After all, it is quite impossible for such a thing to happen at the Full Moon which occurs at Passover. There are several types of "darkness" which the Bible says can occur. The atmosphere and Sun can be darkened by dense smoke (Revelation 9:2) and it was very common in Palestine during the rainy season for the heavens to be darkened by a heavy and thick cloud cover (Ezekiel 34:12; Joel 2:2 with 3:1). When Moses was on Mount Sinai there was a great darkness in the area (Hebrews 12:18) caused by smoke and dense clouds (Exodus 19:16, 18; 20:21). The most reasonable answer to the question above is that God caused a great sign of foreboding clouds and/or smoke to occur over the land in the last three hours of the crucifixion scene. The teaching of Scripture can support this. When Elijah finally called for the rain after a three and a half years of drought, the heavens became black with clouds and wind (I Kings 18:45). And also, it was common in the first century for the Dead Sea to erupt frequently with plumes of smoke that could cover the land as well. [See Appendix Five titled "The Location of the Lake of Fire" for more information on this matter.]
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