Genesis 1:14 - Signs in the sky for sacred times?

My brother recently mentioned hearing on a Christian radio station that God causes full solar eclipses to happen at certain times of the year (such as the first days of Passover and Tabernacles) and as a form of communication with us. This was citing Genesis 1:14.

Catholic Answers’ Jon Sorensen addressed this topic briefly here, but he didn’t mention the Genesis verse.

I found these five translations and am wondering which one is correct.

New International Version
And God said, "Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,

New Living Translation
Then God said, "Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years.

**New American Standard Bible **
Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;

King James Bible
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for **signs, and for seasons, **and for days, and years:

New American Bible, RE
14Then God said: Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the seasons, the days and the years, [No mention of signs]

The Hebrew word used here as “season” is Mow`ed. It is Strongs Concordance #4150. It can be validly translated in many ways:
[LIST]
*]appointed place, appointed time, meeting
*]appointed time
*]appointed time (general)
*]sacred season, set feast, appointed season
*]appointed meeting
*]appointed place
*]appointed sign or signal
*]tent of meeting
[/LIST]
Translators attempt to choose the appropriate text by examining the context of the word. The NIV is the only one that chose “sacred times.” But the NIV is known to deliberately introduce bias into its text, so I don’t consider it reliable.

FWIW, I don’t see how this relates to eclipses. Eclipses have nothing to do with seasons - there is no correlation. If an eclipse happens, for example, on the first day of Spring it is merely a coincidence. We can predict eclipses far into the future (using mathematical calculations of orbits), but there’s no fixed pattern to them. Some years we might get two solar eclipses, and others get none.

From the Haydock Commentary:

For signs. Not to countenance the delusive observations of astrologers, but to give notice of rain, of the proper seasons for sowing, &c. M. — If the sun was made on the first day, as some assert, there is nothing new created on this fourth day. By specifying the use and creation of these heavenly bodies, Moses shows the folly of the Gentiles, who adored them as gods, and the impiety of those who pretend that human affairs are under the fatal influence of the planets. See S. Aug. Confes. iv. 3. The Heb. term mohadim, which is here rendered seasons, may signify either months , or the times for assembling to worship God; (C.) a practice, no doubt, established from the beginning every week, and probably also the first day of the new moon, a day which the Jews afterwards religiously observed. Plato calls the sun and planets the organs of time, of which, independently of their stated revolutions, man could have formed no conception. The day is completed in twenty-four hours, during which space the earth moves round its axis, and express successively different parts of its surface to the sun. It goes at a rate of fifty-eight thousand miles an hour, and completes its orbit in the course of a year. H.

We must keep in mind that, since the European rebellion introduced bible alone in the 1500s, much of Christian thought has run off the rails into superstition, numerology, secret codes and conspiracy theories. False prophets and false teachers abound.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.