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The Solar Eclipse and The 7 Ninevehs

Are they a sign of judgment?

There has been a lot of speculation and fear-mongering on social media focused on the fact that the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, will go over 7 places called Nineveh. Some are saying this is some kind of sign or omen of judgment. This is a faulty argument for multiple reasons.

The American Nineveh

A similar name does not imply similar outcomes or symbolism.

There are many thousands of towns with all sorts of names across the United States. It is common for them to have all sorts of biblical place names. For example, there are 11 places in the U.S. named Jerusalem and 9 named Samaria, so there’s nothing unusual about having multiple cities named Nineveh.

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These towns and cities have no connection to the biblical locations other than their names. It’s not like the people living in a town named Jerusalem in the U.S. are God’s chosen people and can expect to fulfill prophecies about the biblical Jerusalem. Similarly, the towns named Nineveh are not populated by Assyrians or connected to any biblical events related to the biblical city of Nineveh.

All Possible Ninevehs

Here’s a map of every place named Nineveh in the Lower 48 states. As you can see, they are found in the eastern half of the country, including Indiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.

Figure 1. The cities and towns named Nineveh in the contiguous United States.

For comparison, here is a map from NASA with the path of the upcoming solar eclipse.

Figure 2. NASA map of the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse over the United States.

The entire continental United States and large portions of Mexico and Canada will see at least a partial solar eclipse, so in that sense, all of these towns named Nineveh are within the solar eclipse. Yet this is also the case for every other city and town in the country. There’s nothing particularly unusual or surprising about cities in the United States, regardless of their names, being able to see an eclipse that covers this part of the world.

Only two of the seven places named Nineveh are within the strip of land that will see a total solar eclipse: Nineveh, Indiana, and Nineveh, Ohio. Those two locations will experience totality, which is certainly an amazing and wonderful sight but also a completely natural occurrence.

There’s no connection between the name Nineveh and the upcoming solar eclipse. None at all. More towns named Nineveh are outside the total eclipse zone, and there are far more cities with other names within the broader partial eclipse zone than those named Nineveh. Each place named Jerusalem and Samaria is also within the partial eclipse zone, along with any number of places with additional biblical names.

Misleading Statistics

I’ve studied statistics, so I know how statistics can be used to mislead people by inferring a connection that is not valid. This is one of those cases.

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It appears, at first glance, that having seven places named Nineveh under a single solar eclipse would be unlikely and, therefore, significant. Yet, when you understand that nearly the entire country will see this solar eclipse because an eclipse is visible across a span of thousands of miles, it no longer seems at all unlikely. Once you realize there are seven towns named Nineveh in the eastern United States, you recognize this is a completely expected situation, not something significant or unusual.

There is no reason that towns in the U.S. with the name of Nineveh would have any prophetic meaning in the first place, and there’s no connection between those towns and the eclipse except in the vaguest and broadest sense that they will see it. Every name of every town in the US is equally connected to the eclipse in this way. There’s nothing unique about the ones named Nineveh.

This is not a sign from God. This is not an unusual occurrence.

What the Eclipse Truly Symbolizes

A solar eclipse, however, is a wonderful sign of God’s design in nature. The relative sizes and distances of the sun and moon allow for this amazing display. It is extremely unlikely that the sun would just happen to be 400 times larger than the moon and 400 times farther away so that they can perfectly align to make a total solar eclipse. This remarkable coincidence exists because of God’s design. As the Creator, He has made these things for His glory. So, while you don’t have to worry that the eclipse marks some grave judgment, you can use the eclipse to remind you to glorify God for His creative power.

Written by Lindsay Harold

Lindsay has a Master's degree in biology and taught college-level biology courses, including General Biology and Human Anatomy and Physiology, until she became a homeschool mom. She loves science in general, as well as biology in particular. She and her husband Doug met at a creation research conference and they discuss and debate creation and evolution topics regularly. Lindsay blogs about a variety of worldview and apologetics topics at Lindsay's Logic.

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