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"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Sign of Jonah and the Binding of Satan

The Sign of Jonah and the Binding of Satan 


Note: Not an endorsement

 With the Iraqi army currently undertaking an operation to take back the city of Mosul from ISIS, it is somewhat timely to discuss the importance of the Sign of Jonah in relation to Christ's discourse on the binding of Satan in the Gospels. The city of Mosul is situated on the site of ancient Nineveh - the location which is the central focus of the story of the Prophet Jonah, who was told by God to travel to the capital of Assyria to announce its impending destruction. As I detail in the new edition of my book, Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church, some theologians have forwarded the hypothesis that the reason the inhabitants of Nineveh were so receptive to Jonah's message of doom was because a solar eclipse had taken place over the city at around the same time the prophet had arrived to announce its fate. 

The path of totality of the Bur-Sagle Eclipse, which is one of the most famous solar eclipses in ancient history, occurred just north of Nineveh on 15th June, 763BC during the reign of King Ashur-Dan III of Assyria, and was recorded for posterity in the Assyrian Eponym Canon - a series of cuneiform tablets discovered in the 19th century. 

The path of totality of the Bur-Sagale Eclipse of 763BC

We know that the Prophet Jonah was a contemporary of King Ashur-Dan III because of a brief mention of him in the Second Book of Kings, which places his prophetic ministry during the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel:

In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, began to reign in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin. He restored the border of Israel from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was from Gath-hepher.
(2Kings 14:23-25)

According to the chronology established by E.R. Thiele, Jeroboam II was sole ruler of Israel between the years 782-753BC, placing Jonah's active ministry to this time period; while Ashur-Dan III was king of Assyria between 772-755BC. Given the fact that this solar eclipse was one of the most noteworthy events to occurred during the reign of Ashur-Dan III, it has prompted many theologians to suggest that the occurrence of the Bur-Sagle eclipse was the primary reason why the Ninevites were so keen to repent upon hearing Jonah's message of doom - a curious reaction which is left unexplained in the Book of Jonah itself. The Assyrian chronicles inform us that a plague had broken out in the city of Nineveh just a few years before the eclipse in 765BC, which was soon followed by an internal revolt which began during the very same year that the eclipse occurred - a series of events which would undoubtedly have been attributed to the wrath of the gods.
It therefore seems quite possible that when the Prophet Jonah had arrived in the midst of these calamities announcing the imminent destruction of Nineveh, the inhabitants were only too eager to listen - especially if his entrance into the city had been timed to coincide with the appearance of a total solar eclipse. As I attempt to show in the book, the appearance of the Prophet Jonah in Nineveh may have been recorded in an ancient inscription found in a cave in Kizkapan (or "Qyzqapan") near the city of Sulaimaniya in Iraq, around 200 miles away from Mosul/Nineveh itself.

The engraving in Kizkapan cave shows two figures laying down their weapons making gestures of peace, which takes place underneath the figure of a man depicted within the symbol of the sun undergoing an eclipse. The Russian archaeologist Igor Diakonov has proposed that this inscription records the total eclipse predicted by Thales of Miletus in 585BC, which according to Herodotus, had interrupted a battle between the Medes and Lydians at the Halys River in Asia Minor, which immediately led to the declaration of a truce between the warring factions. As such, Diakonov has suggested that Kizkapan Cave is actually the tomb of the Median emperor Cyaxares, who ruled during the Battle of Halys. However, Diakonov bases this idea largely upon the fact that the Eclipse of Thales is one of the only known instances of a solar eclipse eliciting such a dramatic reaction from its observers. But when we take the events behind the story of Jonah into consideration, we are presented with an alternative explanation for the origin of this relief, since it largely comprised of a similar set of circumstances. And when we study this inscription in closer detail, we can see that it is clearly based on a much older design that had originally incorporated imagery connected to the Mesopotamian mythological figure Oannes, who has been closely associated with the Prophet Jonah himself.
Once we compare the centre-piece of Kizkapan Cave with a well known scene of even greater antiquity found in Mesopotamian culture, we can be certain that the primary inspiration of this engraving is based upon the legendary figure of Oannes/Adapa. Although it has a unique style of its own, introducing a few idiosyncratic motifs that can only be found here, the inscription at Kizkapan Cave is virtually identical to a much older scene found elsewhere in Mesopotamian culture which predominately features the figure of Oannes/Adapa.

A scene found on an ancient cylinder seal featuring the "fish-man" Adapa/Oannes standing below the winged solar deity Shamash/ adoring a sacred tree, who is presumably accompanied by one of the other of the seven sages who were of similar appearance

As we can see from the pictures above, the posture of the two figures above is exactly the same as that found on the older relief depicting Oannes/Adapa, and is similarly situated directly below a figure within a sun-disc. The only major differences are that the figures shown at Kizkapan are not attired with the fish-garb usually associated with Oannes and the seven Apkallu, or Mesopotamian sages, and instead of holding a basket, they are apparently in the act of placing down their bows with their attention diverted to paying homage to the gods instead. Also the sun-disc at Kizkapan is quite clearly shown to be in eclipse, with the corona visible underneath the figure holding a scroll-like object.

There has been a long-standing association between the Prophet Jonah and the mythological figure of Oannes, not only because the two names are so similar from an etymological point of view, but chiefly because this deity was depicted as a man adorning fish-like garments, almost as if he is emerging out the fish itself. The Babylonian historian Berossus describes Oannes as a half man, half fish creature below:
“A man, or rather a monster, Half man and half fish, coming from the sea, appeared near Babylon; he had two heads; one, which was the highest, resembled that of man, the other that of a fish. He had the feet of a man, and the tail of a fish; and his speech and voice resembled that of a man: a representation of him is still preserved. This monster dwelt by day with men, but took no food; he gave them knowledge of letters, arts, and sciences; he taught them to build towers and temples; and to establish laws; he instructed them in the principles of geometry; taught them to sow, and to gather the fruits of the earth; in short, whatever could contribute to polish and civilize their manners. At sun set he retired to the sea, in which he passed the night. There appeared likewise others of the same species.”

According to Mesopotamian mythology, Adapa/Oannes was a mortal man and a son of the god Ea, and was instrumental in bringing the arts of civilisation to humanity. In a further parallel to the story of Jonah and the fish, we are told that while Adapa was out fishing one day, his boat was overturned by Ninlil, the personification of the South Wind. Indeed, the similarities between the story of Jonah and the figure of Oannes run so deep, that many commentators have erroneously proposed that these legends were originally inspired by the events surrounding the Prophet Jonah himself. This misconception is recounted in the Wikipedia article concerning Jonah:

Biblical scholars have speculated that Jonah may have been in part the inspiration behind the figure of Hannes in late Babylonian mythology. The deity name "Oannes" first occurs in texts from the Library of Ashurbanipal (more than a century after the time of Jonah) as Uanna or Uan but is assimilated to Adapa, a deity first mentioned on fragments of tablets from the 15th or 14th century BC found in Amarna in Egypt. Oannes is described as dwelling in the Persian Gulf, and rising out of the waters in the daytime and furnishing humanity instruction in writing, the arts and the various sciences. Berossus describes Oannes as having the body of a fish but underneath the figure of a man—a detail that, some biblical scholars suggest, is not derived from Adapa but is perhaps based on a misinterpretation of images of Jonah emerging from the fish. (See here)

However the various myths concerning the figure of Adapa predate the ministry of Jonah by several centuries, and can be traced as far back as the 14th century BC. Although the connection between the events behind the story of Jonah and the figure of Oannes would not have went unnoticed by the Assyrians themselves, and it is quite probable that the ancient Ninevites would have associated the appearance of the prophet emerging from the fish with the myth of Adapa. It is even possible that the later name "Oannes" used for Adapa is itself derived from Jonah, because of this close association.
Given the fact that the engraving found in Kizkapan Cave is based upon earlier imagery associated with Adapa/Oannes, it makes it more likely that this relief depicts events which took place during the Bur-Sagle Eclipse of 763BC, rather than the Eclipse of Thales. As such, the two figures laying down weapons may represent a cessation in hostilities during the revolts that were unfolding in Nineveh, which were recorded as taking place around this time by the Assyrian Eponym Canon. Actions which were prompted by the appearance of the eclipse itself, and a prophet who emerged out of a fish to announce the destruction of Nineveh.
Given the possibility that the repentance of the Ninevites at the preaching of Jonah can be attributed to the Bur-Sagle Eclipse, we have some grounds to suggest that the original "sign of Jonah" consisted of the appearance of a total solar eclipse over the site of ancient Nineveh. When we look to Christ's statement concerning the appearance of the "sign of Jonah" to a wicked and perverse generation, we find that these words were made immediately after His discourse on the binding of the strong man - which according to St. Augustine of Hippo, is an integral component of the prophecy of the unbinding of Satan at the end of the "thousand years" mentioned in Rev 20:

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man — meaning by the strong man the devil, because he had power to take captive the human race; and meaning by his goods which he was to take, those who had been held by the devil in various sins and iniquities, but were to become believers in Himself. It was then for the binding of this strong one that the apostle saw in the Apocalypse an angel coming down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he laid hold, he says, on the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,— that is, bridled and restrained his power so that he could not seduce and gain possession of those who were to be freed. (St. Augustine of Hippo, City of God XX:7)

So in relation to the sacrificial death of Jesus and His resurrection on the third day, the "sign of Jonah" harks back to the three days the prophet spent in the belly of the fish. An event which foreshadowed the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Christ - which in turn brought about the binding of Satan.

But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
(Matt 12:39-41)

Therefore as well as pointing us towards the significance of a total solar eclipse over the site of ancient Nineveh, the "sign of Jonah" is also intimately connected to the binding and unbinding of Satan.
It is surely beyond coincidence in this regard that the start of the First World War was marked by a total solar eclipse which directly traversed the site of ancient Nineveh in Mosul, Iraq on 21st August, 1914. The World War I Eclipse crossed over the battlefields of war-torn eastern Europe before making its way down towards Nineveh - an event which took place on the feast day of Our Lady of Knock, a Marian apparition which appears to have announced the imminence of the opening of the seven seals by the Lamb of Revelation.

The path of totality of the eclipse of 21st August, 1914
Moreover, the path of totality of the solar eclipse of August 11th, 1999 had similarly crossed the site of ancient Nineveh at the turn of the millennium. A solar eclipse which I argue in some depth was part of a sequence of events linked to the "signs in Heaven" foretold throughout Sacred Scripture, which mark the moment when Satan is thrown down to earth in great fury by the Archangel Michael, after which he sends out a flood which threatens to sweep away the Church. The fact that the "sign of Jonah" appeared at the dawn of the third millennium after the birth of Christ parallels the three days the prophet spent in the belly of the fish, and the three days of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, since according to the words of St. Peter:

...do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
(2 Peter 3:8-9)
The path of totality of the solar eclipse of 11th August, 1999
In order to further heighten the significance of this event, the 1999 solar eclipse had occurred on the exact day that a rare "Grand Cross Alignment" took place, when the planets of the solar system were arranged to take the form a cross - the ultimate sign of the defeat of Satan.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
(Psalm 19:1)

This ties into the recent observation made by researcher Miguel Antonio Fiol, that the planets had arranged to take the form of a crucifixion scene on the most likely date of the death of Jesus - 3rd April, 33AD.

As Christian Newswire reported back on 31st August, 2015:

In an illustration (hi-res version) released today to the public, the planets Saturn, Uranus, Jupiter, Earth and Venus align on an orrery model to form what looks like Jesus on the cross with the head, the hands spread out and the legs together in accurate positioning, rotation and on a galactic scale. Indeed, even Saturn's rings can be viewed as representing the "halo" or "crown of thorns."
Moreover, and perhaps most noteworthy, is the date of the alignment, the day commonly viewed as that of Jesus' actual crucifixion, April 3, 33 A.D. (See here for more).

A few days after the total solar eclipse passed through central Turkey on 11th August, 1999, a massive earthquake struck the city of Izmit in this region on 17th August, 1999, killing more than 17,000 people. The location of Izmit itself is highly significant in the fact that this is the site of ancient Nicomedia - the location where the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued his first Edict against Christians on February 23rd AD303, beginning the Great Persecution. The emperor Diocletian had shifted his seat of governance from Rome to Nicomedia, which he made eastern capital of the Roman Empire in 286AD. So Nicomedia was in essence the very nerve centre of the most severe persecution of Christians in antiquity. The Diocletianic Persecution saw the most intense attack against Christians established throughout the majority of the Roman Empire, and in many ways reflects the coming Great Persecution of Christians under the Antichrist, which was foreseen in the Third Secret of Fatima. Immediately before the appearance of the signs in Heaven at the opening of the sixth seal, the Apocalypse presents us with a vision of those who were martyred for their testimony to Christ calling out for justice:

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.  When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.
(Rev 6:9-13)

The fact that the epicentre of this earthquake was concentrated upon the very base of operations of the Great Persecution helps us to further establish that the 1999 solar eclipse was part of the signs in Heaven described in the Apocalypse. It is interesting to note that there was a repeat of a the "Grand Cross Alignment" that occurred on 11th August, 1999 just a few days later between 17th-18th August, when the planets once again assembled in the form of a cross in a slightly different form at the very moment this earthquake occurred within the confines of ancient Nicomedia.
Yet again, it is surely beyond coincidence that the "sign of Jonah" (in the form of a total solar eclipse occurring over the site of Nineveh) had appeared not only at the very dawn of period of Satan's greater power foreseen by Pope Leo XIII, at the beginning of the First World War, but also just before the Great Jubilee Year of the Incarnation at the start of the third millennium AD. A date which is closely associated with the promises of the Protoevangelium, when the head of the ancient serpent is trampled under the feet of the Woman Clothed with the Sun.
As I detail in the book, the turn of the millennium was accompanied by a number of phenomena which can be directly equated with the signs in Heaven - the 1999 solar eclipse followed by the Izmit earthquake in August, the recurrence of the 33 year cycle of the Leonid Meteor Storm in November (the most prolific of all meteor showers), followed by the first blood moon of the new millennium on the feast of Our Lady of Zion on Jan 21st 2000. In addition to this, after an interview with Sr. Lucia in the immediate wake of 9/11, Cardinal Tarcisco Bertone was left to conclude that the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001 were also part of the "signs in Heaven" - which can only be equated with the "blood, fire and columns of smoke" included among these signs in Joel 2:30-31 and Acts 2:19-21: 
I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. (Joel 2:30-32)
The signs in Heaven are the visible signs which herald the eschatological expulsion of Satan from Heaven at the expiration of the "short time" given to him at the end of the thousand years, when the Devil is cast down to the earth with a third of the angelic host. Throughout the Bible, these signs are associated with casting down of Satan to earth, in passages such as that found in Ezek 32:

You consider yourself a lion of the nations, but you are like a dragon in the seas; you burst forth in your rivers, trouble the waters with your feet, and foul their rivers. Thus says the Lord GOD:
I will throw my net over you with a host of many peoples, and they will haul you up in my dragnet.
And I will cast you on the ground; on the open field I will fling you, and will cause all the birds of the heavens to settle on you, and I will gorge the beasts of the whole earth with you.
I will strew your flesh upon the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcass. I will drench the land even to the mountains with your flowing blood, and the ravines will be full of you.
When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you,
and put darkness on your land, declares the Lord GOD.

(Ezek 32:2-8)
Once Satan realises he has been cast down to the earth, he sends forth a flood from his mouth in order to sweep the Woman away. Many Catholics believe that the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima next year will in some way be involved in the end of the period of Satan's greater power, which would correspond to the next event which must follow in the sequence of the Divine drama - when the flood issued from the mouth of the serpent is finally swallowed up. It is therefore quite remarkable that there will be another "great sign seen in heaven" that will appear during the course of the year 2017 which also harks back to the significance of Rev 12. A sequence of astronomical events which are set in motion in just a few days time at the conclusion of the Year of Mercy on Nov 20th, 2016 - the feast of Christ the King, and peaks on 23rd September, 2017. As the widely respected Catholic writer Patrick Archbold notes:

On November 20, 2016, an astronomical event begins that will last nine and a half months, culminating in startling concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12. While I am not an astronomer, all my research indicates that this astronomical event, in all its particulars, is unique in the history of man.

On November 20, 2016, Jupiter (the King planet) enters into the body (womb) of the constellation Virgo (the virgin). Jupiter, due its retrograde motion, will spend the next 9 ½ months within the womb of Virgo. This length of time corresponds with gestation period of a normal late-term baby.

After 9 ½ months, Jupiter exits out of the womb of Virgo. Upon Jupiter’s exit (birth), on September 23, 2017, we see the constellation Virgo with the sun rise directly behind it (the woman clothed with the sun). At the feet of Virgo, we find the moon. And upon her head we find a crown of twelve stars, formed by the usual nine stars of the constellation Leo with the addition of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

That is a truly remarkable and, as far as I can determine, unique series of event with a startling degree of concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12.
(Read the full article here)

Just before the conclusion of this astronomical event on 23rd Sept, 2017, another remarkable total solar eclipse will take place. And just like the solar eclipse which occurred at the start of World War One (at the beginning of the period of the unbinding of Satan), this event will also transpire on Aug 21st, 2017 - the Feast of Our Lady of Knock. While it is difficult to know for sure if this event has any real prophetic significance, the fact that it will take place at the end of the period of Satan's greater power foretold in the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII, and that it so close to the Rev 12 sign that occurs on 23rd Sept, 2017, prompts us to ponder whether this solar eclipse is part of the "sign of Jonah" sequence that began on Aug 21st, 1914. Only instead of appearing over the location of ancient Nineveh, this solar eclipse is concentrated entirely upon America, and the path of totality can only be seen across the central United States.

If this solar eclipse does have any significance in regard to the "sign of Jonah" which appeared on Aug 21st, 1914 and was repeated on Aug 11th, 1999, then we are left to consider if this may suggest that America is the new Nineveh that is being called to repentance. The fact that 40 days onward from this event brings us into October - the month of the Holy Rosary, within which takes place the centenary of the Miracle of the Sun on Oct 13th, 2017, recalls the words of Jonah himself:
Jonah began to go into the city, going a day's journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. (Jonah 3:4-5)

Furthermore, the fact that this eclipse takes place during the Feast of Our Lady of Knock may further suggest that the events of 2017 have something to do with the opening of the seven seals by the Lamb of Revelation. As I attempt to show in the book, the events which take place during the opening of the first six seals of the Apocalypse have already taken place, and these events are one and the same as that which unfolds during the unbinding of Satan at the end of the "thousand years". It is only the opening of the seventh seal that is yet to occur. Is it possible that the opening of the seventh seal will only take place at the end of the period of Satan's greater power? When we look to the Book of Revelation, we find that there some interesting parallels between the opening of the seventh seal and the vison of the angel in the Third Secret of Fatima, who threatens to strike the earth with his flaming sword:

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
(Rev 8:1-5)

The angel with the golden censer here is the same as the angel who "has authority over the fire" who calls for the harvest of the earth in Rev 14:

Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
(Rev 14:17-19)

Could this portend the threat of some sort of chastisement that America will have to suffer next year, unless it is brought to repentance? It is difficult to know for sure, since without any "revealed" knowledge this purely involves speculation. But the coincidences surrounding the sign of Jonah and the significance of the year 2017 are certainly stacking up, especially since the site of ancient Nineveh in Mosul is faced with such dire circumstances in the immediate approach of the ominous date of Nov 20th, 2016. This seems to be yet another facet to a puzzle which is gradually falling into place in the run-up to the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.
It is interesting to note that the significance of the planetary alignment that will occur on 23rd Sept next year involves a particular portion of Rev 12 that specifically relates to the birth of the "male child":

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. (Rev 12:1-6)

While the preterist interpretation of the "male child" is undoubtedly Jesus Himself, some modern commentators, such as Fr. Herman Kramer, have suggested that the futurist interpretation of the figure behind the "male child" may involve a pope as the Vicar of Christ on earth - possibly the Angelic Pope of Catholic prophecy. An alternative explanation is that it refers to the coming of the Great Monarch, who as a Davidic type figure is similarly foretold to "rule all the nations with a rod of iron". The Devil seeks to destroy the male child as soon as he is "born", which may be a metaphor for when he first assumes power. We should note that this event only takes place once the Devil has been cast down to the earth with a third of the angelic host, since the Dragon sweeping down a third of the stars and casting them to earth in Rev 12:4 above is recapitulated again in Rev 12:9, when we are told that Satan is thrown down alongside his angels by the Archangel Michael:

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Rev 12:7-9)

After Satan and a third of the angelic host has been cast to earth, he attempts to devour the male child as soon as he is born, just as King Herod sought to destroy Christ during the massacre of the Holy Innocents. Again, this passage is recapitulated in Rev 12:12-16, when we are told that once Satan realises he has been cast down to earth, he attempts to destroy the Church with a flood before it can be renewed by the Two Witnesses, who are symbolised by the "two wings of the great eagle":

Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. (Rev 12:12-16)

So the birth of the male child and the Woman being given the "two wings of the great eagle" in order to flee to a sanctuary provided for her in the desert are synchronous events, both involving the restoration of the Church before the final persecution of the Antichrist.

Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. (Rev 12:17)

Given the fact that the astronomical sign of 23rd Sept, 2017 reflects the birth of the "male child" of Rev 12, we can conclude that the potential significance of this event relates to the restoration of the Church by the Two Witnesses, which can only take place once the powers of Satan are yet again restricted following his period of unbinding. As St. Augustine of Hippo states:

And yet the verse of the Gospel will not be untrue, Who enters into the house of the strong one to spoil his goods, unless he shall first have bound the strong one? For in accordance with this true saying that order is observed— the strong one first bound, and then his goods spoiled; for the Church is so increased by the weak and strong from all nations far and near, that by its most robust faith in things divinely predicted and accomplished, it shall be able to spoil the goods of even the unbound devil. For as we must own that, when iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold, Matthew 24:12 and that those who have not been written in the book of life shall in large numbers yield to the severe and unprecedented persecutions and stratagems of the devil now loosed, so we cannot but think that not only those whom that time shall find sound in the faith, but also some who till then shall be without, shall become firm in the faith they have hitherto rejected and mighty to conquer the devil even though unbound, God's grace aiding them to understand the Scriptures, in which, among other things, there is foretold that very end which they themselves see to be arriving. And if this shall be so, his binding is to be spoken of as preceding, that there might follow a spoiling of him both bound and loosed; for it is of this it is said, Who shall enter into the house of the strong one to spoil his goods, unless he shall first have bound the strong one?'
(St. Augustine of Hippo, City of God XX:8)

If the solar eclipse which takes place over America next year is indeed part of a wider sequence of events which pertains to the sign of Jonah, the binding of Satan and the opening of the seven seals, we can only hope that this will see the end of the period of Satan's greater power, and that any threat of chastisement that may loom with the ominous date of 13th Oct, 2017 can be averted through public repentance, so that the hand of the angel with the flaming sword may be stayed through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin:

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: 'Penance, Penance, Penance!'. (The Third Secret of Fatima)