The Third Chapter of Luke in the New Testament speaks of the solar eclipse of 29 AD seen over ancient Israel. It says John the Baptist went into all the country around the Jordan preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. This was in the 15 th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Tiberius came to power September 18, 0014 AD. Below is again the map of the solar eclipse of 29 AD, 15 years later.
Remember, this solar eclipse was on the last day of the Jewish month when the flood of Noah occurred. This was a very ominous sign for the Jews as this eclipse clearly had both Jewish spiritual overtones along with Roman fear and terror.
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
The brood of vipers generally relates to the higher socioeconomic levels of Jewish society, i.e. tax collectors, soldiers, and the court of the Herods. It is very interesting to think how this astronomical event shaped the thinking of the society both Jesus and John the Baptist lived in. Clearly the solar eclipse induced apocalyptic thinking which made people change their evil ways to works of righteousness.
The above coin was minted in Caesarea Paneas in 30 AD and has been described in previous posts. The two circular objects
centrally in the temple show the eclipse of 29 AD on the reverse of the coin.
Photo Athena Numismatics