Joshua 10 seems to suggest that Joshua commanded the sun to stop moving in the sky, but is this really what the Hebrew says? Have we misunderstood this verse for centuries? A special thanks to the scholars, John Walton and Mark Chavalas for helping make this video.
Don't forget to help us create more videos! We need your support:
Did the sun stop moving in the sky in the Book of Joshua? It records that the Israelites were fighting an important battle with the amorites.
You might have heard that what it records is that to help win the battle Joshua asked God for the sun to stop moving in the sky, so the day would not end and Israel could finish the battle and defeat their enemies.
Modern readers scoff at this idea.
If the sun stopped moving in the sky, it would mean the Earth stopped rotating, which would create disastrous effects around the world, because the atmosphere would have kept moving.
Massive tsunamis and apocalyptic windstorms would have resulted that would have likely killed every person on Earth and destroyed every man-made structure.
Thus, Joshua must be recording a myth and cannot be literal history, but perhaps the problem is.
We have read this passage in our modern culture with our modern understanding.
If we look at the language the ancient writers use, we can see Joshua he's not at all.
Recording the sun literally stopped moving in the sky and we've been misinterpreting.
This passage for centuries, Joshua 10 says that Israel went to fight a battle against five Amorite armies and to defend their allies at gibeon when they arrived.
It records this at the time, Joshua spoke to the Lord and the day when the lord gave the amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel son, stand at gibeon and moon in the valley of agilon and the sun, Stood Still and the moon stopped until the nation took Vengeance on their enemies.
Is this not written in the book of jasher? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.
There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded the voice of a man for the Lord fought for Israel.
Many take this to mean the Bible records.
The sun literally stopped moving in the sky.
In the context of the ancient near East belief system, the sun, stopping in the sky would not have been physically impossible.
Since the ancient cultures believed the Earth was flat and the sun was a much smaller object that moved around the Earth, but for over 2 000 years we've known the Earth is definitely round and moves around the Sun.
If the sun stopped moving in the sky, it would mean the Earth temporarily stopped rotating and, as we noted, such an event would have had massive consequences, including Winds of such high speeds that would likely have killed everyone on Earth, yet Joshua seems to record the sun.
Stop moving and Israel merely finished the battle without experiencing any natural disasters.
Some Christians have argued that God could have miraculously stopped the Earth from rotating, while also miraculously preventing massive natural disasters from occurring.
But then we need to ask: why would such a thing not have been recorded by any other ancient culture? The whole Earth would have seen something that had never happened before it should have been mentioned on the walls of Egypt or an ancient Mesopotamia.
If the sun stopped moving for a full day, why was nothing about such a unique, astronomical event ever mentioned in any ancient inscription? The modern interpretation is that Israel was winning, but the sun was about to set and therefore both sides would have had to stop and wait for daylight to prevent this from happening.
Joshua prayed the sun would stop moving, so Israel could finish with their victory, but this interpretation doesn't make sense with the actual text because it says when Joshua uttered this it was in the morning Joshua 10 8 says the men of Israel marched all night, so they would have arrived at gibeon.
In the morning It also says the sun was over gibeon and the moon was in the valley of ijilon, with Israel in the middle.
This would place the sun in the East, not the West, meaning the sun was Rising.
Not setting this alone will refute the idea that when Joshua uttered this prayer, it was because he was worried.
The sun was setting based on what the text says.
It had just risen in the east.
So why would Joshua pray such a thing when they already had a full day to fight? The idea Joshua was worried.
The sun was setting, doesn't actually make sense with the text.
The scholars John Walton and Mark chavelas say in the ancient near Eastern context.
Joshua is not claiming the sun literally stopped moving.
Instead, he was merely using the language of almonds to destroy the morale of his enemies.
We tend to think in terms of physics when we read this passage, but they were speaking in terms of almonds.
In numerous ancient texts.
We read the timing and position of the sun and moon, we're seen as important for the outcome of battles.
In fact, in these almond texts we see language of the Sun and Moon stopping standing or waiting.
First ancient cultures of the near East determine the beginning of a month by the appearance of the new moon.
When the full moon appeared, it would help determine the length of the month.
In fact, for a few minutes in the morning when the full moon appeared, it would be with the Rising Sun in the sky, so the celestial objects would have been seen in the sky together now, if the full moon appeared on the 14th day, it would have been considered a good omen and the proper length of time months that were 29 days were considered Hollow, while months that were 30 days were called full.
Thus, if the full moon and the sun were seen together on the 14th day of the month, it was considered a good omen and a sign of good things to come.
One Omen reads: if, on the 14th day, the moon and the sun are seen together, the speech of the land will become reliable, the land will become happy.
The gods will remember arcade favorably Joy among the troops.
The cattle of a cade will lie in the step undisturbed.
If, however, this event occurred on another day, her weather prevented anyone from seeing when the sun and the full moon were together.
It was considered a bad omen to quote if, on the 15th day, the moon and the sun are seen together, a strong enemy will raise his weapons against the land.
The enemy will tear down The City Gate.
If, on the 13th day, the moon and the sun are seen together unreliable speech, the way of the land will not be straight.
There will be footsteps of the enemy the enemy will take away booty in the land.
Almonds like these were considered to be extremely important in determining the outcome of battles and also for determining the day on which the battle should take place.
If the battle took place on the wrong day with the timing of the sun and the moon off, it would be considered bad and assured that their army would lose, and this is likely what is taking place in Joshua 10.
Joshua asked God for the sun and the moon to appear on a specific day and in a way so that his enemies would interpret it as a bad omen.
What is interesting is in Joshua.
We see similar language to what is found in Almond texts.
These texts often refer to the Moon waiting for the sun.
It does not mean the moon literally stopped moving, so the sun could catch up.
It refers to the Moon still being in the sky when the Sun rises.
We also see texts as it is in Joshua stating a celestial object is standing over certain places.
Walton says the word stand in wait or not do not refer to taking up specific positions in the sky.
They refer to the coordinated movements of the celestial bodies in the given context.
For example, we see almond techs refer to certain celestial objects standing.
If the field star comes close to the front of the Moon and stands there variant, there will be an attack of the enemy.
If the old man star comes to stand close to the top of the Moon and enters the moon, the king will stand in Triumph.
If the sun stands in the Halo of the Moon in all the lands, people will speak the truth.
The sun will speak truth with his father, Universal peace.
If the moon stands in a stable position waiting for rain.
Interestingly enough, we see another text that sounds similar to what we read in Joshua, the heavens, continually rumbled the Earth continually shook the sun, lay at the Horizon, the moon stopped still in the midst of the sky.
In the sky, the great lights disappeared, an evil storm the Nations adelu swept over the lands in Joshua 10.
The key verbs are translated, AS stand still and stop Walton notes.
The Semitic range of the Hebrew word for stop also includes the meaning of to wait.
Therefore, the language of Joshua 10 fits with omentechs, which speak of celestial objects standing and waiting in the ancient near Eastern context.
Joshua is asking God to have the sun and moon appear in a way.
That would dismay the amorites, the Sun and the Moon may have appeared on the wrong day in the amorites would have seen this as an omen, meaning their defeat was imminent.
This is supported by the fact that it says the amorites fled before Israel when they arrived.
Some might attempt to argue the phrase used in verse.
13 refers to the sun's setting, and so it was the evening when this event happened.
Walton responds by noting the Hebrew verb used here regularly refers to the setting of the Sun, but that does not mean the setting is imminent for the time that the sun rises it is moving towards setting since the sun is in the East.
This is simply to be understood as another way of saying that the sun waited or stood.
Another argument is that Joshua 10 13 seems to speak of the Sun and the Moon acting and so fulfilling what was spoken to them.
In other words, it seems to suggest they stood in their places until Israel was Victorious, but Walt notes.
The Hebrew does not necessarily say that in Joshua 10, in contrast, odd is followed by the imperfect form of the verb, meaning avenge.
It is very unusual.
Seven occurrences for the preposition ought to be followed by an imperfect verb form.
In fact, one of the major Hebrew lexicons isolates these seven passages as representing a different word entirely from the preposition, usually translated until in other words, the passage should read as o son wait over gibeon and Moon Over, the Valley of ijilon, so the sun waited and the moon stood before the nation took Vengeance on its enemies.
The resulting situation was not the Sun and the Moon standing in the sky, but the omen which had an enduring effect as the victory unfolded for Joshua and Israel.
Some also argue it cannot merely be a bad Omen.
Since verse 14 says there has been no day like it before or since indicating it must have been something very unusual, but the text says what was unusual and doesn't state.
It was because the Sun and the Moon literally stopped, but that the Lord heeded the voice of a man for the Lord fought for Israel.
In other words, what was so unusual was not the movements of the sun and moon, but that God accepted the battle strategy of Joshua God, heard a man's request and made it happen for Israel.
That is what the text says was so unique about the day, not the movements of the celestial bodies when we interpret Joshua in its ancient near Eastern context.
What we find is that it fits well with ancient texts regarding Omens of celestial bodies and does not mean to State the Sun and the Moon literally stopped in the sky.
This would be like a future historian.
Reading a newspaper headline from today stating the sky was falling and interpreting it to mean that we literally thought the sky was like a ceiling and could fall on us, but if he would take our cultural context into account, it would be known that this was merely an idiom and not a literal belief about the sky, and likewise we need to interpret the Book of Joshua and its ancient near Eastern context.
It is not claiming the sun Stood Still, but that a bad Omen appeared on the wrong morning and broke the morale of the amorites.
Joshua, as leader of the Israelites, asks God to cause the moon and the sun to stand still so that he and his army might continue fighting by daylight. God further assists Joshua by calling up a powerful storm to bombard the Canaanites with rain and hailstones.How long did the sun stand still in Joshua 10? ›
The sun stood still in the middle of the sky and delayed its setting for almost a whole day. There was never a day like that before or since, when Yahweh obeyed the voice of a man, for Yahweh was fighting for Israel.Did Joshua hold the sun still? ›
On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: "O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon." So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.When did Joshua stop the sun? ›
Cambridge researchers announced Monday that they have pinpointed the date of the biblical account of Joshua stopping the sun — which they claim is the day of the oldest eclipse ever recorded — to October 30, 1207 BCE, exactly 3,224 years ago.What does the sun standing still mean? ›
In English, the world solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning "sun standing still". It seems to suggest a brief pause as the sun reaches its most extreme point (as experienced on Earth) before the direction of travel is reversed.What is the lesson of Joshua 10? ›
We should fight against sin just as zealously as Joshua and the people fought against the inhabitants of the land – God wants us to root out and mercilessly destroy sin in our lives like they were to completely destroy the inhabitants of the land.Where in the KJV does Joshua command the sun to stand still? ›
 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.What lesson does the sun stand still for Joshua? ›
Joshua needed more time to fight before the sun went down. Joshua prayed to God so that all the Israelites could hear him. He said, “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and moon, over the valley of Aijalon (A-juh- lahn). God heard Joshua's prayer, and the sun and moon stood still until Israel defeated her enemies!Does the sun stand still at the solstice? ›
At the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination (declination is the number of degrees north or south an object is from the celestial equator.) It has reached its highest point in the sky, and from now until the Winter solstice, its highest point begins to drop each day.Who stopped the rain in the Bible? ›
(5-3) 1 Kings 17:1. Elijah Sealed the Heavens against Rain by Priesthood Power.
In Numbers 13:1, and after the death of Moses, he led the Israelite tribes in the conquest of Canaan, and allocated lands to the tribes. According to biblical chronology, Joshua lived some time in the Bronze Age. According to Joshua 24:29, Joshua died at the age of 110.Why did God listen to Joshua? ›
God was concerned for His own name and could not therefore tolerate sin among His people. He heard Joshua's prayer and instructed him to discover and do away with the sin that caused the trouble.What does the Bible say about the sun? ›
One says, ``For the Lord God is a sun and shield'' (84:11). And the other reassures us, ``The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night'' (121:6). In the first of these Bible passages, the sun is used to describe God, who is good, while the second tells us that the sun won't harm us.When did God promise Joshua? ›
The Lord promised Joshua that the original extent of the land promised to Abraham was to be given to Israel (see Genesis 15:18; Joshua 1:4).When the Sun goes down in the Bible? ›
Ecclesiastes 1:5 ERV
The sun rises and the sun goes down, and then it hurries to rise again in the same place.
Isaiah 60:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
Your sun shall no longer go down, Nor shall your moon withdraw itself; For the LORD will be your everlasting light, And the days of your mourning shall be ended.
Does the Sun stop for 3 days? No. The only way for that to happen would be if the Earth stopped rotating for three days.What this book of joshua trying to teach us? ›
The book of Joshua shows us God's faithfulness to his covenant with the Israelites to bring them into the land he promised to Abraham. This book points to the importance of covenant obedience before, during, and after God fulfills his promises.What is the meaning of Joshua 10 25? ›
Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the Lᴏʀᴅ will do to all your enemies against whom you fight. ( Joshua 10:25) And he means it. All Israel's enemies — God's enemies — will ultimately be defeated.Why did God tell Joshua to be strong? ›
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” God was calling Joshua to lead by following. He needed Joshua to courageously trust that God was in control.
“[The Israelites] answered Joshua, 'All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you, as he was with Moses!What was God's command to Joshua? ›
The Lord assured Joshua that He would be with him and commanded him to be strong and courageous, keep the law of Moses, divide the land among the people, and study and meditate the word of God continually.How does Joshua end in the Bible? ›
At the end of the book, Joshua speaks before all of Israel, warning them that he will not always be around and that they keep their faith with God. The people promise to do so (because they're in the Promised Land… get it?) and Joshua promptly dies.Is sun moving or not? ›
Orbit and Rotation
The Sun orbits the center of the Milky Way, bringing with it the planets, asteroids, comets, and other objects in our solar system. Our solar system is moving with an average velocity of 450,000 miles per hour (720,000 kilometers per hour).
Earth revolves about the Sun, producing the 365-day year. A satellite revolves around a planet.Why did Joshua remain in the tent? ›
Joshua could have boasted about his position as Moses' right hand man, yet he was more interested in spending time with God in the Tent of Meeting than touting his own influence and importance before others. He had leadership qualities, but placed his dependence upon God alone.How long would humans survive without the Sun? ›
Within a few days, however, the temperatures would begin to drop, and any humans left on the planet's surface would die soon after. Within two months, the ocean's surface would freeze over, but it would take another thousand years for our seas to freeze solid.Why is the Sun not rotating? ›
Since the Sun is a ball of gas/plasma, it does not have to rotate rigidly like the solid planets and moons do.Can humans live without sunlight? ›
A person can live without sunlight, though it's not recommended. Medical experts suggest 10-15 minutes of sun exposure each day though this varies on geographical location. Deficiency can lead to a lack of Vitamin D, contributing to mood disorders, weaker bones and trouble sleeping.What day does the sun stop moving? ›
For northern hemisphere observers the Sun stops moving up the celestial sphere reaching its highest point on about 21st June, i.e. at the summer (June) solstice. The word solstice means "Sun standing still".
Summer Solstice and Spiritual Survival
It is a time for inner power and brightness. Even in those who do not mark the summer solstice, there is an internal flame within when the days get longer, the sun leading us through better times.
It was also The Day the Sun Never Set. December 21st was the Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere. That's the day when Earth's north pole was pointed completely away from the Sun.Who called down fire from heaven? ›
 And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.Who prayed 7 times a day in the Bible? ›
The bible tells us that David had a vow of praise unto the Lord. Seven times a day he would praise the Lord, and three times a day he would pray.What did Jesus do to stop the storm? ›
Jesus was asleep on a cushion in the stern, and the disciples woke him and asked, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" The Gospel of Mark then states that: He then rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.What is Jesus real name? ›
Jesus' name in Hebrew was “Yeshua” which translates to English as Joshua.Who replaced Joshua in the Bible? ›
AFter Joshua's death the Government of Israel was of the LORDS Appointment by Judges. Othniell of the Tribe of Judah was the first, he continued Judge 40. years, Judg. 3.What does the name Joshua stand for? ›
Popularity:101. Origin:Hebrew. Meaning:Jehovah is salvation. Joshua is a masculine name of Hebrew origin. Translating to “Jehovah is salvation,” this name comes from the biblical figure Joshua, who worked as Moses's assistant and later his successor.What 3 things did God tell Joshua? ›
As he was feeling the overwhelming weight of the task before him, the Lord offered these words of encouragement: “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”Why did God tell Joshua to stop praying? ›
Consecrate the people and say, 'Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus the Lord, the God of Israel, has said, “There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel. . . .”'” (vv. 10–13). God told Joshua to stop praying and to cleanse the camp of the sin that was in it!
So why do we call the Hebrew hero of Jericho Joshua and the Christian Messiah Jesus? Because the New Testament was originally written in Greek, not Hebrew or Aramaic. Greeks did not use the sound sh, so the evangelists substituted an S sound. Then, to make it a masculine name, they added another S sound at the end.Who told the sun to stop in the Bible? ›
Joshua, as leader of the Israelites, asks God to cause the moon and the sun to stand still so that he and his army might continue fighting by daylight.Why is the sun important to God? ›
The sun is the bestower of light and life to the totality of the cosmos; with his unblinking, all-seeing eye, he is the stern guarantor of justice; with the almost universal connection of light with enlightenment or illumination, the sun is the source of wisdom.Is Christianity just sun worship? ›
In Christianity, sun worship, or idolatry, would not be allowed. However, Jesus is often represented in the Christian faith as a sun to represent his resurrection. Many churches are oriented to face the east. Since the sun rises in the east, churchgoers will face the sun during worship.What did God want Joshua to do? ›
After the death of Moses, God calls on Joshua to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River and take possession of the promised land.What is the promised land called today? ›
“God blesses those who bless Israel.” “The land and people of Israel are blessed.” “Israel is the Promised Land of the Bible being fulfilled today.”What did God promise Joshua success if he? ›
The Lord promised to be with him in this task and said, “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses” (Joshua 1:3). Wherever Joshua would go to conquer and occupy the land, God would give him victory.How did Joshua make the sun stand still? ›
"On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: "O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon." So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.Is The Sun stationary or moving? ›
Orbit and Rotation
The Sun orbits the center of the Milky Way, bringing with it the planets, asteroids, comets, and other objects in our solar system. Our solar system is moving with an average velocity of 450,000 miles per hour (720,000 kilometers per hour).
At the end of the book, Joshua speaks before all of Israel, warning them that he will not always be around and that they keep their faith with God. The people promise to do so (because they're in the Promised Land… get it?) and Joshua promptly dies.
It records the details of numerous military campaigns that defeated the inhabitants of the land. The book ends with Joshua's regathering of the nation for his final exhortation. This history was written to the victorious Israelites who had settled the land.Does the sun stop moving for 3 days? ›
Does the Sun stop for 3 days? No. The only way for that to happen would be if the Earth stopped rotating for three days.What lesson does the sun teach us? ›
Sun gives an equal amount of light, we also treat everyone with equal respect. We should always remember that there would be a bright morning after the darkest night so, never get disappointed by failures in life.What this Book of Joshua trying to teach us? ›
The book of Joshua shows us God's faithfulness to his covenant with the Israelites to bring them into the land he promised to Abraham. This book points to the importance of covenant obedience before, during, and after God fulfills his promises.Is sun continuously moving? ›
Yes, the Sun does move in space. The Sun and the entire Solar System revolve around the center of our own Galaxy - the Milky Way.Are we moving around the Sun? ›
Earth revolves in orbit around the Sun in 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes with reference to the stars, at a speed ranging from 29.29 to 30.29 km/s. The 6 hours, 9 minutes adds up to about an extra day every fourth year, which is designated a leap year, with the extra day added as February 29th.Are we moving with the Sun? ›
Overall, the Earth isn't even spiraling in toward the Sun; it's spiraling outward, away from it. So are all the planets of the Solar System. With every year that goes by, we find ourselves just slightly — 1.5 centimeters, or 0.00000000001% the Earth-Sun distance — farther away from the Sun than the year before.