Monday, September 8, 2014

Did the physical sun literally stand still in Joshua’s day? NO. by Tuese Ahkiong

Did the physical sun literally stand still in Joshua’s day? NO. by Tuese Ahkiong

August 26, 2013 at 1:02am
Did the physical sun literally stand still in Joshua’s day? NO.
Does The Bible have a different explanation for what happened? YES

The Bible uses a variety of genres to communicate; poetry, wisdom teaching, prophetic, apocalyptic, narratives, historic… 
The Book of Joshua when speaking of the sun standing still employs the use of apocalyptic language to describe God fighting on behalf of His people.   APOCALYPTIC LANGUAGE is language which uses highly symbolic and exaggerated expressions of judgment.  It's used several times throughout  The Bible.

Joshua 10
The Sun Stands Still
10 As soon as Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard howJoshua had captured Ai and had devoted it to destruction, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them, he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city,like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were warriors. SoAdoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, to Piram king of Jarmuth, to Japhia king of Lachish, and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, “Come up to me and help me, and let us strike Gibeon.  For it has made peace with Joshua and with the people of Israel.” Then the five kings of the Amorites, the king ofJerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered their forces and went up with all their armies and  encamped against Gibeon and made war against it.
And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal, saying, “Do not relax your hand from your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the hill country are gathered against us.” So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.” So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gilgal. 10 And the Lord threw them into a panic before Israel, who struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 And as they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of Beth-horon, the Lord threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons ofIsrael killed with the sword.
12 At that time Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,

“Sun,stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.

Is this not written in theBook of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. 14 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.
15 So Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.

Five Amorite KingsExecuted
16 These five kings fled and hid themselves in the caveat Makkedah. 17 And it was told to Joshua, “The five kings have been found, hidden in the cave at Makkedah.” 18 And Joshua said, “Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave and set men by it to guard them, 19 but do not stay there yourselves. Pursue your enemies; attack their rear guard. Do not let them enter their cities, for the Lord your God has given them into your hand.” 20 When Joshua and the sons of Israel had finished striking them with a great blow until they were wiped out, and when the remnant that remained of them had entered into the fortified cities, 21 then all the people returned safe to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah. Not a man moved his tongue against any of the people ofIsrael.
22 Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave andbring those five kings out to me from the cave.” 23 And they did so, and brought those five kings out to him from the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.24 And when they brought those kings out to Joshua,Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, “Come near; put your feet on the necks of these kings.”Then they came near and put their feet on their necks. 25 And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.” 26 And afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees. And they hung on the trees until evening.27 But at the time of the going down of the sun, Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and they set large stones against the mouth of the cave, which remain to this very day.
28 As for Makkedah, Joshua captured it on that day and struck it, and its king, with the edge of the sword. He devoted to destruction every person in it; he left none remaining. And he did to the king of Makkedah just as he had done to the king of Jericho.
Conquest of SouthernCanaan
29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against Libnah. 30 And the Lord gave it also and its king into the hand of Israel. And he struck it with the edge of the sword, and every person in it;he left none remaining in it. And he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho.
31 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Libnah to Lachish and laid siege to it and fought against it. 32 And the Lord gave Lachish into the hand of Israel, and he captured it on the second day and struck it with the edge of the sword, and every person in it, as he had done to Libnah.
33 Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish. AndJoshua struck him and his people, until he left none remaining.
34 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Lachish to Eglon. And they laid siege to it and fought against it. 35 And they captured it on that day, and struck it with the edge of the sword. And he devoted every person in it to destruction that day, as he had done to Lachish.
36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron. And they fought against it37 and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword,and its king and its towns, and every person in it. He left none remaining, as he had done to Eglon, and devoted it to destruction and every person in it.
38 Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned back to Debir and fought against it 39 and he captured it with its king and all its towns. And they struck them with the edge of the sword and devoted to destruction every person in it; he left none remaining. Just as he had done to Hebron and to Libnah and its king, so he did to Debir and to its king.
40 So Joshua struck the whole land, the hill country and the Negeb and the lowland and the slopes, and all their kings. He left none remaining, but devoted to destruction all that breathed, just as the Lord God of Israel commanded. 41 AndJoshua struck them from Kadesh-barnea as far as Gaza, and all the country ofGoshen, as far as Gibeon. 42 AndJoshua captured all these kings and their land at one time, because the LordGod of Israel fought for Israel. 43 Then Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.

A powerful tool in interpreting Scripture is comparing Scripture with Scripture; The Analogy of Faith.
Notice in the Habakkuk account below that similar apocalyptic language is used regarding the sun and moon standing still which is explained as God fighting

Habakkuk 3
I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord? Was your anger against the rivers, or your indignation against the sea,when you rode on your horses, on your chariot of salvation?
You stripped the sheath from your bow, calling for many arrows. Selah You split the earth with rivers.
10 The mountains saw you and writhed; the raging waters swept on;the deep gave forth its voice; it lifted its hands on high.
11 The sun and moon stood still in their place at the light of your arrows as they sped, at the flash of your glittering spear.
12 You marched through the earth in fury; you threshed the nations in anger.
13 You went out for the salvation of your people, for the salvation of your anointed.You crushed the head of the house of the wicked,laying him bare from thigh to neck. Selah

The Bible speaks of the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars in connection with judgment. This language occurs in the prophets to refer to the historical judgment of nations. Sun, moon and stars are related to people, nations,leaders. Apocalyptic Language is very figurative and exaggerated when speaking of a nation's fall is likened to that of nation's universe collapsing; it's lights going out, dark, black, doomed....  When a nation is doing well, Scripture says it is shining, bright; just like we would say of a successful actor, musician- they're a shining star or shooting star, rising star.  And of a failing celebrity, we say their fading, falling star, lights are out, a darkening star.

1.             Genesis 37:9 Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said,“Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold,the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
2.             Isaiah 13:10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.
3.             Ezekiel 32:7 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.
4.             Joel 2:10 The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
5.             Joel 3:15 The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.
6.             Matthew 24:29 [ The Coming of the Son of Man ] “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
7.             Luke 21:25 [ The Coming of the Son of Man ] “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,
8.             Revelation 8:12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened,and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.

Hailstones are also used as a judgment instrument.
1.             Psalm 18:12 Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
2.             Psalm 18:13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones and coals of fire.
3.             Isaiah 30:30 And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones.
4.             Ezekiel 13:11 say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out.
5.             Ezekiel 13:13 Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end.
6.             Ezekiel 38:22 With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, andI will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones,fire and sulfur.
7.             Revelation 16:21 And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.

Enjoy studying your Bible.

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