Joshua 10 – The Sun Stands Still

When the king of Jerusalem, Adoni-zedek, learned of the fall of Ai and of the treaty of the people of Gibeon with Joshua and the people of Israel, he “feared greatly.”  verse 2 says that Gibeon was like a royal city – greater than Ai, and all its men were warriors.  So Adoni-zedek formed an alliance with the kings of Hebron, Lachish, Jarmuth, and Eglon to attack Gibeon.  So the Gibeonites appealed to Joshua for help.

Joshua commanding the sun to stand still

Joshua commanding the sun to stand still (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though God had commanded them not to make any covenants with any of the Canaanites, now that one had been made with the Gibeonites, He made it clear in verse 8 that He would help them honor it.  So after Joshua and his men marched all night from Gilgal, God threw their adversaries into a panic; and as they chased them from Beth-horon, He struck them with hailstones, killing more than the Israelites did with their swords (verses 10-11).  Then the famous long day as Joshua, consulting with the Lord commanded the sun to “stand still” as they finished off their enemies (verses 12-14). Then, one by one, they took the cities of all 5 of the kings and finished off the captured kings themselves (verses 20-27).   A sizable victory related in verses 40-43 secures the land to ready for the northern campaign.

Side Note 1: A good article on the “sun stand still” event can be found at this page on the Apologetics Press website.

Side Note 2: Contrary to claims of critics, this passage is not geocentric but uses the language of observation; and many passages can be cited to show scientific knowledge and foreknowledge in the Bible.  While I ‘m not going to make those citations in today’s blog, I will offer this quote from

Henry Morris with Henry Morris III, Many Infallible Proofs: Practical and Useful Evidences for the Christian Faith, Master Books, Arizona, 1996, p. 253:

“All motion is relative motion, and the sun is no more “fixed” in space than the Earth is. … The scientifically correct way to specify motions, therefore, is to select an arbitrary point of assumed zero velocities and then to measure all velocities relative to that point. The proper point to use is the one which is most convenient to the observer for the purposes of his particular calculations. In the case of movements of the heavenly bodies, normally the most suitable point is the Earth ‘s surface at the latitude and longitude of the observer, and this therefore is the most “scientific” point to use. David [Psalm 19:6] and Joshua are more scientific than their critics in adopting such a convention for their narratives.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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