JOSHUA’S LONG DAY

 

Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.

 

Question: How did God cause the sun to stay in the sky for an extra day (Joshua 10: 12, 13)?

 

Answer: Joshua 10: 12, 13: “Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD

delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun,

stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 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.”

 

Unfortunately, the translators of the Authorized Version have mistranslated several words in

these verses and have thereby given an entirely erroneous impression of what was prayed for,

and what was given in answer to the prayer. The words translated “sun,” “moon,” “stand still”

and “whole,” should have been translated “sunlight,” “moonlight,” “be inactive” and “perfect”

respectively. The following is offered as a correct translation of these verses, with a few

bracketed comments: “Sunlight be inactive on Gibeon and moonlight [be inactive] in the valley

of Ajalon. And the sunlight was inactive and the moonlight stood [inactive] until the nation took

vengeance on its enemies. Is this not written in the book of the Righteous? And the sunlight

stayed in the midheavens [remained in the atmosphere above the clouds from which the great

hail was falling] and did not hasten to come [from the midheavens upon the surface of the

mountain] as on a perfect day.”

 

It was the sunlight that Joshua desired not to shine on Gibeon; for he knew that the sun itself

never had been or could be on that mountain, but that its light had been and could be there.

Likewise, it was the moonlight that Joshua desired not to shine in the valley of Ajalon; for he

knew that the moon itself never had been or could be in that valley, but that its light had been

and could be there. The facts of the case make Joshua’s meaning plain: The hail falling upon,

confounding and killing the Amorites was so dense as to darken during the day the entire

mountain and at night the entire valley where the Amorites successively were; and Joshua

desired that condition to be continued, because thereby the enemy was being overthrown. And

for that he prayed. In effect his prayer was this: “O LORD, continue to cause the hail to fall in

such dense masses upon Thy and our enemies as to darken the mountain by day and the valley

by night, and thus overthrow Thy and our enemies.” Joshua did not desire the sun and the moon

themselves to cease in their course that day, as so many have been deceived into believing

because of the above mentioned mistranslations.

 

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