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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Joshua 10:12


    CHAPTERS: Joshua 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

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    King James Bible - Joshua 10:12

    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.

    World English Bible

    Then Joshua spoke to Yahweh in the
    day when Yahweh delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand still on Gibeon! You, moon, stop in the valley of Aijalon!"

    Douay-Rheims - Joshua 10:12

    Then Josue spoke to the Lord, in the
    day that he delivered the Amorrhite in the sight of the children of Israel, and he said before them: Move not, O sun, toward Gabaon, nor thou, O moon, toward the valley of Ajalon.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    Then spoke 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.

    Original Hebrew

    אז
    227 ידבר 1696 יהושׁע 3091 ליהוה 3068 ביום 3117 תת 5414 יהוה 3068 את 853 האמרי 567 לפני 6440 בני 1121 ישׂראל 3478 ויאמר 559 לעיני 5869 ישׂראל 3478 שׁמשׁ 8121 בגבעון 1391 דום 1826 וירח 3394 בעמק 6010 אילון׃ 357

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (12) -
    :13 De 4:19; 17:3 Job 9:7; 31:26,27 Ps 19:4; 74:16; 148:3

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 10:12

    Entonces Josu habl al SEOR el día que el SEOR entreg al amorreo delante de los hijos de Israel, y dijo en presencia de los israelitas: Sol, detente en Gaban; y t, Luna, en el valle de Ajaln.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Joshua 10:12

    Verse 12. Then spake Joshua to the
    Lord] Though Joshua saw that the enemies of his people were put to flight, yet he well knew that all which escaped would rally again, and that he should be obliged to meet them once more in the field of battle if permitted now to escape; finding that the day was drawing towards a close, he feared that he should not have time sufficient to complete the destruction of the confederate armies; in this moment, being suddenly inspired with Divine confidence, he requested the Lord to perform the most stupendous miracle that had ever been wrought, which was no less than to arrest the sun in his course, and prolong the day till the destruction of his enemies had been completed! Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.] To account for this miracle, and to ascertain the manner in which it was wrought, has employed the pens of the ablest divines and astronomers, especially of the last two centuries. By their learned labours many difficulties have been removed from the account in general; but the very different and contradictory methods pursued by several, in their endeavours to explain the whole, and make the relation accord with the present acknowledged system of the universe, and the phenomena of nature, tend greatly to puzzle the plain, unphilosophical reader. The subject cannot be well explained without a dissertation; and a dissertation is not consistent with the nature of short notes, or a commentary on Scripture. It is however necessary to attempt an explanation, and to bring that as much as possible within the apprehension of common readers, in order to this, I must beg leave to introduce a few preliminary observations, or what the reader may call propositions if he pleases. 1. I take it for granted that a miracle was wrought as nearly as circumstances could admit, in the manner in which it is here recorded. I shall not, therefore, seek for any allegorical or metaphorical interpretations; the miracle is recorded as a fact, and as a fact I take it up. 2. I consider the present accredited system of the universe, called sometimes the Pythagorean, Copernican, or Newtonian system, to be genuine; and also to be the system of the universe laid down in the Mosaic writings-that the SUN is in the center of what is called the solar system; and that the earth and all the other planets, whether primary or secondary, move round him in certain periodical times, according to the quantity of their matter, and distance from him, their center. 3. I consider the sun to have no revolution round any orbit, but to revolve round his own axis, and round the common center of gravity in the planetary system, which center of gravity is included within his own surface; and in all other respects I consider him to be at rest in the system. 4. I consider the earth, not only as revolving round the sun in 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 48 seconds, but as revolving round its own axis, and making this revolution in 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds; that in the course of 24 hours complete, every part of its surface is alternately turned to the sun; that this revolution constitutes our day and night, as the former does our year; and it is day to all those parts which have the sun above the horizon, and night to those which have the sun below it; and that this diurnal revolution of the earth, or revolving round its own axis, in a direction from west to east, occasions what is commonly called the rising and setting of the sun, which appearance is occasioned, not by any motion in the sun himself, but by this motion of the earth; which may be illustrated by a ball or globe suspended by a thread, and caused to turn round. If this be held opposite to a candle, it will appear half enlightened and half dark; but the dark parts will be seen to come successively into the light, and the enlightened parts into the shade; while the candle itself which gives the light is fixed, not changing its position. 5. I consider the solar influence to be the cause both of the annual and diurnal motion of the earth; and that, while that influence continues to act upon it according to the law which God originally impressed on both the earth and the sun, the annual and diurnal motions of the earth must continue; and that no power but the unlimited power of God can alter this influence, change, or suspend the operation of this law; but that he is such an infinitely FREE AGENT, that HE can, when his unerring wisdom sees good, alter, suspend, or even annihilate all secondary causes and their effects: for it would be degrading to the perfections of his nature to suppose that he had so bound himself by the laws which he has given for the preservation and direction of universal nature, that he could not change them, alter their effects, or suspend their operations when greater and better effects, in a certain time or place, might be produced by such temporary change or suspension. 6. I consider that the miracle wrought on this occasion served greatly to confirm the Israelites, not only in the belief of the being and perfections of God, but also in the doctrine of an especial providence, and in the nullity of the whole system of idolatry and superstition. 7. That no evil was done by this miraculous interference, nor any law or property of nature ultimately changed; on the contrary, a most important good was produced, which probably, to this people, could not have been brought about any other way; and that therefore the miracle wrought on this occasion was highly worthy of the wisdom and power of God. 8. I consider that the terms in the text employed to describe this miracle are not, when rightly understood, contrary to the well- established notions of the true system of the universe; and are not spoken, as some have contended, ad captum vulgi, to the prejudices of the common people, much less do they favour the Ptolemaic or any other hypothesis that places the earth in the center of the solar system. Having laid down these preliminaries, some short observations on the words of the text may be sufficient. Joshua's address is in a poetic form in the original, and makes the two following hemistichs: - wd w[bgb m wlya qm[b jryw Shemesh begibon dom: Veyareach beemek Aiyalon.

    Sun! upon Gibeon be dumb: And the moon on the vale of Ajalon. The effect of this command is related, ver. 13, in the following words: - dm[ jryw mh dyw vaiyiddom HASHSHEMESH VEYAREACH amad, And the sun was dumb or silent and the moon stood still. And in the latter clause of this verse it is added: And the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. It seems necessary here to answer the question, At what time of the day did this miracle take place? The expression ymh yxjb bachatsi hashshamayim, in the midst of heaven, seems to intimate that the sun was at that time on the meridian of Gibeon, and consequently had one half of its course to run; and this sense of the place has been strongly contended for as essential to the miracle, for the greater display of the glory of God: "Because," say its abettors, "had the miracle been wrought when the sun was near the going down, it might have been mistaken for some refraction of the rays of light, occasioned by a peculiarly moist state of the atmosphere in the horizon of that place, or by some such appearance as the Aurora Borealis." To me there seems no solidity in this reason. Had the sun been arrested in the meridian, the miracle could scarcely have been noticed, and especially in the hurry and confusion of that time; and we may be assured, that among the Canaanites there were neither clocks nor time- keepers, by which the preternatural length of such a day could have been accurately measured: but, on the contrary, had the sun been about the setting, when both the pursuers and the pursued must be apprehensive of its speedy disappearance, its continuance for several hours above the horizon, so near the point when it might be expected to go down, must have been very observable and striking. The enemy must see, feel, and deplore it; as their hope of escape must, in such circumstances, be founded on the speedy entering in of the night, through which alone they could expect to elude the pursuing Israelites. And the Israelites themselves must behold with astonishment and wonder that the setting sun hasted not to go down about a whole day, affording them supernatural time totally to destroy a routed foe, which otherwise might have had time to rally, confederate, choose a proper station, and attack in their turn with peculiar advantages, and a probability of success. It appears, therefore, much more reasonable that Joshua should require this miracle to be performed when daylight was about to fail, just as the sun was setting. If we were to consider the sun as being at the meridian of Gibeon, as some understand the midst of heaven, it may be well asked, How could Joshua know that he should not have time enough to complete the destruction of his enemies, who were now completely routed? Already multitudes of them had fallen by the hail-stones and by the sword: and if he had yet half a day before him, it would have been natural enough for him to conclude that he had a sufficiency of time for the purpose, his men having been employed all night in a forced march, and half a day in close fighting; and indeed had he not been under an especial inspiration, he could not have requested the miracle at all, knowing, as he must have done, that his men must be nearly exhausted by marching all night and fighting all day. But it may be asked, What is the meaning of ymh yxjb bachatsi hashshamayim, which we translate in the midst of heaven? If, with Mr. Bate, we translate hxj chatsah, to part, divide asunder, then it may refer to the horizon, which is the apparent division of the heavens into the upper and lower hemisphere; and thus the whole verse has been understood by some eminently learned men, who have translated the whole passage thus: And the sun stood still in the (upper) hemisphere of heaven, and hasted not to go down when the day was complete; that is, though the day was then complete, the sun being on the horizon; the line that to the eye constituted the mid heaven-yet it hasted not to go down; was miraculously sustained in its then almost setting position; and this seems still more evident from the moon's appearing at that time, which it is not reasonable to suppose could be visible in the glare of light occasioned by a noon-day sun. But the main business relative to the standing still of the sun still remains to be considered. I have already assumed, as a thoroughly demonstrated truth, that the sun is in the center of the system, moving only round his own axis, and the common center of the gravity of the planetary system, while all the planets revolve round him, Prop. 2 and 3; that his influence is the cause of the diurnal and annual revolutions of the earth; nor can I see what other purpose his revolution round his own axis can possibly answer, Prop. 5. I consider that the word wd dom, in the text, refers to the withholding or restraining this influence, so that the cessation of the earth's motion might immediately take place.

    The desire of Joshua was, that the sun might not sink below the horizon; but as it appeared now to be over Gibeon, and the moon to be over the valley of Ajalon, he prayed that they might continue in these positions till the battle should be ended; or, in other words, that the day should be miraculously lengthened out. Whether Joshua had a correct philosophical notion of the true system of the universe, is a subject that need not come into the present inquiry: but whether he spoke with strict propriety on this occasion is a matter of importance, because he must be considered as acting under the Divine influence, in requesting the performance of such a stupendous miracle; and we may safely assert that no man in his right mind would have thought of offering such a petition had he not felt himself under some Divine afflatus. Leaving, therefore, his philosophic knowledge out of the question, he certainly spoke as if he had known that the solar influence was the cause of the earth's rotation, and therefore, with the strictest philosophic propriety, he requested that that influence might be for a time restrained, that the diurnal motion of the earth might be arrested, through which alone the sun could be kept above the horizon, and day be prolonged. His mode of expression evidently considers the sun as the great ruler or master in the system; and all the planets (or at least the earth) moving in their respective orbits at his command. He therefore desires him, in the name and by the authority of his Creator, to suspend his mandate with respect to the earth's motion, and that of its satellite, the moon. Had he said, Earth, stand thou still, the cessation of whose diurnal motion was the effect of his command, it could not have obeyed him; as it is not even the secondary cause either of its annual motion round the sun, or its diurnal motion round its own axis. Instead of doing so, he speaks to the sun, the cause (under God) of all these motions, as his great archetype did when, in the storm on the sea of Tiberias, he rebuked the wind first, and then said to the waves, Peace! be still! siwpa, pefimwso Be SILENT! be DUMB! Mark iv. 39; and the effect of this command was a cessation of the agitation in the sea, because the wind ceased to command it, that is, to exert its influence upon the waters. The terms in this command are worthy of particular note: Joshua does not say to the sun, Stand still, as if he had conceived him to be running his race round the earth; but, Be silent or inactive, that is, as I understand it, Restrain thy influence-no longer act upon the earth, to cause it to revolve round its axis; a mode of speech which is certainly consistent with the strictest astronomical knowledge; and the writer of the account, whether Joshua himself or the author of the book of Jasher, in relating the consequence of this command is equally accurate, using a word widely different when he speaks of the effect the retention of the solar influence had on the moon: in the first case the sun was silent or inactive, wd dom; in the latter, the moon stood still, dm[ amad. The standing still of the moon, or its continuance above the horizon, would be the natural effect of the cessation of the solar influence, which obliged the earth to discontinue her diurnal rotation, which of course would arrest the moon; and thus both it and the sun were kept above the horizon, probably for the space of a whole day. As to the address to the moon, it is not conceived in the same terms as that to the sun, and for the most obvious philosophical reasons; all that is said is simply, and the moon on the vale of Ajalon, which may be thus understood: "Let the sun restrain his influence or be inactive, as he appears now upon Gibeon, that the moon may continue as she appears now over the vale of Ajalon." It is worthy of remark that every word in this poetic address is apparently selected with the greatest caution and precision. Persons who are no friends to Divine revelation say "that the account given of this miracle supposes the earth to be in the center of the system, and the sun moveable; and as this is demonstrably a false philosophy, consequently the history was never dictated by the Spirit of truth." Others, in answer, say "that the Holy Spirit condescends to accommodate himself to the apprehensions of the vulgar. The Israelites would naturally have imagined that Joshua was deranged had he bid the earth stand still, which they grant would have been the most accurate and philosophical mode of command on this occasion." But with due deference both to the objectors and defenders I must assert, that such a form of speech on such an occasion would have been utterly unphilosophic; and that the expressions found in the Hebrew text are such as Sir Isaac Newton himself might have denominated, every thing considered, elegant, correct, and sublime. Nor does it at all appear that the prejudices of the vulgar were consulted on this occasion; nor is there a word here, when properly understood that is inconsistent with the purest axiom of the soundest philosophy, and certainly nothing that implies any contradiction. I grant that when the people have to do with astronomical and philosophical matters, then the terms of the science may be accommodated to their apprehensions; it is on this ground that Sir Isaac Newton himself speaks of the rising and of the setting of the sun, though all genuine philosophers know that these appearances are produced by the rotation of the earth on its own axis from west to east. But when matters of this kind are to be transacted between God and his prophets, as in the above case, then subjects relative to philosophy are conceived in their proper terms, and expressed according to their own nature. At the conclusion of the 13th verse a different expression is used when it is said, So the sun stood still, it is not sd dom, but dm[ amad; mh dm[yw vaiyaamod hashshemesh, which expression, thus varying from that in the command of Joshua, may be considered as implying that in order to restrain his influence which I have assumed to be the cause of the earth's motion, the sun himself became inactive, that is, ceased to revolve round his own axis, which revolution is probably one cause, not only of the revolution of the earth, but of all the other planetary bodies in our system, and might have affected all the planets at the time in question; but this neither could nor did produce any disorder in nature; and the delay of a few hours in the whole planetary motions dwindles away into an imperceptible point in the thousands of years of their revolutions.

    But the whole effect mentioned here might have been produced by the cessation of the diurnal motion of the earth, the annual being still continued; and I contend that this was possible to Omnipotence, and that such a cessation might have taken place without occasioning the slightest disturbance in the motions of any others of the planetary system. It is vain to cry out and say, "Such a cessation of motion in one planet could not take place without disordering the motions of all the rest;" this I deny, and those who assert it neither know the Scripture nor the power of God; therefore they do greatly err. That the day was preternaturally lengthened, is a Scripture fact. That it was so by a miracle, is asserted; and whether that miracle was wrought as above stated, is a matter of little consequence; the thing is a Scripture fact, whether we know the modus operandi or not.

    I need scarcely add that the command of Joshua to the sun is to be understood as a prayer to God (from whom the sun derived his being and his continuance) that the effect might be what is expressed in the command: and therefore it is said, ver. 14, that the LORD HEARKENED UNTO THE VOICE OF A MAN, for the Lord fought for Israel. I have thus gone through the different parts of this astonishing miracle, and have endeavoured to account for the whole in as plain and simple a manner as possible. It is not pretended that this account should satisfy every reader, and that every difficulty is solved; it would be impossible to do this in such a compass as that by which I am necessarily circumscribed; and I have been obliged, for the sake of brevity, to throw into the form of propositions or observations, several points which may appear to demand illustration and proof; for such I must refer the reader to Astronomical Treatises. Calmet, Scheuchzer, and Saurin, with several of our own countrymen, have spoken largely on this difficult subject, but in such a way as, I am obliged to confess, has given me little satisfaction, and which appears to me to leave the main difficulties unremoved. Conscious of the difficulties of this subject, I beg leave to address every candid reader in the often quoted words of an eminent author: - Vive, Vale! si quid novisti rectius istis, Candidus imperti; si non, his utere mecum. Hor. Epist. l. i., E. vi., ver. 68.

    Farewell! and if a better system's thine, Impart it frankly or make use of mine.FRANCIS.

    Book of Jasher] The book of the upright. See the note on Num. xxi. 14.

    Probably this was a book which, in reference to Joshua and his transactions, was similar to the commentaries of Caesar, on his wars with the Gauls. Critics and commentators are greatly divided in their sentiments relative to the nature of this book. The opinion above appears to me the most probable.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 12. Then spake Joshua to the Lord , etc.] In prayer, and entreated as follows, that the sun and moon might stand still, until the victory was complete; though the Jewish writers interpret it of a song; so the Targum, then Joshua praised, or sung praise, as in the Targum on ( Song of Solomon 1:1); and which is approved of by Jarchi and Kimchi: in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel ; the five kings of the Amorites, and their armies, ( Joshua 10:5); and he said, in the sight of Israel ; in their presence, and in the hearing of great numbers, being under a divine impulse, and having strong faith in the working of the miracle, after related, and that it would be according to his word; he was bold to say what he did, being fully persuaded he should not be disappointed, and made ashamed: sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon ; where they now appeared, and were seen by all Israel, the one as if over Gibeon, and the other as in the valley of which Masius thinks is the same with the valley of Gibeon, ( Isaiah 28:21); and so must be near Gibeon, and the sun and the moon not far from one another, as they might be if it was now new moon, as Kimchi and R. Isaiah; or on the decrease; some say seven days before her change: but Abarbinel is of opinion that it was near the full of the moon, which was just rising in the valley of Ajalon, and the sun near setting as it seemed over Gibeon, and were just opposite one to another; and Joshua fearing he should not have time to pursue his enemies, and make the victory entire, should the sun set, prays that both sun and moon might continue in the position they were; the sun that he might have the benefit of daylight, which was the chief thing desired; the moon being only mentioned, that the heavenly motions might not be confounded, and the order of the orbs disturbed; and he observes, with Jarchi and Kimchi, that Gibeon was in the tribe of Benjamin, ( Joshua 18:25); and Ajalon in the tribe of Dan, ( Joshua 19:42); and it may be observed, that there was also another in the tribe of Zebulun, ( Judges 12:12); but that seems to be at too great a distance; and still less probable is what some late travellers have observed f187 , that the plain of Sharon near Joppa, is thought by many to be the place where Joshua defeated the five kings, when the sun stood still, etc. the opinion of Masius, first mentioned, seems most likely.

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 7-14 - The meanest and most
    feeble, who have just begun to trust the Lord, ar as much entitled to be protected as those who have long and faithfull been his servants. It is our duty to defend the afflicted, who, lik the Gibeonites, are brought into trouble on our account, or for the sake of the gospel. Joshua would not forsake his new vassals. How muc less shall our true Joshua fail those who trust in Him! We may be wanting in our trust, but our trust never can want success. Yet God' promises are not to slacken and do away, but to quicken and encourag our endeavours. Notice the great faith of Joshua, and the power of God answering it by the miraculous staying of the sun, that the day of Israel's victories might be made longer. Joshua acted on this occasio by impulse on his mind from the Spirit of God. It was not necessar that Joshua should speak, or the miracle be recorded, according to the modern terms of astronomy. The sun appeared to the Israelites ove Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Ajalon, and there they appeare to be stopped on their course for one whole day. Is any thing too har for the Lord? forms a sufficient answer to ten thousand difficulties which objectors have in every age started against the truth of God a revealed in his written word. Proclamation was hereby made to the neighbouring nations, Behold the works of the Lord, and say, What nation is there so great as Israel, who has God so nigh unto them?


    Original Hebrew

    אז 227 ידבר 1696 יהושׁע 3091 ליהוה 3068 ביום 3117 תת 5414 יהוה 3068 את 853 האמרי 567 לפני 6440 בני 1121 ישׂראל 3478 ויאמר 559 לעיני 5869 ישׂראל 3478 שׁמשׁ 8121 בגבעון 1391 דום 1826 וירח 3394 בעמק 6010 אילון׃ 357


    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

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