Tags: Religion | joshua | bible | solar eclipse | stop the sun

Paper: Joshua 'Stopping the Sun' in Bible Was Eclipse

Image: Paper: Joshua 'Stopping the Sun' in Bible Was Eclipse
A total solar eclipse is observed emerging from totality located at the centerline of the shadow in Lyon County, Kentucky. (AP)

By    |   Monday, 30 October 2017 05:34 PM

Scientists now say the biblical story of Joshua stopping the sun is the earliest account of a solar eclipse — on Oct. 30, 3,224 years ago.

In a paper published in the Royal Astronomical Society journal "Astronomy & Georphysics," researchers explained the dating helps them refine the dates of the reigns of two Egyptian pharaohs of that era, Ramesses the Great and his son Merneptah.

The conclusion also reinforces research earlier this year by Israeli scientists, who similarly interpreted the biblical story as referring to an eclipse on that date, the Times of Israel reported.

The Bible story of Joshua relates that he prayed that God would help the Israelites in their battle by stopping the sun and moon, the Times of Israel noted.

"If these words are describing a real observation, then a major astronomical event was taking place — the question for us to figure out is what the text actually means," research paper co-author Colin Humphreys from the University of Cambridge wrote.

"Modern English translations, which follow the King James translation of 1611, usually interpret this text to mean that the sun and moon stopped moving.

"But going back to the original Hebrew text, we determined that an alternative meaning could be that the sun and moon just stopped doing what they normally do: they stopped shining."

Humphreys added that if the light from the sun appeared to stop shining, it may refer to an eclipse.

"This interpretation is supported by the fact that the Hebrew word translated 'stand still' has the same root as a Babylonian word used in ancient astronomical texts to describe eclipses," he wrote.

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Scientists now say the biblical story of Joshua stopping the sun is the earliest account of a solar eclipse - on Oct. 30, 3,224 years ago.
joshua, bible, solar eclipse, stop the sun
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2017-34-30
Monday, 30 October 2017 05:34 PM
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