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And the Sun Stood Still


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#1    Ben Masada

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:40 PM

AND THE SUN STOOD STILL

It is amazing to see how religious Scholars from almost all quarters of religious life struggle so hard to prove that a day is missing in the history of the universe which can be explained only by the "miracle" that the sun stood still so that the Israelites could win a decisive battle at the conquest of Ganaan, so they assert. Vanity of vanities! When will vanity fade? The answer is in the same chapter of Joshua for how and why the "sun stood still."

According to Moses Maimonides in his Book "Guide for the Perplexed" most references to the sun, moon and stars, falling or standing, moving or standing still, are references to the powers that be. When Joshua entered the Land of Canaan with a power unmatched by any other power in the world of then, five Canaanite kings got into a strong coalition composed by the city states of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon in order to be able to stop Joshua. That's when the epic myth that the sun stood still came about and here is how, according to Joshua 10:13-27.

As the Israelites were faring better in the battle and pursuing the enemies, the above coalition of kings got into the cave of Makkedah and stood still in the hope to keep the secret of their hiding place. Somehow, Joshua was told that they were hiding in that cave and he ordered that a stone wall be built at the entrance to the cave, set some soldiers to watch outside and ordered the Israelites to keep on fighting and pursuing the enemy armies while the kings stood still and until the battle was over. It was a long day so-to-speak as the powers that be stood still until Joshua had achieved complete victory. Then he ordered the cave to be open and the kings to be brought out and over to be punished with death.

That's when the sun stood still until the war was over. That's all. No mystery about a natural miracle. Just a strategy of Joshua to make sure the enemy kings (sun and moon) stook still until the war was over.


Ben


#2    freetoroam

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:14 PM

Those were the days that they thought the world was flat...right?

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#3    JonK

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 11:01 PM

its likely that "most" thought the world was flat back then. i don't think this is relevant in either interpretation though.


#4    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:30 PM

View Postfreetoroam, on 02 March 2013 - 09:14 PM, said:

Those were the days that they thought the world was flat...right?

And the earth was the center of the universe too.

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#5    freetoroam

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 05:48 PM

View PostHavocWing, on 03 March 2013 - 05:30 PM, said:

And the earth was the center of the universe too.
Yes, kind of what I was implying, and it is relevant, it sort of went over some peoples heads. :yes:

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#6    Ben Masada

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 08:46 PM

View Postfreetoroam, on 02 March 2013 - 09:14 PM, said:

Those were the days that they thought the world was flat...right?

Probably. But... you know; that's not the point. In fact, in allegories, parables, dreams and visions, the world might as well be flat, as long as the message goes through.

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#7    freetoroam

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:15 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 04 March 2013 - 08:46 PM, said:

Probably. But... you know; that's not the point. In fact, in allegories, parables, dreams and visions, the world might as well be flat, as long as the message goes through.

Ben
But the message is completely inaccurate. But if it helps people to deal with their lives better, then thats fine.
personally i could not follow inaccurate."messages", but do like some of these old stories the same way I like the Greek myths.

Edited by freetoroam, 05 March 2013 - 02:16 PM.

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#8    Ben Masada

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 07:31 PM

View Postfreetoroam, on 05 March 2013 - 02:15 PM, said:

But the message is completely inaccurate. But if it helps people to deal with their lives better, then thats fine.
personally i could not follow inaccurate."messages", but do like some of these old stories the same way I like the Greek myths.


A message is inaccurate according to preconceived notions. What helps some could not be the same help for others. Those who enjoy a world of illusions prefer to stay with the myth that the sun and the moon did remain still for a whole day. Those who enjoy the exercise of reason are glad that now they can see how detrimental was to live with the shadows within the cave.

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#9    Jor-el

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 09:17 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 02 March 2013 - 08:40 PM, said:

AND THE SUN STOOD STILL

It is amazing to see how religious Scholars from almost all quarters of religious life struggle so hard to prove that a day is missing in the history of the universe which can be explained only by the "miracle" that the sun stood still so that the Israelites could win a decisive battle at the conquest of Ganaan, so they assert. Vanity of vanities! When will vanity fade? The answer is in the same chapter of Joshua for how and why the "sun stood still."

According to Moses Maimonides in his Book "Guide for the Perplexed" most references to the sun, moon and stars, falling or standing, moving or standing still, are references to the powers that be. When Joshua entered the Land of Canaan with a power unmatched by any other power in the world of then, five Canaanite kings got into a strong coalition composed by the city states of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon in order to be able to stop Joshua. That's when the epic myth that the sun stood still came about and here is how, according to Joshua 10:13-27.

As the Israelites were faring better in the battle and pursuing the enemies, the above coalition of kings got into the cave of Makkedah and stood still in the hope to keep the secret of their hiding place. Somehow, Joshua was told that they were hiding in that cave and he ordered that a stone wall be built at the entrance to the cave, set some soldiers to watch outside and ordered the Israelites to keep on fighting and pursuing the enemy armies while the kings stood still and until the battle was over. It was a long day so-to-speak as the powers that be stood still until Joshua had achieved complete victory. Then he ordered the cave to be open and the kings to be brought out and over to be punished with death.

That's when the sun stood still until the war was over. That's all. No mystery about a natural miracle. Just a strategy of Joshua to make sure the enemy kings (sun and moon) stook still until the war was over.


Ben

Interesting... I am a fan of Immanuel Velikovsky's work on catastraphism and he has some interesting speculations on the matter as well, personally I would choose his position on the basis that at least it doesn't try to to downgrade the unexplainable to a metaphor. But as I said, that is merely my position.

http://www.beforearm...ring-velikovsky

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#10    Ben Masada

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:03 PM

View PostJor-el, on 05 March 2013 - 09:17 PM, said:

Interesting... I am a fan of Immanuel Velikovsky's work on catastraphism and he has some interesting speculations on the matter as well, personally I would choose his position on the basis that at least it doesn't try to to downgrade the unexplainable to a metaphor. But as I said, that is merely my position.

http://www.beforearm...ring-velikovsky

Yes, but it happens though that there is no downgrading of the unexplainable here. To a metaphor yes, but rather the word would be upgrading and not downgrading. Then the case was not unexplainable but set down to be explained by someone with some training in metaphorical language for his personal enjoyment and enlightenment of the members of the literal interpretation club. But as you said, it is merely your position.

Ben


#11    Jor-el

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 10:07 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 07 March 2013 - 08:03 PM, said:

Yes, but it happens though that there is no downgrading of the unexplainable here. To a metaphor yes, but rather the word would be upgrading and not downgrading. Then the case was not unexplainable but set down to be explained by someone with some training in metaphorical language for his personal enjoyment and enlightenment of the members of the literal interpretation club. But as you said, it is merely your position.

Ben

The explanation you put forward... do you actually believe that to be the case or is it simply an explanation much like any other that anyone can come up with? Where is the historical evidence that these 5 kings hid in a cave (which is the last place anyone would choose from a tactical perspecitive)? What sources for this story exist? Are they uniquely from Maimonides or did he get them from somewhere else? How would one go about proving this?

Rejecting the biblical narrative in support of a more logical and down to earth explanation is all well and good, but you had better provide more than just the say so of another man.

Edited by Jor-el, 08 March 2013 - 10:09 PM.

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#12    Jor-el

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 11:11 AM

I would add that the bible is actually quoting the book of Jashar 88:63-65 when describing the events of that day.

12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

63 And when they were smiting, the day was declining toward evening, and Joshua said in the sight of all the people, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou moon in the valley of Ajalon, until the nation shall have revenged itself upon its enemies.

64 And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Joshua, and the sun stood still in the midst of the heavens, and it stood still six and thirty moments, and the moon also stood still and hastened not to go down a whole day.

65 And there was no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened to the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel.

http://www.ccel.org/...s/jasher/88.htm

What is even more important here but usually ignored is that giant hailstones killed most of the Amorite army, not the Israelites themselves, I wonder where these hailstones came from because there wasn't a cloud in the sky apparently,

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#13    Ben Masada

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:28 PM

View PostJor-el, on 08 March 2013 - 10:07 PM, said:

The explanation you put forward... do you actually believe that to be the case or is it simply an explanation much like any other that anyone can come up with? Where is the historical evidence that these 5 kings hid in a cave (which is the last place anyone would choose from a tactical perspecitive)? What sources for this story exist? Are they uniquely from Maimonides or did he get them from somewhere else? How would one go about proving this?

Rejecting the biblical narrative in support of a more logical and down to earth explanation is all well and good, but you had better provide more than just the say so of another man.

Well Jorel, if you believe the Scriptures the text is in Joshua 10:13-27. I believe that the Scriptural testimony overides any other opinion. It says in there what Joshua did to keep the five kings still while the Israelites fought the battle against their five armies. You know, confusion reigned as the armies saw themselves without a leader and became an easy target. Then later, many years later, perhaps by Ezra was the text put into writing as chronicles of the heroes of Israel. Embellishment is the word.

In another 50 or 100 years, I believe the same could happen to the epic achievement of the Israelis in the Six-Day War in 1967 when the Egyptians thought they had it all to push the Jews into the sea and woke up to see the Israelis tanks over the other side of the Swez Canal heading toward Cairo. They had crossed the Canal on the dry over suspended bridges in the dark of the night. Such an achievement will be told as no less than a miracle of God.

Ben


#14    Ben Masada

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:37 PM

View PostJor-el, on 09 March 2013 - 11:11 AM, said:

I would add that the bible is actually quoting the book of Jashar 88:63-65 when describing the events of that day.

12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

63 And when they were smiting, the day was declining toward evening, and Joshua said in the sight of all the people, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou moon in the valley of Ajalon, until the nation shall have revenged itself upon its enemies.

64 And the Lord hearkened to the voice of Joshua, and the sun stood still in the midst of the heavens, and it stood still six and thirty moments, and the moon also stood still and hastened not to go down a whole day.

65 And there was no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened to the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel.

http://www.ccel.org/...s/jasher/88.htm

What is even more important here but usually ignored is that giant hailstones killed most of the Amorite army, not the Israelites themselves, I wonder where these hailstones came from because there wasn't a cloud in the sky apparently,

Hey Jorel, if literally God fought for Israel that day, would He need to disturb the natural sequence of the Cosmos to stop the earth? Please!!! He could have done the whole thing withtout a cosmological catastrophe. The text was simply embellished many years later into the chronicles of the heroes of Israel. It is from this kind of literal interpretation that atheists laugh at the naivite of theists.

Ben


#15    Jor-el

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:57 PM

View PostBen Masada, on 09 March 2013 - 10:28 PM, said:

Well Jorel, if you believe the Scriptures the text is in Joshua 10:13-27. I believe that the Scriptural testimony overides any other opinion. It says in there what Joshua did to keep the five kings still while the Israelites fought the battle against their five armies. You know, confusion reigned as the armies saw themselves without a leader and became an easy target. Then later, many years later, perhaps by Ezra was the text put into writing as chronicles of the heroes of Israel. Embellishment is the word.

In another 50 or 100 years, I believe the same could happen to the epic achievement of the Israelis in the Six-Day War in 1967 when the Egyptians thought they had it all to push the Jews into the sea and woke up to see the Israelis tanks over the other side of the Swez Canal heading toward Cairo. They had crossed the Canal on the dry over suspended bridges in the dark of the night. Such an achievement will be told as no less than a miracle of God.

Ben

But the text does NOT state in any manner whatsoever that the 5 kings are being referred to in any way when it states the sun stood still. Is that not an embelishment on the part of Maimonides in his explanation?

Edited by Jor-el, 09 March 2013 - 11:23 PM.

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