Joshua’s Eclipse?

I always enjoy these stories while at the same time taking them with a grain of salt, because while the word of God remains the same forever, our understanding of the Bible, science, and human history is constantly shifting.  Relying on this stuff to ‘prove’ your faith is kind of shaky (same for disproving, and after all, faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things unseen, according to Hebrews 11:1).

But still, it’s interesting to read that scientists currently:

” think the Book of Joshua describes a solar eclipse on October 30, 1207 B.C.E., over 3,220 years ago…..

The reinterpretation of event as eclipse rather than miracle (or coincidental with a miracle), plus clues from ancient Egyptian texts, have led historians to redate certain Egyptian dynasties, notably that of Ramesses II (aka the Great) and his son Merneptah, Sir Colin Humphreys of the University of Cambridge and W. Graeme Waddington report in Astronomy & Geophysics.”

That it may have been a known eclipse does not preclude miracle, of course.

“”That the eclipse occurred at exactly the time of the important battle that Joshua was fighting is either an amazing miracle of timing or else it was lucky chance (for Joshua!),” Dr. Humphreys wrote to Haaretz. “When one has a sequence of miracles, as there are in the Hebrew bible, which are either miracles of timing or lucky chance, it becomes inconceivable to me that they are all lucky chance! So I firmly believe that this was a miracle, an amazing miracle of timing.”

The eclipse theory has been around for some time, of course, but it was ‘discredited’ because there were no known total eclipses around the time Joshua is presumed to have lived.  There was, however, an annular (ring of fire) eclipse.

“Was there an annular solar eclipse in the right time frame for Joshua? There was, calculate the writers: on October 30, 1207 B.C.E., which is within the possible dates of Joshua’s incursion into Canaan.
Having established that there was an annular eclipse on that day, we get to redating the pharaonic regimes of Ramesses the Great and his son Merneptah, to within a year.”
…While much of the Bible remains in dispute, third-party evidence of an ancient Israelite presence in Canaan between 1500 and 1050 B.C.E. comes from the Merneptah Stele.  That inscription dates to the fifth year of Pharaoh Merneptah, son of Ramesses the Great (aka Ramses).”
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One Comment

  1. Lisa Beth W.
    Posted November 9, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m not buying it. An eclipse does not make the sun stand still and not go down for a full day.

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