Re: God and nature; miracles

From: gordon brown (gbrown@euclid.colorado.edu)
Date: Thu May 15 2003 - 11:42:49 EDT

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    Most of the discussion I have seen here concerning Joshua's long day
    assumes that the translators got it right, from which it is deduced that
    the earth stopped rotating. Actually, it is not clear that this passage
    has been correctly translated, even though the "stand still" translation
    goes back to the Septuagint.

    Another possibility is that Joshua was asking for more darkness rather
    than more light. Here are some considerations. The word translated "stand
    still" literally means "be silent". In no other passage is it translated
    as "stand still". The event took place early in the morning when the sun
    was over Gibeon in the hills to the east of the battlefield. The battle
    had begun when Joshua's troops surprised the enemy late at night. Joshua
    gave the same command to the moon as he did to the sun, which would seem
    to be unnecessary if he just needed more daylight. The only thing that is
    singled out as being unusual is that the Lord listened to the voice of a
    man.

    Gordon Brown
    Department of Mathematics
    University of Colorado
    Boulder, CO 80309-0395



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