According to the Old Testament version of the bible, one of the greatest miracles happened as Joshua, who was engaged in a battle against Canaan, asked God to stop the sun and the moon so that his army may continue fighting and accomplish victory.
However, God granted Joshua’s wish, as the sun stopped, and Joshua led the Israelites to victory at the biblical battle of Gibeon. The miraculous event happened after Joshua commanded the sun and the moon to stop saying, “Sun stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” Subsequently, the sun stopped in the middle of the sky for a full day, allowing Joshua to succeed over his enemies.
While many scientific scholars of the past might have chuckled at the idea that the sun would stop for anyone, modern research suggests otherwise. Israeli scientists from Beersheba’s Ben Gurion University used data from NASA to pinpoint the exact date the sun stopped for Joshua as October 30, 1207, BCE.
The researchers alleged that the biblical story which gave the Israelites the decisive victory over their enemies was, in fact, the earliest account of an annular eclipse.
Joshua is a significant figure in the Old Testament. Like most Israelites before their exodus from Egypt, Joshua suffered under the cruel Egyptian tyrants as an enslaved person born in captivity. However, when Moses became the leader of the Israelites, Joshua became the assistant of the new leader.
Joshua must have been a trusted confidant to Moses, as his duties extended more than that of a mere assistant. For instance, In the events of the exodus, Moses put him in a command position. As a result, Joshua selected and commanded the first Israelite battle after migrating from Egypt and fought the Amalekites in Rephidim.
Besides Christianity and Judaism, Joshua is also a noble and a great leader who’s held in great regard by Islam. In Islam, Joshua is regarded as a righteous prophet and a commander of esteem who realized the vision of Moses in liberating the holy land. Like the Old Testament, Islam also confirms the biblical event. Islam’s Sahih Al Bukhari (collection of sayings and deeds of Prophet Mohammed P.b.u.h) states, “The sun was never held (from setting) for any human except Yusha ‘, on the nights he marched to Jerusalem.” Yusha means Joshua in Arabic.
Similarly, Cambridge researchers have reinforced their Israeli colleagues’ claims in a paper published in the Royal Astronomical Society. They also concluded that the biblical event occurred on October 30, 1207, BCE. Moreover, in calculations that included rejecting early historic Chinese and Ugaritic records, the scientists also claim that the only description of a solar eclipse before 1000BCE is the one found in the bible.
While it’s incredible that scientists can calculate biblical events as far back as 3229 years ago, the study also exposes the problem of reconciling science with religion or vice versa. Regardless, as major faiths confirm Joshua’s story, it’s interesting that science has recognized the event.
Nevertheless, as circumstances forge leaders, Moses trained well his successor. Joshua started as an assistant, a spy, and a commander who eventually rose to the leader of all Israelites. Still, as profound as the story of Joshua is, proving his defining moment scientifically is perhaps the miracle of our century.