Joshua 10:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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."

New Living Translation
On the day the LORD gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the LORD in front of all the people of Israel. He said, "Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon."

English Standard Version
At that time Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”

New American Standard Bible
Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, "O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon."

King James Bible
Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua spoke to the LORD in the presence of Israel:" Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and moon, over the Valley of Aijalon."

International Standard Version
Later that day, Joshua spoke to the LORD while the LORD was delivering the Amorites to the Israelis. This is what he said in the presence of Israel: "Sun, be still over Gibeon Moon, stand in place in the Aijalon Valley"

NET Bible
The day the LORD delivered the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua prayed to the LORD before Israel: "O sun, stand still over Gibeon! O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon!"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The day the LORD handed the Amorites over to the people of Israel, Joshua spoke to the LORD while Israel was watching, "Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and moon, stand still over the valley of Aijalon!"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Joshua spoke unto the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

King James 2000 Bible
Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand you still upon Gibeon; and you, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon.

American King James Version
Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand you still on Gibeon; and you, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

American Standard Version
Then spake Joshua to Jehovah in the day when Jehovah delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; And thou, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Then Josue spoke to the Lord, in the day that he delivered the Amorrhite in the sight of the children of Israel, and he said before them: Move not, O sun, toward Gabaon, nor thou, O moon, toward the valley of Ajalon.

Darby Bible Translation
Then spoke Joshua to Jehovah in the day when Jehovah gave up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand still upon Gibeon; And thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon!

English Revised Version
Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

World English Bible
Then Joshua spoke to Yahweh in the day when Yahweh delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand still on Gibeon! You, moon, stop in the valley of Aijalon!"

Young's Literal Translation
Then speaketh Joshua to Jehovah in the day of Jehovah's giving up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he saith, before the eyes of Israel, 'Sun -- in Gibeon stand still; and moon -- in the valley of Ajalon;'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

10:7-14 The meanest and most feeble, who have just begun to trust the Lord, are as much entitled to be protected as those who have long and faithfully been his servants. It is our duty to defend the afflicted, who, like the Gibeonites, are brought into trouble on our account, or for the sake of the gospel. Joshua would not forsake his new vassals. How much less shall our true Joshua fail those who trust in Him! We may be wanting in our trust, but our trust never can want success. Yet God's promises are not to slacken and do away, but to quicken and encourage our endeavours. Notice the great faith of Joshua, and the power of God answering it by the miraculous staying of the sun, that the day of Israel's victories might be made longer. Joshua acted on this occasion by impulse on his mind from the Spirit of God. It was not necessary that Joshua should speak, or the miracle be recorded, according to the modern terms of astronomy. The sun appeared to the Israelites over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Ajalon, and there they appeared to be stopped on their course for one whole day. Is any thing too hard for the Lord? forms a sufficient answer to ten thousand difficulties, which objectors have in every age started against the truth of God as revealed in his written word. Proclamation was hereby made to the neighbouring nations, Behold the works of the Lord, and say, What nation is there so great as Israel, who has God so nigh unto them?

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - Then, אָז. See Joshua 8:30. The period is here more strictly defined by the addition of the words, "on the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel." Spake Joshua to the Lord. The preposition לְ (literally, "to ") used here, has a variety of meanings in Hebrew. It is employed in such a phrase as "a Psalm of David" (literally, "to David "), but the sense requires "by." So in Psalm 3:9 (Psalms 3:8 in our version); Isaiah 22:5, etc. It has the sense "on account of" in Genesis 4:23 (where it is rendered "to" in our version); but the sense requires "in return for," "on account of." So also in Joshua 9:9, where our version renders "because of." In the latter part of this verse it signifies "before" (sec note there). In a passage so much disputed as this it is necessary to remember the indefiniteness of the original. Though the rendering, "to the Lord," is the natural and obvious one, the other meanings cannot be excluded. The more probable rendering is that in the text. Yet, as no address to God is afterwards recorded, the meaning may be "by," i.e., by the inspiration of, or "because of," i.e., on account of the great success God had vouchsafed to him, and which he earnestly desired to complete; or "before," as though Joshua spoke with a consciousness of God's immediate presence and help. For a full discussion of this remarkable passage the reader is referred to the Introduction. In the sight of Israel. לְעֵינֵי, "before the eyes of." This brings the scene vividly before our eyes: the storm rolling away over the mountains, the enemy in full retreat and wild confusion, the sun bursting forth from behind the clouds, and the leader of the Israelites, in the sight of all his troops, perhaps on the crest of the eminence on which Gibeon stands, or perhaps at Upper Beth-heron (see note on ver. 10), uttering his sublime apostrophe to the "two great lights" which God had given to mankind, not to withdraw their presence until the Lord had "avenged him of his adversaries." The battle had been short, but decisive. The Israelites had no doubt (ver. 9) fallen upon the enemy unawares at the dawn of day as they were preparing for the attack on Gibeon. A few hours had sufficed to put them to the rout, but the utmost expedition would be necessary to complete their destruction before the darkness set in. Hence the ejaculation of the Jewish commander as the difficulty of the task he had imposed upon himself, namely, of utterly annihilating that vast host before light failed, flashed upon him. Sun, stand thou still. The poetic form of this passage is clear to every one who has the smallest acquaintance with the laws of Hebrew poetry. For the Book of Jasher, from which it is apparently a quotation (see Introduction, Sec. 2). Stand thou still. This is not the literal rendering of the original. In no other passage has the verb דָמַם this sense. The sense "stand still" here would seem to be an inference from ver. 14. The literal rendering is, "be dumb." Hence in Exodus 15:16, and in Lamentations 2:10, it signifies to be dumb with amazement or terror. In 1 Samuel 14:9 it seems to mean, "stay your advance" ("tarry," Authorised Version), and the word rendered "stand still" in the last part of the verse is עמד. See also Psalm 4:5 (Itch.), where it is rendered "be still," i.e., "be silent;" and Job 30:27, and Lamentations 2:18. The word must not therefore be pressed to mean that the sun's course was completely arrested in the heavens. All that can be assumed is that it did not set until the people were avenged of their enemies. The passage is evidently part of a triumphal song, like that recorded in Judges 5, where in ver. 20 there is a very similar thought, which no one ever thinks of interpreting literally. Upon Gibeon. Beth-heron was northwest of Gibeon. The meaning of the phrase would perhaps be, "Sun, rest thou (i.e., cease not to shine) in (or upon) Gibeon." In the valley of Ajalon. The valley of the deer, according to the Hebrew. The word for valley is Emek here (LXX. φάραγξ). See note on Joshua 8:13. alert became afterwards a Levitical city (see Joshua 21:24), and was in the inheritance of Dan (Joshua 19:42). See also 1 Samuel 14:31. It has been identified with the modern Yale (so Robinson, Vandevelde, and Conder), and was therefore four hours' journey westward from Gibeon. It was possibly near the time of full moon, and Joshua called for the light of the moon to help him when the sun had set. The very fact of his having called upon the moon to come to his assistance is an argument against the literal interpretation of the passage. The moon could have been no help to him as long as the sun was in the heavens. It is thought by some that the moon must have been already in the heavens, or why should Joshua have addressed her? This may have been the case, and he might thus have adjured the moon to give him her help after the sun had gone down, by which time he would have arrived at Ajalon, a supposition which is quite consistent with probability.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then spake Joshua to the Lord,.... In prayer, and entreated as follows, that the sun and moon might stand still, until the victory was complete; though the Jewish writers interpret it of a song; so the Targum, then Joshua praised, or sung praise, as in the Targum on Sol 1:1; and which is approved of by Jarchi and Kimchi:

in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel; the five kings of the Amorites, and their armies, Joshua 10:5,

and he said, in the sight of Israel; in their presence, and in the hearing of great numbers, being under a divine impulse, and having strong faith in the working of the miracle, after related, and that it would be according to his word; he was bold to say what he did, being fully persuaded he should not be disappointed, and made ashamed:

sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon; where they now appeared, and were seen by all Israel, the one as if over Gibeon, and the other as in the valley of which Masius thinks is the same with the valley of Gibeon, Isaiah 28:21; and so must be near Gibeon, and the sun and the moon not far from one another, as they might be if it was now new moon, as Kimchi and R. Isaiah; or on the decrease; some say seven days before her change: but Abarbinel is of opinion that it was near the full of the moon, which was just rising in the valley of Ajalon, and the sun near setting as it seemed over Gibeon, and were just opposite one to another; and Joshua fearing he should not have time to pursue his enemies, and make the victory entire, should the sun set, prays that both sun and moon might continue in the position they were; the sun that he might have the benefit of daylight, which was the chief thing desired; the moon being only mentioned, that the heavenly motions might not be confounded, and the order of the orbs disturbed; and he observes, with Jarchi and Kimchi, that Gibeon was in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:25; and Ajalon in the tribe of Dan, Joshua 19:42; and it may be observed, that there was also another in the tribe of Zebulun, Judges 12:12; but that seems to be at too great a distance; and still less probable is what some late travellers have observed (e), that the plain of Sharon near Joppa, is thought by many to be the place where Joshua defeated the five kings, when the sun stood still, &c. the opinion of Masius, first mentioned, seems most likely.

(e) Egmont and Heyman's Travels, vol. 1. p. 290.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Jos 10:12-15. The Sun and Moon Stand Still at the Word of Joshua.

12-15. Then spake Joshua to the Lord … and … he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still … and thou, Moon—The inspired author here breaks off the thread of his history of this miraculous victory to introduce a quotation from an ancient poem, in which the mighty acts of that day were commemorated. The passage, which is parenthetical, contains a poetical description of the victory which was miraculously gained by the help of God, and forms an extract from "the book of Jasher," that is, "the upright"—an anthology, or collection of national songs, in honor of renowned and eminently pious heroes. The language of a poem is not to be literally interpreted; and therefore, when the sun and moon are personified, addressed as intelligent beings, and represented as standing still, the explanation is that the light of the sun and moon was supernaturally prolonged by the same laws of refraction and reflection that ordinarily cause the sun to appear above the horizon, when it is in reality below it [Keil, Bush]. Gibeon ("a hill") was now at the back of the Israelites, and the height would soon have intercepted the rays of the setting sun. The valley of Ajalon ("stags") was before them, and so near that it was sometimes called "the valley of Gibeon" (Isa 28:21). It would seem, from Jos 10:14, that the command of Joshua was in reality a prayer to God for the performance of this miracle; and that, although the prayers of eminently good men like Moses often prevailed with God, never was there on any other occasion so astonishing a display of divine power made in behalf of His people, as in answer to the prayer of Joshua. Jos 10:15 is the end of the quotation from Jasher; and it is necessary to notice this, as the fact described in it is recorded in due course, and the same words, by the sacred historian (Jos 10:43).

Joshua 10:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Sun Stands Still
12Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, "O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon." 13So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.…
Cross References
Judges 5:20
From the heavens the stars fought, from their courses they fought against Sisera.

1 Samuel 14:31
That day, after the Israelites had struck down the Philistines from Mikmash to Aijalon, they were exhausted.

2 Samuel 2:12
Abner son of Ner, together with the men of Ish-Bosheth son of Saul, left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon.

2 Kings 20:11
Then the prophet Isaiah called on the LORD, and the LORD made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.

Isaiah 28:21
The LORD will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim, he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon-- to do his work, his strange work, and perform his task, his alien task.

Isaiah 38:8
I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.'" So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.

Jeremiah 28:1
In the fifth month of that same year, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and all the people:

Amos 2:9
"Yet I destroyed the Amorites before them, though they were tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks. I destroyed their fruit above and their roots below.

Habakkuk 3:11
Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear.
Treasury of Scripture

Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand you still on Gibeon; and you, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

Sun Joshua doubtless acted, on this occasion, by an immediate impulse upon his mind from the Spirit of God. The terms here employed to record the miracle, agree with the accustomed manner in which the the motions of the earth and sun are described in our own day. The sun apparently moves, but really is stationary; while the diurnal movement of the earth on its axis is by us unnoticed, and would not have been known except by astronomical science. the sun appeared to the Israelites over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Ajalon, and there they stayed in their course for `a whole day.' Many vain enquiries have been made concerning the way in which this miracle was wrought, and many difficulties and objections have been urged against understanding it literally. But the fact is authenticated by the Divine testimony; and the manner in which it was accomplished lies entirely out of our province, because beyond our comprehension.

Joshua 10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had …

Deuteronomy 4:19 And lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, …

Deuteronomy 17:3 And has gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the …

Job 9:7 Which commands the sun, and it rises not; and seals up the stars.

Job 31:26,27 If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness…

Psalm 19:4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to …

Psalm 74:16 The day is yours, the night also is yours: you have prepared the …

Psalm 148:3 Praise you him, sun and moon: praise him, all you stars of light.

Isaiah 28:21 For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth …

Isaiah 38:8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone …

Isaiah 60:20 Your sun shall no more go down; neither shall your moon withdraw …

Amos 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, said the Lord GOD, that I …

Habakkuk 3:11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of …

stand thou [heb] be silent

Habakkuk 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.

Zechariah 2:13 Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out …

Ajalon

Joshua 19:42 And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah,

Judges 12:12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country …

Aijalon

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