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Tuesday, July 2 2019

A Bible Journey, 197: What Was The Phase Of The Moon On The Longest Day Of All Time?

"Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon ... There was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel"

One of the most controversial historical events that are recorded in the Holy Scriptures was "Joshua's long day" in which the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) miraculously time-stretched a visual day in a very specific place, for a very specific people ("Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon") while time continued overall without effect, there, and everywhere else.

The sun always appears full because the Earth orbits the sun, but the moon, that shines by reflected light from the sun, appears in a precise, predictable cycle of phases through the "month" (see the Fact Finder question below) because it orbits the Earth.

So, what was the phase of the moon that was visible when the sun was also visible on the "long day"?

The moon phase that day could not have been full (the full moon always rises at sunset and sets at sunrise), so what the Israelites saw would have been a waxing or waning crescent between last quarter (rises at midnight, sets at noon) and first quarter (rises at noon, sets at midnight). Although the new moon rises at sunrise and sets at sunset, the astronomical new moon is never visible.

Also, eclipses of the sun can only occur at new moon, when the moon is between the earth and the sun, while eclipses of the moon can only occur at full moon when the earth is between the sun and the moon (see When Do Eclipses Happen On The Christian Holy Days? and The Passover Moon At Midnight; also What Is Unique About Earth's Sun And Moon?).

  • The New Moon always rises at sunrise, transits the meridian at noon, sets at sunset

  • The First Quarter Moon always rises at noon, transits the meridian at sunset, sets at midnight

  • The Full Moon always rises at sunset, transits the meridian at midnight, sets at sunrise

  • The Last Quarter Moon always rises at midnight, transits the meridian at sunrise, sets at noon

Phases Of The Moon

The miraculous visual event occurred near Ajalon, from the Hebrew place name, pronounced aw-yaw-lone, which means deer field or place of deer. It is rendered into the English language as either Ajalon or Aijalon, or sometimes both (the King James Version uses both to translate the same single original word, as shown in the Scripture quotes in this study).

Deer

Ajalon, located about 24 kilometers / 15 miles northwest of Jerusalem, was the name used for both a town and the surrounding valley. After the division of Israel (see Biblical Eras: The Kingdoms Of North and South - Israel and Judah), Ajalon / Aijalon was near the border between the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah.

Some have suggested that Joshua's "long day" affected the original week (see the Fact Finder question below), but the calendar commanded to be used by the LORD reckons days from sunset to sunset, not on a mechanical or digital clock from midnight to midnight. Although it was a long day, it was just one day. And, as explained, it did not affect time overall, there, or anywhere else.

Sundial

"10:1 Now it came to pass, when Adonizedek king of Jerusalem [see also A History Of Jerusalem: Jebus Of Canaan] had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them; 10:2 That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty. 10:3 Wherefore Adonizedek king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying, 10:4 Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel.

10:5 Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it. 10:6 And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us.

10:7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. 10:8 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.

10:9 Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night. 10:10 And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. 10:11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.

10:12 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. 10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

10:14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel. 10:15 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal." (Joshua 10:1-15 KJV)

Joshua

According to the laws of war that the LORD gave to the Israelite army, Joshua did not take prisoners of hostile people (see Deuteronomy 20: Articles Of War; also Joshua 2: Rahab Of Jericho).

"10:16 But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah. 10:17 And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah. 10:18 And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them: 10:19 And stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the LORD your God hath delivered them into your hand.

10:20 And it came to pass, when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end of slaying them with a very great slaughter, till they were consumed, that the rest which remained of them entered into fenced cities. 10:21 And all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: none moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel.

10:22 Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave. 10:23 And they did so, and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. 10:24 And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.

10:25 And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. 10:26 And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening.

10:27 And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave's mouth, which remain until this very day.

10:28 And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho." (Joshua 10:16-28 KJV)

The Israelite onslaught then continued through Libnah, Lachish, Eglon and Debir. "So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded."

"10:29 Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah: 10:30 And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho [see Joshua 6: The Fall Of Jericho].

10:31 And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it: 10:32 And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah. 10:33 Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining.

10:34 And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it, and fought against it: 10:35 And they took it on that day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein he utterly destroyed that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish.

10:36 And Joshua [see Joshua 1: Joshua's Commission] went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron; and they fought against it: 10:37 And they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof, and all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon; but destroyed it utterly, and all the souls that were therein.

10:38 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir; and fought against it: 10:39 And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king.

10:40 So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded. 10:41 And Joshua smote them from Kadeshbarnea even unto Gaze, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon. 10:42 And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.

10:43 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal." (Joshua 10:29-43 KJV)

Fact Finder: (a) What is a genuine "month"? (b) How did the "week" originate?
(a) See Creation Day 4: The Calendar
(b) See Creation Day 7: The Week And The Christian Sabbath

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This Day In History

This Day In History, July 2

437: Emperor Valentinian III, began his reign over the Western Roman Empire (see also The Roman Border Walls Paradox; also The Founding Of Rome: The Curious Tale Of Romulus and Remus).

Roman Empire

626: Li Shimin, the succeeding Emperor Taizong of Tang, Emperor of China, killed his rival brothers in an ambush at the Xuanwu Gate (see also The First Chinese American War).

China

1298: An army under Albert of Austria defeated and killed Adolf of Nassua near Vorms (often rendered in English as "Worms"), Germany (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1494: The Treaty of Tordesillas was ratified by Spain. It divided the "New World" outside of Europe between Portugal and Spain.

The New World

1555: The Ottoman Admiral Turgut Reis sacked Paola, Italy.

The Ottoman Empire was one of the most geographically-extensive (see the map below) empires in history. Included within it, over the course of its expansion and contraction, were Turkey, large areas of Arabia (see Paul's Geography Lesson), Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Greece, Jordan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania - and "Palestine." It was also one of the longest-lasting empires in human history. Centered on a ruling dynasty in Turkey, it existed from the late thirteen century to the early twentieth century (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Balfour Declaration).

The Ottoman Empire

1625: The Spanish army took Breda, Spain, after nearly a year of siege.

1644: The Battle of Marston Moor near York brought the first major Royalist defeat in the English Civil War.

1747: Marshall Saxe led French forces to victory over an Anglo-Dutch force under the Duke of Cumberland at the Battle of Lauffeld.

1777: Vermont becomes the first U.S. territory to abolish slavery.

Washington Slaves

1853: The Russian army crossed the Pruth River, invading Turkey and beginning the Crimean War.

1871: Rome officially became capital of a united Italy; after 1,500 years, Rome again the capital of Italy (see The Founding Of Rome: The Curious Tale Of Romulus and Remus and The Roman Republic and The Roman Empire).

1881: U.S. President James Garfield, who was sworn-in only 3 months earlier, was shot by Charles Guiteau. He died from the injury on September 19.

1897: Guglielmo Marconi, a scientist from Italy, obtained a patent for his "radio" in London.

Marconi

1900: Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin flew his first airship, over Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany (see also Who Was The First To Fly?).

Zeppelin

1937: Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while trying to fly around the world.

1940: The liner Arandora Star was torpedoed by a German submarine while transporting German and Italian prisoners to Canada; over 750 prisoners and crew died.

1962: The first Wal-Mart store opened, in Rogers, Arkansas.

1964: U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and the Public Accommodations Bill that guaranteed equality to black people. Despite the new laws, a month later 3 civil rights workers were found murdered in Mississippi; police were implicated.

1966: France detonated a nuclear bomb at a test site in the Pacific (see also Who Would Throw A Nuclear Boomerang?).

1976: Following Vietnam War (which was actually a civil war between the Vietnamese people whose nation had been divided into two by western imperial powers in 1954), North and South Vietnam were reunited as one country with Hanoi as the capital.

Vietnam

2000: Vicente Fox Quesada was elected President of Mexico, the first from an opposition party, after over 70 years of the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (see also The Mexican Border Wall).


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