No, the Book of Joshua Does Not Tell of a Rare Solar Eclipse

Despite the claim of two recent scientific papers.

John Martin’s Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still upon Gibeon, 1816. National Gallery of Art.

John Martin’s Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still upon Gibeon, 1816. National Gallery of Art.

Observation
Nov. 8 2017
About the author

Philologos, the renowned Jewish-language columnist, appears twice a month in Mosaic. Questions for him may be sent to his email address by clicking here.


Some of you may have read about an article written by the British physicists Colin J. Humphreys and W. Graeme Waddington and published in the October issue of Astronomy & Geophysics. Titled “Solar Eclipse of 1207 BCE Helps to Date Pharaohs,” it’s an attempt to link the story of the sun’s miraculously standing still in the biblical book of Joshua to an ancient eclipse and to draw historical conclusions from the linkage.

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More about: Book of Joshua, History & Ideas, Science