Ancient Israel would think a person's ability to control the Sun to be a Godly power. Israel could have thought Joshua son of Nun יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֔וּן was actually YHVH God Himself in Joshua 10:12-13.

Since [Joshua 10:12] states : "Then Joshua spoke to the Lord on the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand still upon Gibeon, and Moon in the valley of Ajalon." (אָ֣ז יְדַבֵּ֚ר יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה בְּיּ֗וֹם תֵּ֚ת יְהֹוָה֙ אֶת־הָ֣אֱמֹרִ֔י לִפְנֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיֹּ֣אמֶר | לְעֵינֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל שֶׁ֚מֶשׁ בְּגִבְע֣וֹן דּ֔וֹם וְיָרֵ֖חַ בְּעֵ֥מֶק אַיָּלֽוֹן)

Then immediately the Sun seems to stop moving for Joshua in [Joshua 10:13] as it is written : "And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is this not written in the book of Jashar? (which is the Torah)? So the sun stood still in the midst of the heaven, and it did not hasten to go down exactly a whole day." (וַיִּדֹּ֨ם הַשֶּׁ֜מֶשׁ וְיָרֵ֣חַ עָמָ֗ד עַד־יִקֹּ֥ם גּוֹי֙ אֹֽיְבָ֔יו הֲלֹא־הִ֥יא כְתוּבָ֖ה עַל־סֵ֣פֶר הַיָּשָׁ֑ר וַיַּֽעֲמֹ֚ד הַשֶּׁ֙מֶשׁ֙ בַּֽחֲצִ֣י הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם וְלֹא־אָ֥ץ לָב֖וֹא כְּי֥וֹם תָּמִֽים)

  • Joshua had as much power over the Sun in [Joshua 10] as Jesus the Nazarene had over waves in [Matthew 8].

  • Why was יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֔וּן Joshua son of Nun not considered YHVH God to Israel, when he made the Sun stand still?

To clarify the question : Why did the Israelites (only hearing Joshua & seeing the Sun stand still because of his words) not think Joshua son of Nun was YHVH Elohim?

2 Answers 2


Why was Joshua son of Nun not considered YHVH God to Israel, when he made the Sun stand still in [Joshua 10:12-13]?

Joshua 10:

14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a human being. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!

Here the two parties were stated separately and distinctly. Joshua wasn't the LORD.

Why did the Israelites (only hearing Joshua & seeing the Sun stand still because of his words) not think Joshua son of Nun was YHVH Elohim?

At this point, the Israelites had known about Moses dividing the Red Sea, bringing water out of rock, etc. They were eating the miracle food of manna from heaven. More importantly, from the giving of the ten commandments, they knew that the LORD was a spirit and did not have a physical body, Exodus 16:

10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud.

This was what the Israelites had in mind when they thought about the appearance of the LORD. Joshua looked nothing like that :)

  • 1
    To clarify the question : Why did the Israelites (only hearing Joshua & seeing the Sun stand still because of his words) not think Joshua son of Nun was YHVH Elohim? Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 14:23
  • Right. That's a trickier question :)
    – user35953
    Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 14:25
  • 1
    That is The question. - just like your question about disciples thinking Jesus the Nazarene being God in Matthew 8. - Wouldn't the Israelites think the same conclusion about Joshua controlling the Sun? Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 14:28

1Now after the death of His servant Moses, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying, 2“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore arise, you and all these people, and cross over the Jordan into the land that I am giving to the children of Israel. 3I have given you every place where the sole of your foot will tread, just as I promised to Moses. 4Your territory shall extend from the wilderness and Lebanon to the great River Euphrates—all the land of the Hittites—and west as far as the Great Sea. 5No one shall stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so will I be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:1-5

God has put the faith in Joshua's heart to lead His people into the promised land. The first nine chapters of Joshua we see The Lord has united the people of Israel with faith to conquer their enemies. All the old men died out and the new men are now circumcised and ready for battle. Through Joshua they see the Lord winning their battles for them. Joshua has taken the baton so to speak from Moses and leads them forth to victory, conquering the land that was promised to them.

The peoples faith always seemed to be in the Lord himself because of their obedience to doing what Joshua had commanded them to do.

6Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!” Joshua :1:16

7And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. 8Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’ ”Joshua 3:7

9Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10This is how you will know that the living God is among you. Joshua 3:9

14That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses. Joshua 4:14

Joshua Is speaking to the Lord in the presence of Israel.

12On the day that the LORD gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua spoke to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” 13So the sun stood still and the moon stopped until the nation took vengeance upon its enemies. Joshua 10:12-13

14There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man, because the LORD fought for Israel.

The people heard the voice of their leader Joshua praying to the Lord and they knew it was the Lord that stopped moon and the sun. The people have learned to worship the Lord and saw Joshua like Moses as their fearless leader Chosen by God to lead them into the promised land.

He fulfilled his name:

Joshua comes from the Hebrew name “Yehoshua,” meaning “God is deliverance

3So Joshua took the entire land, in keeping with all that the LORD had spoken to Moses. And Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to the allotments to their tribes. Then the land had rest from war. Joshua 11:23

Your question " •
: Why did the Israelites (only hearing Joshua & seeing the Sun stand still because of his words) not think Joshua son of Nun was YHVH

I would say the people had to learned to worship the Lord through their obedience and saw what He did through all the battles that he won for them. They knew it was the Lord that spoke to Joshua and led them. Even when he prayed for the sun and moon to stop they knew it was the Lord that did it because he was praying to the Lord in front of them. Yes they were amazed He listened to a man…Is it not the Lord who puts in us prayers in our hearts to pray?

Side note: Interestingly, Israel’s enemies worshiped the sun and moon. The arrest of the motion of heavenly bodies and the extended period of light to help Israel clearly affirmed the Lord God as the true God. The Amorites’ own gods were powerless to aid their cause as the God of Israel moved heaven and earth to grant His people the victory. Sounds familiar? The plagues sent from the God of Israel, (Through Moses) as proof that the "one true God" was far greater than all of the multiple Gods of the Egyptian's.

Also another a side note when searching about the sun and the moon and it's standing still and I came across a very interesting video here.

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