A mysterious event mentioned in the Bible was actually the oldest solar eclipse ever recorded, a new Cambridge study has found. The revelation may help to rewrite the dates of Egyptian pharaohs, including the famous Ramesses II.
The celestial event described in the Old Testament Book of Joshua has been puzzling scholars for centuries. In the King James Bible, after Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan – a land which is now partly in modern Israel and Palestine – he prayed: “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
“And the Sun stood still, and the Moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies,” the passage continued. Now, Cambridge researchers say the phrase refers to an ancient solar eclipse that took place on October 30, 1207BC, when Pharaoh Merneptah was waging war against the people of Israel in Canaan.
If the passage was describing a real observation, “then a major astronomical event was taking place,” wrote Professor Sir Colin Humphreys and Graeme Waddington, co-authors of the study published in the ‘Astronomy and Geophysics’ journal.
“’Modern English translations, which follow the King James translation of 1611, usually interpret this text to mean that the sun and moon stopped moving,” the study said. But analyzing an original Hebrew text provided an alternative interpretation – that the sun and moon “just stopped doing what they normally do: they stopped shining.”
The Hebrew text could be referring to a solar eclipse, “when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, and the sun appears to stop shining,” Humphreys and Waddington explain. To set an exact date of the eclipse, they developed an “eclipse code” which calculated data from Earth’s rotation.
Using the “eclipse code,” the Cambridge researchers found that the only annular eclipse visible from the land of Canaan at that time – between 1500 and 1050BC – was the one on the afternoon of October 30, 1207BC.
its still theory though..
“Using the “eclipse code,” the Cambridge researchers found that the only annular eclipse visible from the land of Canaan at that time – between 1500 and 1050BC – was the one on the afternoon of October 30, 1207BC.”
so what has actually changed on the timeline?