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Biblical Sun Miracle on trial – Hubert_Luns

Biblical Sun Miracle on trial – Hubert_Luns

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Published by Hubert Luns
It is typical that New Year’s Day on the 1st day of Tishrei is also known as the Day of Judgement. Why those days were so fearful is unknown. Perhaps it will be clearer to the reader after studying this article.
We should not image that a slight tilting of the axis of the earth that may have caused a recession of the equinoxes was in itself traumatic although the other circumstances did not go unnoticed and ought to have inspired great fear. The long-term effects must have been very impressive too. If a large foreign body enters the sphere of influence of the earth, without colliding with it, this may elicit increased seismic activity. A large volcanic discharge in the decade after 594, caused by the simultaneous eruption of a number of large volcanoes, may have interfered with the global weather patterns, which could have provoked crop failures, which in turn could have caused political upheaval and migratory movements of people in search of means of subsistence.
It is typical that New Year’s Day on the 1st day of Tishrei is also known as the Day of Judgement. Why those days were so fearful is unknown. Perhaps it will be clearer to the reader after studying this article.
We should not image that a slight tilting of the axis of the earth that may have caused a recession of the equinoxes was in itself traumatic although the other circumstances did not go unnoticed and ought to have inspired great fear. The long-term effects must have been very impressive too. If a large foreign body enters the sphere of influence of the earth, without colliding with it, this may elicit increased seismic activity. A large volcanic discharge in the decade after 594, caused by the simultaneous eruption of a number of large volcanoes, may have interfered with the global weather patterns, which could have provoked crop failures, which in turn could have caused political upheaval and migratory movements of people in search of means of subsistence.

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Published by: Hubert Luns on Jul 21, 2011
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09/03/2014

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- 1 -
The Sun Miracle
(index)
 
01 Let the shadow go ten steps backwards 02 – The fractal principle 03 The meaning of the calendars of Israel 04 – Worlds in collision 05 A new liturgical calendar 06 Adaptations in the Holy Scripture 07 The takkanot: from Johanan to Juddua 08 – The Samaritan opposition 09 A new critical edition of the Samaritan Torah 10 – The Assyrian troubles 11 Hezekiah sick and near death 12 – God’s judgement 13 God listens to prayer 14 Manasse, the greatest sinner ever 15 What happened in Josia’s 18
th
 year? 16 God tests the heart 17 Israel has forsaken its missionary duty 18 – The last scene  Notes: 1)
 
Why king David should not have taken a census 2)
 
The new year – days that are subject to rabbinical discussion 3)
 
The adoption of the lunar-solar cycle 4)
 
When Alexander was approaching Jerusalem 5)
 
a. A new Babylonian chronology  b. The Pekah problem 6)
 
The army of Sennacherib consisted of different troops in one campaign 7)
 
The catastrophy that changed the course of history 8)
 
a. Blessed are You, King of the Universe, because You have not made me a goy ( ¶ Pharisee meant something different in earlier times)  b. The world was created for the sake of Abraham and his teachings 9) Was the treasurer of Acts 8:26-33 a castrate?
 photo: Anoop Anand A.
 
 
- 2 -
The Sun Miracle
The miracle of the Ahaz Sundial during the 14
th
 year of King Hezekiah and the frightful-fearful days during King Josia’s 18
th
 year.
 It is typical that New Year’s Day on the 1st day of Tishrei is also known as the Day of  Judgement. The 1
st 
 and 10
th
 days of the month of Tishrei developed into official days of con-version and also, in the course of time, became known in the synagogue as the Yamim No-ra’im, the frightful-fearful days with, in between, an intermezzo of peace. This we can read in the Jewish Encyclopaedia Judaica (1972-92). Why those days were so fearful is unknown.  Perhaps it will be clearer to the reader after studying this article. I do not claim to have had the last word on the question. It would be satisfying enough to know that I have been able to  give some impulse to the discussion.  Most theologians do not realise what happened to Israel’s calendar of feasts after the return  from Babylon. The reason is simple. Nobody knows how to place the liturgical changes that took place in the post-Exile period. Anything that does not fit into the scheme of things  passes unobserved. To take but one example: What was David’s greatest sin not counting that committed with Bathsheba? I am seldom given the right answer. The correct answer is: he held a census. There’s a puzzle for you! (1) That was the greatest blunder of his regime. Following this action, which he undertook much to the displeasure of his ministers, excep-tional punishment was meted out to the land by the ‘angel of death’, as we can read in 2  Samuel 24.
 
1 – Let the shadow go ten steps backwards
King Ahaz, Hezekiah’s father, had a sundial built that was sensational for his time, now almost three thousand years ago. The Wycliffe Bible Dictionary states that the Sundial of Ahaz consisted possibly of twin flights of stone stairs, leading to the roof of the royal  palace, one facing east and the other west, with a low wall bordering each flight. The de- pendable Septuagint, which is the oldest Bible translation from Hebrew into Greek and dates from the third to the second century BC, favours this interpretation by its use of the word (ana)bathmous, meaning steps. As the morning sun rose higher, the shadow traveled down the east stairs of the Sundial of Ahaz; in the afternoon the shadow ascended the west stairs. Each step indicated a certain time thanks to the shadow. The wonderful sundial  played an important part in one of the most spectacular miracles in the Old Testament, even more spectacular than the retreat of the waters when the people of Israel, fleeing from the Egyptians, crossed the bed of the Red Sea. At the place they crossed the sea was more than 240 metres deep! (See my article
“The Exodus Case – 3” 
). A comparable miracle is of course when the sun and moon stood still during Joshua’s battle against the Amorites, as described in Joshua 10:12-14. It so happened that during a critical phase in Israel’s history King Hezekiah was on his deathbed. When the prophet Isaiah announced that he would be cured within three days, the king asked for a sign that this really would happen. Listen to what the Bible has to relate: «« In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amos, went to him and said to him: “
Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for  you shall die, and not live.”
 Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord:
“Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before you in truth and
 
- 3 -
with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in your sight.”
 And Hezekiah wept  bitterly. And it happened before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him:
“Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of my people: Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have  seen your tears, surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake, and for the  sake of my servant David.”
 Then Isaiah said:
“Take a lump of figs.”
 So they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. And Hezekiah said to Isaiah:
“What is the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord the third day?”
 Then Isaiah answered:
“This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing which He has spoken: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps or go backward ten steps?”
And Hezekiah said:
“It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten steps. No, but let the shadow go backward ten steps.”
 So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord. And He brought the shadow ten steps backward, by which it had gone down on the steps of the Ahaz Sundial. (2 Kings 20:1-11) »»
 
2 - The fractal principle
 
My discoveries are the result of searches undertaken from different angles. The article may at first sight give an impression of disorder. But it is only thanks to a combined approach that the meaning of the miracle of the Sundial of Ahaz can be elucidated. It is like a jigsaw  puzzle whose separate pieces resemble nothing but, when put together, give an image. My investigations started with an analysis of Israel’s cycle of feasts or religious calendar. I was  particularly interested in it because of the prophetic interpretation in which I assumed the fractal principle. ‘Fractal’ means that a large cycle contains a smaller with the same form, and the smaller one contains one yet smaller and identical, a phenomenon that occurs fre-quently in the natural world. The small cycle is therefore model for larger cycles. The prin-ciple was discovered by the mathematician Mandelbroot. Thus the week cycle is the model for the seven eons or days of creation and the cycle of feasts is the model for God’s plan of creation or re-creation. While studying this I was confronted with the problem that the 8-day period between the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur matches the symbolic inter- pretation of the Feast of Tabernacles. However Tabernacles does not occur until ‘after’ Yom Kippur. I do not intend to give a wide-ranging explanation of the fractal principle here, but merely indicate it to show how I arrived at a solution to the Sun Miracle. The puz-zle was: “Why did God allow the sun to regress? Surely not simply to prove that Hezekiah would be cured within three days? Surely he could have simply waited for three days?”
3 – The meaning of the calendars of Israel
Israel’s liturgical calendar is based on the cycle of harvests, with a symbolic meaning attached to each occurrence. It is not only a cycle of joy but also one of sorrow! Moses says (Deut. 30:19):
“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life!”
 (See my article
“Calendar of Joy or Mourning” 
). It is therefore useful to know some-thing about Israel’s religious calendar. The harvest season covers seven months, with festivities from Nissan 15
th
 to Tishrei 22
nd
. From Nissan 15
th
 to 22
nd
 is the Pesach feast (Passover), which celebrates the deliverance from the oppression of Egypt and the birth of Israel as a people. On the 2
nd
 day of Pesach newly harvested barley is offered. Different kind of harvests will continue during the harvest season until vintage at Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles) celebrated from 15
th
 to 22
nd
 Tishrei, which falls in the seventh month, the sabbatical month of the year. This brings the harvest cycle to an end and a number of harvest-free months follow before the new cycle starts again.

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