How did the sun’s shadow go back? (Isaiah 38:7–8)

4 And the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days15 years. 6 I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city.” ’ 7 And this is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing which He has spoken: 8 Behold, I will bring the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, 10 degrees backward.” So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down.

Clarify Share Report Asked August 20 2019 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Of course, one possibility for the believer is that it is just something that God miraculously made to happen (as He had earlier in the case of Joshua (Joshua 10:12-14)) through the suspension of "natural" laws -- which He was the creator of in any event -- involving actions that human science might flatly regard as "impossible", and with none of the adverse effects that science also might expect to "inescapably" result.

An alternative explanation that I have come across that does not involve large-scale astronomical phenomena, and that seeks to blend the Biblical account with other possible events (including events recorded elsewhere in Scripture) is that the movement of shadow that was observed by Hezekiah in response to his request was not the product of the sun's action, but resulted from God's direct involvement through the display of His Shekhinah glory from the temple (similar to what occurred at the temple's dedication (2 Chronicles 7)), which locally superseded the sun's light, and created a shadow that acted in the manner that Hezekiah had specified.

August 20 2019 1 response Vote Up Share Report

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