10:13 their enemies. The Amorite horde, though decimated, could still have escaped down the mountains, particularly as the day wore on into night. But God had commanded their complete destruction. Thus the long day enabled the Israelites to finish the job. These people (whose iniquity was “not yet full” in Abraham’s time) were now irreclaimably evil, and God miraculously aided in their elimination.
10:13 book of Jasher. The original book of Jasher, to which Joshua could appeal for corroboration of this amazing miracle, has been lost. There still exists a book of the same name, purporting to be a copy of the original, but this copy was probably written much later than the original. The other Biblical mention of the book of Jasher is in reference to the lament of David over the death of Saul and Jonathan (II Samuel 1:18). Therefore, the original book of Jasher must have been compiled sometime after the time of David. This reference in Joshua was most likely inserted by a scribe of this later period. In any case, the great miracle was clearly known and believed in these ancient times.
10:13 sun stood still. One trivial objection to the long day account is that the writer made a scientific mistake when he said that the sun stood still. The sun does not move, it is argued, so Joshua should have told the earth to stand still. The sun does move, however, and so does every star, planet and satellite in the universe, so far as known. Scientifically, every motion must therefore actually be expressed as relative motion, using some arbitrarily assumed reference point of zero motion. The latter is normally chosen for maximum convenience and simplicity of calculations. As far as relative motion of the sun and the earth is concerned, the optimum method normally is to define the point of the observer as the point of zero motion. Thus the most scientific approach is (as in the Bible) to assume that the sun moves relative to the earth.