At that time Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,
“Sun, stand still at Gibeon,
and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
13And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. 14There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD heeded the voice of a man, for the LORD fought for Israel.
When it comes to typology, the character of Joshua emerges as one of the most pronounced figures of the Messiah in all of Scripture. Not only does Joshua share the very same Hebrew name as the Lord Jesus (Yeshua), but he is the commander of the armies of Israel who is commissioned by God to conquer His enemies and lead His people into the land of promise.
Joshua deserves several separate posts in and of himself, but today I want to focus on just one of his exploits that directly provides one of the clearest foreshadowings of the day of the LORD and the return of Jesus Christ.
I am speaking of the day the sun stood still — Joshua’s long day.
An Evil Alliance of Kings
Then the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it.Joshua 10:5
Upon entering the Promise Land, Joshua and the Israelites had been tricked into making a covenant with the Gibeonites, which placed them on terms of peace. It wasn’t long before the wicked kings of the Amorites made an alliance and declared war against Gibeon, forcing Joshua to honor his commitment and to come deliver Gibeon out of their hands.
I find it fascinating that the leader of this evil alliance was Adoni-zedek — King of Jerusalem. When we consider that the final end-times Beast also will form a Middle-Eastern alliance of 10 kings and lead a brutal campaign against Jews and Christians (Revelation 13:1-10, 17:12-14), the typology cannot be denied. Furthermore, the final Antichrist will invade Jerusalem and will set up his throne in the Temple, declaring himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Matthew 24:15). In this final act of defiance, the Beast will claim to be the king of Jerusalem.
Joshua’S Surprise Attack
So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. 8And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.” 9So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gilgal.Joshua 10:7-9
The next distinct similarity is found in Joshua’s surprise attack. By marching all night up into the mountains, the army of Israel caught the Amorites off guard, as they weren’t expecting such a sudden response. You could say that Joshua slipped up on the Amorite kings like a thief in the night. The element of surprise, of course, is one of the primary characteristics of the Day of the LORD.
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.Matthew 24:42-44
Unfortunately, many have misinterpreted the “sudden” coming of Jesus like a thief in the night to mean that no one can know when the return of the LORD is near. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The Scriptures are clear that the sudden destruction of the Lord’s return will come upon the ungodly and wicked, who remain blinded in spiritual darkness. Those who belong to Christ, however, are children of light and will not be surprised at His coming but rather will be fully aware of the signs preceding His return (see Matthew 24:32-35).
For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.1 Thessaloninas 5:2-5
The Signs in the Sun and the Moon
And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. 14There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD heeded the voice of a man, for the LORD fought for Israel.Joshua 10:13-14
One of the most distinct signs of the Day of the LORD and the return of Jesus will involve celestial anomalies in the sun and moon. There is no mistake that exceptional cosmic activity accompanied Joshua’s campaign against the Amorites. This has become known as the long day of Joshua. The extra daylight distinctly allowed Israel to route its enemies, making a full end of their armies.
For a fascinating theory on the celestial mechanics of Joshua’s long day, I highly recommend Chuck Missler’s presentation. You can access his teaching here.
And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.Joel 2:30-31
Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. 10For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.Isaiah 13:9-10
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,Revelation 6:12
The Outpouring of God’s Wrath
And the LORD threw them into a panic before Israel, who struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11And as they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of Beth-horon, the LORD threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword.Joshua 10:10-11
Once again, many fail to understand what God’s word means when it says that His people are not destined to suffer His wrath. In no form, shape, or fashion will believers in Christ Jesus experience the wrath of God, but that does not mean that God’s people must be removed from the earth during God’s judgments. This episode of Joshua’s long day is a perfect example.
Joshua and the army of Israel attacked the kings of the Amorites in battle, but it was the LORD Himself who did the most damage by directly casting large hailstones upon the enemy armies, while at the same time protecting Israel from His wrath. God is quite capable of directly targeting the wicked and ungodly in wrath, while at the same time removing, sheltering, and preserving His own.
How else can one explain the precision of these massive hail stones that were cast from heaven on Israel’s enemies? Surely both armies were fighting hand-to-hand and in close proximity to each other, and yet only the Amorites were crushed by the stones.
Severe hail is another primary sign of the coming Day of the LORD, and just like the long-day of Joshua, the LORD will shelter His people from His wrath while directly targeting the Beast and his armies.
But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, my wrath will be roused in my anger. 19For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. 21I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord GOD. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. 23So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.Ezekiel 38:18-23
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. 19The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. 21And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.Revelation 16:17-21
Hide us from the Wrath of the Lamb
“These five kings fled and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah. 17And it was told to Joshua, “The five kings have been found, hidden in the cave at Makkedah … And when they brought those kings out to Joshua, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, “Come near; put your feet on the necks of these kings.” Then they came near and put their feet on their necks. 25And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”[Joshua 10:16-17, 24-25]
Finally, we see the fate of these evil Amorite kings once confronted with the wrath of God Almighty. Not only did they hide themselves in the caves to try and escape the wrath of God, but by placing his feet on their necks, Joshua was symbolically putting the seed war on display.
As we know, the very first prophetic passage in Scripture is Genesis 3:15, where the LORD promises a coming Savior who ultimately will crush the head of the Serpent and tread His enemies under the winepress of His wrath.
We see this identical language once again in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
“Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”[Revelation 6:15-17]
From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.Revelation 19:15-16
What an amazing foreshadowing of the coming Day of the LORD! May we not be surprised like those in darkness, but as we begin to see all these things take place, may we lift up our heads for our redemption is near!