Puritan Board Senior
So here's a little twist on the matter... The well-respected OT exegetes Keil and Delitzsch (Lutheran) propose that Joshua 10:12-14 likely comprise a poetical expression. Importantly, this does not materially affect the factuality of the miracle described, yet such a genre does pose some interesting questions about how the phraseology of the passage might be understood as phenomenological.
In addition to this passage, the "book of the righteous (Jasher)" is also mentioned in 2 Samuel 1:18, as a work in which was to be found David's elegy upon Saul and Jonathan. From this fact it has been justly inferred, that the book was a collection of odes in praise of certain heroes of the theocracy, with historical notices of their achievements interwoven, and that the collection was formed by degrees; so that the reference to this work is neither a proof that the passage has been interpolated by a later hand, nor that the work was composed at a very late period.
That the passage quoted from this work is extracted from a song is evident enough, both from the poetical form of the composition, and also from the parallelism of the sentences. The quotation, however, does not begin with ויּאמר (and he said) in Joshua 10:12, but with תּת בּיום (in the day when the Lord delivered) in Joshua 10:12, and Joshua 10:13 and Joshua 10:14 also form part of it; so that the title of the book from which the quotation is taken is inserted in the middle of the quotation itself. In other cases, unquestionably, such formulas of quotation are placed either at the beginning (as in Numbers 21:14, Numbers 21:27; 2 Samuel 1:18), or else at the close of the account, which is frequently the case in the books of Kings and Chronicles; but it by no means follows that there were no exceptions to this rule, especially as the reason for mentioning the original sources is a totally different one in the books of Kings, where the works cited are not the simple vouchers for the facts related, but works containing fuller and more elaborate accounts of events which have only been cursorily described.
The poetical form of the passage in Joshua 10:13 also leaves no doubt whatever that Joshua 10:13 and Joshua 10:14 contain the words of the old poet, and are not a prose comment made by the historian upon the poetical passage quoted. The only purely historical statement in Joshua 10:15; and this is repeated in Joshua 10:43, at the close of the account of the wars and the victory. But this literal repetition of Joshua 10:15 in Joshua 10:43, and the fact that the statement, that Joshua returned with all the people to the camp at Gilgal, anticipates the historical course of the events in a very remarkable manner, render it highly probable, it not absolutely certain, that Joshua 10:15 was also taken from the book of the righteous.
In the day when Jehovah delivered up the Amorites to the children of Israel ("before," as in Deuteronomy 2:31, Deuteronomy 2:33, etc.), Joshua said before the eyes (i.e., in the presence) of Israel, so that the Israelites were witnesses of his words (vid., Deuteronomy 31:7): "Sun, stand still (wait) at Gibeon; and, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon." דּמם, to be silent, to keep one's self quiet or still, to wait (1 Samuel 14:9). The address to the sun and moon implies that they both of them stood, or were visible in the heavens at the time; and inasmuch as it was spoken to the Lord, involves a prayer that the Lord and Creator of the world would not suffer the sun and moon to set till Israel had taken vengeance upon its foes. This explanation of the prayer is only to be found, it is true, in the statement that the sun and moon stood still at Joshua's word; but we must imagine it as included in the prayer itself. גּוי without an article, when used to denote the people of Israel, is to be regarded as a poetical expression. In the sequel (Joshua 10:13) the sun only is spoken of: "and the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day."
The poetical word אוּץ, to press or hurry, is founded upon the idea that the sun runs its course like a strong man, with vigour, and without weariness or cessation (Psalm 19:6-7). It follows from this, that Joshua merely prayed for the day to be lengthened, i.e., for the setting of the sun to be delayed; and that he included the moon (Joshua 10:12), simply because it was visible at the time.