A captivating photo capturing the sun's radiant glow behind a cross, symbolizing the Bible's message of divine light and spiritual significance associated with the sun.

What Does The Bible Say About The Sun?

The sun is one of the most important parts of God’s creation. It gives light and warmth to the earth, enabling life to thrive. But what does the Bible specifically say about the sun? This comprehensive article will examine key passages about the sun throughout Scripture.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Bible portrays the sun as one of God’s miraculous creations, a sign of His power and beneficence. Multiple verses describe how the sun marks day and night, seasons, and years.

The sun witnessed key events in biblical history and is used metaphorically to represent the glory, purity, and justice of God.

The Creation of the Sun

The sun as part of God’s creation

The Bible teaches that God created the sun on the fourth day to govern the day and give light to the earth (Genesis 1:14-19). As part of God’s ingenious design for life, the sun provides essential warmth and energy.

Its size, heat, and distance from Earth are fine-tuned to sustain liquid water and an atmosphere on our planet. Without the stabilizing effect of the sun’s gravitational pull, Earth’s orbit could not support life.

Truly, the intentional crafting of the sun shows God’s loving provision for His creation.

The purpose of the sun

In addition to giving light and warmth, the Bible indicates several key purposes for the sun. Ecclesiastes describes how the sun helps mark signs, seasons, days, and years (Ecclesiastes 1:5). This astronomical clockwork guides the migration of animals, hibernation patterns, and even human activities.

Malachi 4:2 poetically portrays the sun as a representation of the coming Christ, who will bring healing in his wings. Just as the sun rises with predictable regularity, the Bible promises that Jesus will come again.

Throughout Scripture, then, the sun symbolizes God’s faithful nature and His desire to nourish life.

The Sun in Old Testament History

The sun stopping for Joshua

The book of Joshua in the Old Testament describes an amazing event where the sun stood still for nearly an entire day during a crucial battle. As Joshua led the Israelites to conquer Canaan, they engaged in battle against the Amorites.

Joshua needed more daylight to secure victory, so he asked God to make the sun stand still in the sky. God miraculously stopped the sun in the middle of the sky and delayed its setting for almost 24 hours (Joshua 10:12-14). This gave Joshua the extra time he needed to defeat the Amorites decisively.

This astounding miracle demonstrated God’s power over His creation to intervene supernaturally on behalf of His people. It was a pivotal moment in Israel’s conquest of Canaan. The extended daylight allowed Joshua to rout the enemy completely.

God’s willingness to alter the sun’s course reveals His sovereignty over the physical universe. It was a dramatic reminder that nothing is impossible with God. He can override the natural laws He made to accomplish His purposes.

For the Israelites, it powerfully confirmed God’s commitment to fulfill His promises to them.

The sun’s shadow moving backward for Hezekiah

In 2 Kings 20, King Hezekiah was gravely ill and near death. The prophet Isaiah informed him he would not recover from his sickness. Hezekiah prayed earnestly, and God heard his plea and promised to heal him and add 15 years to his life.

As a sign to confirm this promise, God offered to move the sun’s shadow backwards 10 steps on the sundial of Ahaz. This incredible miracle displayed God’s authority over time and space. He literally reversed the clock as evidence that He alone controls the length of human life.

This incident illustrates God’s compassion and mercy for those who seek Him sincerely. Despite Hezekiah’s impending doom, God graciously offered him hope and healing in response to his anguished prayer. God is never limited in His ability to intervene in seemingly hopeless situations.

Hezekiah’s life was spared as a testimony to God’s goodness and power. In changing the position of the sun’s shadow, God vividly portrayed His dominion over the physical world and the passage of time. It remains a profound example of His willingness to transcend natural law to show His unmatched might and unwavering love.

Metaphors and Comparisons Involving the Sun

The sun representing God’s glory

The Bible frequently uses the sun as a metaphor for the glory and splendor of God. Here are some examples:

  • In Psalm 84:11, the psalmist states that “the Lord God is a sun and shield.” This conveys that God is the source of light, warmth, and protection for His people.
  • Malachi 4:2 prophecies that “the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.” This refers to Jesus Christ rising like the sun to bring salvation, restoration, and healing.
  • In Matthew 17:2, Jesus’ face shone like the sun when He was transfigured before His disciples. His divine glory radiated brilliantly.
  • Revelation 1:16 states that the face of the glorified Christ “was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.” His unveiled glory will be too bright to look upon.

The sun illustrating righteousness and justice

The Bible also utilizes the sun to depict the characteristics of righteousness and justice.

  • In Psalm 37:6, the psalmist states that the righteous will be vindicated to shine “like the light of dawn, like the sun in all its brilliance.” This conveys that righteous living will ultimately result in a glorious outcome.
  • Psalm 89:36 states that David’s descendants will rule forever “as the sun before me.” The sun’s daily journey across the sky illustrates the perpetual establishment of God’s kingdom through David’s line.
  • In Psalm 19:4-6, the sun’s circuit from “one end of the heavens to the other” exemplifies how God’s judgments and laws illuminate the whole earth. The sun metaphor demonstrates the comprehensive scope of God’s righteous decrees.
  • Malachi 3:20 states that “the sun of righteousness will rise” with healing. This foretells Christ’s return to execute perfect justice and salvation at His Second Coming.

The Role of the Sun in God’s Order

Marking Day and Night

The Bible teaches that God created the sun on the fourth day to govern the day and the moon to govern the night (Genesis 1:14-19). The consistent rising and setting of the sun marks the passage of days, allowing us to tell time and establish calendars.

Without the sun, there would be no distinction between day and night.

As Psalm 74:16 states, “The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon.” The sun illuminates the sky during the day, while the moon and stars shine at night. This orderly system allows humans, animals, and plants to function on circadian rhythms attuned to the consistent rhythms of light and dark.

Indicating the Seasons and Years

In addition to marking days, the sun also determines the seasons, as Genesis 1:14 explains. As the earth orbits the sun on a tilted axis, the Northern and Southern Hemispheres receive more direct or indirect sunlight, creating winter, spring, summer and fall.

Without these seasonal changes, key processes like plant germination, flowering, fruit production, and animal hibernation would not occur.

The sun also enables the earth’s orbit around it to mark the passage of years. It takes 3651⁄4 days for the earth to orbit the sun. This establishes our annual calendar, giving us a consistent way to track years and seasons across centuries.

As Jeremiah 33:20 declares, “Thus says the LORD: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time…” We can trust the faithful rhythms established by the sun.

So in God’s wise design, He established the sun and moon to mark days, seasons, and years. This provides order and consistency for biological processes and time measurement for humanity. The sun illuminates the truth of Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made…”


In summary, the Bible contains rich imagery and theology related to the sun. As part of God’s creation, the sun carries out vital functions like giving light, marking time, and testifying to God’s power and brilliance. Specific episodes in Scripture feature the sun in miraculous events.

And the sun serves as a metaphor for God’s majesty, purity, and justice. This exploration of the sun throughout the Bible provides insight into God’s purposeful design of the cosmos for humanity’s benefit.

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