I was reading my Bible this morning in Joshua, I noticed the word “darkness” in Joshua 24:8. I looked it up in Strong’s and in the Hebrew, it is called “maaphel”. In your opinion, is this literal darkness or something else? Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance says “something opaque”. http://biblehub.com/hebrew/3990.htm Joshua 24:7 NIV But they cried to the Lord for help, and he put darkness between you and the Egyptians; he brought the sea over them and covered them. You saw with your own eyes what I did to the Egyptians. Then you lived in the desert for a long time.
I am not a student of Hebrew. I cannot improve on Strong’s concordance. All I can really do is try to apply a common-sense reading and interpretation of Joshua 24:8. All the other things in the description were literal things God did. The Jews literally came to a literal sea. They literally lived in a desert for a long time. God brought literal, physical afflictions on the Egyptians. So, in my opinion, the natural interpretation is that God created a phenomenon so that the Egyptians could not see Israel. Whether it was actual darkness or something else that obscured their vision of Israel as they crossed the Red Sea, I do not think that is important. Something opaque could be a miraculous fog or it could be a miraculous darkness. I do not think it really matters to us which. and there is no way to ask eye-witnesses to the event. Here is the bottom line: God performed mighty miraculous deeds of a physical nature to rescue his people from bondage in Egypt. The spiritual application is clear. God will also free us from spiritual slavery when we pass through the waters of baptism. I suppose we could add that God will help to prevent Satan (symbolized by Pharaoh and his armies) from preventing us from leaving our enslaved life of sin.