Ancient Sun Dial

Shadow of Time Revealed on a Sun Dial

This ancient sun dial reveals the hours in a day. It has a surface with hour lines and a stick or gnomon which casts a shadow as the sun advances in its daily course.

The sun dial is mentioned in the Bible as far back as the time of King Ahaz. Herodotus mentions that the sun dial was in use before his time in Babylonia. 

"And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day? And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees? And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees. And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz." 
- 2 Kings 20:8-11     

"Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city. And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down. The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness" 
- Isaiah 38:4-9     

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." 
- Ephesians 5:15-17     

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." 
- Galatians 4:4-5     

"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, `For we also are His children." 
- Acts 17:24-28    

Heart Message 

The Sun Dial

From sunrise to sunset, the shadow of the sun, slowly crosses the face of the sundial, and the mystery of time is placed on display. Time is something we take for granted. Try to define time, and you will immediately run into great paradoxes and mysteries.

Here's 'Webster's definition: "a nonspatial continuum that is measured in terms of events which succeed one another from past through present to future."

What is time? Does it actually exist? Is there an actual real time, that we are trying to measure or is time a human invention to describe the passing of events? Is it simply a function of memory? Some believe there is only an 'eternal now', and time is an illusion. But time stands or falls with space and motion. If there is no time, motion and place must be illusion as well. Try measuring speed (motion) without time. Try to think of traveling from one place to the other, without the notion of time. "I was there, I am here, I will be there." And it took so much time to make the trip. New Age Adherents still use past, present and future tenses in language. They live and describe their lives in terms of past, present and future. Yes, time, space and matter exist, despite attempts to dismiss them as illusion. 

Is time finite, or eternal? Did it always exist, or did it have a beginning? If it is finite, then it had a beginning. But then one must ask what happened before time? If time is eternal, meaning it always was and always will be, then we could never have arrived in the present moment since an eternal amount of moments could never come to pass. 

Is the universe eternal? Can an eternal amount of events ever come to pass? Try imagining a chain hanging in air, each link holding up the one before it. Doesn't there need to be an original link hooked to a nail? As each event in the universe causes the next succeeding event to take place, there must be an original event that began the chain.

Let's put it another way. Every effect in time, was caused by the event before it. Picture a long string of dominoes, each one being pushed over by the one before it. There is always the first domino. Likewise there cannot be an eternal regress of causes and effects, for an eternal amount of events could never come to pass. Therefore there has to be a First Cause to all the effects of the universe. No matter how many dominoes you count, or examine in the Universe, at some point you still must get to the First Cause, that my friends is God. He is the Uncaused Cause of all Causation. And He wants you to know that whatever portion of creation you examine, it will all point back to Him. And thankfully, He is good, and He loves you.

Let's note some other features of our universe. The universe is expanding. If you were to run a movie of the universe expanding, and then reverse it, you would see all matter coming back together to an original point.

The universe is cooling, meaning that the available amount of energy giving light and heat to the universe is running down. No new energy is being created. These are two laws of thermodynamics. The universe could not have been cooling down for eternity, or it would have completely burnt itself out by now.

What does all of this mean? It means time and all of creation had a beginning. They call it "The Big Bang"; the moment when all mass and energy were created and began expanding. But what was the Cause of the Big Bang? If they do find a cause one day, one must certainly ask, "Then what caused that?" In fact, you can ask, "What caused that?" to every event in the Universe. But you must one day come to the original event, for an eternal amount of events would never even reach the event that you stand in today.

Then what caused God? Many atheists think they have arrived at the death blow question with this. But my friends, we have only two choices: either an eternal Universe or an eternal God. Which seems more logical?

We have already seen that the Universe is expanding, running out of energy and began at the Big Bang. Not only that, but the universe is full of transcendent things, like love, good, evil, beauty and justice. All of which would not exist, if the Universe were simply a random collection of molecules eternally bouncing around. The Universe doesn't seem to be random at all, instead it seems to show great design. No atheistic nature show can tell the story of any creature without using the word design. Nature designs, nature in it's wisdom provided. But what is nature? It is nothing. But they won't say, "nothing created, nothing in it's wisdom provided." Nature is a substitute for the word God.

Either Mind made matter, or matter made Mind.

The time displayed on a simple ancient sundial, points to the Creator of time, space and matter. If we live to be 70 years old, the shadow on the sundial would cross the its face 25,550 times by the time of our death. Let's honor our Creator by giving Him the glory for the gift of time. It is a precious gift, from The Precious Gift Giver. 

Psalm 19
The heavens declare the glory of God; 
the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 
Day after day they pour forth speech; 
night after night they display knowledge. 
There is no speech or language 
where their voice is not heard. 
Their voice goes out into all the earth, 
their words to the ends of the world.

 

Relevant Bible Verses The Bible mentions time and the "hour" many times:

Daniel 4:19 - Then Daniel, whose name [was] Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream [be] to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.

Revelation 3:3 - Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Daniel 3:15 - Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; [well]: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who [is] that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

Luke 10:21 - In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

John 5:25 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

Revelation 18:19 - And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

John 4:23 - But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

John 13:1 - Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Daniel 5:5 - In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.

Revelation 18:10 - Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Mark 13:11 - But when they shall lead [you], and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 10:19 - But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

Revelation 11:13 - And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Mark 15:34 - And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Acts 23:23 - And he called unto [him] two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night;

Matthew 9:22 - But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Mark 14:37 - And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?

Daniel 4:33 - The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' [feathers], and his nails like birds' [claws].

John 19:27 - Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own [home].

John 17:1 - These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

Revelation 17:12 - And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

Matthew 20:6 - And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

Luke 12:39 - And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

Revelation 14:7 - Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Matthew 15:28 - Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great [is] thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Matthew 26:45 - Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take [your] rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Matthew 26:55 - In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.

Luke 20:19 - And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.

 

 

Ancient Sketches Logo

Reconstructions & Sketches of the Ancient World 

New Illustrated Bible History A growing database of images and sketches of the ancient world.

Paintings and Sketches by Bjanikka Ben, Galina Nelson, Maliyah Weston and more

Ancient Customs

Ancient Patriarch's Clothing in the Time of Abraham 

The Name Jesus in Ancient Hebrew Script

The Watchtower in the Vineyard

Ancient Seals or Signets

Bronze Mirrors

Dining in Ancient Rome

Ancient Sun Dial

Ancient Lattice Windows

Ancient Cuneiform Writing

Ancient Harp from Ur

Jewish Captives Playing the Lyre

Ancient Beards and Styles

Ancient Wine Press

Ancient Altars

Tax Collector

Ancient Israelite House

First Century Israelite Houses

Wealthy Israelite House

Ancient Sheep Fold

Ancient Ox Carts

Ancient Women Traveling

Ancient Waterpot

Egyptian Procession Carrying an Ark

Jesus Reading Isaiah Scroll

Ancient Torah Scroll

Man Carrying Lamb

Man Threshing Wheat

Woman with Two Oxen and a Plough

Making Olive Oil

Ancient Banquet

Ancient Potter

Ancient Sandals

Farmer with Oxen and Cart

Farmer Ploughing

Ancient Merchant

Ancient Wells

Ancient Chairs

Ancient Clothing

Ancient Symbols

The Egyptian Staff of Inheritance

Crown of Thorns

The Ancient Obelisk

The god Asshur of Ancient Assyria

Ancient Diadems

Ancient Crowns

Ancient Phylacteries

Ancient Fringes or Tassels

Ancient Rulers

Shishak of Egypt Mentions Judah

Sennacherib King of Assyria

Tiberius Caesar

Assurnasirpal II of Assyria

Jewish Religious Leader

Roman Procurator

Tomb of Darius I Carved into Cliff

Head of Alexander the Great 

Antiochus IV Epiphanes 

Nebuchadnezzar Cameo

Nebuchadnezzar Inscription

Ramesses I

Vespasian Coin

Augustus Wearing Civic Crown

Assurnasirpal II Offering Libation

Vespasian Statue

Ancient Hittite King

Cyrus the Great Relief

Sargon II and Commander

Ashurnasirpal Statue

Sargon and Sacred Tree

Colossal Statue of Rameses II at Abu-Simbel

Ancient Persian King

The Sanhedrin

Ancient Buildings, Walls, Towers and Gates 

Phasael Tower

Herod's Theater

Hippicus Tower

Monument of King Alexander Jannaeus 

The Pool of Bethesda

Tomb of David

Tomb of Absalom

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Pool of Siloam

Damascus Gate

Capernaum Synagogue

Ancient Tracks Between Walls

Pharos Lighthouse of Alexandria

Colosseum Coin

Color Drawing of the Colosseum Coin

Ancient Persian Column Capital

Ancient Wall Stone Styles

First Century Jerusalem Synagogue Stone

Ancient Walled City

The Ancient Buildings at Persepolis

Ancient Synagogue

Acropolis at Athens

The Parthenon

The Wailing Wall

Ancient Palaces, Halls, Stairways, and Gateways

Palace of Darius the Great

Hasmonean Palace

Herod the Great's Fortified Palace

Palace of Minos at Knossos

Palace of Caiaphas

Gateway to Sargon's Palace

Nebuchadnezzar's Palace Gateway

Babylon Hall of Lions

Gateway of Xerxes

Hall of a Hundred Columns Relief Persepolis

Great Hall of Seti I

The Great Stairway at Persepolis

Balawat Gates

Palace of Tiglath Pileser at Nineveh

Bronze Gates of Balawat

The Propylaea of Athens

Gateway to Khorsabad

Columns From the Hall of Xerxes

Bull's Head Capital from Susa

Palace of Darius and Susa Ruins

Colonnades From the Hall of Xerxes

Ancient Music

Ancient Cymbals

Ancient Harp

Ancient Horns

Ancient Drums

Ancient Dulcimer or Bagpipe

Ancient Flutes or Pipes

Ancient Handbell

Ancient Harps

Ancient Lutes

Ancient Trumpets

Ancient Sistrum or Rattle

Ancient Tambourines

Ancient Triangle Instrument

Ancient Dancing

Ancient Music Playing

Ancient Cities and Nations

Plan of the Site of Nineveh

Sketch of Ancient Lachish

Sketch of Nebuchadnezzar's City of Babylon

Plan of Abdon Reconstruction. Khirbet Adben

Ancient Thessalonica

Ancient Italy

Ancient Mound

Ancient Walled City

Ancient Greece

Persepolis Ruins

Nineveh

Israel's Topography

Ancient Bethlehem

Jerusalem at the Time of Jesus

Coin of Ephesus

Ancient Joppa

Ancient Tyre

Ancient Athens

Ancient Caesarea

Ancient Cana

Ancient Gebal

Ancient Malta

Ancient Moab

Ancient Sidon

Ancient Antioch

Ancient Capernaum

Ancient Miletus

Ancient Siloam

Ancient Smyrna

Ancient Tarsus

Ancient Thyatira

Ancient Troas

Tyre and Sidon

Bethlehem Ephratah

Ancient Colossae

Ancient Damascus

Ancient Ephesus

Ancient Gaza

Ancient Gods and Goddesses

Dagon the Fish-God of the Philistines

The god Asshur of Ancient Assyria

Apis the Sacred Bull of Egypt

Assyrian God Nisroch

Jupiter the Chief God of Rome

Juno the Roman Savior of Women

Mars the Roman God of War

Egyptian Goddess

Nebo, God of Babylon

Ancient Statue of Diana

Thank Offering to the Bird God

Persian King Killing a Monster

Marduk King of Babylon

Artemis in Her Temple

Altar to an Unknown God

Ancient Mummies, Sarcophagus, Tombs, and Ossuaries

Sarcophagus of Pharaoh Ai

First Century Jerusalem Ossuary

Ancient Phoenician Tomb

Rock Cut Tombs of Myra

Ancient Warfare

Assyrian Siege of Lachish Sketch 

Assyrian King Trods the Neck of His Enemy

Prisoners Under an Egyptian Kings Footstool

Egyptians Counting Enemy Hands

Ancient Spearman

Assyrian Slinger

Placing the Foot on the Captive

Roman Centurion

The Greek Phalanx

The Greek Soldier

The Greek Spearman

Ancient Sling

Ancient Helmets

Ancient Standards

Ancient Roman Army Standards

Persian Archers at Palace of Darius I

Assyrian War Chariot

Ancient Hittite Chariot

Judaea Defeat and Roman Eagle Coin

Ancient Hittite Soldiers from Carchemish

Cyrus Taking Babylon

Ancient Encampment

Ancient War Chariot

Judea Capta Coins

Roman Gladiators and Colosseum

Flavian Amphitheatre

Roman Colosseum Chariot

Gladiator Helmet

Bronze Gladiator Statue

Commodus Bust as Hercules

Gladiators Battle Wild Beasts

Gladiators Fighting Bears and Lions

Ancient Punishment

Assyrian Death Penalty 

Assyrians Blinding Their Prisoners 

Israelites Forced to Labor

Assyrian Fetters

The Roman Scourge

Hooks in their Lips

Ancient Asians and Philistines Chained

Assyrian King Blinding his Captives 

Binding Prisoners

Ancient Beheading

Crushing the Enemy

Cutting Idols in Pieces

Flaying Their Victims Alive

Chained Around the Neck

Captives Made Slaves of Egypt

Captive Being Skinned Alive

Ancient Torture

Seti I Crushing His Foes

Ancient Slavery of Women

Assyrian Brutality

Ancient Ships

Philistine Ships

Phoenician Ships

Pompeii Illustration Rolling Up a Sail

Paul's Ship to Malta

Greek Ship

Ancient Assyria

Royal Assyrian Chariot

Assyrian Stone Altar

Winged Bull Size

King Hunting Lions

Sennacherib Leading His Army

Sennacherib On His Throne

Assyrian Winged Genius

Army of Sennacherib Attacking a City

Ancient Assyria Discovery

Discovery of the Gigantic Head

Royal Lion Hunt

Bavian Cliff Relief

Winged Bull Guardians

The Black Obelisk

Ancient People and Animals

Ancient Greeks

Bust of an Ancient Woman

A Donkey

Canaanite Sphinx from Megiddo

Traveler with Packed Camel

Ancient Peoples

Ancient Phoenician

The Antichrist

Ancient Ziggurat's, Pyramids, and Temples

Reconstruction Sketch of the Ziggurat at Ur

Reconstruction Sketch of the Temple of Marduk, Babylon

Reconstruction of the Sumerian Oval Temple at Khafaje

Mayan Acropolis at Copan

Karnak - Temple of Amun

Luxor - Amun Cult Center near Karnak

Jerusalem Temple

Solomon's Temple Court

Solomon's Bronze Laver

Ancient Temple of Diana Coin

Pinnacle of the Temple

Greek Temple Ruins - Aphrodisias in Turkey

Second Temple Column Capital

The Pyramids of Giza

Herod's Temple

Solomon's Temple

Ancient Seas, Rivers, Mountains, Hills, and Valleys

The Ancient Nile River

Jerusalem's Hills

Jerusalem's Valleys

Mount Moriah

Ancient Sea of Galilee

The Island of Patmos

The Valley of Jezreel

Gethsemane

Illustrated Ancient Daily Life

Ancient Aqueducts

Ancient Fig Trees

Ancient Fishermen

Ancient Flat Roofs

Ancient Men's Hair

Ancient Lamps

Ancient Men's Head Covering

Ancient Mezuzah in Doorway

Ancient Oil Vases

Ancient Olive Press

Ancient Olive Trees

Ancient Roads

Ancient Windows

Ancient Women's Head Covering

(More to come)

New Bible Maps A growing database of maps for study and teaching.

Ancient Sketches

Bible History Online

The Story of the Bible


© Bible History Online (http://www.bible-history.com)

Related Content