Friday, February 27, 2009

The Day the Earth Stood Still

One of the most impressive stories in the entire Bible is the tale of Joshua when he battled against the Phoenicians. The Bible says on this matter:

"It was then that Joshua proceeded to speak to Jehovah on the day of Jehovah’s abandoning the Amorites to the sons of Israel, and he went on to say before the eyes of Israel: 'Sun, be motionless over Gibeon, and, moon, over the low plain of Aijalon.' Accordingly the sun kept motionless, and the moon did stand still, until the nation could take vengeance on its enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun kept standing still in the middle of the heavens and did not hasten to set for about a whole day. And no day has proved to be like that one, either before it or after it, in that Jehovah listened to the voice of a man, for Jehovah himself was fighting for Israel."
-Joshua 10:12-14

If this is to be believed, the rotation of the earth was halted for "about a whole day". This seems impossible, doesn't it? The Bible doesn't think so. "Sun--moon--stood still, in the lofty abode thereof. Like light your own arrows kept going. The lightning of your spear served for brightness." (Habakkuk 3:11) Jehovah inspired the prophet Habakkuk to reiterate this fact, proving that it really happened.

When you think about it, too, Jesus did say that "with God, all things are possible" even this because "to [Jehovah] the day belongs, to [Jehovah] the night belongs. [Jehovah Him]self prepared the luminary, even the sun." (Matthew 19:26; Psalm 74:16) If Jehovah owns the day and the night and the sun, why can't he stop all of that from moving and still preserve life like a child can make a coin start spinning and then make it stop? No, it is not impossible.

Are their any extra-Biblical sources that verify this account though? Let us see.

What Does Science and History Say?

If Joshua had a long day then it would be logical to think that in other places around the world, there would be accounts of a long dusk, dawn, and night. Are there any records throughout the world that prove this?

Researcher David Nelson writes: "Chinese history speaks of Yao, their king, declaring that in his reign the sun stood so long above the horizon that it was feared the world would have been set on fire" and then he fixes the reign of Yao at a given date, which corresponds with the age of Joshua the son of Nun.[1]

Another Researcher, Harry Rimer, says, "In the ancient Chinese writings there is a legend of a long day. The Incas of Peru and the Aztecs of Mexico have a like record, and there is a Babylonian and a Persian legend of a day that was miraculously extended. Another section of China contributes an account of the day that was miraculously prolonged, in the reign of Emperor Yeo. Herodotus recounts that the priests of Egypt showed him their temple records, and that there he read a strange account of a day that was twice the natural length."[2]

One other researcher, Immanuel Velikovsky, wrote, "In the Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan--the history of the empire of Culhuacan and Mexico, written in Nahua-Indian in the sixteenth century--it is related that during a cosmic catastrophe that occurred in the remote past, the night did not end for a long time."[3] In a footnote, Velikovsky writes that the Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan were written more then 1000 years before the Common Era. Further, Velikovsky had a theory that at some time in the middle of the second millennium B.C., one of two things occurred. The earth was interrupted in its regular rotation by a comet, or the terrestrial axis was tilted in the presence of a strong magnetic field, so that for several hours the sun appeared to moving from the point-of-view of someone on earth.

Other theories as to the cause of Joshua's Long Day have been presenting, one popular one being that Jehovah God Himself stopped the rotation of the earth.

Unfortunately, we cannot know how Jehovah extended the day, but ancient history lends support to the Bible record.

Scientifically, too, evidence has been discovered that lends support to Velikovsky's theory that a comet, asteroid, or meteor stopped the turning of the earth. One expert, V.L. Westberg wrote in a review to a book on this subject, "I feel a more realistic theory is to examine the possibility of a huge meteor or asteroid plunging into the earth's mantle slowing it down about one revolution while the inner molten core continued to rotate and eventually pull the mantle back in speed. [The writer of the book] recounted how Newton demonstrated how the earth could be suddenly slowed down without appreciable shock to people."[4]

Some scientific findings lend support to this theory. There exist a large sink area between Hawaii and the Philippines with long fracture lines in the ocean bottom radiating outward to the continents. The effect of such a crash would be maximum at the equator on slowing the earth and would result in huge tidal waves which might help explain studies on California's sand deposits.

However, this is just one theory. I do not necessarily believe this theory or support it. Anything as to the cause of Joshua's Long Day is possible. However, this proves that science and history do lend support to the account at Joshua 10:12-14.

The Power of Jehovah Knows No Bounds

However Jehovah stopped the rotation of the earth, we know that it is indeed possible. Many people look at the miracles in the Bible and make themselves disbelieve them because they are too logic-minded.

"What is impossible with men is possible with God."-Luke 18:27

Jehovah can do anything. He flooded the entire earth, effectively destroying all wicked people. (Genesis 6:17; 7:19-20) He sent an angel to destroy 185,000 Assyrians in one night. (2 Kings 19:35) He even made a day shadow retreat ten steps, something else that is not humanly possible. (2 Kings 20:9-11) Yes, with God, everything is possible, even making the rotation of the earth stop for one whole day.

Praise Jehovah!


[1] The Cause and Cure of Infidelity, pp. 26-27.

[2] The Harmony of Science and Scripture, pp. 269-270.

[3] Worlds in Collision, pp. 45, 46.

[4] Ibid., p. 76