The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and…all Hell broke loose! (Joshua 10)

Over the past few days I’ve been enjoying one of my birthday gifts from my wife, “The Grand Design” by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.

In it they remind us of a passage in the Book of Joshua where the Lord stops the sun and the moon in their place so that Joshua may defeat the Amorites. The passage goes like this:

On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped  in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.  – Joshua 10:12-13

While I have always scoffed at this tale as pure legend, Hawking and Mlodinow remind us on page 87 that if this were to truly have happened the earth would have had to stop moving – because it is the earth that revolves around the sun and not vice versa. While the authors of Joshua were respectfully clueless about the laws of motion and gravity, we now know from Newton’s laws that “anything not tied down would have remained in motion at the earth’s original speed (1,100 miles per hour at the equator).”

Can you imagine the chaos, death and destruction such an event would have caused not only to the enemies of the Israel, but to every living thing on the planet when the earth stopped short? And consider what effect would it have had on oceans? Tsunamis would’ve certainly ensued!

I encourage you all to read the Bible with a closer eye – check out my website

Doubt after Doubt

  1. #1 by Sal -Goodnewseverybodycom on November 21, 2010 - 12:56 am

    Hi Rob,

    Thank you for sharing on this topic, which I found this site when I was googling on this same topic. I noticed the date you wrote this and thought it was very ironic that I too was reading on this in almost similar time. Well as I googled and got your site, I wanted to share some other sites I found too in this similar topic. I feel we can’t fully explain everything “scientifically” in what is written in the Bible, which why some have “faith” that separates one from one that doesn’t. As a Christian, I’m still “learning” what I read in the Bible. However, I would like to share some explanations from some sites I found that might interest you.

    Earth Stood Still – Josh 10.mpg

    *professor shares about terminology (e.g. “sun set and sunrise”) and how we usually don’t give a scientific answer-conclusion in “every day” talk due to our “earth centric” view…

    Interpretations of Joshua 10:12-14 What really happened on that day? – The Day the Sun Stood Firm in the Sky –,
    “..Major Points from Joshua 10:12-14
    Here are five major points that clearly stand out in the passage.

    1. Something miraculous took place that day that enabled them to have a wonderful victory.
    2. That miracle came about because of Joshua’s prayer.
    3. That miracle had something to do with the sun and moon, with which only God could affect.
    4. That the victory had to do with an extended time to fight the enemy before they scattered back to their cities.
    5. That God was fighting for Israel.

    Any interpretation that leaves out these emphases is inconsistent to what is being taught. Those people that were there recognized something miraculous happened that day. It left a tremendous impression upon them. Unless we can accept this, then we can learn nothing from the Word of God….
    We must have faith to rightly approach this passage

    GoodnewsEverybodyCom author,
    p.s. I shared these sites on my personal site for future reference and you are welcome to share any others too

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: