Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | March 3, 2021

Did the Sun Stand Still?

(4 Minute Read. 3Mar2021)

Scripture records many hard-to-explain events. Last week’s article
Did NASA Computers Verify Old Testament History?
discussed two in the field of astronomy: Joshua’s Long Day (Joshua 10:12-14) and Hezekiah’s Sundial Sign
(Isaiah 38:1-8; 2 Kings 20:1-11).

These are quite perplexing and highly unusual astronomical events. How is it possible for the sun and moon to stand still in the sky for a full day? How could the sun’s shadow have moved backward on Hezekiah’s sundial?

Doubts?

It’s important to recognize that the Bible reports these events from the perspective of an earthly observer using language of observation and appearance. Even today the National Weather Service and the US Naval Observatory do this by using the words “sunrise” and “sunset.” The Bible is not saying that the sun moves around the earth. What it says is that from Joshua’s point of view on the day of his battle against the five Amorite kings, the sun appeared to stand still in the sky for a whole day.

Did these astronomical events of Joshua’s and Hezekiah’s time really occur? Many people doubt them. Even many Christians don’t believe the Biblical record regarding these astronomical events.

Regarding the field of astronomy, I myself also have doubts, but my doubts are different.

Much of what is called astronomical science is highly speculative. Too often, what is presented as direct observation and deduction is built upon a structure of assumptions about the universe, assumptions which are driven by a commitment to random, godless origins and evolutionism.

These false assumptions result in tremendous distortion, wishful thinking, and speculation that masquerade as concrete, verified data and conclusions. When I read a “science” article, I ask myself, how much of this was actually measured and how much was hypothesized? How much is observation and how much is interpretation? How much is fact and how much is speculation? How much is truth and how much is fiction?

Is there any point in looking among the tangle of evolutionary storytelling and research that the press calls science to find straightforward truth? Yes, God’s glory is revealed even in the midst of those who deny Him. Genuine research and investigation do exist, and they reveal marvels of the Great Creator‘s design in the observable universe. But one might well hesitate to use the fictions and fallacies that permeate what is labeled astronomy to verify the history of the universe.

So, did the Long Day and Sundial Sign events recorded in the Old Testament really occur? What evidence is there? Is there any verification of these events in addition to the Biblical reports? How did the events occur?

Worldwide Memories

Recognize first that the Bible records testimony about these events from independent witnesses separated by 700 years. This is recorded memory of the events from three independent sources — the books of Joshua, 2 Kings, and Isaiah.

Moreover, the Long Day event that Joshua reports would have affected the entire globe. Is there historical evidence of a Long Day in folk memories worldwide, just as over 200 cultures around the world have memories of Noah’s Flood?

The Greek historian Herodotus says Egyptian priests showed him records of a day that lasted twice as long as normal. The Chinese have similar memories.

American Indian tribes, Aztecs, and Mayans all have stories of a long night. From Mexico the Annals of Cuauhtitlan tell of a night that lasted for an extended time. West Africa and Peru have similar stories. The Maori people of New Zealand have a story about their hero Maui slowing the sun before it rose, producing a long night.

These stories from about the time of Joshua are not randomly distributed across the globe. When locations are plotted on a map, all the “long night” stories can be covered by earth’s night shadow, and all the “long day” stories are in the daylight. This is evidence the stories are memories of a true event.

Concerning Hezekiah’s event, Babylon sent ambassadors to inquire about “the wonder that had happened in the land” (2 Chronicles 32:31). This indicates Babylon knew about the event and knew Hezekiah was the proper source for information.

The God who hung 100 billion trillion stars in space
so that not one of them is missing (Isaiah 40:26)
can certainly tinker with the solar system
to accomplish His purpose.

How Did Yahweh Do It?

The Long Day of Joshua is one of the most astounding miracles of the Bible. Scripture says there’s never been a day like it before or since (Joshua 10:14).

How did Yahweh do it? Likewise, how did He make the sun move backward for Hezekiah’s Sundial Sign?

Maybe God slowed the rotation of the earth so that the sun appeared to remain stationary for Joshua. Maybe he reversed the rotation of the earth to make the shadow go backwards for Hezekiah on the stairway of Ahaz. Both would require supernatural management of many attendant effects such as keeping the oceans from washing over the continents and keeping the atmosphere from generating 1,000 mph winds.

Or maybe God changed the earth’s rotation axis so that for one day the battle site became the rotational north pole. Or maybe God refracted (bent) the sun’s light around the earth.

These theories are fraught with mathematical and physical problems and would require a plethora of supporting miracles. Moreover they don’t address the fact that the moon also stood still.

Globular Star Cluster M15
100,000 stars. 33,600 light-years
away in the constellation Pegasus
in the Milky Way galaxy.

All conjectured naturalistic explanations for Joshua’s Long Day and Hezekiah’s Sundial Sign are physically impossible apart from the direct intervention of the Almighty.

Nobody knows how God did it. But according to the historical record of Scripture He certainly did.

These events were miracles — occurrences beyond the usual laws of nature. Miracles rest on eyewitness testimony, not on scientific investigations. Miracles are not subject to repeated tests and observations for scientific analysis.

The heavens are subject to the Almighty who created them by the power of His word.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. (Psalm 33:6)

The God who hung 100 billion trillion stars in space so that not one of them is missing can certainly tinker with the solar system to accomplish His purpose and answer men’s prayers.
Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.
(Isaiah 40:26)

These astronomical events of Joshua’s and Hezekiah’s day certainly occurred. Since God made the sun and moon stand still to solve Joshua’s problem, then He has the power to solve any problem we face.

Remember, the creation of the universe recorded in Genesis 1 is a far more complicated event than Joshua’s Long Day and Hezekiah’s Sundial Sign. These anomalies are certainly not beyond the power of the Great Creator God of the Bible who created the universe out of nothing and raised Jesus of Nazareth from the dead.

Questions to Ponder

1. What approach do you take to Biblical reports of miracles that are difficult to explain?
2. Will you “ask, seek, knock” (Matthew 7:7) for the Great Creator’s help with a seemingly impossible problem?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequel:
Did NASA Computers Verify Old Testament History?

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday March 3, 2021 A.D.

So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel. (Joshua 10:13-14)

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Responses

  1. Our God is a great God, very worthy to be praised.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dr. William Pelletier, Please keep this EXCELLENT publication coming to us.  We will continue to support you and the ministry you have for our Savior with our prayers. John & Charlene

    Liked by 2 people

  3. the cessation of the rotation of the earth is to happen again on the day the heavens go dark and the sun soars in temp to 7 times hotter than normal. the result will evaporate seawater and produce terrible storms worldwide. Thundering the voice of GOD.
    when the earth begins moving again it will do so at a much higher rate of speed than when it stoped. This will create the east wind that blows much stronger than normal until the earth reaches its original rotation equilibrium.
    I think it is in habakkuk that the lightning is explained as the reason for the earth to begin rotating again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this content!!! Science and God DO NOT contradict each other. They actually work simultaneously. Just a question, on sourses? I have been looking for answers like this and am wondering if their is a book or publications you have read that you could share?

    Like


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