JOSHUA CHAPTER 10
THE MIRACULOUSLY LONG DAY
(v. 9) "After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them [the Amorites, (v. 6)] by surprise.
(v. 10) The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, who defeated them in a great victory at Gibeon...
[Cp Dt 7:22-23]:
(v. 22) "The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. [Due to a sudden depopulation of the area leaving it available for the wild animals to take over faster than the Israelites could]
(v. 23) But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed."
[Josh 10:9-20 cont]:
(v. 10 cont.) Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.
Donald K. Campbell states, [The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Walvoord & Zuck EDITORS, Victor Books, USA, 1987, p. 350]:
"Motivated by God's promise of victory, Joshua led a surprise attack on the Amorite armies of the south, [(v. 9)], possibly while it was still dark. Panic seized the enemy and after a short stand in which many were killed they broke and fled in wild confusion toward the west. Their escape route was through a narrow pass and down the Valley of Aijalon with the Israelites in hot pursuit. This was not the only time that the highroad which led down from the central hill country has been the scene of a rout; in A. D. 66 the Roman general Cestius Gallus fled down this descent before the Jews."
[Josh 10:9-20 cont]:
(v. 11) As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.
"The Amorites however were not able to escape. Using the forces of nature to fight for Israel the LORD caused large hailstones to fall on the enemy with deadly precision so that more were killed in this way than by swords.
This entire passage provides a striking illustration of the interplay between the human and divine factors in achieving victory. Verses 7-11 alternate between Joshua (and Israel) and the Lord. They all played important parts in the conflict. The soldiers had to fight but God gave the victory."]
(v. 12) 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.'
"But the day of the battle of Beth Horon was wearing on and Joshua knew that the pursuit of the enemy would be long and arduous. At the most the military leader had 12 hours of daylight ahead of him. He clearly needed more time if he were to realize the fulfillment of God's promise... and see the total annihilation of his foes"
"The LORD said to Joshua, 'Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.' "]
"Joshua therefore took to the LORD an unusual request:
'O sun, stand still over Gibeon,
O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.' "
[Which was directly answered by God granting Joshua's request literally as it states in the next verse]:
(v. 13) 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.
[A poetic book of songs about the accomplishments of Israel's leaders]
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
(v. 14) There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!
"It was noon and the hot sun was directly overhead when Joshua uttered this prayer [v. 13]. The moon was on the horizon to the west. The petition was quickly answered by the Lord. Joshua prayed in faith, and a great miracle resulted. But the record of this miracle has been called the most striking example of conflict between Scripture and science because, as is well known, the sun does not move around the earth causing day and night. Instead, light and darkness come because the earth rotates on its axis around the sun. Why then did Joshua address the sun rather than the earth? Simply because he was using the language of observation [like we do today]; he was speaking from the perspective and appearance of things on earth. People still do the same thing, even in the scientific community. Almanacs and journals record the hours of sunrise and sunset, yet no one accuses them of scientific error.]
The 'long day' of Joshua 10, however, must be explained. What did actually happen on that strange day?...
In answer to Joshua's prayer God caused the rotation of the earth to slow down [as the text explains in verse 13: 'the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day'] so that it made one full rotation in 48 hours rather than in 24. It seems apparent that this view is supported both by the poem and in verses 12b-13a and the prose in verse 13b. (The Book of Jashar is a Heb. literary collection of songs written in poetic style to honor the accomplishments of Israel's leaders; cf. David's 'lament of the bow' in 2 Sam 1:17-27.)
God stopped the cataclysmic effects that would have naturally occurred, such as monstrous tidal waves and objects flying around [due to the delayed rotation]."
Consider that since God is indeed the Creator of the universe this is not beyond His capacity, nor unreasonable. This is so especially in light of the much greater things He did relative to preserving Noah and his family and the animals of the world in and outside of the Ark during the Flood.
"Evidence that the earth's rotation simply slowed down is found in the closing words of Joshua 10:13:
'The sun... delayed going down about a full day.' The sun was thus abnormally slow or tardy in getting to sunset, that is, its progression from noon to dusk was markedly lethargic, giving Joshua and his soldiers sufficient time to complete their victorious battle.
An important fact that should not be overlooked is that the sun and moon were principal deities among the Canaanites. At the prayer of Israel's leader Canaan' gods were 'compelled' to obey.
[This is typical of God's pattern of showing the impotence of false gods whenever idol worshippers are defeated in their evil ways]
This disturbance to their gods must have been terribly upsetting and frightening to the Canaanites. The secret of Israel's triumph over the coalition of Canannites is found in the words, 'Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!' In answer to prayer Israel experienced the dramatic intervention of God on their behalf and victory as assured."
'''Discussion of the Missing Day in Earth's History (The Day the Sun Stood Still) It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report "a long day." Also, Heroditus, a Greek historian, wrote that an account of "a long day" appears in records of Egyptian priests. Others cite records of Mexicans of the sun standing still for an entire day in a year denoted as "Seven Rabits," which is the same year in which Joshua defeated the Philistines and conquered Palestine. ("Bible-Science Newsletter," Daily Reading Magazine - Supplement, Vol. VIII - No. 5, May 1978, Caldwell, Idaho.) Additionally, the historical lore of the Aztecs, Peruvians, and Babylonians speak of a "day of twice natural length." '''
[ http://sunnyokanagan.com/joshua/index.html ]:
Joshua's Long Day During the reign of the Chinese Emporer Yeo, Yao, Yahou, "the sun did not set for 10 days" "Yao" Universal Lexicon(1732-1754) Volume LX.
Also Kurze Fragen aus der politischen Historie(1729) by J. Hubner 2,000 BC.
Herodotus a Greek historian, wrote the Egyptian priests reported "in which entire space, they said, no god had ever appeared in a human form; nothing of this kind had happened either under the former or under the later Egyptian kings. The sun, however, had within this period of time, on four several occasions, moved from his wonted course, twice rising where he now sets, and twice setting where he now rises".
The History of Herodotus, chapter 2, p.131.
(Same translation as by David Grene 1987 2.142 "The first historian").
The Aztec priests related to Bernardino de Sahagun in Historia general de las cosas de Nueva Espana, BK. VII, Chapter 2.:
"And when the sun came to rise..he kept swaying from side to side...with a rabbit he came to wound in the face[the moon], and he killed its brilliance..when both appeared they could not not move nor follow their paths..At once he[the wind] could move him, who thereupon went his way.."
Additionally, the historical lore of the Peruvians and Babylonians (Die Kosmologie der Babylonier, p. 39 by P. Jensen) speak of a "day of twice natural length."
Velikovsky writes that "the sun was absent for a three fold day and shone for a three fold day" according to Iranian tradition.
The Greek god Phaethon stole the sun. An interesting similarity to the Aztec account above. North American Indian Cree legend tells of God ordering the sun to keep silence. Emporer Kwei lived about 1,500 BC and Yao about 2,000 BC. In Kwei's tenth year: Here is part of an email sent to me from William Jefferys: "When the sun moved backwards in the day of Hezekiah, it means that somewhere on the other side of the world where the sun has just risen, the sun would have backed up and then risen again. Several, thousand years ago, around the estimated time of Hezekiah, the Chinese recorded a day with two dawns. At the time, the Chinese were meticulous record keepers of astronomy. However, the scientists tried to accommodate this with the theory that they witnessed a solar eclipse and that they didn't have the means at the time to know the difference. Now, I don't know about you, but even if I was as thick as a post, I think that I would see a difference between a solar eclipse and two sunrises." Here are two sources of a day with two dawns: Huai nan tse VI iv See Forke, "The World Conception of the Chinese" p. 86 Lu-Heng II, 176, See Forke, "The World Conception of the Chinese" p. 87 Where the sun rose in the West, "passed through three solar mansions." When the gods had sat and been waiting for a long time, thereupon began the reddening [of the dawn] in all directions. They said "For there, in that place[the east], the sun already will come to rise" True indeed.. Ref: Bernardino de Sahagun, Historia general de las cosas de Nueva Espana, BK. VII, Chapter 2. If the sun went backward 90 degrees and if this was in June, there would be at least the appearance of breaking of day in the Americas in the west at about the time it should have appeared in the east. Then half day later the sun would again appear in the east for the second time. Therefore a breaking of dawn in all directions. Thus this record of the Aztec priests could have been of both Joshua's long day and Hezekiah's returning shadow. Herodotus writes the Egyptian priests told him in Herodotus, Book 2, page 142 (translated by A.D. Godley, 1921) "Twice the sun rose where he now sets and twice he set where he now rises." Interesting as this is the same translation of 'Herodotus' as given above."
THE LONG DAY OF JOSHUA
One of the evidences for the historicity of the long day recorded in Joshua 10:13 and reiterated in Habakkuk 3:11 lies in the large body of traditions from many parts of the world according to which there was a long day (or night, or evening, depending upon the location) at about the same time that Joshua lived. David Nelson dramatically informs us of this fact as follows: 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 fixes the reign of Yao at a given date, which corresponds with the age of Joshua the son of Nun. . . . The Latin poet Ovid amuses the school-boy greatly, in his fanciful narrative of Phaeton's chariot. This heathen author tells us, that a day was once lost, and that the earth was in great danger from the intense heat of an unusual sun. . . . Our notice is somewhat attracted, when we find him mention Phaeton--who was a Canaanitish prince-- and learn that the fable originated with the Phoenicians, the same people whom Joshua fought. If you ask an unbeliever of these incidents, or of the common traditions with early nations that a day was lost about the time when the volume of truth informs us that the sun hasted not to go down for the space of a whole day, you will find that he had never thought on these points: they are not of the character which he is inclined to notice. 1
T. W. Doane relates the following facts concerning these traditions: There are many stories similar to this, to be found among other nations of antiquity. We have, as an example, that which is related of Bacchus in the Orphic hymns, wherein it says that this god-man arrested the course of the sun and the moon. An Indian legend relates that the sun stood still to hear the pious ejaculations of Arjouan after the death of Crishna. A holy Buddhist by the name of Matanga prevented the sun, at his command, from rising, and bisected the moon. . . . The Chinese also, had a legend of the sun standing still, and a legend was found among the Ancient Mexicans to the effect that one of their holy persons commanded the sun to stand still, which command was obeyed. 2
Doane refers to Anacalypsis by Higgins, Buddhist Legends by Hardy and Bud. & Jeyens by Franklin in support of his statements. In 1940, Harry Rimmer summarized these traditions as follows: 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. Rimmer concludes this section with a lengthy quotation from the Polynesian account of this event. In 1950, Immanuel Velikovsky came out with his controversial book, Worlds in Collision, based on the premise that the account of the long day in Joshua is accurate, accounting for many other unsolved scientific mysteries. In support of his premise, he also refers to the ancient traditions of a long day: 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. . . . Sahagun, the Spanish savant who came to America a generation after Columbus and gathered the traditions of the aborigines, wrote that at the time of one cosmic catastrophe the sun rose only a little way over the horizon and remained there without moving; the moon also stood still.4 In a footnote, Velikovsky states that the Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan, were also known as the Codex Chimalpopca, and that these manuscripts contained a series of annals of very ancient date, many of them going back to more than a thousand years before the Christian era. Velikovsky's theory was that at some time in the middle of the second millennium B.C., either 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 lose its diurnal movement. Velikovsky's book brought about quite a bit of discussion on this topic. "The Day The Sun Stood Still," by Eric Larabee was published in Harper's in January of 1950. It was reprinted in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune on February 5 of that year, with the comment that "The article on this page--'The Day the Sun Stood Still'--will quite probably become the most discussed magazine piece of 1950. It was published in the current issue of Harper's Magazine, and the Tribune is the first newspaper to reprint it. The account is based on a book, Worlds in Collision, by Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky. The article has created such interest in publishing circles that, the Tribune has learned, the editors of Collier's and of The Reader's Digest have other presentations of the same idea in preparation. This Week magazine, which is a section of the Sunday Tribune and twenty- five other Sunday newspapers, is preparing a pictorial presentation of some of Velikovsky's unusual theories which lace together elements of religious beliefs and scientific events and try to explain that once--within the recorded history of man--the sun stood still." 5
Gordon A. Atwater, curator of the Hayden Planetarium, wrote at the time, "The theories presented by Dr. Velikovsky are unique and should be presented to the world of science in order that the underpinning of modern science can be re-examined . . . I believe the author has done an outstanding job."6
Another indication of the trustworthiness of Joshua 10:13 can be found in astronomical data. It appears that one full day is missing in our astronomical calculations. On different occasions, Sir Edwin Ball, the great British astronomer, and Professors Pickering of the Harvard Observatory, Maunders of Greenwich, and Totten of Yale have traced this back to the time of Joshua. If we disregard calendar changes and deal only with a chronology based upon solar motion, and go back to the earliest available records, and trace the calendar through to the time of Joshua, the day of Joshua's battle was on a Tuesday, whereas if we compute backwards to the time of Joshua from the present day, the day of the battle would have been on a Wednesday. The day of the month is the same, but it is a different day of the week. In other words, if we reckon from the first recorded solstice in the ancient Egyptian records, the day is Tuesday, but if we reckon back from the most recent solstice, the day is Wednesday. These facts are extensively corroborated with astronomical data by Charles A. L. Totten in Joshua's Long Day, and the Dial of Ahaz (New Haven: Our Race Publishing Co., 1890). These facts came to widespread public attention in the late 1960's, after Mary Kathryn Bryan published an article in the Evening Star of Spencer, Indiana, about Harold Hill, President of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore, Maryland, a consultant to NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. According to the article, computer calculations bearing upon the positions of the sun, moon and planets were not coming out properly. These calculations were necessary, and had to be exact, in order to lay out the orbits of satellites and manned space flights. However, once the long day of Joshua and the retreat of the sun backward ten degrees in II Kings 20:9-11 were taken into account, all of the calculations worked out perfectly. This article was widely quoted, and copies of it appeared in many places for several years. Harold Hill later published his own account of these events in the thirteenth chapter of How To Live Like A King's Kid, which was substantially the same as that in Kathryn Bryan's article. In his account, he wrote: Later, someone sent me a clipping . . . saying I had admitted the whole thing was a hoax. Shortly thereafter, numerous religious magazines, some of them Christian, began repeating the false "retraction" and apologizing for their original participation in the rerun of the article. Not one of them ever checked with me as to the truth or error of the article as originally published. For the record--the report is true, the retraction false. . . . The whole sequence of events has demonstrated to me how prone even Christians are to believe a lie instead of the truth. 7
In an appendix to this chapter, Hill published a review of Totten's book written by V. L. Westberg, who stated: While Mr. Totten suggests an intervening comet perhaps caused the slow day by cutting off actinic rays, 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. Mr. Totten recounted how Newton demonstrated how the earth could be suddenly slowed down without appreciable shock to people. I have examined several maps of the Pacific Ocean which lend support to this theory. The October 1969 map in National Geographic Magazine shows 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 there at the equator on slowing the earth and would result in huge tidal waves which might help explain Dr. Northrup's studies on California's sand deposits. The size of the asteroid needed to slow down the earth one revolution could be calculated if mantle thickness were known and it could have been as large as Ceres--480 miles diameter.8
1 David Nelson, The Cause and Cure of Infidelity (New York: American Tract Society, 1841), pp. 26-27.
2 T. W. Doane, Bible Myths and their Parallels in Other Religions, fourth ed. (New York: Charles P. Somerby, 1882), p. 91.
3 Harry Rimmer, The Harmony of Science and Scripture (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940), pp. 269-270.
4 Immanuel Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1950), pp. 45, 46.
5 Quoted by O. E. Sanden, Does Science Support the Scriptures? (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Publishing House, 1951), p. 9.
6 Ibid., p. 10.
7 Harold Hill, How To Live Like A King's Kid (Plainfield, NJ: Logos International), p. 71.
8 Ibid., p. 76.