Robert Odell, Jr. likes to explore and examine the many mysteries of our world and universe.
Joshua, the successor to Moses, Israel's leader, did something no other human being had done before. Joshua was able to pray and succeed in getting God to stop the sun. The story unfolds in the tenth chapter of the Book of Joshua in the Bible. As the battle rages against five kings, Joshua needs more time to see and stamp out the enemy. Joshua's name in Hebrew means, "YAHWEH is salvation." God showed His power and salvation by delivering Israel. God made the sun stand still and the moon halt in its place until His people, Israel, fully avenged themselves against their foes.
What Scientists Say
According to 20th Century teachings, the earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun. Scientists say that the sun does not rise and set but stays positioned at the center of our solar system. Earth's rotation on its axis, which appears counterclockwise when viewed from above the North Pole, makes the sun appear to rise and set. Every 24 hours, the earth makes one complete spin. Different locations pass through the light of the sun as the earth rotates. As one area on earth turns toward the sun and enters its light, the sun seems to rise in the east. When a location on earth leaves the sun's light and enters darkness, the sun appears to set in the west.
Did God Stop the World?
Joshua needed an extended day to defeat his enemy. Suppose daylight appears when your area of earth turns toward the sun. In that case, some may deduce that the rotation of mother-earth would need to be slowed down or entirely stopped if you want your space to stay in the sun's light longer. Can we, therefore, conclude that God slowed down or even stopped the world for Joshua? Some scientists surmise that the event in the Biblical book of Joshua 10 was simply an apparition or an eclipse. However, Joshua did not ask for an image or an eclipse's shade; he asked for more daylight.
Problems With Science
Joshua's long day poses a big problem for scientific deductions. Scientists say that the earth is traveling through space at about 68,000 miles an hour. It spins on its axis at approximately 1,068 miles per hour. Those figures imply that the whole solar system would have to stand still for the sun to stay in one spot. Our earth, which moves in an elliptical orbit around the sun, would have to stop. The moon, moving around mother-earth, would also have to stop. Now let's imagine what would happen if the earth suddenly stopped.
Just imagine if you were traveling in an open-top car at one thousand miles an hour and the car suddenly stopped. Such a sudden stop would propel you out of the vehicle at one thousand miles an hour. The results would not be pretty. Now imagine Joshua and his soldiers fighting on the battlefield, and the earth suddenly stopped. Such a sudden stop would jerk him and his soldiers into the air at one thousand miles an hour. Such a sudden stop would cause worldwide catastrophes.
A Sudden Stop Equals Worldwide Catastrophes
If the earth suddenly stopped, not only would you find yourself hurled through the air, you would also be in a massive wind storm. The windstorm would be worldwide and unlike anything the earth has ever seen. The sea, which rests on mother earth's surface, would come flying out of the ocean floor, causing massive international tsunamis. Earth's molten center, called the magma, would continue to spin at a colossal speed. The results would be earthquakes, volcanoes, and unfathomable amounts of lava engulfing the world. These circumstances would result in Joshua and his men fighting against the elements rather than their enemies. God, however, did do a miracle for Joshua and Israel.
God Performed a Miracle
It isn't easy to figure out how he did it. Still, God performed a miracle and stopped time completely for Israel, giving them a day stretching longer than the regular twenty-four hours. Two theories may offer a scientifically plausible explanation for Joshua's long day.
An Event Horizon
According to astrophysics, an "event horizon" is a boundary beyond which events cannot affect an observer. It is the boundary defining the region of space around a black hole. Nothing (not even light ) can escape it. In scientific terms, the escape velocity for an object within the event horizon exceeds the speed of light. The name comes about because it is impossible to see any event taking place inside it. The horizon is beyond what we can see. God could have just placed an event horizon around Joshua, his soldiers, and the battlefield. If He used an event horizon, then God trapped everything inside of it. He trapped time and even the light of day for as long as He wanted. After Joshua defeated his enemies, God could have removed the event horizon, allowing things to return to normal. The event horizon theory seems to be scientifically plausible; however, it still does not explain everything.
What About the Sun and Moon?
According to Joshua 10:13, the sun stood still, and the moon stayed in its place. Placing Israel and the entire battlefield inside an event horizon would have given Joshua the light he needed, but what about the moon? If the sun and moon were outside of the event horizon, they would not have been still. They would have continued their regular rotations and orbits. If the sun and moon stood still inside of the event horizon, then the rotating earth would have left the sun's light as usual. As we already mentioned, stopping mother earth would have lead to catastrophe. However, another unorthodox theory explains how God could have stilled the sun and moon and allowed Joshua to have his long day.
Suppose the world was stationary and the sun and moon rotated and revolved around the earth. In that case, God could have easily stopped the sun and moon. The Almighty could have easily stilled nature's time indicators without any disastrous effects. The belief in flat earth took on incredible momentum beginning in 2009. On average, flat earth societies gained 200 people per year. Some celebrities passionately grabbed hold of the idea. Contemporary flat earthers believe that the earth is a flat area surrounded by an ice wall. The sun and moon, on opposite ends, rotate around a stationary earth plan. Although far-fetched, the flat earth idea gives an uncomplicated explanation of how God stopped time without causing universal chaos.
Whatever the Case
Whatever the case may be, Joshua's long day is cited and recorded in the Holiest book known to modern society, The Holy Bible. How God did it may be a mystery, but we do know He did it.
Kent, R., Dr. (2016, July 19). Richard's Fun Facts - How did the sun stop still for nearly 24 hours during Joshua's Long day. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/wsXP4WvhRaA
Redd, N. (2017, November 14). Does the Moon Rotate? Retrieved from https://www.space.com/24871-does-the-moon-rotate.html
Swinburne University of Technology, S. S. (n.d.). COSMOS - The SAO Encyclopedia of Astronomy. Retrieved from https://astronomy.swin.edu.au/cosmos/e/Event+Horizon
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Robert Odell Jr
Robert Odell Jr (author) from Memphis, Tennessee on November 28, 2020:
The story of Joshua's long day is fascinating. Thank you for reading.
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on November 28, 2020:
Thank you for this explanation. This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible.