Libby Lawrence 8/2020
(Map by Wilbur Glen Voliva 1931)
You know the story, God made the sun stand still so Israel could slaughter its enemies.
Actually, there’s also another story where the Sun traveled backwards (reverse movement of a shadow on stairs) so Judah’s King Hezekiah could be healed. (Isaiah 38:7-8).
Joshua 10:12-14 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, 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. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!
There is actually a site called Times of Israel that claims this was an eclipse. Well, that would work if the passage said something about a period of darkness or the armies being thrown into confusion. But the passage says the sun delayed going down a full day, and that the sun and moon stopped in different places. There are also sites like “Answers in Genesis” (I will not dignify Ken Ham’s moronic spewings with a link, Google it yourself) that claim that NASA computers found Joshua’s “Lost Day”. There are so many sites, including Snopes, that debunk this claim and call it an urban legend. Donald Simanek published a comprehensive analysis of how this myth began and how it was proved false here.
Of course, when these fables were written down, they thought the Earth was flat. Israelites thought that the sun and moon were sent across the sky by god, so of course he could stop them if he wanted. Now we know that the Earth is a globe, revolving on its axis to create the day, revolving round the sun to create a year.
This is one fable where the Fundamentalists have to simply say that god can do anything. He can freeze the movement of everything in the universe except for two armies on a battlefield on Earth in the Middle East, so his favorite little tribe of humans can destroy the armies of 5 Kings of the Amorites. And they will tell you that the Amorites were evil and had to be destroyed, and they’ll say all of this with a smug, self-satisfied smile. And I wonder why a story about a war-god stopping the laws of the universe to help his little tribe slaughter 5 other tribes is considered a good thing and not a nauseating evil. And why freeze time for the entire universe? In II Kings 19:35, god just sent an angel to kill the Assyrian army. Very efficient, war completed overnight. Why wouldn’t he call his favorite winged assassin? It would have been SO much easier.
They have to claim “God did it and it was right” because there is no doubt what would happen if (somehow!) the Earth just stopped spinning. The science is absolute.
Dr. Sten Odenwald of Ask the Astronomer says: “If the Earth stopped spinning suddenly, the atmosphere would still be in motion with the Earth’s original 1100 mile per hour rotation speed at the equator. All of the land masses would be scoured clean of anything not attached to bedrock. This means rocks, topsoil, trees, buildings, your pet dog, and so on, would be swept away into the atmosphere.”
It’s extremely simple. The Earth suddenly stops spinning. Everything not permanently attached to bedrock keeps spinning. Most things that were attached break and join the atmosphere that is still spinning. A tsunami would roll over most of the land mass. And the shock would cause earthquakes everywhere.
A category 5 hurricane has winds of 157-200 miles per hour. An F4-F5 tornado has wind speeds of 207-260 miles per hour. We’re talking about wind speeds of 1000 miles per hour.