Nov 202006
 

There are two explanations for these passages in the Christian Scriptures:

Joshua 10:13

So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped

2 Kings 20:9-11

9 Isaiah answered, “This is the LORD’s sign to you that the LORD will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?”

10 “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.”

11 Then the prophet Isaiah called upon the LORD, and the LORD made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.

The best explanation is given by Barry Setterfield: Long Day

About 10 years ago, in a store in Blackwood, South Australia, there was a sophisticated gyroscopic toy for sale. The toy consisted of a central gyroscope suspended by circular loops of metal that were able to move freely in any direction. Idly, I set the toy spinning, then shortly after I gave it a push, corresponding to an “impact” . The gyroscope heeled over, and then in that new position started oscillating. I was amazed at what happened next. At specific points in the series of oscillations, the whole gyroscopic device underwent a figure-of-eight roll and then returned to the oscillating behaviour it had exhibited before.

Let’s look at this. Dodwell had determined the axis tilt curve from the 2345 BC impact. He had also determined the oscillation curve from the data. That curve potentially suggests that at certain key dates a change in oscillation direction will occur. Those dates roughly correspond with Joshua’s long day, Hezekiah’s sundial event, events at the time of the Crucifixion, and others. At the corresponding times, the gyroscopic toy underwent a figure of eight roll. It is possible that the earth may have behaved similarly, or at least in such a way that the objects in the heavens traced an S-shaped path in the sky. This would have a variety of effects depending where on earth the observer was when it occurred. Thus for Joshua the sun and moon remained visible in the heavens while the S-shaped path was followed. At the time of the Crucifixion, “the sun went down at noon” as Amos indicated, and then returned to resume its normal motion. There is also a reference in Job to this effect. Job was writing as an eye-witness to events in his own day. In Job 9:7 he states that God “commands the sun and it rises not”” . This is referring to the results of a similar axis tilt change due to massive impacts at the time of Peleg “when the continents were divided” (Gen. 10:25). This impact was the one that gave the earth’s axis its high tilt that resulted in the ice-age as well as drifting continents. The motion of the earth’s axis after that event in 3005 BC was similar to that from the 2345 BC event. Job was writing about 2800 BC.

This is a good explanation. I hope you all are aware of the really bad explantion which was a hoax about NASA research, an account of which was at Talk Origins.

  11 Responses to “Science confirms the long day of Joshua and the long shadow of Hezikiah?”

  1. Yes, I’ve heard of the NASA computer argument. That was a silly argument. This is better but I would submit that to further support this theory, extra-biblical documentary account of this phenomenon would be very useful.

  2. This is interesting, but I have to wonder if any consideration has been given to the geological effects such a shift in motion would cause across the globe.
    Wouldn’t there have been corresonding earthquakes of severe magnitudes? Tidal waves? other effects? Is there any connection to known geological catastrophes and the effect described?

  3. Wouldn’t there have been corresonding earthquakes of severe magnitudes?

    IMHO, not necessarily. Since this is a miraculous event any side effect could have been mitigated.

  4. Why everything we know about or believe has to have a naturalistic explanation? All due respect to scientific enterprise but as Christians we should know better.

  5. Inunison,

    I can understand your concern. I do believe in miracles, but I also believe in Romans 1:20, that God creates nature to testify of Him and the Christian Scriptures so that future generations are given access to His works. As the Lord said, if one has problems at first believing His words, one can first find faith through believing His works (John 10:38).

    For me as Christian, I had a VERY hard time accepting these verses and it caused me to doubt. These verses made me think, that yes, miracles may be true, but some stories were clearly fabricated or just using figures of speech. I mean if God would be so powerful to hold the sun in place, He could just as well snuff out the Amorites rather than have Joshua engage in battle. At first glance, the account seemed illogical since the miracle of suspending the sun seemed somewhat pointless. I mean, wouldn’t fire coming down from heaven, though a lesser miracle have greater utility? Ah, how unenlightened I was.

    The issue of Noah’s flood may be tied to the wobbles that were caused thousands of years later regarding Joshua, Hezekiah, and Jesus. I am not looking for a purely naturalistic explanation, but I believe Nature is architected to affirm God’s Word.

    Now that I see that there can be reasonable explanations (and Setterfield’s idea need not be the final word), I am more assured the Christian Scriptures have been handed down faithfully through the ages, and that they are not mere fables, but history and Truth! It could be the miracle was less for Joshua’s sake and more for those of us here in the present day, such that we have reason to believe the writings handed down through the ages were indeed inspired by the Intelligent Designer of all things.

  6. hi scordova,

    When something is perceived to be true, it should be communicated, but one should not resort to supporting that conclusion with false or carelessly gleaned information. Such a procedure is crippling to the truth-gathering process. To those who do not recognize the erroneous information, error becomes a part of their creed; to those who do recognize it, “truth” becomes tainted or rejected along with falsehood. And that is my true concern.
    The Goddard Space Flight Center (not NASA) incident mentioned above is rather clear case of corruption of the truth-gathering process. Of greater concern are those situations where the cases are not so clear and more careful scrutiny is necessary to detect error. Well-meaning individuals may betray a lack of thoroughness. Implications and conclusions gleaned from carelessly obtained data may be no better or may be even worse than the poor data themselves. The inferential perspectives colored by these partially erroneous conclusions can have very broad effects. Of similar importance is the problem of selection of data where accurate data on only one side of a question are presented while opposing data are ignored. This also gives a false view and stifles truth. The significance of this issue is seldom appreciated as it should be.

  7. Now that I see that there can be reasonable explanations (and Setterfield’s idea need not be the final word), I am more assured the Christian Scriptures have been handed down faithfully through the ages, and that they are not mere fables, but history and Truth! It could be the miracle was less for Joshua’s sake and more for those of us here in the present day, such that we have reason to believe the writings handed down through the ages were indeed inspired by the Intelligent Designer of all things.

    Christian Scriptures (I prefer word Bible) are not given to us only to affirm its veracity but in main part to affirm His actions in the history of humankind. If I read my Bible literally, which I do unless context tells me otherwise, it is Lord who performed miracle on the spot as an answer to a Joshua’s request.

    I mean, wouldn’t fire coming down from heaven, though a lesser miracle have greater utility?

    And it happened

    Joshua 10:11 , …as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the LORD cast down large hailstones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword.

    I did not mean to give Biblical exegesis, just to point out that for Christians, naturalistic explanations will only take us so far. And I am NOT saying that we should not make as much scientific sense as possible of the events described in the Bible.

  8. it is Lord who performed miracle on the spot as an answer to a Joshua’s request.

    When a believer is in distress, say his car breaks down on the road and he must get to the hospital for his wife who is in the car is about to give birth, and the believer asks that the Lord provide help speedily, and help arrives in the nick of time, does that mean God creates help out of nowhere or did He, upon hearing the prayer from His timeless perspective prepare the answer even before the prayer was answered. I think it is likewise possible in the case of Joshua.

  9. I think we might be talking about the two sides of the same coin here. Our God is a sovereign and providential God. He can change and suspend natural laws if he chooses to do so. There are miracles in the Bible that we will never be able to find a naturalistic explanation for, e.g. turning water into wine or parting of the red sea. We can only rely on eyewitness experience and recorded history to testify to those events.

    Then there are other miracles that it is possible to find naturalistic corroborating evidences, e.g. the Noahic flood, which should leave geological remnants of its affect, or Sal’s missing post on tracing the Y-chromosome. I for one am very interested to see what other miracles in the Bible can we find naturalistic corroborations for. Although scientific corroboration is not central to my faith but it is valuable in support of a reasonable faith. I don’t think any of us here is taking the extreme position of — no naturalistic explanation / only naturalistic explanation.

  10. scordova and teleologist,

    Quite right.

  11. If nothing else this post from UD should give us an indication of how important a measure of harmonization of Scripture and science is needed at this time. IMHO, there is a need to distinguish how science fits with our Christian faith (with its spirituality), as oppose to how science fits with Atheism (with its pseudo-spirituality). What I mean by spirituality is the intrinsic value of our spiritual expression of worship and glorification of the Creator who has given us a sense of worth and value. The pseudo-spirituality of Atheism is devoid of any objective and intrinsic value because materialism makes no distinction between a human and a nebula. We are nothing more than the remnant of some star dusts. What spiritual value do star dusts have?

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