Science in Christian Perspective



J. Lowell Butler

From: JASA 3 (December 1951): 1-19.                                                                              Part 2.

Do you know that Nature makes it possible for you to see around a comer or over the horizon under certain conditions? A review of what we now know about mirages shows that it is highly probable that a special mirage occurred on Joshua's Long Day, and again in the days of Isaiah and Hezekiah when the shadow of the sundial moved backward ten degrees.

Most of us are familiar with sky-light that in reflected from a layer of hot air close to the surface of a pavement or highway which gives the appearance of a pool of water in a strange place. But doubtless only a few people have ever seen a lateral mirage or a looming mirage, or even a superior mirage judging from the scarcity of published material on the subject of mirages.

The word mirage, ie. of rather recent origin; but long before people had a name for this light-bending trick of the atmosphere.. these strange sights were seen and occasionally described
writing. Even the Bible contains a few descriptions of mirages, but of course, without using the word mirage.

Mirages have produced many interesting sights
in Nature and they have fooled people many times. In facto several of our best modern explorers and men of science have been deceived by then. However2 some people are getting wise to these tricky mirages, because they understand them and know how to recognize them. It to now realized that there are several kinds of mirages, just as there are several kinds of clouds. Clouds, for instance have been given such names as: Cirrus, Cumulus, Ninbus and Stratus; and mirages have been given such names as: Inferior, Towering, Looming, Lateral, Superior Perfecto and Supernatural. Just as clouds in the sky may be a mixture of more than one kind of cloud.. so also mirages may be a mixture of more than one kind of mirage. If you were to see one or all of these kinds of mirages, could you give each one its correct name? With the help of what follows you will find this easy.. and you will realize that the subject of mirages Is an interesting and profitable one.

Possibly you can add another interesting example (and we hope a photograph also) to those which are given here. (See footnote at end of article.)

Inferior Mirages

First of all, let us consider the style of mirage that is seen most frequently, the "inferior" mirage. Mirages which are below the horizon or
in an inferior position, are called Inferior mirages. This does not mean that they are of poor quality. Usually these miraj;-look like puddles of water on a hot pavement of highway, or they look like lakes in a field or level desert area) and they show reflections of the objects that are in them and around them. What appears to be the surface of the water often shows moving waves, as though a cool breeze were stirring the surface. On a hot day such a eight is inviting indeed. These mirages have caused many a desert traveler to wander from his course of travel and perish on the hot dry sands trying to reach the ever receding of water" which he could see so plainly with his own eyes. Many stories have been told which involve the inferior mirage. Here are just a few of them.

* Copyright 1951 by J. Lowell Butler, Rt. 2, Box 220, Gresham, Oregon

In north central Oregon) south of Arlington on the Columbia River, in a large wheat belt where trees are few and far between, and where ducks and geese like to stop and feed during their migratory flights from the north countries. Some friends of mine, Cecil Metzler, Harry Bjure and others from Gresham near Portland, Oregon, once vent on a duck hunting trip to this region and found what they thought was a nice shallow lake of water in the Rock Creek Flats South Of Arlington. They could see birds swimming on the surface of the lake, and the
bushes were reflected in such a way that it looked like a shallow lake--which makes another ideal feeding place for ducks. For an hour they crawled carefully on their hands Mi knees a the surrounding bushes, and sometimes flat on the ground, to keep out of eight of the birds and to got within shooting distance. Finally a Jack rabbit was soared out of his
hiding and vent bounding away strait into that lake and across it! It proved to be a
lake! What appeared to be water, was only a layer of very hot air . close to the ground, which, because its density was lover then the air above it) bent the light from the sky slightly upward and made It look like sky-light reflected from the surface of a breeze-swept lake.

Possibly three of the best places to see mirages in the United States are in northwest Nebraska, northwest Utah,l and southeast Arizona. More than one kind of mirage may be seen in these places. Probably the best mirages are seen in Utah on the Bonneville Salt Bede about 125 miles west of Salt Lake City where they are regular yearly affairs. Gus P. Backman, secretary of the Salt Lake City Chamber-of Commerce said In describing them briefly, "The mountains in the midst of the salt beds are known as floating islands due to the fact that it appears that the mountain ranges are large islands completely surrounded
by water. These mirages are so commonplace to us in this area that I cannot recall any photographs being made of them." (Letter or June 30s 1951.) Dr. W. J. Humphreys of the U. S. Weather Bureau said when illustrating the inferior kind of mirages, "This type of mirage is very common on the west coast of the Great Salt Lake, Indeed on approaching this lake from the west, one can often see the railway over which he has just passed apparently disappearing beneath a shimmering surface."2 These mirages may also be seen from highway 40.

The name "mirage" van not in existence before
1793. In that year Napoleon took an army into Egypt, and one of the members of this expeditionary force was a French physicist whose name was Gaspard Monge. While he was with this expedition, the mirages which the soldiers of France saw in north Africa and Egypt were so plentiful that they "threw themselves on their knees and prayed for deliverance" from the "vanishing lakes upside-down palm trees and ghostly minarets" which they could not understand.3 Monge studied these strange sights and came to a scientific conclusion that has stood the test of 150 years. He gave them the name, "mirage," which to from the French word mirer and the Latin word mirare, which mean "to look at." Indeed, a mirage is something to look at--and to study.

April 11, 1916p a mirage caused a temporary cessation of hostilities between the
British and the Turks on the torrid plains of Mesopotamia, some distance east of the Bible land of Palestine. The inferior mirage made it impossible for the British gunners to see the fleeing Turks, ans so one of the strangest of military dispatches W a written: 'Vhe fighting had to be temporarily suspended owing to a mirage."3,4

The missionary explorer, Livingstone, described a remarkable inferior mirage
which he saw in the northeast part of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Livingstone wrote: "The mirage on theme salinas was marvelous. Here no Imagination was necessary for realizing the exact picture of large collections of water. The waves danced along the surface, and the shadows of the trees were, vividly reflected in such an admirable mower that the loose cattle, whose thirst had not been slacked by the very brackish water of Ncholetsa, with the horses dogs, and even the Hottentots, ran off towards the deceitful pools. A herd of zebras in the mirage looked a exa ctly like elephants. Then a sort of break in the haze have dispelled the illusion."5

Towering Mirages

The second style of mirage is the towering marige, which magnifies the distant objects and distorts then into fantastic shapes and sizes. It my be combined with the Inferior mirage, so that the objects an a mirage lake and around it will have strange shapes. These my be seen in both hot and cold lands. Rocks and bunches of grass are transformed into desert villages and minarets; small bushes become large palm trees; and icebergs appear to be large castles with protecting towers.

If the observer is traveling, fantastic transformations of these objects on the horizon are seen'. Sometimes they are flattened into a table-land; then they are stretched upward into spires; and then they may assume the shape of a mushroom standing on a slender stem; or portions of the horizon my float off into space and disappear; or now fantastic mountain ranges my appear. "Such antics may go on fog hours," making the mountains and hills change position like playing lambs.

The writer of Psalm
29:5-6 was evidently referring to a towering mirage which he had soon in the northern part of Palestine when he wrote, "'The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yes, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn." This is mirage language with a religious coloring much more than it is poetic language.

When the explorer and archaeologist Dr. Byronthun De Prorok became lost for, a day in the blistering hot Sahara Desert in north Africa, which is sometimes
158 F, he say how its heat affected the entire scenery, and wrote, "The world
around me became a vague yellow haze, for the heat affects all distances, and
form become greatly disproportioned. Small hillocks in the distance are
distorted Into mountains; elevations that seen near are perhaps five miles away."7

He might have borrowed an expression from the Psalms and said "The hills melted like wax (Psalm 97:5), because from all appearances in those sweltering surroundings, the hills seemed to be changing form like melting wax objects.

Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews, a veteran explorer and later Director of The American Museum of Natural History, saw a combination of inferior and towering Mirages while in northern China in the
Mongolian Gobi Desert. The temperature on that day stood at 1450 F. From a slight rise he saw in the distance a beautiful lake about half a mile across, and on its surface was a moving flock of birds. Some of the birds seemed to be of the wading variety, with legs that appeared to be about 14 feet long. Some of the birds appeared to have huge flamingo wings, while others had strange shaped squat-like bodies. In the midst of the lake was an island. Even though Dr. Andrews suspected that this was a mirage he called to his topographer, Major Roberts, to sketch the outlines of it from that position. And then he drove toward the lake to investigate it. Dr. Andrews wrote,

"As I vent down the slope the lake became less distinct. The island wavered.. then disappeared. The birds proved to be a herd of antelope, all but their heads obscured, in the stratum of shimmering heat waves lying an the sand. I drove back to where
Roberts was working. The lake appeared again), perfect in every detail. Roberts wouldn't believe it was a mirage until he had gone down to see for himself."4,3

Sometimes these towering mirages play strange magnifying tricks with small objects. At one time an ant colony was situated at the sending end of such a mirage, and when seen at the receiving end these ants appeared to be cows moving over a distant hill. One of the cows did a seemingly impossible trick, by picking up another cow in her mouth and
carrying it away. While another was seen to fall down a high cliff without Injury to herself. This distorted view or the ants was the result of the straight rays of light coming from them being bent irregularily by the heated air through which they were passing, just as they are bent and give us a distorted view when we look through an imperfect window pane or when we look into a cheap mirror with an irregular surface.

Looming Mirages

The third style of mirage is the looming mirage. These mirages cause objects and mountains to loom up and appear on the horizon and remain in contact with the horizon. The views which they present look very natural. The rays of light coming from beyond the horizon are bent somewhat downward by an upper layer of warmer and much less dense air, and we actually see what is ordinarily out of sight many miles beyond the horizon! It is this style
Of mirage which has deceived some of our experienced explorers and best scientists.

In 1818 Sir James Rose , and his uncle, Sir John Ross, were seeking a Northwest 
Passage around the North American Continent. When north of Baffin Land one
Morning they saw what appeared to be a range of mountains that blocked their way,
and so turned back. Almost a hundred years later Admiral Robert E. PearY, while
traveling up the northwest coast of Ellesmere Island (some 300 miles vest of the
north end of Greenland), saw during June and July of
1906 from three different
locations the snow-clad summits of what appeared to be a mountainous country about
120 miles to the northwest beyond the Polar Sea, and named it "Crocker Land" in
honor of one of his supporters. After his return trip from discovering the North
Pole on April 6, 1909, his report concerning Crocker Land, together with similar
accumulated evidences reported by Richardson, McClure, Marcus Baker, Capt. John
Keenan, and Dr. R. A. Harris, awakened considerable interest, and a Crocker Land
Expedition costing $300,000 was organized and sponsored by the American Museum,
the American Geographical Society, the University of Illinois and many private
ributors, and was placed under the able command of Donald B. MacMillan, who was with Admiral Robert E. Peary on his successful trip to the North Pole.

In the summer of 1913 this Crocker Land Expedition established its winter base in Etah in Feulk Fiord, "the most northern
settlement in the world, "on the northwest shores of Greenland, north latitude 780 20' and vest longitude 730, about 700 miles from the North Pole. March 10, 1914, the expedition began its long trip of 580 miles to the shores of the Polar Sea, using sledges and dogs, and reached these shores near Cape Thomas Hubbard, on April llth, after 33 days of continuous work through weather that was often very stormy and from 20 to 30 degrees below zero. Here the party was limited to four men, including two Eskimos, and four sledges drawn by dogs. By April 21st they had traveled about 100 miles onto the Polar Sea In a northeast direction, and then experienced another of those rare clear and quiet days in the Arctic, which permitted then to see farther on before them a beautiful land with "hills, valleys, and snow-capped peaks extending through at least me hundred and twenty degrees of the horizon.... But as we proceeded," wrote MacMillan, "the landscape gradually changed its appearance and varied in extent with the swinging around of the Sun; final at night It disappeared altogether. As we drank our hot tea and gnawed the pemmican, we did a good deal of thinking. Could Peary with all his experience have been mistaken? Was this mirage which had deceived us the very thing which had deceived him eight years before? If he did see Crocker Land,. then it van considerably more than 120 miles away, for we were now at least 100 miles from shore, with nothing In sight."9 By April 24th they had traveled 150 miles due northwest from Cape Thaws Hubbard, to north latitude 8,20 and vest longitude 108o 22'; but wrote MacMillan, "not a thing in sight, not even our almost constant traveling companion, the mirage. We were convinced that we were In pursuit of a will-o'-the-wisp, ever r6cedingp ever changing, ever beckoning .....My dream of the last four years were merely dreams; my hopes had ended In bitter disappointment."

On the return trip the
Crocker Land Expedition had fair weather until shortly after reaching shore. While the weather was clear, quiet and cold, wrote Macmillan, "the mirage of the sea Ice, resembling in every particular an immense land, continued to mock us. It seemed so near and so easily attainable if we would only turn back." After reaching land again, they climbed to the place where Peary had built a cairn of stones and seen "Crocker Land," and had another good look at it. Describing what they saw from this high point an Cape Thomas Hubbard, MacMillan wrote, "The day was exceptionally clear, not a cloud or trace of mist; if land could be seen, now was our time . Yes, there it was! It could even be seen without a glass, extending from southwest true to northeast. Our powerful glasses, however.. brought out more clearly the dark background in contrast with the white) the whole resembling hills, valleys and snow-capped peaks to such a degree that, had we not been out on the frozen sea for 150 miles, we would have staked our lives upon its
reality. Our judgment then as now, is that this was a mirage or loom of the sea ice."

Later when
commenting an mirages of this and another style, Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews, Director of the American Museum of Natural History said, "Most mirages occur when layers or air of different density are superimposed. Also, somewhere on the Earth's surface, perhaps a few miles, a hundred, or even a thousand miles away, there must be objects similar to those we see In the mirage. The light waves are bout and refracted Irregularly Instead or traveling a normal course as they pass from those objects through the layers of air."4

This leads us to ask a few
thousand questions: Are those mountains of "Crocker Land" somewhere In Canada or Alaska? Are they the Stanovoi Mountains of northeast Russia? Or are they somewhere in Mongolia or Tibet? Or do they lie far beyond the North Pole and south of Siberia? Would it be possible to follow that trail of light by fast airplane back to its source and know for sure?

The Antarctic explorer Charles Wilkes.. authorized by an act of the U. S, Congress, sailed from 1838 to 1840 along the Antarctic Barrier south of Australia from longitude 1500 to 970 East and mapped what he found. That region is still called Wilkes Land, but some of what he mapped turned out to be nothing but a mirage coast line!

Admiral Richard Byrd has flown over both the
North and South Poles of the Earth. He has been in the Antarctic three time with able scientists. In 1929, a range of mountains van photographed from a certain position of longitude And latitude.

On a subsequent expedition Admiral Byrd saw these some mountains exactly as photographed previously, but he was then 200 miles farther away from them. They loomed up over the horizon because the rays of light coming from them were bent downward enough to fit the general curvature of the Earth's surface.

In 1948 Connander Finn Ronne of the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition had a similar experience, in which he "saw land over the edge of the world, 200 miles beyond" the normal horizon, which is usually only 20 miles away.

In 1927 Colonel Charles A. Lindberg on his famed solo flight from New York to Paris, May 20-21, had to contend with looming mirages several times over the North Atlantic Ocean before he reached the Irish coast. But he was not fooled by them because he knew that he was still several hours flying distance from Ireland.

Looming mirages have been seen an the east coast of the United States, across Lake Michigan from Chicago St. Joseph, in the central part of South Dakota, and especially across the Gulf of Lower California in the region of Puerto Penasco in northwest Mexico.10,11 Space will not provide room for the details here. Looming mirages have also been seen at sea and in north Africa.4,10

Lateral Mirages

The fourth style of mirage is the lateral mirage. When the adjoining hot
and cool layers of air are vertical, or at right-angles to the level horizon.. they act like a prism or mirror that helps us see around a corner, instead of over the hump of the horizon. When the Sun is shining on the face of a steep slope or cliff, a layer of hotter air is produced that is standing on edge, so to speak. And several people have had frightening experiences because of these lateral mirages.

In Utah a camper was looking at the scenery through his binoculars, and while he was doing this the sunlight produced a lateral mirage on the steep hill on which he was standing. As he lowered his field glasses and looked around he saw a bear walking toward him. Evidently the bear saw him also, and rose up on his hind legs in surprise. The man let out a yell, and the big bear began a hasty retreat. Then the breeze shifted the air and the lateral mirage, and
the bear vanished from eight. But a careful investigation around the band of the trail showed that fresh tracks had been made by a very real bear.

In Alaska a lateral mirage caused Major Frederick L. Martin on
his round-the world flight in 1924 to wreck his airplane. After leaving Chignak in Alaska he flew between some mountains that formed a narrow gorge. A heated vertical layer of air caused him to see the mountains to his Wt. as though they were directly in front of him. He banked sharply to the left to avoid them, and then found himself headed directly toward the real mountains. He realized too late that this lateral mirage had fooled him, and a crash followed; but luckily no one was killed.

The shifting of scenery sideways by a lateral mirage is not seen often. But a story is told of a ship which was cruising near a steep mountainous coast and was seen in one such
mirage to apparently divide into two identical ships that then moved away from each other in opposite directions.

Superior Mirages

The fifth style of mirage is the superior mirage. These mirages are in a superior position, or above And free-of the horizon, and show some sky below them.
These sky mirages
my show objects in an erect position or In an Inverted position and the objects soon my be In reality out of sight over the horizon. Superior mirages have been seen by many people in many places.

During the early colonial days
U. S. history a superior mirage was seen from New York one afternoon after a violent atom. A certain sailing ship which was expected from England was seen floating in the air, and so many of its details could be seen that its idenity was unquestionable. "That vision, however, was the last ever. seen of her." Then in 1918, during World War 1, a German U-boat captain who had ventured into the waters off Sandy Hook took a look at New York City through his periscope.. and was greatly surprised at what he saw. A superior mirage showed another New York City upside-down, floating in mid-air over the real city, with the points of the skyscraper buildings touching each other.

In 1869 a superior mirage near Paris shaved an inverted reflection of that city to distant observers. And In 1900 the Eiffel Tower looked like two stunting acrobatic twins, with me standing an Its head an top of the other.

In 1870 a superior mirage in Europe let many people in Sweden and Norway see a picture In the sky of the armies that were several hundred miles south engaged in the Franco-Prussian War.

During the Crimean War of
1853-1856, when Florence Nightingale became famous for her heroic efforts In saving the lives of soldiers, there occurred a superior mirage which made the whole British Fleet appear as an inverted picture "at considerable height above the horizon."

What has been called "the mat spectacular mirage ever recorded" was seen in 1556 in the Strait of Messina between the Island of Sicily and the southern tip of Italy. It was named "Fata Morgana" and has given rise to a typical fable. It has
been seen more than once. When a strange ghostly cloud is forecast in the straits, this mirage presents the picture of a harbor-city, or rather two or three such cities one above the other, But "as the Sun risen higher... the fairy city fades in the limpid Italian air." From Japan have come reports of somewhat similar mirages.12

Superior mirages are seen
In northwestern Nebraska, when the atmospheric conditions are just right. They are preceded by a "gray", rather smoky and unnatural-appearing cloud that lies an the horizon in the early morning, Soon "pine forests, butts and weird castles bedeck a new and higher landscape, which floats majestically above the horizon."13

The south polar relief ship, Terra Noval was seen In
an interesting superior mirage by one of the survivors of Captain Scott's last expedition in the Antarctic. While most of the ship was still out of eight over the horizon, and only the masts were in sight there appeared a complete picture of the
ship upside-down in the sky, and over this a second mirage of the ship upright.

6. Perfect Mirages

The sixth style of mirage has been called the perfect mirage. By this is meant a mirage which would bond the light rays of an object, completely around our Planet. "A lone desert wanderer would be dogged by a constants life-sized silent traveling companion, the ghostly image of himself, projected by mirage completely around the surface of the globe." But, we are informed, there is no perfect mirage on our planet. However the scientists tell us that on a planet six times as large an the Earth and with a similar atmosphere of proper hot and, cold temperatures, there could be ouch a thing as a perfect mirage.3


Reader Please Take Note: If you know of any more interesting mirage stories that are authentic, and if you have any reasonably priced pictures of mirages. please send them to the author. If
you can take pictures of mirages, please send for some free suggestions that will assist in making your pictures more valuable scientifically. Write to the author of this article, J. Lowell Butlery Route 2, Box 220, Gresham.. Oregon.


(Part One)

1. Journal or the Franklin Institute, Volume 245, No. 6, Pagess 457-473; June 1948; "Meteorological Conditions Accompanying Mirages in'the Salt Lake Desert," by Dr. Ronald L. Ives, Indiana University.

2. "Physics of the Air.." by W. J. Humphreys, p. 475, etc... 1540.

3. Holiday Magazine, August 19!50; article on "Mirages: Hot and Cold)" by Roger Angell.

4. Reader's Digest, December 1938; "Mirage Magic" by Dr. Boy Chapman Andrews, Director of The American Museum of Natural History.

5. "Across the Great Deserts," by P. T. Merton, p. 127; 1948.

6. "Visual Illusions.." by Dr. Matthew Luckieshj, Director in 1934 of the Lighting Laboratory of General Electric Co.; p. 178; 1922.

7. "Mysterious Sahara by Dr. Byron Khan
De Prorock; p. 211; 1929.

8. Science Digest, March 1950; "Nightmares In the Sky." by George Scullin.

9. "Four Years In the White North," by Donald B. MacMillan; p.
46-88; 1933.

10. Science News Letter, May 12p 1951; "Mirages Come Regularly Each Day at Puerto Penasco," p.

11. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 40, No 3, 143-187; Sep. 1949.

12. Japanese publications:-- Geolgive. M& 4:317; 1931; by Fujiwhara, Oomori,
and Taguti. Geophys , Mag.
4:375; 1931; by Hjdaka;. Geophys Mag. 4:387; 1930 by Futi.

13. Nature Magazine, November 1941; "Nebraska Mirages," by W. S. Skelton.

14. Other References given in the text (part one):
3, Gus P. Backman Secretary of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce, 
Utah; letter of June 30,
1951. Page 5. Psalm 29:5-6; 97:5.

Part 2
Mirages and Joshua's Long Day
J. Lowell Butler

From: JASA 3 (March 1951):

Mirages help us to understand Joshua's long day, Hezekiah's backward moving sundial shadow,
and how, "every eye" ort a round world can see Jesus coming swiftly In the clouds of heaven.

In the first part of this study of the light-banding qualities of mirages six different kinds of mirages were studied, and numerous examples given. Here is a quick review of them. (i) When the rays of light coming to us from the distant sky are bent
upward by a layer of ground air that is a least five degrees warmer than the layer immediately above It,is we see below the horizon (on in an inferior position) what appears to be a lake of water, which may show reflections of tress and other objects on it's shimmering surface. We call this an inferior mirage. (2) Sometimes the rays of light are bent in such a manner that distant objects are stretched upward and appear much taller than they really are. This is the work of a towering mirage.

(3) When a layer of warm ground air extends up to considerable distance above the horizon and to in close contact with a layer of quiet cooler air above It, the rays of light are bent somewhat downward and permit us to see over the horizon. Out-of-sight objects loom up over the horizon as a result of this looming mirage. (4) Likewise we are able to see around a corner or steep hill when we are in-a layer of hot air that exists in a vertical positton in close contact with cooler air. This produces lateral mirages. (5) Superior mirages are seen higher above the horizon, and may show out-of-sight objects in Inverted and erect positions, because of one or more level loyere of alternating hot and cold air,

All these demonstrated light-bonding tricks of our atmosphere have led scientists to admit that under certain conditions of the atmosphere it might be possible for arperfect mirage to occur, in which the rays of light would be bent completely around a planet.

And this brings us to the study of the seventh kind of mirage, the supernatural mirage. The Creator of the astronomical and meteorological heavens and the Earth knew full well the posdibilities that exist in light-bending and light-refracting substances2 and it now seems evident that He utilized tese latent powers in Nature more than once to accomplish some special objectives.

Supernatural Mirages

The seventh style of mirage is the supernatural mirage. This is a spectal and rare mirage in the Earth's atmosphere which is
similar to one or more of the natural mirages, but is of a magnitude, altitude, and character that could be the result of a divine miracle oaly, and therefore produced for some important purpose. In this style of mirage the higher strata of air my play an Important role. At a height of forty miles the  temperature of the Earth's atmosphere is about that of boiling water (212o F.) and just below and above this layer the temperature is very cold (0o to -1500 F. below it, and 00 to -15000 F. above it).16,17 Convection currents and high winds prevail to an altitude of

* Copyright, 1951 by J, Lowell Butler, Route 2p Box-220, Gresham, Oregon

some sixty miles. Whether this such of the Earth's
atmosphere is involved in the supernatural m1rages, or whether such mirages are produced Mainly by special changes In the lover strata of air below, a height of ten miles, remains to be determined.

One writer has said recently,
"Actually, mirages are Infinite in their variety. Given the right conditions, there Is virtually no limit on the time or place of a mirage, or on the object which my appear."18

When we examine the 114th Psalm In the light of what we now know about mirages, it is easy to see that-this Psalm contains a description of a great
mirage In the land of Palestine after the Jews had crossed the River Jordan in their early conquest of that land. Furthermore, when we compare the 114th Psalm with a list of the recorded miracles which God performed In behalf of the children of Israel from B. C. 1491 to 1451o it is easy to see that this Psalm to referring to these miracles Z1Z. And since Joshua's long day occurred only a few months
after the crossing
of the River Jordan, the mirage described evidently occurred on Joshua's long day, and It was a result or God performing a miracle on that day. In other words, In the 114th Psalm we have a brief or partial description of a supernatural mirage which occurred Joshua's long day

What was seen an that day was described by more than one writer, even though no Man at that time fully understood that supernatural mirage. Certainly if ordinary mirages have not been recognized by so many people... including some of our best explorers and men of modern science,
it Is to be expected that a supernatural mirage would likewise be seen but not understood In Bible times. It has been left for our inquisitive scientific age of greatly Increased knowledge to analyze the evidences and come to realize that God produced a   supernatural mirage on Joshua's long day. In this way the light of the Sun and the Moon were bent downward In a curve that was about parallel to the spherical surface of the Earth, so that as the Earth continued its orderly rotation on its axis, the Sun and Moon appeared to stand still In the evening sky.

Before quoting the 114th Psalm we should refresh our memories with a list of some of the outstanding miracles which occurred between B. C. 1491 and 1451In delivering the children of Israel from their Egyptian bondage God performed a series of miracles (Exodus 6:1-8; 7:1 to 12:42)1 He performed another miracle when they crossed the northwest part of
the Red Sea, or Gulf of Suez (Exodus 14); He performed a miracle when Moses smote the rock in Horeb, and a great fountain of water was provided for the people In the wilderness (Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 33:14; 20:1-12); He performed a miracle when they crossed the River Jordan just north of the Dead Sea (Joshua 3:1 to 5:1); He performed a miracle when the walls of Jericho crumbled (Joshua 6:1-27); and Re performed another miracle m Joshua's long day (Joshua lo:1-14).

In the 114th Psalm, in the fourth and sixth verses we find the strange descriptive expressions, "the mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs."
This is another way of describing a bog
mirage without using the word mirane, The word mirage was not in existence then. The short 114th Psalm reads as follows.

When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of a straw language; Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion. The sea saw it, and fled: Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped like rams. and the little hills like lambs. What ailed thee, 0 thou sea, that thou fledest? thou Jordan.. that thou vast driven back? Trenbley thou Earthp at. the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; wh1ch turned the rock into a standing water, and the flint Into a fountain of water."--Psalm 114.

The description of this supernatural mirages in the 114th Psalm seem to indicate that it 'was a hot-weather mirage, rather than a cold-weather mirage. This is confirmed by the details of the narrative that is given in the book or Joshua.

For instance, soon after crossing the River Jordan the Passover was observed (which occurred during the mouth of April), and then several other thing's were done which would have taken a few weeks of time. This places Joshua's long day sometime in summer, probably In June, when in that region the "intense heat of summer bedins.19

Furthermore.. in reading the story of Joshua's long day (Joshua 10:1-28) we
should notice that a very severe hailstorm occurred on that day. Checking this information with several articles in the Encyclopaedia-Britannica, we find that the
entire narrative is consistent, because hailstorms of this severe character usually
occur in the summertime and usually in the afternoon, when the air is generally hot
and quiet.20 It was not until after this severe hailstorm had occurred In the Ajalon
Valley more than twenty-five miles vest of the north and of the Dead Sea and then
moved southward to Azeksh some 16 miles southwest of Jerusalem.. that Joshua on that
day once more showed his great faith in God In a time of special need and said, "Sun
stand thou still upon Gibson; and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon!" Joshua was
somewhere east of Gibson and looking toward the vest when aid this, because the
battle was progressing westward down the Ajalon Valley and then southward. The day
was getting wall spent, and more time was urgently needed to complete that important
battle against the five confederated kings of the southwest, so that they could not
escape by fleeing into the walled villages. (Joshua 10:19)20) And so God honored
Joshua's command and timely faith (which he expressed publicly without any shadow
of a doubt) because they were in line with His plans for the conquest of Palestine
at that time. So the simple matter-of-fact record reads:

"And the sun stood still, and the Moon stand until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher"? So the Sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a th-ole7da And there was no day like that before it or after It, that the Lord harkened unto the voice of a mm: for the Lord fought for Israel."--Joshua 10:12-14, (See also Heb. 3:11) The expression. "hasted not to go down" shows that this lengthening of the day occurred in the afternoon and probably when the Sun was near the western horizon. All of the circumstances seem to indicate this. What was accomplished while the Sun and Moon stood still is told in verses 16-28. (Verse 15 belongs with verse 43)

Another group of related evidences which we should keep in mind vhen studying the circumstantial evidences of Joshua's long day is the geographical position of the land of Palestine. Palestine is located in the midst of a great desert area that extends from the Atlantic Ocean across north Africa and Saudi Arabia end into Iran, or Persia, a total distanc e of about 5,000 miles east and west) and from 800 to 1400 miles north and south.21 Plenty of hot air could be made over these millions of square miles of desert to produce one of the factors in the atmosphere that is required in making a large mirage. And the extensive cooler waters of the long Mediterranean Sea to the vest, and the Atlantic Ocean still farther vest, could produce another factor in the atmosphere which helps in making looming and superior mirages. But to get these extensive strata of hot and cool air close together properly superimposed, and then keep them relatively quiet for several hours would require extensive and appropriate movements of the air over a very large area. Nature left to itself does not accomplish all this. But certainly an all-vise and all-powerful Creator would find it easy to do all that at the proper time, knowing In advance what Joshua would require.

When we reflect on all these evidences, it seems reasonable to conclude that
God made a supernatural mirage over the Mediterranean Sea and over Europe and over
the north Atlantic Ocean on Joshua's long day: and that is the M God caused the
Sun and Moon to be seen above the sunset horizon for many hours after in reality
had set. The light of the Sun and Moon were bent over the horizon as the Earth con tinued its normal ion, and what people saw in Palestine was a supernatural su perior mirage of the Sun and Moon. It was not necessary for God to atop the rotation of the Earth to cause the Sun and Moon to appear to stand still in the evening sky.

Some people--in fact many people--have supposed that our spinning planet had to be stopped for awhile to produce what was seen by Joshua and the inhabitants of Palestine. This supposition has stirred up a lot of justified criticism by those who study Nature and know the laws of astronomical motion. Then, those who were all too anxious to find an excuse for rejecting the Bible, thought they had some good reasons here for calling this Bible story of Joshua's long day "incredible," "the product of fancy," "matter of scorn," a "hideous implausibility," a
"flight of fancy," a "metaphor," "poetic imagery" and many other uncomplimentary things. By jumping to the conclusion that there was only one way (namely, by disturbing the rotation of the Earth on its axis) for the Sun and Moon to apparently stand still in the sky for some time, both sincere Christians and intelligent scientists have provided the shallow atheists with quite a long day of merriment, ridicule, sarcasm and vitriolic unbelief. As a result, many young men and women have turned away from the Bible, thinking that it was a book of religious fables of the Jews, instead of a Guide Book. for truth-seeking souls.

However, a careful reader will notice that there is nothing in the story of Joshua's long day (Joshua 10:1-28) which says that the rotation of the Earth
on its axis was stopped. What was seen is described just as they saw it; but how it was produced has been left for our inquisitive scientific age of greatly increased knowledge to discover. It is the study of mirages which sheds light on this and other Bible stories. Again the Bible stands vindicated as a faithful record of facts. Again it can be accepted literally.

Have you ever taken a few moments to reflect on what would happen all over our planet if its turning on its axis were suddenly stopped? The spinning speed of the Earth at its equator to about a thousand miles per hour! Spinning around an axis produces centrifugal force, or a thrust outward from the axis. That is what makes many of the planets, including the Earth, oblate in shape with a diameter which is greater through the equator than through the poles. Strong steel flywheels and emery wheels have been known to fly apart when spun too rapidly. If you should tie a weight, say a pound, to a string and then whirl that weight rapidly around your hand while you held onto the end of the string.. the string would break from the outward centrifugal force if the whirling were fast enough. Centrifugal force will also keep water from spilling out of a bucket full of water if it is swung rapidly around you, either horizontally or vertically. The
spinning of the Earth produces in the Earth an outward centrifugal force that partly balances the inward pull of gravity. If the Earth stopped spinning, then the outward force would disappear, and relatively speaking.. the force of gravity would be increased. This would cause readjustments and much faulting within the rock layers of the Earth, with resulting earth-wide earthquakes which would be severe enough to destroy every city on the entire Earth. Since the story of Joshua's long day does not include mention of any earthquake at all at that time.. we must conclude that Joshua's long day was not the result of the Earth ceasing to rotate for several hours, That day was lengthened in some other way, namely, by a supernatural superior mirage of the Sun and Moon.

Another terrible result of any sudden stopping of the spinning of the Earth on its polar axis would be the creation of violent and miles-high tidal waves in the waters of the oceans and large lakes, which would spill over their eastern shores as they continued to travel in their former direction in space. For example, if you were carrying a large flat dish
full of water while moving rapidly eastward.. and then suddenly stopped, most of the water in your dish would suddenly rush out of it toward the east. The waters in the Mediterranean Sea would have spilled all over Palestine and the countries to the east if God had suddenly stopped the rotation of the Earth on Joshua's long day. In fact, the vast volume of water in the oceans, which now cover three-fourths of the Earth's surface to an average depth of over two miles, would have raced over all the continents and mountains as in the days of Nosh. Therefore, since no earth-vide deluge Is associated with Joshua's long day, it was not the result of any delayed rotation of the Earth; but was caused in some other way, namely by a supe rnatural superior mirage of the sun and moon.

God had promised Noah and his descendants that "neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there be any more a flood to destroy the earth."--Genesis 9:11 (compare with Job 38:8, 11). Therefore it was im portant that He remember
and keep this promise, if He was to prove himself to be
"the Faithful and True Witness. (Rev. 3:14) It was important that the Earth's orderly rotation on its axis be allowed to continue without interruption, so that the waters in the oceans would not again race over the continents. In the time of Isaiah that important promise to Noah was repeated in the following words: "I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more go over the Earth. "--Isaiah 54:9 (See also Psalm 104:9). God proved himself faithful to his promises: He did not forget: and that is why God used a supernatural superior mirage of the Sun and Moon to produce Joshua's long day, instead of stopping the rotation of the Earth on its axis-which He could have done, had He chosen to do so small a deed in the vast astronomical heavens.

Hezekiah's Sundial

Speaking of Isaiah reminds me of another interesting supernatural mirage that occurred in his time, when Hezekiah was king of Judah. The story is recorded in two places In the Bible, in 2 Kings 20 end Isaiah 38. It tells us that God "brought the shadow ten degrees backward by vh1ch it had gone down in the dial of A4az. -2 Kings 20:11. In the book of Isaiah it is recorded in these words, "So the Sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down."--Isaiah 38:8. This supernatural mirage occurred in the afternoon also; but instead of making the Sun appear to stand still, it caused it to appear to move backwards or upward, some distance. The ten degrees of the sundial of Ahaz, used by Hezekiah, may represent eighty minutes, or one and one-third hours.25 A supernatural superior mirage of the Sun could easily have produced the backward movement of the sundial shadow ten degrees. If a lateral mirage will apparently move a mountain some 900, certainly a supernatural mirage could apparently move the Sun 100 or more.

The reader may be interested tn a discussion of these subjects which began recently (Sep., 1951) in the journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, Vol. 3) No. 3, with two articles entitled "Joshua's Long Day" by E, Walter Maunder, F.R.A.S, late Superintendent of the Solar Department of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich England; and "The Shadow Returning on the Dial of Ahaz," by Annie S. D. Maunder, F.R.A.S. A discussion follows each article. These are reprints from the Journal of Transactions of the Victoria Institute in London, England. Copies of the Journal of the A. S, A. may be had at $1.00 each by writing to the secretary, Dr. H. Harold Hartzler, 107 W. Plymouth Avenue, Goshen, Indiana. The discussion will be continued in this journal.

Every Eye Shall See Him coming

Did you know that there is to be another and even greater supernatural mirage? Bible prophecy contains some statements which seem to indicate that another super natural mirage will be observed at the time
or the second coming of Jesus, It is revealed in the prophecies of the Bible that "every eye shall see him" coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.26 Prophecy also declared that he will come quickly, or swiftly (Rev. 22:20). If
the people living an the back side of the Earth had to wait for the Earth to turn around so they could see Him coming, they would miss seeing this great event and would see Him only after He had arrived. Therefore, it seem more in keeping with all the related evidences to conclude that there will be another supernatural mirage formed in the atmosphere of our planet at the time of Jesus' second coming, which will permit people on the back side of the Earth to see simultaneously with all the others the actual coming of Jesus.

The additional heat, or at least much of it, which will assist in the making of this final supernatural mirage will come from the Sun directly during the fourth of the seven last plagues (which may be regarded as very literal), when power
will be given to the Sun to scorch men with great heat (Revelation 16:8-9). This will have its effect upon the layers of the Earth's atmosphere everywhere, and will also cause much greater evaporation of water from the land, the lakes end the oceans. This effect on the land Is included in many of the prophecies.21 By the time that Jesus comes with power and "great glory," the atmosphere of the entire Earth will have been modified in several ways and to such an extent that another supernatural superior, mirage (the greatest of them all), will occur--such to the advantage of the righteous.

A long time ago it was written,
is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart."--Psalm 97:11. Yes, even if the light is only a mirage there is a lesson to be learned from it.

Reader'. Please Take Note: If you know of any more interesting mirage stories that are authentic, and if you have any reasonably priced pictures of mirages, please send them to the author, J. Lowell Butler, Route 2, Box 220, Gresham, Oregon. For photographs of mirages to have greater scientific value they should be accompanied with some additional written information such as the following (or as much of it as possible):

1. Three pictures should be taken for comparison, one with and one without the mirage; and one should be taken through a telescopic lens.

2. Kind of camera and film used, with exposure information, should be listed.

3. Distance to the mirage from the camera.

4. Location of the mirage, and the direction of the view (looking east or vest).

5. Date and time of day; duration.

6. Position of the Sun in the sky (degrees above a level horizon, etc,)

7. Angle between a level horizo3i to bottom and to top of mirage,

8. Weather conditions (clear, hazy, part cloudy; air quiet; after a storm; relative humidity when photographed; barometric pressure; etc.)

9. Temperature where photographed and in midst of the mirage, for each foot of elevation from ground level to well above the mirage; kind of thermometer used.

10. Some word descriptions of the mirage.

11. Names and addresses of the photographer and other observers.


(Part Two)

15. Journal of the Franklin Institute, Volume 24% No. 6, pages 465 and 467, June, 1948: Meterological Conditions Accompanying Mirages in the Salt Lake Desert," by Dr. Donald L. Ives, Indiana University.

16. "Earth, Moon and Planets," by Fred L. Whipple, p. 86s 87; 1946.

17. "Atmospheres of the Earth and Planets, " by Gerard P. Kuiper, p4 142; 1949.

18. Science Digest, March, 1950.. P. 7.9 "Nightmares in the Sky? by George Scullin.

19. Dictionary of the Bible, by John B. Davis; articles "Year," p. 824; 1939.

20. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1929 edition; article an "Rail," Vol. 11, P4 76-77; article on Forests and Rainfal," Vol. 9, p. 500; article on "'Thunderstorms," Vol. 22, p. 168.

21. Encyclopaedia Britannica.. 1929 edition; article on "Sahara," Vol. 19, P. 815, 816.

22. "Across the Great Deserts," by P. T. Etherton; p. 23; 1948.

23. Ene7clopaedia Britannica, 1929 edition; article on "Egypt."' Vol. 8, P. 35,
sub-heading "climate."

24. "Worlds in Collision! by Immanuel Velikovsky, P. 39; 1950.

25. Encyclopaedia Britannica', 1929 edition; article on "Calendar," Vol. 4, P. 576, sub-heading 'tabylonian and Assyrian." Also Dictionary of the Bible by John B. David~ article on "Dial," p. 177; 1939. Also Daniel 4:19 and John 11:9.

26. Revelation 1:7; Matthev 13:39-43; 16:27; 24:29-31; 25:31; 26:64; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 9:26; 21:25-27; Acts 26:13-15; Rebreve 1:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:8,

27. Joel 1:10-20; 2:1.2; Isaiah 24; Nahum 1:4-6 Isaiah 33:9-17.

28. Other references given in the Text: (Part 2) Page 15-17, Pa. 114; Page 16,17, Ex. 6:1e8; 7:1 to 12:42; 14; 17:lm~7; Num. 33:14; 20:1-12; Josh. 3:1 to 5:1; 6:1-27; 10:1-14; Page 18, Joshua 10:12-14; Page 20, Joshua loti-14; Page 21, Genesis 9:11 (Job 38:8.11); Rev. 3:14; Isa. 54:9 (Pa. 104:9); Page 22, 2Kings 20; Isa. 38; 2 Kings 20:11; Isa. 38:8; Rev. 22:20; Page 23, Rev, 16:8,9; Ps. 97:11.

29. Additional Bibliographies are given in such enc)rclopedias as: Collier's Encyclopaedia, 1950 ; Vol, 2, p. 438-439; Encyclopaedia Americana, 1949; Vol. 19, p. 220; Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1929 ; Vol. 15, p. 589; Vol. lg, p. 49; Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1949; Vol. 13, P. 589; World Book Encyclopedia, 1945; Vol. 11, p4 4529-4531; Encyclopedia Italina, 1934; Vol. 23, p. 4-25-41a6.

D I S C U 8 S 1 0 N

(Of article by E. Walter Maunder on Joshua's Long Day," in Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation. Vol. 3, No. 3. Sep. 1951, pp.

MR. J. LOWELL BUTLER wrote: Mr. Maunder's paper on "Joshua's Long Day" contains considerable analysis of the circumstances surrounding that day and some analysis Of the events of that day. In this he has contributed something toward a fuller understanding of this Bible story.

After my attention was called to some of the evidences in the story which show that the events of that day do not stop with verse 14 (of Joshua 10), that verse 15 belongs with verse 43, and that the events of the day are described all the way to and including verse 28 (compare 10:10 with 16-28)0 1 sensed the need for a brief outline of all those events arranged in chronological order and so went to work on that problem. Mr. Maunder's Cloud Theory put the hailstorm of that day after Joshua's command to the Sun and Moon to "stand still" (or "be silent"). Mr. Sidney Collett objected to this order of events which was not the order given in the story. To me, Mr. Maunder's reply (p. 18) to Mr. Collett only beclouded the issue instead of clearing it up. This called for more study on that particular point: and it was an. important point, for, if Mr. Maunder's order of those miraculous events was wrong, then his whole theory was wrong.

Mr. Maunder had observed that frequently the Hebrew writers had a "preference for a logical, rather than a chronological) order" of events. (p. 18) Yes, this is characteristic of the story of Joshua's Long Day as recorded in the tenth chapter of Joshua. Pone events are in chronological order.. while others am grouped together in a logical order. Verses 1-10 all seem to be in chronological order; which include some of the events that led up to the beginning of Joshua's Long Day. But verse 11 backs up in the narrative to fill in more details of how "the Lord discomfited the enemy" during that day. The first thing was the miracle of a timely hailstorm on the enemy that headed them off near Bethhoron and pursued them southward to Azekah, about 16 miles southwest of Jerusalem.. and killed more bf then than did Joshua's army. Grouped logically with the telling of this story of a miracle, is the story of the next miracle that occurred on that day, namely, the lengthening of the daylight hours so that the enemy could be pursued and destroyed before they could "enter into their cities." (v. 19) That is why the standing still of the Sun and Mom is told in verses 11-14, instead of between verses 19 and 20, where it
belongs chronologically.

After Joshua's army reached the city of Makkedah, probably five miles South of Azekah where the hailstorm had ended, they took that city also and made it their temporary camp. But this chronological Information is scattered into verse 28 and verses 20 and 21. Verses 22-26 tell of the hanging of the five enemy kings; and verse 27 tells of their burial in a cave when on that long day the Sun finally went down. This is the chronological end of that day; but the next verse gives a summary of what was done during those extra hours of daylight before the Sun set. Plainly the events of Joshua's Long Day are not written in the Bible
in exact chronological order. But even so, I see no justification for Maunder's reversed order of the miraculous events. Instead.. it seems more evident that the great hailstorm occurred before Joshua commanded the Sun and Moon to stand Still. The hailstorm and its clouds, were not what Joshua asked for. If they were, there would have been only one miracle that day instead-of two. The cooling off effect of the hailstorm was welcome; but in addition t6 that help and the killing of many of the enemy by hail, more time was still needed to complete the destruction of the enemies' amed might that still remained. If there is such a thing as a logical chronology, that it is, just as
recorded, even though the second miracle should be described between verses 19 and 20. 1 submit the following brief outline of the day's events for your thoughtful study.

1. All night march of Joshua's army up grade to an elevation of 3,400 feet, from Gilgal to Gibson, about 15 miles. (Joshua 10:7-9)

2. A great battle around Gibeon; enemy finally put to route. (10:10)

3. Enemy chased toward Rethhoron, about 9 miles or less to the west and north.

4. Great hailstorm on enemy near Bethhoron. (10:11)

Hailstorm moved south, following the enemy to Azekahj about 16 miles southwest of Jerusalem. (10:11)

6. Some of Joshua's men followed the atom and learned that "they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword." (10:11)

7. The enemy continued fleeing southward, and the five kings hid in a cave near Makkedah. (10:10 with v. 16)

8. Scouts of Joshua's army brought him word of the whereabouts of the five kings. (10:17)

9. Joshua gave orders for the cave's entrance to be closed with stones and guarded. (10:18)

10. Joshua gave orders to his army saying, "Stay,ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindermost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the Lord your God hath delivered them into your hand." (10:19 with V. 8)

11. Joshua realized that there was need for more daylight time In which to carry out his orders and complete the victory of that day: and on the strength of God's promise for that day (v. 8) and the timely miracle of the great hailstorm as definite proof that God was with him and his army, he believed God would grant what was now needed, namely, more hours of daylight until they could avenge themselves upon their enemies. "Then spake Joshua to the Lord . . . in the sight of Israel, 'Sun, stand thou still upon Gibson; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.'" (10:12)

12. "And the Sun stood still, and the Moon stayed, until the people had themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in book -Of Jasher? So the Sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.' And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel." (10:13,14)

13. Then Joshua followed his army from Gibeon to Makkedah, a distance of about 20 miles, and they slew the enemy "with a very great slaughter." (10:20 and v. 10)

14. Those that remained of the enemy "entered into fenced cities" (10:20) and they were not destroyed until the next day or a few days later. (10:29-42)

15. "And that day Joshua took Makkedah. . ." (10:28)

16. Joshua then made Makkedah his headquarters and "all the people returned to the Camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: none moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel." (10:21)

17. "Then said Joshuat open the mouth of the cave) and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave. And they did so. . And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening." (10:22-26)

18. "And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the Sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave's mouth, which remain until this very day." (10:27) Thus ended Joshua's Long Day. (10:10 with 16-28)

of Joshua 10:1-43. (Proper order for reading) Joshua 1C:1-6, 8, 7, 9-11, 16-ig, 12-14, 20, 28, 21-27, 29-43, 15.

The last expression
in verse 27, which remain until this very day," shows that the story which we have in the Bible was written a long time after the events happened. And verse 13, which mentions "the book of Jasher," shows that the editor of our present record ~probably Esra was putting together more than one record of Joshua's long day. In our more scientific age we would probably have given more thought to the exact order of the events of that day in narrating them; but not necessarily. We often divide a story into parts, and carry each part through to to finish before describing another part of the story. Even books of history do this. Therefore we should be able to understand the chronology of all of the events of Joshua's long day, even though the chronology jumps ahead in some of the verses.

What follows in chapter 10, verses 29 to 43, tells of the continued follow-up pursuit of the enemy In the central part of Palestine during the days that followed; and then the return to the main camp of Israel at Gilgal, near the north end of the Dead Sea. The repeating of verse 43 as verse 15 is an outright editorial mistake or later insertion.

On Page 8 Mr. Maunder selects two extreme positions of the Sun and Moon--either the newest moon or the full moon--to, build up a case for his theory. But we know full well that only a few days after the Moon has been in the new position, it can be seen in
the afternoon sky while the Sun is still above the horizon. That is the way it was on Joshua's long day,

The expression in verse 13, "in the midst of heaven," does not necessarily mean in the middle of the daytime, or at noon, as Maunder contends. Rather it my mean something like "surrounded by." In other words, the Sun had not yet touched the southwest horizon, but was still surrounded by sky on all sides, Compare the use of this expression, "in the midst," as used in the. following references: Ex. 8:22; Deut. 23:14; Ps. 74:12; 138*.7; Prov. 8:20; Jer. 14:9; Ezek. 26:4,5; Matt. 10:16; 18:20; etc.

Therefore, the statement, "So the Sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day," simply mums that its movement toward the sunset horizon ceased for some time before it reached the horizon. In fact, the whole narrative seems to imply that the day was nearly gone when much Important work
remained to be done: and the record of what was done while the Sun and Moon stood still in the midst of heaven shows that several hours of time must have passed before the Sun and Moon again began moving toward the evening horizon. Judging from all the work that was don on that day.. it was a longer day than an ordinary summer day.

The expression "about a whole day" Is only an estimate, based upon the large amount of conquest that was accomplished that day, and influenced by the weariness
of the fighting men who had not slept the night before and who had marched a total
of about 40 miles in addition to taking part in at least two severe battles. The
sundials did not record the passing time while the Sun remained still. A few extra
hours under those circumstances would seem almost like a whole day, indeed!

It was of interest to me to learn that some other people had thought of explanations of Joshua's Long Day and the backward motion of the sundial shadow in the time of Hezekiah which were somewhat similar to my own. The Refraction Theory of H. A. Harper, the
Sun-Mirage Theory of H. H. Turner.. and the Bent Light Suggestion of Miss Ethel D. jams.. seem almost like introductions to my Supernatural Superior Mirage Theory. Colonel Hope Biddulph said thoughtfully, "The case of the shadow returning ten degrees on the dial of Ahaz seems, on the face of it, to be akin to that of Joshua's Long Day." (p. 26) This kinship becomes more evident when we apply what we now know about mirages to these Bible stories.