Science in Christian Perspective
J. Lowell Butler
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.
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. 297.
11. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 40, No 3, 143-187; Sep. 1949.
12. Japanese publications:-- Geolgive.
1931; by Fujiwhara, Oomori,
and Taguti. Geophys , Mag. 4:375; 1931; by Hjdaka;. Geophys Mag. 4:387; 1930 by Futi.
MIRAGES ARE LIGHT BENDERS*
Mirages and Joshua's Long Day
J. Lowell Butler
From: JASA 3 (March 1951):
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 the
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.
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, "Light 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.
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.
"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."
"Worlds in Collision! by Immanuel Velikovsky, P.
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;
24; Nahum 1:4-6
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. 1-20)
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)
5. 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)
"Harmony" 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.