Discussion of the Missing Day in Earth's History(The Day the Sun Stood Still)

It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report "a long day." Also, Heroditus, a Greek historian, wrote that an account of "a long day" appears in records of Egyptian priests. Others cite records of Mexicans of the sun standing still for an entire day in a year denoted as "Seven Rabits," which is the same year in which Joshua defeated the Philistines and conquered Palestine. ("Bible-Science Newsletter," DAILY READING MAGAZINE - Supplement, Vol. VIII - No. 5, May 1978, Caldwell, Idaho.) Additionally, the historical lore of the Aztecs, Peruvians, and Babylonians speak of a "day of twice natural length."

In 1970, a story appeared in "The Evening World," a newpaper in Spencer, Indiana, about a consultant to the space program named Harold Hill (deceased) citing that he was told a computer program had found a "missing day." Though the computer program story could never be validated, interesting speculations and studies ensued about what astronomical mechanism might result in the "Earth standing still" for 24 hours.

One person suggested a large asteroid, perhaps 480 miles in diameter, may have struck Earth's mantle slowing Earth's rotation to a standstill by causing the hard mantle and molten core to separate for 24 hours as a bicycle's speed brake might slowly bring the wheels to a halt with the inter spokes continuing to rotate. After 24 hours, the friction between the stationary mantle and rotating core would accelerate the mantle to rotate once more.

The mechanism and collision would have to be somewhat viscous so that both the deceleration and acceleration was so gradual as to go unnoticed by Earth's inhabitants. The theory cites Professor Totten as writing that Newton described a way Earth's rotation could abruptly be slowed without its inhabitants noticing the slowing. A close encounter with the asteroid Hermes (500,000 miles) by Earth in 1937 is given as an example of the likelihood that such a collision might have occurred in Joshua's time.

The existance of a depressed (sink ) region of great size between Hawaii and the Philippines featuring long fracture lines at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean which extend outward to the continents is offered as the remains of the asteroid causing the loss of a day in the Earth's history. ("How To Live Like a King's Kid," Harold Hill with Irene Harrell, Bridge Publishing, Inc., South Plainfield, New Jersey, 1974, p. 74.)

Study Exercises

  1. As an exercise, speculate and theorize other mechanisms which might cause both the Sun and the Moon to stand still as observed by Joshua.
  2. What approach (s) might be used to determine the date of the missing day if the event actually happened?
  3. Can other events observed in the heavens be accurately dated?
  4. What laws of physics must be considered as affecting the inhabitants of Earth if the deceleration of Earth's rotation was abrupt?
  5. Can the size of the asteroid be quantified knowing characteristics of the Earth's mantle?
  6. What kind of a mechanism would describe a collision of an asteroid and Earth where inhabitants would not notice the impact?
  7. After Joshua commanded the Sun to stand still, did he have to command the Moon to stay fixed on the horizon as well? Why or why not?
  8. The Bible account of the incident is described in the Old Testament book of Joshua, Chapter 10. The word used in regard to the position of the Sun was "in the midst" of the heavens. Some who have tried to date the happening by reconstructing the position of the Sun and Moon at the instant of the phenomena interpret "midst" at 12:00 o'clock noon when the Sun would have been directly overhead with relation to the city of Gibeon. Reading the account of the battle, explain why this positioning of the Sun is unlikely. Where, more likely, was the Sun with regard to the horizon and the Moon?