The Longest Day
Few of God's miracles cause protests in the "scientific"
community like the account of Joshua's long day - when God
made the sun and moon to stand still. But science and
modern technology have done more to verify this phenomenal
biblical fact than they have to refute it.
Common sense would say it is impossible for such a major
disruption to occur and not totally destroy the precise,
perfect balance in the solar system. But given a God, who
created the heavens and the earth, which established the
rotation of the planets and stars to the fraction of a
second, making the earth stop rotating for 24 hours is not
such a difficult task. Yet, computer scientists in the
space program and mathematicians - one a former professor
at Yale University - have discovered that a whole day has
been unaccountably added in time.
The positions of the moon, sun, and planets have to be
calculated precisely for all space shots to avoid problems
in establishing the satellite's orbit. The orbit has to be
calculated for the life of the satellite to avoid its
running into something else in space.
Using computers, scientists can tell the exact location of
the planets and their moons for years into the future. By
the same means, they have been able to backtrack and
determine these specific locations in the past. It was
during one such search that the extra day appeared.
From various accounts of the incident, it appears that
something "did not compute." The extra day was just there.
There was no computer malfunction; there was no explanation
for the interruption of normal time patterns.
When this apparent error appeared and no explanation was
forthcoming, one of the scientists related that he had
studied in Sunday School about time standing still. A
preposterous idea to scientists, but faced with no other
explanation, they asked him to show them the story.
In the story in the tenth chapter of the book of Joshua,
Joshua had asked God to make the sun and moon stand still
to enable Joshua to defeat his enemies. Joshua 10:13 says,
"And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the
people had avenged themselves upon their enemies... So the
sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to
go down about a whole day."
There was the extra day that science couldn't account for.
But scientists are more exact than that. The term, "about a
whole day" was not close enough for them. They rechecked
their computers, going back to the time when the story was
written. Their calculations showed that the time the sun
stood still was 23 hours and 20 minutes. It was not a whole
day. This forty minutes was significant to the computer
experts with their penchant for precision. A missing forty
minutes would throw things off for years into the future.
The former Sunday School pupil piped up again, saying he
knew of another Bible story where the sun traveled
backward. This possibility was even more bizarre than the
sun standing still, said his skeptical, fellow scientists.
But they agreed to hear him out, even if only to prove him
They got out the Book again and turned to II Kings 20 and
read about Hezekiah on his death bed. The prophet Isaiah
told Hezekiah he would not die, but Hezekiah required a
sign from God. So, Isaiah proposed to have God move the sun
forward 10 degrees.
In verse 10, Hezekiah says, "It is a light thing for the
shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow
return backward ten degrees."
Isaiah called upon God and the shadow on the sun dial moved
back 10 degrees. Ten degrees is exactly 40 minutes. These
40 minutes in II Kings, combined with the 23 hours and 20
minutes in Joshua, account forn the extra day - the 24 God
given hours that space travelers will have to include in
From - Christian Science Monitor & The Evangelist