Joshua's sun stopped, not the rotating earth

Joshua told the Sun to stand still. If the Earth stood still, human and animal life would have ended in minutes.

First published on the 1st of September 2018 — Last updated on the 20th of November 2021

You sit still in a car while things move towards you

Motion seems strange.

In a moving car, you do not see yourself as moving when you look straight ahead. You see fixed objects like trees that seem to move towards you.

You move towards the trees that are ahead, but it seems that the trees move towards you.

Joshua caught up with the Amorites at Bethhoron, which is near mount Gibeon and mount Ajalon.

JOSHUA 10:12    Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

:12   And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, 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 whole day.

Joshua told the sun to stand still to give him time to defeat the enemy.

People think he made a big mistake.

We see the sun as moving across the sky, but that motion is actually due to the Earth spinning on its axis.

Please remember, you can only measure motion relative to a fixed object.

So, your brain always makes you stand still, so that your head (where the brain is) is always stationary as far as you are concerned when your surroundings begin to move.

If you spin around and get dizzy, you see the room as spinning around.

If you stand on the Earth and watch a car drive away you see yourself as standing still, and the car as moving away from you.

If you were in the moving car you would still see yourself as sitting still, but now you see every building and tree on the Earth that is in front of you, moving towards you.

So when we stand on the Earth, we are connected to the Earth. Because we see ourselves as standing still, we always see the Earth as standing still. That is why we see the Sun moving across the sky.

We cannot feel motion. That is why we do not feel the Earth moving.

Sit in an aircraft flying over the sea on a cloudless day. You have no sensation of moving. Only when you see some kind of ship on the sea can you discern some movement. You see the ship moving away from you.

We can only feel the change in motion.

If the Earth suddenly stopped spinning, then we would feel huge forces.

If the change in speed is big, as it would be if the Earth suddenly stopped spinning, then tremendous forces would suddenly appear due to the sudden change in speed.

If Joshua had stopped the Earth, which spins at over 1600 kilometers per hour at the equator, then the tremendous inertia of the spinning world has to go somewhere. Inertia means that if the earth was spinning, then it wants to go on spinning. Stopping it from spinning when it wants to go on spinning will generate huge forces. A speed of 1600 kilometers per hour is faster than the sound barrier. Breaking through the sound barrier, which is 1225 kilometers per hour at sea level, as the Earth slows down will set up shock waves. These massive forces as the Earth suddenly slows down, will generate shock waves in the Earth’s crust that will cause earthquakes and fracture zones in the Earth’s crust.

The Earth’s crust is quite liable to start breaking apart.

Sit in a car and jam on the brakes suddenly. Because you were moving, you want to carry on moving, and thus you slide forward on the seat until you hit the windscreen. That is why we wear seatbelts in a car.

So for the earth to suddenly stop moving would not be a good idea.


Imagine if the crust got torn apart by these tremendous deceleration or slowing down forces.

Where Joshua was in Israel, the Earth spins a little slower, probably around 1200 kilometers per hour.

But this is approximately the speed of sound. So it is still incredibly fast by our standards.

If Joshua told the world, that he was standing on, to stand still then only the thin solid crust would stand still.

Earth rotates and so does it inner layers. Just below the crust is the mantle. Much of the mantle is made up of semi-molten rock called magma, which will continue to rotate fast, say about 1000 kilometers per hour, underneath the stationary crust. This would create incredible frictional forces, as the high speed magma rubbed against the bottom surface of the stationary crust. This heating effect would further melt the magma, which would look for cracks in the crust so that it can explode out like a volcano. Not to mention catastrophic earthquakes forming.

When you apply your brakes suddenly when you’re driving, your car still moves, at least for a few metres, while the road is stationary. You can see the results of the heating effect due to friction with clouds of smoke from the burnt rubber of the tyres. That is what would happen here, though on a world wide scale. The crust remains stationary, the mantle beneath the crust keeps moving for some distance, which is going to create some pretty special fireworks.

Some scientists claim the damage would be equal to a size 12 earthquake on the Richter scale. The world had never seen an earthquake of that size before.

Hot spots would occur randomly in the crust due to all this volcanic activity.

Further down inside the Earth is an inner liquid core. If a sudden stop occurred than all the energy of the molten rock has to go somewhere. It will try to come out with explosions like volcanic eruptions, because an awful lot of hot melted rock is sitting just below the surface, and it’s going to keep on trying to spin when the rest of the planet's crust stops spinning.

The tectonic plates of Earth have boundaries that are very liable to experience earthquakes and volcanoes because these are the weakest portions of the crust.

A tectonic fault line between two plates runs right through the Dead Sea along the Jordan river.

This is the last place where Joshua would want earthquake and volcanic activity because that is right next to where his army was near Gibeon.


Now we come to an incredibly big problem, the sea

When the solid crust of the Earth stops,  that has no effect on the sea.

The Earth spins from west to east (that is left to right on a map).

Thus the water in the Mediterranean Sea is also moving at 1200 kilometers per hour towards the coast of Israel. When the solid ground stops, the sea will continue to move sideways.

The ocean water will flood onto the land at high speed and in massive amounts.

Huge tsunamis would destroy the coastal cities.

Gigantic tsunami waves would hit all the western coasts. Billions of tons of water just keep moving onto the land. They would travel inland for many kilometers at that speed. Especially as the supersonic speed of the wind pushes the gigantic wave inland as well.

Massive tsunamis would devastate all western coastlines as the water floods inland.

Huge regions of land would be scrubbed clean by the walls of ocean water (and inland-sea water from places like Lake Michigan or Lake Victoria or the Caspian Sea) that found themselves suddenly flung sideways at over 1000 kilometers per hour.


What would happen to you

If the Earth stopped spinning, you would fall over and roll or slide or bounce for over 500m in one second. One kilometer in 2 seconds. That is, if you did not hit anything. If you crashed into a mountain, you would do it at about the speed of sound. Instant death.

Slamming into any fixed object at this fatal velocity means you are dead before you even know what hit you. If you crashed into something you would hit it about eight times harder than if you drove a car at about 120 kilometers per hour and crashed it into a brick wall. There would not be much of a person left to recognize.

You would be helplessly hurtled forwards along with a cloud of shrapnel made of the wreckage of homes, equipment, foliage, pets, and rocks.

Usually, what destroys blunt things that try to break the speed of sound is the resistance of the air against it. As you smash into the air ahead of you, at that speed, it will be like hitting a brick wall. And most things are not even close to aerodynamic enough to survive breaking the sound barrier.

There's nothing you can do to save yourself from the world of pain and disfigurement that's about to be visited on you. If you managed to survive for a minute, you would be very lucky.

All living land mammals including humans would be reduced to blood stained red streaks on the ground as they scrape along at several hundred kilometers per hour (unless they were fortunate enough to live near enough to the poles).  Those living near large immovable objects like mountains would meet a very abrupt end.  All the buildings on earth would shear and break off at their base (or be uprooted entirely), and disintegrate as they bounce along the ground.

So all that will happen is that everything slides sideways due-east suddenly. All that would be left of human civilization would be rubble, and faint red smears of blood and gore left on the ground.

If the Earth stopped spinning right this second, you’d be dead in a matter of seconds at most. You’d be flung sideways at a bit over 1000 mph, rolling, tumbling, skidding along the ground until you hit something more solid than you, and splatter to your death. A former human, now a smear.

It is unlikely that any life would have survived unless they were very close to the North Pole where the rotation would be slower. But few people lived that far north in those days.


Incredibly fast winds

Joshua made the Earth stand still, but not the air.

The air was spinning at about 1200 kilometers per hour and when the dry ground stood still, the air would rush past it at 1200 kilometers per hour.

A fast wind is always turbulent. So this wind, moving at nearly the speed of sound would be very turbulent as it is blowing over the rough surface of the Earth. It would end up either dragging you along the ground or lifting you up into the air before you crash back down to earth again.

It is impossible to breathe in a wind of 1200 kilometers per hour. The compressive force on your body would make it impossible for you to move your muscles.

It would be as if 40 or more times your own weight was pushing on you. You cannot breathe, and you are rolling or being dragged or bouncing on the ground in the turbulent wind. You are moving half a kilometer in one second. Only one motor car has ever gone that fast. In 1997 Andy Green reached a speed of 1228 kilometers per hour.

In that extreme wind, every building would blow down, and every tree would fall. Trees, rocks, stones, gravel, sand, animals would all be swept helplessly along to bang and bounce into each other.

The sand, whipped up by the turbulent wind, would sandblast people as it ripped the flesh off their bones. All the dust in the air would make it impossible to breathe as the dust is forced into your lungs.

These huge wind speeds would cause chaos in the atmosphere, and create gigantic storms within a short while as hot and cold air chaotically mix.

The speed of the wind, which is faster than the blast of an atomic bomb, would create so much air friction as it rushes over the Earth and all the objects bouncing along on the Earth. Friction causes a heating effect which would instantly start fires all around the planet. When an object is heated to its flash point is will suddenly burst into flame even if there is no spark to start the fire.

So immediately the temperature of earth is going to rise as most of earth will be engulfed in flames. The ultimate global warming disaster.

Everything will get roasted.

Erosion would occur on a massive scale as sand and soil got ripped off the bedrock.

The fastest wind speed for an F5 tornado is usually about 450 kilometers per hour.

So imagine the destruction when a wind of 1200 kilometers per hour blows from west to east.

Life on earth would never recover from all this.


Magnetic field of the Earth is disrupted

Earth’s magnetic field, that protects us from solar radiation, is dependent on the Earth’s spin.

The rotating iron and nickel deep down in the Earth somehow sets up the magnetic field of the Earth.

If the Earth stopped spinning, the magnetic dipoles of the Earth would get distorted and a large wave of deadly solar radiation would bombard all life that was on the side of the earth that was facing the Sun.

Magnetic forces would go wild as the stationary Earth’s magnetic pole tried to keep up with a spinning core in a stopped crust - and the static electricity lightning that would most probably develop would electrocute every moving thing on the surface. Drag your feet on a carpet in winter and then touch a metal doorknob. You'll feel the spark.

Radiation doses, as in X-rays, must be very brief to minimize the damage to body tissue. Joshua almost doubled the length of the day. If the Earth was standing still that would have exposed everyone to lethal radiation for far too long a time. Radiation sickness and cancers would hit many people.


Joshua was sensible

He wanted to kill the evil Amorites. He had no desire to wipe all life off the earth.

So he told the Sun and Moon to stand still. They have no water or air or life on them. So if their internal systems got shaken up for a day and then gradually recovered, nobody was going to notice.

I am very glad that Joshua was in charge.

If the modern Bible critics were in charge, the Earth would have stood still.

All life would have died within the first few minutes.

The Earth would never have been able to recover.

That would have been the end of human history.

You and I would not be here today.


Moral of the story

Believe what is written in the Bible.

Do not listen to those who think they are cleverer than the Bible.

We modern humans are easily educated above our intelligence.

Let us not lose our faith in what is written in the Bible.

I TIMOTHY 6:20   O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

:21   Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.


“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” — 1 Corinthians 16:23