Archaeology

Missing Day No Longer Missing

How could anyone believe something as fantastical as an entire lost day in the time of Joshua, the great leader of Israel, and, to a lesser degree, the elongated day in the time of King Hezekiah as recorded in the Bible? “Impossible,” they crow, “surely those Bible-believers must stumble here!”
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Missing Day No Longer Missing

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Thousands of you are visiting GodSaidManSaid for the first time.  I’d like to pose a question to you: How do you get to heaven from here?  How?  Make a mental note of your answer, or, better yet, write it down on a piece of paper.  How do you get to heaven from here?  

Many years ago, I was fresh out of the US Navy and found myself sitting in a university sociology class.  The professor asked the 30 or so students that comprised the class the same question: How do you get to heaven from here? After some time and deliberation, the class finally rendered two answers:

◎ One was to go to church regularly and obey the Ten Commandments; and

◎ Answer Two, be a good person and don’t hurt anyone, and you’d get to heaven.

Nearly all of the class would represent themselves as Christian, collectively around 600 years of aggregate pew-sitting.  The class voted for either Answer One or Answer Two, and the professor cast his vote for Answer One.  I hadn’t voted, but then raised my hand.  When acknowledged, I asked if the professor would accept Jesus Christ as an authority on how to get into heaven.  He quickly responded, “If you’re a Christian, the answer is yes!”

Before I tell you the rest of the story, reconsider your original answer to the question of how a person gets to heaven from here.  Many of you have come to the same two answers as my former sociology classmates. 

Back in the classroom, I replied to the professor’s question to the class, saying: “If you accept Jesus Christ as the authority on how to get to heaven, then both of the answers given are incorrect.”  I went on to explain that Jesus gave the answer to Nicodemus in John 3:3:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

We enter the Kingdom of God at the place Jesus calls BORN AGAIN. When this life has ended, we pass over to the everlasting Kingdom of God, full of grace and truth.  BORN AGAIN is the only way to get to heaven and BORN AGAIN means just what it says: born a second time, this time of the Spirit of God.  In just a moment, I will invite you to follow me in a simple prompt.  If you follow, you will participate in the greatest miracle man can know.  Today, all your sin and shame will be washed away by Christ’s cleansing blood. Today, all of Satan’s bondages in your life will be broken. Today, you will be a new creature, clean and free.  Your eternal soul hangs on this decision.  Here is the prompt I promised: Click onto Further with Jesus for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God. NOW FOR TODAYS SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Joshua 10:11-13:

11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.

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.

13 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.

GOD SAID, II Kings 20:8-11:

8 And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?

9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?

10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.

11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.

MAN SAID: I’ll be honest with you, I’m afraid to die.  I’m banking on evolution being true. You know, when you die, that’s all there is.  As in: No God, no judgment day, no hell.  If the world’s college professors are wrong, I’m in a world of trouble!

Now THE RECORD: Welcome to GodSaidManSaid feature 1126 that will again certify the perfect, supernatural inerrancy of the majority-text Holy Bible.  All of these Word-centric features are archived here in text and streaming audio for the edification of the blood-bought and as ammunition in the battle for the souls of the lost sons and daughters of Adam. Every Thursday eve, God willing, they grow by one.

Thank you for coming today.  May God’s face shine upon you and your house with Light and Truth.

You can be certain Jesus Christ assessed it correctly.  Man will reject God’s truth regardless of how glaringly obvious that truth is because man’s deeds are evil. John 3:17-20:

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

For most, the clamor to “prove it! prove it!” is simply a cloak to hide their nakedness.

God has magnified His Word above all His name (Psalm 138:2) and preserved it for thousands of years that we might know the way of escape from our carnal selves and from the soon-coming eternal judgment. I need to know it’s true because everything depends on it.

The skeptics were confident: How could anyone believe something as fantastical as a lost day in the time of Joshua, the great leader of Israel, and Israel’s King Hezekiah as recorded in the Bible? “Impossible,” they crow, “surely those Bible-believers must stumble here!”  This feature will review GodSaidManSaid research on the missing day, and add additional information for your consideration.

● GodSaidManSaid, “One Long Missing Day and the Cry of the Skeptics:”

A visitor to GodSaidManSaid recently asked a question concerning the popular story in Christian circles that was related by Mr. Harold Hill. The story was in regard to the missing day. This following article is a reprint from the Yellville, Arkansas, Mountain Echo (March 26, 1970), which was reprinted in a feature published by the Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute:

Did you know that the space program is busy proving that what has been called "myth" in the Bible is true? Mr. Harold Hill, president of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore, MD, and a consultant in the space program related the following development: "I think one of the most amazing things that God has for us today happened recently to our astronauts checking the position of sun, moon and planets out in space where they would be 100 years and 1000 years from now. We have to know this so we don’t send a satellite up and have it bump into something later on in its orbits. We have to lay out the orbit in terms of the life of the satellite, and where the planets will be so the whole thing will not bog down! They ran the computer measurement back and forth over the centuries and it came to a halt. The computer stopped and put up a red signal, which meant that there was something wrong, either in the ’info’ fed into it, or with the results as compared to the standards. They called in the service department to check it out and they said, "It’s perfect.’ The IBM head of operations said ’What’s wrong?’ ’Well, we have found that there is a day missing in space in elapsed time.’ They scratched their heads and tore their hair. There was no answer." One religious fellow in the team said, ’You know, one time I was in Sunday School and they talked about the sun standing still.’ They didn’t believe him, but they didn’t have any other answer so they said ’Show us’. So he got a Bible and went back to the book of Joshua where they found a pretty ridiculous statement for anybody who has ’common sense.’ There they found the Lord saying to Joshua, ’Fear them not; I have delivered them into your hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.’ Joshua was concerned because he was surrounded by the enemy and, if darkness fell, they would overpower him. So Joshua asked the Lord to make the sun stand still! That’s right! ’The sun stood still and the moon stayed ... and hasted not to go down a whole day!’ Well, they checked the computers, going back into the time it was written and found it was close but not close enough. The elapsed time that was missing back in Joshua’s day was 23 hours and 20 minutes—not a whole day. They read the Bible and there it said ‘about (approximately) a day.’ “These little words in the Bible are important. But they were still in trouble because, if you cannot account for 40 minutes, you’ll be in big trouble 1000 years from now. Forty minutes had to be found because it can be multiplied many times over in orbits. Well, this religious fellow also remembered somewhere in the Bible it said the sun went backwards. The spacemen told him he was out of his mind. But they got out the Book and they read these words in 2 Kings 20: Hezekiah, on his death-bed, was visited by the prophet Isaiah, who told him that he was going to die. Hezekiah did not believe him and asked for a sign as proof. Isaiah said, ‘Do you want the sun to go ahead ten degrees?’ Hezekiah said, ‘It is nothing for the sun to go ahead ten degrees, but let the shadow return backwards ten degrees.’ Isaiah spoke to the Lord and the Lord brought the shadow ten degrees backward! Ten degrees is exactly 40 minutes! 23 hours and 20 minutes in Joshua, plus 40 minutes in 2 Kings make the missing day in the universe.” Isn’t that amazing! Our God is rubbing their noses in His TRUTH. That’s right.  [End of quote]

Later, an investigation was undertaken by Washington Post religion editor William Willoughby. He could not establish Hill’s credibility. According to Willoughby, Mr. Hill was contacted and again asserted the credibility of the account but said he couldn’t locate the documentation.

Mr. Hill did later respond in chapter 13 of his book,
How To Live Like A King’s Kid. The following excerpt is from Hill’s book that was reprinted in "Christian Evidences" at www.grmi.org. Hill writes:

Later, someone sent me a clipping . . . saying I had admitted the whole thing was a hoax. Shortly thereafter, numerous religious magazines, some of them Christian, began repeating the false "retraction" and apologizing for their original participation in the rerun of the article. Not one of them ever checked with me as to the truth or error of the article as originally published. For the record—the report is true, the retraction false. . . . The whole sequence of events has demonstrated to me how prone even Christians are to believe a lie instead of the truth.

Mr. Hill’s contested account of the missing day is certainly not the only account that testifies of this miraculous event.

Charles A.L. Totten was a professor of military science at Yale University from 1889 to 1892. He was a man of considerable credibility and is listed among "Who Was Who In America." He was a prolific writer. One of his features in particular was an article titled, "Joshua’s Long Day and the Dial of Ahaz." Mr. Totten claims proof positive of the missing twenty-four hours. His computations are based upon a creation date certified by the British Chronological Association. The head of the association was Premier Chronologist Jabez Bunting Dimbleby. Dimbleby published an almanac dubbed, "All Past Time." The claim of the British Chronological Association is that it can account for every day of time to the first day of creation. The date asserted as the first day, keeping the lunar and solar calendars aligned, was the autumnal equinox, September 22, 4,000 B.C., which was a Monday. Of course, God began creation on the first day of the week which is Sunday. So, where is the missing day?

According to Mr. Totten, we should consult Joshua and Hezekiah. According to those who researched the writings of Mr. Totten, his work is quite technical. I personally have not reviewed it firsthand. (Those wishing to do so should contact Destiny Publishers of Merrimac, Massachusetts.) As in most cases, there are those who line up against Totten’s conclusion, but few if any who can measure up to his level of investigation. But one who does measure up is Immanuel Velikovsky.

Immanuel Velikovsky lived from 1895 to 1979. He was a psychiatrist by trade and authored many books including
Worlds In Collision, which may have been his most controversial written work. He was esteemed by the New York literary world as one of the greatest men of all time but much of the scientific community considered his work to be pseudo-scientific.

At the time
Worlds In Collision was published, Gordon A. Atwater, curator of the Hayden Planetarium, had this to say, "The theories presented by Dr. Velikovsky are unique and should be presented to the world of science in order that the underpinning of modern science can be re- examined...I believe the author has done an outstanding job." [End of quote]

Velikovsky’s research did not center on astronomy or chronology but his assertions of the missing day were founded on the ancient records of civilizations past. Some of these accounts follow, which were the heathens’ attempts to understand this miraculous event.

The ancient Greeks attribute to Phaethon the disrupting of the sun’s course for a day.

Another ancient account attributes the stopping of the sun and moon to their false god, Bacchus.

The legend of India tells of the pious lamentations of Arjouan over the death of Chrishna which caused the sun to stand still.

the antiquities of China, Peru, and Babylon record the account of one long day.

Herodotus reports that the Egyptian priests showed him their ancient temple records in which was found the account of a day that was twice the natural duration.

Author David Nelson recounts the following: "Chinese history speaks of Yao, their king, declaring that in his reign the sun stood so long above the horizon that it was feared the world would have been set on fire; and fixes the reign of Yao at a given date, which corresponds with the age of Joshua the son of Nun.

If one side of the world records a day when the sun stood still, creating one long, intense day, then other civilizations should record a long night, and they do. The following excerpt is from Velikovsky’s book, Worlds In Collision:

In the Mexican Annals of Cuauhtitlan—the history of the empire of Culhuacan and Mexico, written in Nahua-Indian in the sixteenth century—it is related that during a cosmic catastrophe that occurred in the remote past, the night did not end for a long time. Sahagun, the Spanish savant who came to America a generation after Columbus and gathered the traditions of the aborigines, wrote that at the time of one cosmic catastrophe the sun rose only a little way over the horizon and remained there without moving; the moon also stood still.

One of the world’s greatest historians, Flavius Josephus, wrote in his book, Antiquities of the Jews, the following:

Joshua made haste with his whole army to assist them,
and marching day and night, in the morning fell
upon the enemies as they were going up to the siege;
and when he had discomfited them, he followed them,
and pursued them down the descent of the hills.
The place is called Beth-Horon; where he also understood
that God assisted him, which he declared by thunder and
thunderbolts, as also by the falling of hail larger than usual.
Moreover, it happened that the day was lengthened that the night
not come on too soon, and be an obstruction to the zeal of the
Hebrews in pursuing their enemies; insomuch that Joshua took
the kings, who were hidden in a certain cave at Makkedah, and
put them to death. Now, that the day was lengthened at this
time, and was longer than ordinary, is expressed in the books
laid up in the temple.
[End of quotes]

We can go forward in time and accurately predict cosmic events such as the movement of the planets and eclipses of the sun and moon to a particular day and a particular time. What we can do going forward, we can also do with the same precision going backwards.

A plague of shipworms attacked Christopher Columbus’s four ships as they were on a return trip to the western hemisphere. Columbus had no choice but to abandon two of his ships at sea, and was finally forced to beach the remaining two on the island of Jamaica on June 25, 1503.  The native Arawak of Jamaica welcomed and supplied the crew with food and shelter in exchange for various trinkets.  The situation became strained after half of the crew mutinied, robbing and murdering some of their hosts, the Arawak. Facing starvation, Columbus and his loyal sailors concocted an ingenious plan: Columbus called on the leader of the Arawak and told him and his people that the God of Columbus was angry with the Arawak for refusing food to the sailors.  Space.com continues the story of this historic account:

Coming to the admiral’s rescue was Johannes Müller von Königsberg (1436-1476), known by his Latin pseudonym, Regiomontanus.  He was a highly regarded German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer.  Before his death, Regiomontanus published an almanac containing astronomical tables covering the years 1475-1506. 

Regiomontanus’s almanac turned out to be of great value, for his astronomical tables provided detailed information about the sun, moon, and planets, as well as the more important stars and constellations to navigate by.  After it was published, no sailor dared set out without a copy.  With its help, explorers were able to leave their customary routes and venture out into the unknown seas in search of new frontiers. 

Columbus, of course, had a copy of the almanac with him when he was stranded on Jamaica.  And he soon discovered from studying its tables that on the evening of Thursday, Feb. 29, 1504, a total lunar eclipse would occur, beginning around the time of moonrise.

Armed with this knowledge, three days before the eclipse, Columbus requested a meeting with the Arawak chief and informed him that his Christian God was very angry with his people for no longer supplying him and his men with food. Therefore, he was about to provide a clear sign of his displeasure:  Three nights hence, he would all but obliterate the rising full moon, making it appear "inflamed with wrath," which would signify the evils that would soon be inflicted upon all of them.

On the appointed evening, as the sun set in the west and the moon started emerging from beyond the eastern horizon, it was plainly obvious to all that something was terribly wrong.  By the time the moon appeared in full view, a small but noticeable dark scallop had been removed from the lower edge. 

And, just over an hour later, as evening twilight ended and full darkness descended, the moon indeed exhibited an eerily inflamed and “bloody” appearance: In place of the normally brilliant late winter full moon there now hung a dim red ball in the eastern sky.

According to Columbus’s son, Ferdinand, the Arawaks were terrified at this sight and “with great howling and lamentation came running from every direction to the ships laden with provisions and beseeching the admiral to intercede with his God on their behalf.”  They promised that they would happily cooperate with Columbus and his men if only he would restore the moon back to its normal self. The great explorer told the natives that he would have to retire to confer privately with his God.  He then shut himself in his cabin for 50 minutes. 

While in his quarters, Columbus turned an hourglass every half hour to time the various stages of the eclipse based on the calculations provided by Regiomontanus’s almanac. 

Just moments before the end of the total phase, Columbus reappeared, announcing to the Arawaks that his God had pardoned them and would now allow the moon to gradually return.  At that moment, true to Columbus’s word, the moon slowly began to reappear, and as it emerged from the Earth’s shadow, the grateful Arawaks hurried away.  They then kept Columbus and his men well supplied and well fed until a relief caravel from Hispaniola arrived on June 29, 1504.  Columbus and his men returned to Spain on November 7. [End of quote]

Astronomers have documented precise and predictable details regarding the sun, moon, stars, and planets.  Chronologists then use that data to date future and past events.

The following excerpts are from H. Rimmer’s book, The Harmony of Science and Scripture. He quotes Yale professor Charles Totten, mentioned earlier in this feature.  Rimmer writes:

In the interesting study of this event which was made by Professor Totten, he sought to show that this day covered the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth days of the fourth civil month on the Hebrew calendar, and were the one hundred thirteenth and one hundred fourteenth calendar days.  He sought to show the twenty-third day of that month was the winter solstice, and reckoning back from the autumn equinox of 1896, he showed that the battle day was 3370 solar years ago.  But a factor of error entered into his calculations when he placed the moon over the city of Ajalon instead of in the valley that bore the same name.

The ancients kept astronomical records as far back as the third century before Christ. The Egyptians seem to have kept records only of the solstices, but the Chaldeans and other ancient people recorded cycles of eclipses, both lunar and solar, many of which records have been recovered by various expeditions.  Disregarding calendar changes and dealing only with a chronology based upon solar motion, we go back to the earliest available records of the ancients and use them for a starting point.  Carefully tracing up to Joshua’s day of battle from the first and most accurate of these astronomical records, we arrive at the conclusion that the day of battle was Tuesday.

Then starting with the latest eclipse data of our year and reckoning our way back to that day of battle, we arrive at Wednesday.  Deciding that we have made some sort of error in our conclusions, we go back and start again.  We find that our  first conclusion was right.  When we check up from early data and arrive at this day of battle, it was what we would now call Tuesday, July 22.

Then we again check over our records from the year 1936 back to the time of Joshua’s conquest, and once more we arrive at Wednesday, the twenty-second day of July.  That is to say, the day of the month seems to be the same, but the day of the week is different.

Figuring any way that we can conceive, and using all of the information in the records of chronology, we find that there is a day missing in that week. In the record the exact relationships of the various solar factors are carefully noted, and by correlating these given positions, we are able to state the time and date of this battle.

Since this account does contain these solar factors, we have the confidence to maintain that it must have been written by an eye-witness.  No later writer could have known this scientifically accurate combination of relative positions, until the modern science of astronomy was born.  And no later “interpolator” could have guessed this, as this relative position is reached just once in each lunar cycle.

Rimmer continues:

Parallel accounts in the records of other nations also prove that this account is not a myth.  We have indisputable evidence from the modern science of ethnology that such an event occurred as Joshua records.  Briefly we may summarize this section by saying that in the ancient Chinese writings there is a legend of a long day. Another section of China contributes an account of the day that was miraculously prolonged, in the reign of Emperor Yeo.  Herodotus recounts that the priests of Egypt showed him their temple records, and that there he read a strange account of a day that was twice the natural length.  But how improbable these accounts all sound when compared with the true record in the Word of God! Let us look at one such instance, from the folklore of the Polynesians.

Maui was a great Polynesian character, who embodies some characteristics of the supernatural, according to the record of his many deeds. One of these great feats of Maui was his capture of the sun.  The great god Kane had served notice on the mother of Maui that he and some lesser gods would visit her home and sup with her! Honored by this event, the woman began preparing a great feast for her celestial visitors.  But as the day wore on, she saw she could not finish her tasks before the setting of the sun, so she appealed to her hero son for aid.  Nothing daunted, Maui made a snare of coconut fibers, and climbing a high mountain, he lassoed the sun.  Then he broke all its legs off, and the sun had to sit on top of the mountain until it grew a new set of legs! This took almost a whole day; and the mother of Maui had time and to spare in the preparation of the feast! Have you ever seen the long, slanting rays of light that shoot down from the sun in the late afternoon?  To this very day, the Polynesians call those rays “the snares of Maui.”

Is there any historical significance in these weird traditions and ancient accounts? Of course they are grossly exaggerated, but they do have this value: they show by their universal agreement that there is a basic truth behind them all! And this basic truth is the long day of Joshua. [End of quotes]

The Bible’s missing day is still a target for the world’s critics, but only to those who have failed to update their unbelief.

I need to know.  Is God’s Word true and righteous altogether? For the redeemed, everything depends on it.  Is creation true? Are Adam and his ribbed wife Eve true?  Are Noah and the global flood true? Are the Tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, giants, Moses and the Red Sea, Joshua and the walls of Jericho, David and Goliath, are they all true? How about Jesus Christ?  Is it true that He was born of a virgin, had a ministry of miracles, was crucified and resurrected? Of course, the answer is absolutely YES! If these things are all true—and they are—then the following passages are likewise true:

🕇 John 3:16:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

🕇 John 11:25-26:

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

🕇 Romans 8:28:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

GOD SAID, Joshua 10:11-13:

11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.

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.

13 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.

GOD SAID, II Kings 20:8-11:

8 And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?

9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?

10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.

11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.

MAN SAID: I’ll be honest with you, I’m afraid to die.  I’m banking on evolution being true. You know, when you die, that’s all there is.  As in: No God, no judgment day, no hell.  If the world’s college professors are wrong, I’m in a world of trouble!

 

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

GodSaidManSaid, “One Long Missing Day and the Cry of the Skeptics

Rao, J., “How a Total Lunar Eclipse Saved Christopher Columbus,” Space.com, October 12, 2014

Rimmer, H., The Harmony of Science and Scripture, Eerdmans Publishing, 1956

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