DEBUNKING BIBLE MIRACLES: Joshua telling the sun to stand still

by Black Man 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • trailerfitter

    Oh,.. the 600 000 in the desert after running away from Pharoh. I started thinking about the logistics on this one. Picutre a small city of inhabitants setting down somewhere. The operations of of microcosm would have to be considered. Where do they get water supplied from in desert conditions. They either have to send massive hunting parties out, water collections, raiding a pillaging settlement that stands in their way in order no one starves. The waste disposal issues would bring disease means that people who are camped would be no better off than those of refugees running away from a natural disaster.

    Bit like the Noah story nice to read but to actually apply modern adult logic to the practical logisitic of the story it becomes un realistic.

  • Intel

    Noah's little Litter Box: I have a small cat. I have to change her Litter Box at least ONCE a week, because you piss...well you know what I mean. I don't want to weight the shit that comes out of an elephants ass in a WEEK!

    Just changing my cats litter box makes me unbelieving and atheistic....

  • ziddina
    "The flaw in this reasoning is that God is billions of years old and he created all things- certainly he can manipulate atoms and sub-atomic particles to make what he wants happen. If YOU could control matter and energy on this scale, would it really be that hard for you to make the sun stand still? Or extend the light for that day and make it appear that the sun stood still?..."

    Okay, first of all, what Smiddy said...

    The Israelites had the same basic belief as did many other Near-Eastern and Middle-Eastern cultures - that the earth was round, but flat - like a clay plate, in other words...

    One can see that in the totally inaccurate description of how this 'miracle' was supposed to have occurred:

    Joshua 10: 12-14

    "On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to the Israeltes, Joshua spoke to the Lord in the presence of Israel:
    "Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
    and moon, over the valley of Aijalon."
    And the sun stood still
    and the moon stopped
    until the nation took vengeance on its enemies.
    Isn't this written in the Book of Jashar?
    So the sun stopped
    in the middle of the sky
    and delayed its stting
    almost a full day.
    There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man, bcause the Lord fought for Israel. ..."

    "So the sun stopped in the middle of the sky..."

    Now, this is very close to the belief of the Greeks - and many other ancient peoples - that the sun made a "journey" across the sky, each day. Though the Israelites didn't attribute this to a separate deity - there's that nasty First of the Ten Commandments: "Do not have other gods beside me..."- they clearly still believed that the sun was journeying across the sky...

    Did you also notice something else, about the WAY that Joshua "spoke" to the "Lord"??

    "Sun, stand still over Gibeon,

    and moon, over the valley of Aijalon..."

    He's not actually speaking to "The Lord". He's speaking TO THE SUN AND MOON.

    Which may be a vestige of earlier, 'pagan' versions of this story, wherein a 'hero' speaks to the sun and moon...

    ALSO - did you notice that his words are spoken like a magical charm or spell???

    He didn't HAVE to speak to the moon - UNLESS he was attempting some version of astrological BALANCING 'magic', wherein the MOON had to balance the actions of the SUN...

    Yeeeessss indeedy, this is a VERY interesting bit of bible lore...

    Zid the She-Devil

  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    Every miracle you debunk will get a raypublisherish resonse

    thus proving undoubtedly that all the miracles must have happened becuse the bible says so.


  • Leolaia
    Now, this is very close to the belief of the Greeks - and many other ancient peoples - that the sun made a "journey" across the sky, each day.

    Whereas a spherical understanding of the earth would simply posit that the sun orbits the earth once a day (under geocentrism), a flat earth cosmology must somehow explain how the sun moves unseen from the west at sunset to the eastern extremities hours later. The most common belief was that the sun makes its way eastward underneath the ground in the underworld. In Mesopotamia, the Gilgamesh Epic (Tablets IX-X) has the hero journey to Mount Mashu at the ends of the world to follow the "path of the sun" through the realm of total darkness in the underworld. Gilgamesh enters the tunnel underneath the mountain and passes through the underworld, barely making his exit before the sun catches up with him. He then exits in the east at the place of the rising sun at Mount Mashu (twin cosmic mountains at the eastern and western extremities), where he finds a beautiful garden of jeweled trees. Shamash, the sun god, is a god of wisdom precisely because he sees everything that happens on earth and in the underworld.

    Egyptian religion had two notions of the night-time journey. The older one (dating back to the Old Kingdom) pictures a flat earth in a reclining male god Geb with the arched firmament as an arched Nut extending over him. The sun god Re journeys to the east by entering through Nut's body during the night, where it is unseen by those on the earth. But another tradition (also quite old) is that Re battles with the demon Apophis during the night after the sun sinks below the horizon. Apophis lay at the base of Mount Bakhu at the western edge of the earth but he could also attack Re in the east (thus some texts refer to Apophis as the "world encircler"). Re must thus travel on his bark with a complete entourage to protect him from harm. Similar ideas can be found in the Canaanite texts of Ugarit. The sun goddess Shapsh journeys to the underworld at night on a bark piloted by Kothar who protects her from Arsh and the dragon; Shapsh rules over the Rephaim of the underworld and it is she who takes the dead to the underworld at night (KTU 1.6 vi 45-53), just as she is the one who helps Anat bring Baal out of the underworld.

    In later Jewish literature, the patriarch Enoch makes a journey through the underworld in a manner very much like Gilgamesh in the Book of Watchers (1 Enoch 17-24, especially). Enoch is taken to the mountains at the edge of the world and he sees the fire that is responsible for the red glow of sunsets, which receives the sun when it sinks below the horizon. From there he entered into the great darkness of the mountains of gloom, the underworld, and then ended up in the east at the mountains of jewels and the tree of life. The Book of Luminaries also has a flat-earth cosmology that construes the sun as rising and setting through certain gates (364 in number) at the edge of the world. In one later rabbinical text, the sun makes its nocturnal journey not through the underworld (as in Babylonian cosmology) but in heaven itself above the firmament: "The learned of Israel say that the sun moves by day beneath the firmament and by night above the firmament, whereas the learned of the nations say that the sun moves by day beneath the firmament and by night beneath the earth" (Baraita Pesahim 94b). On the sun journeying below the firmament during the day see also Psalm 19:1-6: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament (rqy`) proclaims the work of his hands ... In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat". The tent metaphor is connected with the idea that the firmament was a stretched-out solid structure (ice-like containing the heavenly ocean) that shines brilliantly (Job 37:18, 38:29-30, Psalm 104:2-3, Ezekiel 1:22, 26, 4Q403 1:41-44, Sirach 43:1, Parashat Bereshit Rabbah 4.2).

  • WTWizard

    Now, suppose I could get the sun to stay in the sky for 24 hours (and not in the far North, when it can stay above the horizon even at midnight). That means it would be dark on the other side of the world for the same period. Do you hear legends that it was pitch dark all day in places like the Far East? I don't think so--the Chinese would have been in the dark.

    Also, it would get pretty hot. If anyone notices that the temperature usually goes up during the day, it's because the sun is warming the ground. The air temperature usually goes up 12 o C during the day (and sometimes much more, if it is quite arid). If the sun were to shine an additional 24 hours, it would get mighty hot. In that land, it might have started off around 6 o C, assuming a cool winter morning. The temperature would go up something like 36 o C by the time the sun finally goes down. (Probably more, if it is arid or the middle of summer.) You ever try working in temperatures near 40 o C? (For those of you who are not able to get metric, that is 104 F). And, it can be as much as 60 o C if you are starting in July or August. To compare, that is hotter than the record in the Sahara desert.

    And I agree that it would be pretty close to impossible to stop the earth for the day, and then get it back going the next day. Doing so would create tsunamis that would destroy pretty much everything. (Worse than a magnitude 9 earthquake.) It would also mean the crusts are going to lag--it would be more than water that would be spilling out of the ocean basins. The crust of the earth would pretty much be incinerated, and life would be gone. Now, imagine the earthquake--was there a big one in the area around the same time? Stopping the earth abruptly would mean an earthquake. It would be the biggest one by far ever--much worse than Haiti, much worse than Christchurch, much worse than Japan, much worse than what caused the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, much worse than Chile. Yet, there is no record of a major earthquake, let alone one that would have been felt throughout the earth save maybe for the poles, at this time.

  • EntirelyPossible
  • simon17

    You can't debunk a "miracle". By definition, a mircale is something that even believers realize they can't explain so they invoke an "all-mighty" creature as the explanation as to why this impossible thing happened. So there is no point in saying "this is impossible because...". They already know and accept that without God it wouldn't happen.

  • ziddina

    Leolaia, thanks for posting all that information!!

    Just out of curiosity, have you run across any information regarding the way "Joshua" phrased that plea? I find it astounding that he supposedly spoke "to the 'LORD'..." but ACTUALLY spoke to the sun and moon... Could that indicate that the Israelites believed that the Sun WAS the "Lord", at one time??

    Also, the nature of the "appeal" that "Joshua" spoke, is STRIKINGLY similar to the fashion in which many 'magical' or 'mystical' spells and chants are phrased.

    I suspect that there might be an earlier, "pagan"/heathen version of this story. It puts me rather in mind of "Moses" and his "bronze serpent" on a "rod" - and the strikingly similar Grecian tale of the magical "Rod of Asclepius/Asklepious"...

    And the fact that he had to appeal to the MOON, too, makes it sound VERY MUCH like an appeal to astrological 'magic', in which the heavenly bodies must balance each other for the desired 'effect' or 'spell' to take place...

    Any information on those aspects of the scripture?

    Thanks in advance!


Share this