Bible verse of the day #13


Time to do a bit of debunking! This verse is Joshua 10:13

“So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.”

I will ignore the fact that the Bible thinks that the sun and moon move around the earth and encourage a (false) Geocentric model. And I will assume that God meant that he stopped the earth, not the sun.

The earth rotates extremely quickly, fastest at the equator and slowest at the poles, in the area that the Israelites were in, the earth would be spinning at about 700 – 900 miles per hour (1125 – 1450 kilometers per hour), if God were to stop the earth from spinning, then everything on it would keep going – it would be the single most effective way to wipe all life from the face of the earth. Nothing would be left standing, it would all be flying away at over 700 miles per hour.

Even if God stopped all things on the surface of the earth as well as the earth itself, there would still be problems. If the earth didn’t move then clouds would stop moving, the atmosphere and water would begin to group at the poles and the electromagnetic field that protects the earth would fade away, exposing the planet to harmful solar wind. All of this would have at least left behind some side-effects.

But that isn’t the only thing that debunks this verse. If the earth really did ‘stand still’ God would also have to stop the earth in it’s orbit. The earth is moving at a speed of 67,000 miles per hour, which is equivalent to 30 km/s. If God stopped the planet in its’ orbit, everything on one side of the planet would be crushed, squished flat against the earth, and everything on the other half would be sent flying into space. The Israelites would have left the earth’s atmosphere in about 3 seconds!

And just to make it even more ridiculous, a few verses before God does the scientifically impossible, we find him throwing giant rocks at his enemies’ army. Why would he go from using a giant slingshot to holding the earth still?

Just an extra note, I find it very amusing that Joshua 10:14 says that ‘there has not been a day like it before or since, when the Lord listened to a human being.’ God has never listened to what a human has to say before, and he never will!

Image courtesy or Arvind Balaraman at


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