Amos first received God's prophecies two years before the "raash", which is generally translated "earthquake".(Amos 1:1) The Hebrew word raash is best translated "commotion". Obviously, an earthquake would cause commotion, but the sense here, along with the archaeological evidence, indicates there was much more than just an earthquake at the time. Excavation of some Philistine, Jewish, and Phoenician ruins show there was a severe earthquake along with fire, flooding, and great wind of hurricane proportions. And this catastrophe struck the whole area and not just Judea. Greece was also devastated, but there the earthquake was much less severe than the one in Palestine. Seismic research has shown the Palestine area is NOT riddled with fault lines that would make the area subject to frequent or severe quakes. The only significant fault line in the area is one that runs through the Mount of Olives through Jerusalem, and that line is stable.(I believe it WILL break when Jesus returns, and His return in like manner as He left means He will alight on the Mount of Olives.) Yet, the evidence is unmistakable that an earthquake of great magnitude struck the area, and just about every stone structure in Jerusalem, and in all the neighboring Israeli and Philistine cities & towns was thrown down, and even the Temple was damaged. More than one scientist believes this raash was caused by a near-collision between Earth and Mars, given the worldwide legends about Mars, and the severely-shattered surface of Mars, whose weight & gravity is only 38% of Earth's, and would've sustained much-greater damage than Earth if the two planets drew close to each other. These scientists also believe that Mars' orbit at the time was football-shaped, bringing it into proximity with Earth every 15 years, for awhile, including the time the sun moved retrograde for Hezekiah, until, finally, in that near-collision, Mars was "whiplashed" around Earth, just as comets are whiplashed around the sun or a planet. This whiplash. in the opposite direction of Earth's revolution, hurled Mars into its present orbit, where its closest proximity to earth still occurs every 15 years, but no closer than 35 million miles...much too far apart for any significant interaction between them. During this whiplash, Earth's rotation on its axis was disturbed, accounting for Hezekiah(and all the rest of the world) seeing the sun appearing to move retrograde, with many cataclysms occurring in various places around the world. There are many legends surrounding this event. For example, Greece, being in nearly the same longitude as Jerusalem, saw this event, and made the legend of Phaeton. This Phaeton was said to be a son of the sun god Apollo by a mortal woman. The lad Phaeton continually pestered Apollo to allow him to drive the chariot of the sun on its daily journey around the world. Finally, Apollo allowed him, but the steeds pulling the chariot, not feeling Apollo's strong hand upon the reins, ran amuck, dashing the sun this way and that, with Phaeton unable to restrain them. This caused great cataclysm in various parts of the world. The chariot headed toward the Pole Star instead of to the west, and the Great Bear(the constellation we call the Big Dipper) sank below the horizon to avoid burning. Finally, answering the appeals of the whole world for help, Zeus blasted Phaeton from the chariot with a thunderbolt, commanded the steeds to follow a straight path west back to Apollo's abode, and, as a propitiation to Apollo for the loss of his son, caught his blazing body hurtling through the sky and established it as a star. (There are many versions of this legend, and the above is an eclectic summary, made by me, of the commonest ones.) A subtribe of the Pawnee Indians lived in the eastern area of North America. Their legend says that once the sun had started to rise, but very cautiously, since there was a monster in the western sky. A certain rabbit had wanted to snare the sun for a long time so he could rule the earth, and was waiting hidden behind a hill, equipped with a fireproof rope. When he saw the sun had risen a little, he tried to rope him, but the sun retreated & night returned. After awhile, the rabbit grew cold & tired, and gave up& left. The sun, rising even more cautiously than before, saw the rabbit had left, and so continued to rise, but he took a new path across the sky than before. While the monster in the western sky retreated for good also, the sun wanted to make sure the rabbit wouldn't try to catch him again, so, while at his highest point in the sky, when his power was greatest, he hurled fire at the rabbit when he saw him. This fire burnt up much of the vegetation and killed many people, but it only burned off the rabbit's long tail and shortened his legs so he no longer had the strength to lasso the sun. After this, the people had to re-reckon time and discover the four directions anew. The western areas of North America, including what's now Mexico & Central America, have legends about a very long night, with a smoking monster(Quetzal-Coatl of the Aztecs) dominating the sky during that night, then rapidly retreating into the far reaches of the sky. These people also had to calculate all timekeeping anew & find the four directions anew. Among the scientific theories and the myths & legends around the world, only one writing is certain...that the sun appeared to move retrograde for Hezekiah. remember, Hez was still ill at the time and so most likely could see only the sundial of Ahaz through his window, and not the actual course of the sun, which most likely followed a great circle in the sky until the earth was able to resume its west-to-east revolution. Before you dismiss those old legends as a product of a vivid imagination fueled with fire water, consider how quickly a legend can grow in MODERN TIMES, and how vivid it can be. As a steelworker, I'm familiar with the legend of Joe Magarac, a steel worker made entirely from steel, who would appear from nowhere to prevent a catastrophe from occurring in a steel mill, and was said to have replaced a staff of 29 men when they all became ill, to keep an important furnace from shutting down. Finally, Joe determined that American steel wasn't strong enough, so he leaped into the biggest furnace he could find in Pittsburgh, melting himself down, so his toughness could be spread into every subsequent heat of steel made in Pittsburgh. This legend is 130 years old at its earliest, and it's quite well-known in the steel industry.What I typed above is but ONE VERSION of that legend. But can you imagine, if the age lasts another hundred years & robots become common, how that legend will have grown and changed?(One version has Magarac teaming with John Henry and Capt. Stormalong to ship food to SF after the 1906 earthquake!) Turns out there was a REAL steelworker from Hungary named Magarac(first name not known),whose name means "jackass" in Magyar. He wanted to prove his name was just that, and nothing more than a name, that he was NOT a figurative jackass, so he studied to invent ways to make steel better. He proposed adding molybdenum to steel used for train wheels and gears to cause it to wear more slowly...and his legacy lives on, for train wheels and most gears are still made today from "moly" steel. The TRUTH is a far cry from the legend, eh? My purpose in studying the stories, nyths, and legends concerning the stoppage of the sun for Joshua and the disturbance of its path for Hezekiah? It's to show skeptics that THE SCRIPTURES ARE TRUE, & PROVE it, even in their statements of things that seem utterly improbable by human reckoning. We all deal with skeptics who could undermine our evangelizing work when we're not around, and I believe we should have as many tools as possible to reinforce the Gospel without changing ine whit of its message. After all, FAITH is the belief in the unseen by evidence of the things that ARE seen, and, although the sun has followed the same course my entire life, I have no doubt that it hasn't ALWAYS followed that path, and that God controls the natural-appearing motions of the cosmos with His SUPERnatural powers. Thus, He guided the paths of Venus in the 1400s BC and Mars in the 8th-7th centuries BC to carry out His will, controlling their effects upon the earth. He uses means that appear to be magic to some, while to others it appears to be happenstance and luck, but HE is still in full control of it all.