“By the breath of God they perish,

and by the blast of His anger they are consumed” (JPS).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)


1. Causes:

Unequal distribution of heat in the atmosphere causes currents of air or wind. The heated air rises and the air from around rushes in. The direction from which a current comes determines its name, as west wind coming from the West but blowing toward the East. When two currents of air of different directions meet, a spiral motion sometimes results.

See Whirlwind.

2. West Wind:

In Palestine the west wind is the most common. It comes from the sea and carries the moisture which condenses to form clouds, as it is turned upward by the mountains, to the cooler layers of the atmosphere. If the temperature reached is cool enough the cloud condenses and rain falls. Elijah looked toward the West for the "small cloud," and soon "the heavens grew black with clouds and wind" (1Ki 18:44 f). "When ye see a cloud rising in the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it cometh to pass" (Lu 12:54).

3. South Wind:

The south wind is frequent in Palestine. If it is slightly Southwest, it may bring rain, but if it is due South or Southeast, there is no rain. It is a warm wind bringing good weather. "When ye see a south wind blowing, ye say, There will be a scorching heat; and it cometh to pass" (Lu 12:55). In the cooler months it is a gentle, balmy wind, so that the "earth is still by reason of the south wind" (Job 37:17; compare So 4:16).

4. North Wind:

The north wind is usually a strong, continuous wind blowing down from the northern hills, and while it is cool it always "drives away rain," as correctly stated in Pr 25:23, the King James Version; yet it is a disagreeable wind, and often causes headache and fever. 5. East Wind:

6. Practical Use:

7. Scripture References:

The Scriptural references to wind show many illustrative and figurative uses:

(2) Scattering and destruction: "A stormy wind shall rend it" (Eze 13:11; compare 5:2; 12:14; 17:21; Ho 4:19; 8:7; Jer 49:36; Mt 7:25).

(3) Uncertainty: "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Eph 4:14; compare Pr 27:16; Ec 1:6; Joh 3:8; Jas 1:6).

(4) Various directions: "toward the four winds of heaven" (Da 11:4; compare 8:8; Zec 2:6; Mt 24:31; Mr 13:27).

(5) Brevity: "a wind that passeth away" (Ps 78:39; compare 1:4; 35:5; 103:16).

(6) Nothingness: "Molten images are wind" (Isa 41:29; compare Jer 5:13).

Alfred H. Joy